Pulled Pork Tacos

Yesterday was a bundle of excitement! While walking Mason to daycare I noticed a really scary looking guy in our neighborhood. Me being a worry wart, I double checked every lock in the house and even locked the door leading to the garage, which is normally left unlocked because the garage doors themselves lock. The joke was on me because when the sprinkler company shut down our system for the winter I went into the garage to open up the main sprinkler panel for him and locked myself out of our house. Luckily, I had the baby with me and had him all wrapped up in a blanket. Dum, de, dum, dum, dum!

Of course I didn’t have my key with me so Luke had to come home from work early to rescue me from my bonehead move, lol. Instead of going back to work he stayed home. Mason saw daddy working from home on his computer and just had to get in on the action. I went in there to check on them, when Mason told me, “Mom, you can’t be in here we are busy working.” Even though I got the raw end of the deal, it was one of the cutest things he has done yet!

Aside from Mason’s cuteness, I made a very delicious Autoimmune Protocol friendly meal (omit the pepper for strict diet*). For the pork, I used my slow cooker and made my apple rosemary pork. The tortillas were modified from Brittany Angell’s cookbook, “Every Last Crumb.” Brittany’s tortillas are my favorite and I mean my favorite tortillas of all time (and even when I could eat flour tortillas). They are the perfect wrap for allergy friendly diets.

In all, Luke told me it was the best AIP meal I have made to date. I really hope you try this recipe and also love.

* Per my note on pepper, Luke’s doctor has okayed peppers but told him to stay away from all other nightshades. This is just based on our experience and Luke not having a reaction to peppers. For a strict AIP diet, remove the black pepper from the recipes. It will still taste delicious.

Pulled Pork Tacos
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
Tacos
  1. 3-4 lb Pulled Pork, cooked
  2. 2 Apples, cubed
  3. 3 Avocados, cubed
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 1 Onion, cubed
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Plantain Tortillas
  1. 4 Plantains, slightly ripe (skin starting to turn yellow)
  2. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1/4 C Water
  4. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  5. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  6. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Directions
Tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take off plantain skins and place all of the tortilla ingredients into a high powered blender. Start the blender on low until ingredients start to mix together. Use the paddle to push the batter down from the sides. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth.
  3. Place parchment paper on 4 cookie sheets. Ladle the batter into round circles on the parchment paper (about six inches in diameter) and spread out evenly with a spatula.
  4. Bake the first two cookie sheets in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the tortilla onto the other side and bake for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Repeat the baking process with the other two cookie sheets.
Tacos
  1. Cube the avocado, onion and apples.
  2. Mix together the cubed mixture with salt, pepper and lemon juice until combined.
  3. Layer the pulled pork and apple guacamole on top of the tortillas.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Egg-Free Sandwich Bread

I have been placing very little or no attention to making breads on my blog. Primarily because making breads is tricky. If you have too much Xanthan gum the bread comes out hard as a rock; if you do not have enough protein binder it will come out crumbly/grainy. After years of being gluten free I have tried numerous store-bought breads (only one worth buying is Udis) and have tried making some at home. I already have a quinoa bread recipe on her that is great, but I wanted to try another version without using eggs. Yesterday I tried something new, I didn’t follow the flours in any recipe and just said, “I want to try my own blend that has a high concentration of protein and see what happens.” I mean really who gives a hoot if it doesn’t turn out. 

So, knowing that gluten based breads have a protein structure from the gluten that makes them stretchy, I added both psyllium husk and used almond flour as one of the main flours. This was a good call because the bread was doughy in the center like a would expect from homemade gluten free breads! In all, I personally think this bread is a great substitute when you need to eat gluten free. Oh another obstacle I wanted to concur was making it vegan (e.g. no dairy or eggs). Eggs also serve as a protein and binder, which is another reason for the psyllium husk! I did this because my husband can’t have eggs or gluten right now (doctor’s orders) and he told me he has been craving a sandwich. What a good wife I am slaving away for an hour just so he can have some homemade bread. 

This bread was great straight out of the oven with some almond butter and jam. We also toasted some for sandwiches for lunch and it turned out very well too! Enjoy! 

The bread will keep for a couple days at room temperature or you can slice it and freeze it for use later. Will keep for 3 months in the freezer.  

Egg-Free Sandwich Bread
Serves 8
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Blanched Almond Flour
  2. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  3. 3/4 C Potato Starch
  4. 1 C Sweet Sorghum Flour
  5. 1 1/2 C Lukewarm Water (110 degrees roughly)
  6. 1/4 C Agave Nectar or Honey
  7. 1 tbsp Instant Yeast
  8. 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  9. 3 tbsp Psyllium Husk
  10. 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  11. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  12. 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and shut off. Will be used for rising the dough.
  2. Place yeast and honey in a small bowl. Mix together lukewarm water until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for five minutes to allow yeast to brew.
  3. In a stand-mixer combine the dry ingredients together. Add in the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and yeast mixture. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes to allow air to enter into the dough.
  4. Grease a bread loaf pan with olive oil spray. Place dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Place in warm (but turned off) oven for 30 minutes with the door open a crack.
  5. Take the bread out, remove plastic or towel and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Bake bread for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Turn temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Bread should have a golden brown crust and soft center.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Braised Citrus Chicken

We have a ton of meat from our CSA last year that we need to use up fast because the new shares start in February! So, looks like I will be making a lot of soups, slow cooker and beef/poultry/pork recipes in the next three weeks. The next two recipes in the works are a beef pho and some sort of stuffed tenderloin. The beef pho is because I love this soup from a Vietnamese restaurant by my husband’s work. Hoping that I can get mine to taste as good, but I am not holding my breathe considering I usually don’t have as good of luck at making Asian food at home :)  

Aside from dreaming up food recipes, I take my SAS base programming exam on Thursday. I studied last weekend and will be studying again all day tomorrow (minus a few work meetings). I am little nervous that they are going to ask me a ton of behind the scenes processing questions. I know how to write code I just don’t care what is going behind the scene. I write, push a button and boom I get results. The rest is FLUFFY details that bored me while studying. I am sure it will bite me where the sun don’t shine. Just need to get a 70. I can do this!!

My little man also made a wand at school the other day. You know one of those with a star on the end that fairies use. Well anyway, I got to school yesterday and he touched me with the wand and said, “Mommy you are a princess.” Well now did that melt my heart or what! Then he proceeded to take an enormous dump in his diaper on the way home, so I think he was just softening me up for what he was going to do next instead of going in the toilet. LOL! At any rate I just love the things he says! 

Now on to this delicious slow cooked chicken recipe. It is easy as pie to make. Okay I don’t know about you guys, but is pie easy to make! I don’t think so and I love to bake! Seriously the dough is a pain in the BUTT unless you buy it pre-made. Okay that saying doesn’t work in my book, but this recipe is SUPER easy! Just toss the ingredients in the slow cooker and come back 6 hours later to shred it. Oh and, my husband ate 2/3 of this in one sitting. If you have hungry tummies like my house you may want to get a bigger chicken and increase the cooking time 20 minutes per extra pound :) I can only imagine what my grocery bill is going to be when Mason is older!  

Braised Citrus Chicken
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3-4 lb Whole Chicken
  2. 2 tbsp Mustard
  3. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  4. 1 Lime, juice
  5. 1/8 C Agave Nectar or Honey
  6. I C Orange Juice
  7. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  8. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  9. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  10. 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  11. 2 tsp Cumin
  12. 2 tsp Onion Powder
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the chicken.
  3. Cook over low heat for approximately 6 hours or until the chicken starts to fall apart.
  4. Shred and serve with your favorite side dish or even use for tacos.
Notes
  1. If you are following a strict Autoimmune Diet Protocol replace the mustard and cumin with 1 more tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and another 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. These modifications will make the dish less spicy, but it will still be delicious!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Pork Plantain Pastelon

Ever since Christmas, Mason has been doing laps around his choo, choo train set non-stop (well, breaking for snacks and meals) from sun up to sun down. He even passed up watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse this morning. That is a HUGE DEAL because he doesn’t miss Mickey in the morning! Here is the little dude in action on Christmas morning.

Mason Choo Choo1

Hooray to Santa for bringing the choo, choo set and to Papa Strawn for building the table. I can see now that this will be his favorite toy for a long time! 

Now on to some Pastelon! Ever since my husband has been on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet I have wanted to make Pastelon because it uses plantains as the base starch. Typically this dish has oodles of eggs and some sort of meat (beef or pork). On the AIP diet, Luke can’t have eggs, so I stewed over this one a bit and thought, “Well, duh just make a sauce out of the pulled pork sauce and coconut milk.”

Oh my goodness was this good. I mean seriously, for those who are suffering from numerous allergies such as nuts, diary, seeds, grains, legumes, corn and soy this is a winner! I even got Mason to say, “Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner, Mommy!” LOL, it is so much cuter when kids say stuff! I can’t wait to eat some leftovers :) 

Pork Plantain Pastelon
Serves 8
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
9 hr
Total Time
9 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 Yellow Plantains
  2. 3-4 lb. Pork Roast
  3. 1 Onion, Chopped
  4. 2 Carrots, Chopped
  5. 1 Can Coconut Milk
  6. 1 tsp Celery Seeds
  7. 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
  8. 1/2 tbsp Sea Salt
  9. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  11. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  12. 1 tsp All Spice
  13. 3/4 C Pomegranate Juice
  14. 1/2 C Orange Juice
  15. 2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder or Tapioca Starch
Instructions
  1. Place pork roast, pomegranate juice, orange juice, apple cider vinegar and spices in a slow cooker. Cook over low heat for 6-8 hours or until the meat pulls apart with two forks.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Remove the pork, shred it and set aside.
  4. Combine 3 ladles of the pork juice with the coconut milk and tapioca or arrowroot starch. Cook over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Using a wire whisk, continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Add more pork juices if the sauce gets too thick.
  5. Using a food processor or mandolin, slice the plantains thinly (1/4 inch roughly). Make sure to cut the slices along the longer side of the fruit because these are used similar to lasagna noodles.
  6. In a 13 x 9 pan, place a thin layer of the plantains on the bottom. Top with half of the pulled pork, carrots, onion and coconut sauce. Repeat the layers again starting with plantains, pork, vegetables and sauce. Add a final layer of plantains to the top.
  7. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I have been on a quinoa salad kick lately! My last two salads have been centered around this delicious little seed :) Why not when it tastes delicious right? I love this one because of the cranberries, apples and brussel sprouts. I am a crunchy salad kind of girl so this one was right up my alley! 

Aside from salads, I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays. We were blessed to have a wonderful Christmas in Alexandria! My dad bought $96 worth of king crab and boy did it hit the spot. I love, love Alaskan king crab. It reminds of me of living in Alaska and one of my favorite TV shows, Deadliest Catch. Yummy!

We also spent some time swimming with Mason at the hotel pool. They had a kiddie pool and boy did the little guy get brave at the end. He kept running, losing his balance and then doing a nose dive head first into the water. Obviously we were there to catch him every time, but his face was classic when he came out of the water! 

Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Water
  3. 3/4 C Cranberries
  4. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  5. 2 C Brussels Sprouts, shaved
  6. 2 Small Apples, chopped
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  2. 3-4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Apple Juice
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 3 Tbsp Honey
  6. 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  7. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. Add two cups of water to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Add quinoa and turn down heat to simmer (low). Cook for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed. Set aside and allow to completely cool before adding other salad ingredients.
  2. Chop up the apples and shave the brussel sprouts either with a mandolin or food processor. Put all of the salad ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add quinoa once it has come to room temperature.
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. Add dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar or a food storage container. Add lid and shake until completely combined.
  2. Toss the dressing into the salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Asian Quinoa Salad

I made this yesterday and cannot wait to eat it up again for lunch! Yummy! I must say that Quinoa is one of my favorite super foods and is technically a seed (not a grain, making it Paleo friendly…you be the judge). The main reasons I love it are (source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html):

  1. Protein Rich – Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
  2. High Fiber Content – Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.
  3. High in Iron – Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.
  4. Contains Lysine – Essential for tissue growth and repair.
  5. Rich in Magnesium – Magnesium helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
  6. High in Riboflavin (B2) – Improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

Quinoa pretty much rocks it from a nutritional perspective and I got inspired by my cousin’s wife because she brought a Quinoa salad with a peanut dressing to our holiday party last Saturday.

Knowing many are allergic/sensitive to peanuts, I created this salad with a dressing that is nut free (and then completely negated my efforts by tossing in cashews) :) Cashews are easy to sub for some sunflower seeds though. 

Asian Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
Asian Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Water
  3. 2 C Chicken Breast, cooked
  4. 1 C Snap Peas, cut in half
  5. 2 C Brussel Sprouts, shaved
  6. 1 C Cashews, chopped (use sunflower seeds if allergic to cashews)
  7. 1 C Carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
  8. 1/2 English Cucumber, chopped
Sesame Sunflower Dressing
  1. 1/4 C Sunbutter
  2. 3 tbsp Sesame Oil
  3. 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 3 tbsp Honey
  6. 1 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 tsp Chipotle Seasoning
  9. 4 tbsp Hemp Seeds
  10. 1 tbsp Mustard
Asian Quinoa Salad
  1. Bring water to boil. Add quinoa, turn down heat to low & simmer until fully cooked. Takes roughly 20 minutes or until liquid fully absorbed. Let quinoa cool for 20 minutes before adding dressing and chopped veggies.
Sesame Sunflower Dressing
  1. Mix together olive oil, mustard, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and basil.
  2. Toss dressing with cooked quinoa, vegetables, chicken and cashews until combined.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Pomegranate Pepita Salad

Oh what to do when your dog decides she has to wake you up at 12:43 AM to go to the bathroom. Normally I go to bed around 7 and get up around 3 am, but 12:43 is going to leave a mark today! I know you are probably thinking well, why don’t you go back to bed? There is a fine line for me when trying to go back to bed. Sometimes it works, but rarely. So, once I am up, I am up for good (unfortunately). Hopefully tonight I will get my full 8 hours or I will be a bear tomorrow! 

I decided that since I am up and already put in 30 hours for work this week as of Wednesday that I would work on my linked in profile, write up this blog post and also research becoming a Beach Body coach. I have been participating in group challenges with a high school friend, Jackie (who also happened to marry my cousin, Josh). The challenges have involved eating clean, substituting one meal per day with a Shakeology smoothie and having one meal per day be a salad. I started participating in the groups because I was looking for something socially that fit my interests. I also just flat out feel better physically and emotionally when I continuously eat healthy. 

So, wanting to engage in clean eating with other ladies I decided to give Jackie’s groups a shot and I LOVE THEM. I have met so many new and fun ladies that I decided that it would be fun to be a coach too :) Honestly I get so excited to see all of the messages, meals and inspirational messages other ladies post to the group boards on Facebook! To make a long story short, Jackie asked if I would be interested in joining her team to help run clean eating and exercise groups because I have a passion for living a healthy lifestyle. After doing some research on Skakeology and Beach Body and talking to my husband, he and I both agree that it would be the perfect complement to this blog. It will also be a great hobby for me and a way to engage with others who also want to improve their health.

After I get all set up I will add details on my blog about the challenges and products used for the various challenges. Hopefully some of you will want to join in on the fun! Cheers to living life to the fullest and taking care of your body! 

Pomegranate Pepita Salad
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Pomegranate Pepita Salad
  1. 3 C Shaved Brussel Sprouts
  2. 3 C Arugula
  3. 1 Large Sweet Potato
  4. 1/4 C Pepitas (Omit for AIP diet)
  5. 1/2 Cooked Bacon, nitrate-free
  6. 1/2 C Pomegranate Seeds
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  1. 1 Lemon, juice
  2. 1/4 C Honey or Agave Nectar
  3. 1/2 C Apple Juice
  4. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  5. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/4 tsp Pepper
Instructions
Pomegranate Pepita Salad
  1. Peel the sweet potato and chop into 1/2 inch squares. Steam for 10-12 minutes until tender. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperate.
  2. Mix together other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set in the refrigerator while making the dressing and allowing the sweet potatoes to cool.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  1. Add salad dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar. Shake until combined.
  2. Once sweet potatoes are cool, toss them and the dressing into the salad. Serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Strawberry Avocado Salad

I am finally home after spending two days in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona for a research conference. Don’t get me wrong being in Arizona was heaven compared to the cold Minnesota weather, but I really missed Mason, Luke and Scylla (our doggy).

While in AZ, I stayed at the Fairmont Princess. Oh man, is that place decked out for the Holiday! They had a Santa’s workshop, choo choo train rides, skating rink and a Christmas light show. I really wish Mason would have been there because he would have had a blast!

After being on the road, I tried to have decent meals but it is hard to find good quality food when traveling! So, I was definitely craving a homemade kale salad for lunch today and came up with this concoction. It was so incredibly delicious that my husband and I polished it off in no time. 

Strawberry Avocado Salad
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Strawberry Avocado Salad
  1. 3 C Baby Kale
  2. 3 C Kale, chopped
  3. 1 1/2 C Strawberries, chopped
  4. 1 English Cucumber, chopped
  5. 1/2 lb. Nitrate Free Bacon, cooked and chopped
  6. 1 C Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped
  7. 1 Large Avocado, chopped
Celery Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. 3 Meyer Lemons, juice
  2. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  3. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/4 tsp Celery Seed
  6. 1/2 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
Directions
Strawberry Avocado Salad
  1. For the chicken, I just pick up a free range rotisserie chicken and chop it up to save time. To cook the bacon, add slices to a large frying pan and cook 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Flip the bacon over to cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until bacon crisps up in the pan. Allow bacon to cool over paper towels for 5 minutes to remove most of the grease.
  2. Add chopped vegetables, chicken and chopped bacon to a large salad bowl.
Celery Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. Add salad ingredients to a quart sized mason jar and shake until combined.
  2. Toss with salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Sloppy Sweet Pota’Joes’

Today I am traveling to Arizona for a research conference. As much as I am excited to meet coworkers who I have worked remotely with for several years, I am also sad to leave behind this little dude…

Mason selfie

Notice we were eating dinner, so I have bugs in my grill and Mason has food all over his face! Good times!

Before I head out for my early flight this morning, I wanted to share my recent creation. On my husband’s elimination diet (recommended by his chiropractor to heal his leaky gut and reduce inflammation symptoms from psoriatic arthritis) he cannot have tomatoes. Unlike most suggested Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets, his chiropractor did okay peppers because he has not seen cases where these cause inflammation. So, we are following this AIP elimination food list minus the peppers. So, why tomatoes? Well they are considered a nightshade and nightshades such as tomatoes, white potatoes and eggplant (just to name a few) can be toxic to the body, causing inflammation to autoimmune condition sufferers. 

My quest for this recipe was to eliminate tomatoes from the sauce, not replace the tomatoes with disgusting beets (I despise their flavor) like so many tomato-free sauces do and not make it cloyingly sweet. My husband thinks I did a fantastic job! Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.  

Sloppy Sweet Pota'Joes'
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Large Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1 lb. Ground Beef
  3. 1 lb. Ground Pork
  4. 2 tbsp Garlic
  5. 1 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
  6. 2 C Bell Peppers, rough chopped
  7. 1 1/2 C Raspberries, frozen
  8. 2 1/2 C Cherries, frozen
  9. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  10. 3 Limes, juice
  11. 2/3 C Carrot Juice
  12. 1 tbsp Honey
  13. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  14. 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
  15. 2 tsp Onion Powder
  16. 1 tsp Allspice
  17. 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a 13x9 cake pan and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat up the palm oil shortening. Add the peppers, cherries, raspberries, lime juice, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, honey, apple cider vinegar, carrot juice and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  4. Add remaining garlic to a large frying pan with ground beef, pork and spices. Cook the meat over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked completely (e.g. beef should no longer be pink in the middle). Set aside.
  5. Place the sloppy joe sauce into a blender and mix until smooth. Put the sauce back into the medium sauce pan. Drain out the fat drippings from the meat and add to the sauce. Cover with a lid to retain heat until sweet potatoes are done baking.
  6. After the sweet potatoes are done, cut a slit down the center. Mash it down just a little bit to make room for the meat. Top with the meat and enjoy!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Autumn Harvest Salad

Yesterday, Mason and I had a date! I asked him what he wanted to do and his response was to go see the “Horseies.” It was rainy and cold, so we settled on visiting choo choos at the mall. Mason was in heaven because we ended up finding a small toy store with a Melissa and Doug Wooden Railway set up. I also scored by finding a Big Boggle game (Happy Early Birthday to me)! Can’t wait to kick Luke’s butt in a game. Especially since we played Yahtzee last week and he beat me four games in a row. Who can be that lucky rolling dice? He just kept saying, “Oh, it is all skills, baby!”  

Other than the toy store, we also found an indoor play area with small slides and cars that you had to pay seventy-five cents to operate. He was having enough fun with them stationary, so I went with it. It was lots of fun and he was a very well behaved little dude!

Before heading off to our date I made this salad for lunch. Amazingly Mason is a BIG salad eater. He especially loves spinach, arugula and kale dipped in ranch dressing. I am not a big fan of ranch, so I made an apple honey mustard vinaigrette. Most the ingredients for the salad came from our CSA.

If you can’t find daicon radishes, you can always use either kohlrabi or white radishes because they are more readily available in most groceries. Same goes for purple carrots, just use orange. If you want to impress people though use purple, because they are gorgeous in a salad with their purple exterior and yellow inside!

Autumn Harvest Salad
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  2. 1 C English Cucumber, chopped
  3. 1 C Daicon Radish, chopped
  4. 1/2 C Fennel, chopped
  5. 1/2 C Pepitas
  6. 3 C Purple Kale, chopped
  7. 3 C Arugula
  8. 1 Lemon
  9. 1/4 C Honey or Agave Nectar
  10. 1/2 C Apple Juice
  11. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  12. 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard (omit for AIP diet)
  13. 2-3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  14. 1/2 tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Mix together kale, arugula, chicken, cucumber, radish, fennel and pepitas into a large serving bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, honey, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt into a quart sized mason jar. Put on the lid and shake the jar until all of the ingredients are combined.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette into the salad and serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
  

 

Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Bacon Avocado Salad

After having a brussel sprout and kale chopped salad in New York, I have been craving this combination a lot! The version I had in NYC had purple potatoes, peas, sunflower seeds, brie cheese, kale, brussel sprouts and arugula. It was incredible, but I pushed aside the purple potatoes and brie cheese because I didn’t like them in the salad.

In a quest to make my own allergy-friendly version, I took out any of the ingredients that were not autoimmune friendly (e.g. peas & sunflower seeds). To add in some flavor, I added bacon, shrimp and chopped avocado. 

The outcome was this delicious chop salad with a creamy lemon avocado dressing. On the autoimmune protocol, it is not recommended to use mustard or mustard seed because these are potential gut irritants. In order to garnish the spicy distinct flavor of mustard, I tossed in some mustard greens (they are AIP friendly and for a complete list I highly recommend the book “The Paleo Approach“). I loved this creamy dressing and thought it was the perfect complement to my salad!  

Bacon Avocado Salad
Serves 2
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
Bacon Avocado Salad
  1. 1/2 lb Nitrate-Free Bacon, chopped
  2. 2 C Brussel Sprouts, shredded
  3. 2 C Shrimp, tails removed
  4. 2 C Kale, chopped & tough stems removed
  5. 1 Avocado, chopped
  6. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  7. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
Creamy Lemon Avocado Dressing
  1. 2 Avocados
  2. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  3. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  5. 2 Limes, juice
  6. 1 C Mustard Greens
  7. 1/4 C Water (optional for thinner dressing)
  8. 1/4 tsp Salt
  9. Pinch of pepper
Directions
Bacon Avocado Salad
  1. Saute bacon, brussel sprouts and garlic over medium high heat until brussel sprouts are tender and bacon is fully cooked.
  2. Add in shrimp, onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shrimp with bacon & brussel sprouts until they are done (they are fully cooked when the tails curl up into a circle).
  3. Set aside and allow ingredients to cool to room temperature. Will take between 10-15 minutes.
Creamy Lemon Avocado Dressing
  1. Add dressing ingredients (minus the water) into a high-speed blender and combine until creamy.
  2. Use additional water if you want a runnier consistency.
  3. Put chopped kale in the bottom of large salad bowl, top with the bacon mixture, chopped avocado and creamy lemon avocado dressing.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

No’mato Spaghetti Sauce

Many autoimmune sufferers eliminate nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) from their diet because it has been found to reduce symptoms of inflammation. Without tomatoes as a base for spaghetti sauce many recipes use beets. If you are like me, you can detect the flavor of beets within a 10 mile radius. In fact, I don’t really like them at all unless they are fried chips! Other than chips, I have tried disguising them in smoothies and sauces, but geez whiz I can still detect those nappy things!

So, while my husband has following the autoimmune diet I decided to dabble in the ‘No’mato Sauce world by creating my own version with cherries as the base. It is WAY BETTER FOLKS! Well, unless you like beets of course :) 

No'mato Spaghetti Sauce
Serves 6
Looking for a recipe for spaghetti sauce that does not use nightshades or beets? This sauce is autoimmune friendly and very delicious!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6 C Tart Cherries, frozen
  2. 3 Purple Carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 3 Orange Carrots, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  5. 3 Stalks Celery, chopped
  6. 2 tbsp Fresh Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  8. 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, stems removed
  9. 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  10. 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
  11. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  12. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  13. 1 tsp Pepper
  14. 1 tsp Salt
  15. 1 tsp Turmeric
  16. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  17. 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  18. 1 tsp Celery Salt
  19. 1 Lemon, juice
  20. 1/2 C Water
  21. 1/2 C Cranberry Juice
Instructions
  1. Saute carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a dutch oven or large soup pan with coconut oil until onions are translucent. Will take approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Once veggies are tender, add in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour ingredients into a blender (or use an emulsion blender) and mix until a smooth sauce forms. Add an additional 1/2 cup of water if the sauce is to thick.
Notes
  1. Serve this on top pizza or with zucchini noodles for a delicious meal.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Cucumber Jicama Salad

I bought a large bunch of fresh spearmint leaves from Whole Foods (whole paycheck is more like it). To use up all of the mint I have been testing different salad combinations. Several salads use cucumber, jicama and mint, but I wanted to add some additional sweetness via red grapes and an apple vinaigrette! I thought it was a yummy combo and wanted to share the love. Enjoy folks! 

Cucumber Jicama Salad
Serves 2
Tired of the run of the mill salads? Try this light and refreshing salad! This salad is a great side dish for grilled fish such as Mahi Mahi or salmon.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Jicama, chopped
  2. 2 Cucumbers, chopped
  3. 2 C Grapes, sliced in half
  4. 8-10 Mint Leaves, finely chopped
  5. 1/4 C Apple Juice
  6. 1/8 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. 1/8 C Olive Oil
  8. 1 tbsp Honey
  9. 1/4 tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Add chopped fruits and vegetables to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Mix together apple juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey and salt.
  3. Toss dressing into salad ingredients and serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Fresh Herb Market Salad

Incredibly excited! We just booked our trip to New England in April, so I can run in the Boston Marathon! This has been on my bucket list for years. I have qualified for the race three times and the previous two times I was not able to go because A) the race closed within 8 hours of registration and B) I had Mason and did not think I would be ready in time for the race. I guess the saying goes, “The third time is a charm.” We are also traveling to the race early to be able to visit family and friends in New Hampshire. Hopefully my mom and sister will be able to travel to see me race as well, but for now my Husband’s mom, Milly, my husband and Mason are flying to Boston to join in on the fun. Keeping my fingers crossed on my side of the family!

Outside of this exciting news, I am also gaining great management experience. Recently I was promoted to a research director, so I now manage a team of four health care researchers. Talk about a trip!  I never imagined how much additional work from an HR perspective is involved (hiring, corrective action plans, making employees happy, etc.). Despite all of these challenges, I actually liking it more than I thought I would. So, thanks to my manager for giving me the opportunity. 

With being a manager, training for a marathon, adding/creating recipes for BareRoot Kitchen and keeping up with my busy toddler, I am trying even harder to be 100 percent focused on putting the best foods as humanly possible into my body. With this goal, I always have a green smoothie for breakfast and try to have a salad for lunch. I just love how many vitamins and minerals I am consuming in my first two meals. Plus, it gives me oodles of energy! I have noticed that after following a smoothie/salad diet for the last 3 months that I have slept better (actually needing less sleep), had considerably more energy and much better mental clarity (can accomplish work tasks quicker).

This all leads me to the new salad I created yesterday. I have added fresh dill to salads before (try my Salmon Avocado Salad), but it has been a while and boy, I should be added this herbs to salads more often because the result is YUMMY! I really loved this salad! I had it for lunch, but it would be a wonderful side dish to my Sweet & Spicy Chicken or Cherry BBQ Spare Ribs.  

Fresh Herb Market Salad
Serves 2
Dill and parsley give this salad wonderful flavor. I recommend serving this as a side dish to either my Cherry BBQ Spare Ribs or Sweet & Spicy Chicken.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Fresh Herb Salad
  1. 2 tbsp Fresh Dill, roughly chopped
  2. 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
  3. 4 C Mixed Greens (Beet greens, arugula, baby kale & spinach blend)
  4. 3 Radishes, thinly sliced
  5. 1 C Broccoli Florets, roughly choppped
  6. 3 Mini Bell Peppers (red, orange and yellow for color), roughly chopped
  7. 1/4 C Feta (optional; omit for Paleo diet)
Citrus Vinaigrette
  1. 1/4 C Orange Juice
  2. 1 Lemon, juice
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
Directions
Fresh Herb Salad
  1. Chop and toss salad ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
Citrus Vinaigrette
  1. Add ingredients into a quart sized mason jar. Shake until the olive oil, vinegar and juice are thoroughly combined. If the oil separates just shake it up again.
  2. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve with your favorite entree.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Pomegranate Dressing

I love salads, but rarely like the store bought dressings because they often have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oils and soy ingredients. To avoid all of this garbage I prefer to make my own. My go to dressing is pretty simple just olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and salt/pepper. However, today I wanted to spice up this base with some pomegranate juice and basil. I am very pleased with the outcome!

For salad ideas, I like to pair an olive oil and vinegar based dressing with kale (I like how crunchy it is in comparison to red or green leaf lettuce) or arugula (I love the pepper undertones). However, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can use. I am just suggesting two favorite salad greens. Hope you enjoy!

Pomegranate Dressing
Serves 6
In my quest for spicing up an olive oil, lemon and vinegar dressing, I gambled with tossing in some pomegranate juice and dried sweet basil. It payed off because this dressing is delicious. For dinner or lunch ideas, add this salad dressing to either a kale or arugula salad for a perfect main course or side dish.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C Pomegranate Juice
  2. 1/2 C Olive Oil
  3. 1/3 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 1 tsp Sweet Basil, dried
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1 tsp Black Pepper
  8. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients together and toss with your favorite salad greens.
Notes
  1. The oil separates from the vinegar in this dressing, so just make sure you shake it well before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Southwest Chicken Salad

We just spent five wonderful days at our cabin. The best part about the cabin is it is in the middle of nowhere and nowhere means no cell phone coverage, running water (bath in the lake) or electricity. We even have a two-seater outhouse, so if anyone is feeling really brave they could play cards with someone else while going about there business. I am proud to say I never have and never well try that, but just throwing it out there as an option that my husband and his friends certainly joke about.

I am grateful I was about to forget about work for a couple days and just focus 100% on family and relaxation! Also, Mason was also in heaven playing with rocks, dirt and water. Nothing is better than a toddler getting dirty, right?

While there, my sister-in-law made several salads. One of which inspired me to make this southwestern chicken. This salad is not autoimmune or Paleo friendly unless you remove the corn and feta cheese, but my husband has decided to eliminate foods one at a time to see what triggers more joint pain anyway. So far we are thinking the culprit is nuts (that rat bastard…quoting my very funny cousin, Josh). Hopefully that is it! 

Southwest Chicken Salad
Serves 2
Fresh corn, avocado and bell peppers create this very colorful, delicious and fresh summer salad. This can be served as a side dish, garnish for tacos or for a main course.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
Southwest Chicken Salad
  1. 3 C Mixed Salad Greens
  2. 2 Cobs of Corn, husked
  3. 1 Avocado, chopped
  4. 1/4 C Feta Cheese
  5. 1/4 C Red Pepper, chopped
  6. 1/4 C Green Pepper, chopped
  7. 1/4 C Red Onion, chopped
  8. 1 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  2. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  5. 1 tsp Sea Salt
Directions
Southwest Chicken Salad
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add corn and boil for approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. While the corn is cooking, add the mixed greens to a large bowl. Top with feta cheese, vegetables and chicken.
  3. Once corn is done, cut off the kernels with a knife. This is done by standing the corn upright and running the knife down the side of the cob.
  4. After the corn has cooled to room temperature, add it to the top of the salad.
Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. Add vinaigrette ingredients to a small bowl and mix together until combined. Toss this into the salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

Share : Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin