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
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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/
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Apple Rosemary Pork

Today marks 8 weeks with two kids under 4 years old. When people ask me how life is with two, the first word that I can think of is “Crazy.” Literally I feel like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep with anything I do. Hurry up and get everything done before all hell breaks loose. Even though our house is chaotic, I wouldn’t change a thing. My little monsters bring me so much joy.

Now onto some meat! Our staple pork roast recipe is my Cranberry Pork Roast. I just made that last week and needed to change it up a bit. This tasty bad boy is made with my favorite spice, rosemary. Yum, yum.

You can really eat this pork roast alone or get creative like we did with some pork tacos (stay tuned for my autoimmune protocol plantain tacos with an apple avocado slaw).

Apple Rosemary Pork
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3-4 lb Pork Shoulder
  2. 2 C Apple Juice
  3. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
  5. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  8. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  9. 1/2 tbsp Sea Salt
  10. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  11. 1 tsp Black Pepper
  12. 2 Large Sprigs Rosemary
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 8-10 hours on low turning roast over halfway through cooking time.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Herb Roasted Turkey

I had all intentions on getting my herb roasted turkey recipe onto my blog before Thanksgiving. However, life got extremely busy and we were not home for the holiday this year, so I apologize for the delay in getting this easy fail proof recipe out to you lovely folks. I guess if you make a bird for Christmas (some do) then here you go! 

I know everyone has their favorite ways to cook the bird. Some risk their lives and the vitality of their home by frying it. Even though I know this is probably delicious, I just can’t fathom doing this to a lean and low calorie meat! Or maybe I am just a chicken about getting in front of so much hot grease! Either way I am not a fan of frying the turkey.

Outside of frying, the other alternative is roasting it in the oven. This by far is my preferred method, but then again the preparation of the turkey can be very different. My brother-in-law swears by brining the turkey over night so it stays moist (his turkey is great by the way). I am personally too lazy to go through that much preparation and don’t think it is necessary to get a tasty turkey. Instead I like to create an herb, lemon and olive oil mixture that is spread under the skin of the turkey breasts/legs and then I stuff the inside of the bird with lemon, apple and celery. It is easy and I have been told by several people who do not like turkey (mind you) that my turkey is wonderful.

Now, here we are on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I asked Luke if he wanted to make our turkey and he said he was game. My response was, “Great, I am game too”. Then I asked the little dude if he was game, there was a slight delay and then a solid, “Nope!” Oh man did Luke and I burst out laughing! Goodness, is hearing a two year say “nope” with so much clarity a HOOT! Oh and I really wanted to take a picture of the turkey after it came out of the oven, but my hubby carved it before I had a chance too. Oops! So, all you get is the carved version over some arugula. 

I also want to mention that yesterday we also went on a REAL choo, choo train ride with Grandpa Byron (my biological father), Grandma Denise (my step mom), Uncle Cody (my brother), and my brother’s wife (Kandi). Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in the train before we went out on a ride, so Mason was able to, completely against his will, sit on Mrs. Claus’ lap. He refused to sit on Santa’s! LOL. 

Santa

I think his face says it all! “Who are these two strangers and why are you making me sit on their laps!” Despite this he had a very fun time riding in the caboose and playing with the choo, choo train sets. 

Herb Roasted Turkey
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 12-15 lb. Free-range Turkey
  2. 3/4 C Olive Oil
  3. 3 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  4. 2 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  7. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 2 tsp Ground Peppercorns
  9. 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  10. 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  11. 1 Lemon, quartered
  12. 1 Apple, quartered
  13. 2 Celery Stalks, cut in large pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Rub 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the ground peppercorns inside the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the cut up apples, lemons and celery. This will help retain moisture and will infuse the turkey with these great flavors.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices together in a small bowl. Gently lift up the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Brush the lemon herb mixture under the skin. Brush the remaining mixture over the surface of the breast and legs.
  4. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Cover with the roasting pan lid or tightly with aluminum foil. Roast the turkey in the oven for 10-15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature of the turkey legs reach 165 degrees. It usually takes a free range 12-14 pound turkey roughly 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook completely (non-free range turkeys take an extra 20-30 minutes longer to cook).
  5. Make sure to baste the turkey with the turkey juices every thirty minutes. Also, after 2 hours 15 minutes of roasting, remove the lid and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes to brown the turkey.
  6. Remove from the oven, place the lid back on the roasting pan and allow the turkey to set for 20-30 minutes before carving.
Notes
  1. If using frozen turkey, make sure the turkey is completely defrosted. This can be done by letting the turkey defrost in the sink for at least 24 hours or by submerging the turkey in a warm water bath for 3-4 hours. For the warm water bath, you will want to keep draining the water and filling it up with warm water every hour to speed up the defrosting process.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Green Tea Maca Smoothie

For my “morning” (I actually made this closer to lunch) smoothie I wanted a BURST OF ENERGY! Actually I don’t really need it because I have been feeling absolutely fantastic from the five day clean eating challenge, but I felt the need to get a new post going on ‘up in here’.

All right, so what the heck is maca and matcha you say? Check out this post related to maca: Pineapple Maca Smoothie. For the green tea I used an organic powdered known as Matcha and here is the health benefits of this superfood from MatchaSource:

  • Matcha Is an Antioxidant Powerhouse – One of biggest the buzz words in nutrition, antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a variety of fruits and vegetables are lauded for their antioxidant properties, leading to a host of products with all kinds of claims. But matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Firstly, matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants according to the latest innovation in antioxidant research. Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more so than pomegranates or blueberries. Matchas ORAC rating is a mighty 1300 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 91 units.
  • Energy Booster – One of the most unexpected benefits matcha drinkers experience is a boost of energy through the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matchas natural properties. Another recent study in particular found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%. Even if you arent facing a grueling workout, matcha can help you through the everyday marathon, whether its that project due the next day or getting the kids from school to soccer practice.
  • Calorie Burner – Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesnt raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.
  • Detox Deluxe – Green is truly the color of health. Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature verdant color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas, making it a superior daily detox.

Knowing these health benefits is why I tossed both maca and green tea into my smoothie this morning. 

Green Tea Maca Smoothie
Serves 2
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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. 2 Bananas
  2. 3 C Spinach
  3. 2 C Mixed Berries, Frozen
  4. 2 Pears, cores removed
  5. 1 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Tangerine Juice
  7. 3 C Water
  8. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  9. 1 tsp Green Tea Matcha Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Maca Powder
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 
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Cherry Coconut Smoothie

Don’t be fooled by the name, this is still a GREEN smoothie! Actually, almost all of the smoothies on my blog are ‘green’. This one is a good starter green smoothie because it uses spinach instead of kale. Some people find kale woody and detect it right away in a smoothie. Spinach just blends right in, so you would never know it is there!

Now, me on the other hand am a kale junkie! Serious, I love it because it stays crunchy in salads and even after you let it sit for hours (having a toddler makes the consumption of fresh meals impossible at times)!

All right, so this bottom line is this smoothie rocks! I sucked down it in 2.2 seconds, well probably closer to two minutes, but who is counting. ENJOY! 

Cherry Coconut Smoothie
Serves 2
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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. 2 C Coconut Water
  2. 2 Bananas, peeled
  3. 3 Tangerines, peeled
  4. 1 Apple, cores removed
  5. 2 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 2 C Berries, frozen
  8. 3 C Cherries, frozen
  9. 3 C Spinach
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Green Detox Smoothie

Oh goodness, I had another interesting potty training experience yesterday! Mason and I went to the library to return books and get some new ones. He loves it because they have trucks, magnetic letters, and a play kitchen area. I love it because it is a free activity and gives him so much joy!

Going back to potty training as he was in midst of mixing up a “banana soup” he started to show signs of going number two in his diaper. I hauled him off to the bathroom and was super excited when he actually used the potty. BUT and a big “BUTT” as I was reaching for toilet paper to wipe his bottom he unleashed round two all over the floor. He then proceeded to step in it, step on me, and step on every inch of the library bathroom floor. My good intentions turned into a massive hose down of him, me and the library bathroom floor :) Poor guy probably felt terrible, but I never made him feel that way. I just had him help me in the clean up crew and kept congratulating him for going in the big boy potty! 


Now onto my green detox smoothie! I am creating a 5-day detox challenge for the holiday season. My intent is to get this ready the Monday after Thanksgiving with new recipes, but I may have to sub in some recipes that I already have ready if I am under a time crunch. 

With this being Day 1, I want to kick off the challenge with some information on why detoxification is beneficial to your body. Detoxification is the process of removing toxins and free radicals from your body to improve cognitive and physical functioning. 

  1. Cognitive – When toxins and free radicals accumulate in the body can this can negatively affect cognitive functioning. Before undergoing a detox, you may have trouble sleeping, chronic fatigue or trouble with your concentration. By removing toxins from the body, studies have found many of these issues gradually disappear.
  2. Physical – Toxins store up in major organs and your blood stream, detoxification helps organs, such as the liver and stomach begin to work more effectively. Detoxification helps clear your body of free radicals, making your body’s immune system stronger, reducing your risk of cancer and allowing your blood to circulate more effectively. 
Green Detox Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 2 C Kale
  2. 2 C Spinach
  3. 2 Bananas, frozen
  4. 2 1/2 C Pineapple, frozen
  5. 1 Apple, core removed
  6. 1 Pear, core removed
  7. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1/8 tsp Ginger
  9. 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed (optional)
  10. 2 C Apple Juice
  11. 2 Lemons, juice
  12. 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup (optional)
  13. 1-2 C Water
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
  2. For low powered blenders, the kale and medjool dates may not be completely blended. Substitute 2 cups of spinach in place of the kale and another tablespoon of honey or maple syrup in place of the dates.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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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
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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/
  

 

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Pomegranate Kale Smoothie

Our second trick or treating experience was a blast! Good thing we know all of our neighbors because Mason likes to go in their houses and take a little tour! Here is a picture of our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle:

Mason Turtle
 
Now, what to do with all of the extra candy lying around our house. Lord knows there is no way we can physically eat all of it without going into a diabetic coma. I am researching giving candy to our military troops to show gratitude for their service via this site: Soldiers Angels.

Now on to cleansing my body through smoothies after days of eating candy and gluten free sugar cookies! I am starting out November with this smoothie and it is full of antioxidants via blueberries and pomegranate juice. Hope you enjoy! 

Pomegranate Kale Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Pomegranate Juice
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 Apples, cores removed
  4. 3 C Frozen Blueberries
  5. 3 C Kale
  6. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup or Lucuma Powder
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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“Pumpkin” Pie Smoothie

This recipe was created as a request for my sister-in-law, Danielle. She really wanted me to add a dairy-free “Pumpkin Pie” shake to my blog. In this version, I actually used frozen butternut squash instead of pumpkin. I know, I know the request was for pumpkin, but one little hidden secret is “pumpkin” pies actually taste better if you use acorn, buttercup or butternut squash. In fact, growing up my grandmother never used pumpkin and to this date she makes the best “pumpkin” pie. 

You are probably wondering what is the difference between butternut squash and pumpkin from a nutritional perspective, so I come up with the following stats from Nutrition and You:

Butternut vs. Pumpkin 3

At a high level, butternut squash and pumpkin stack up pretty similar from a nutritional standpoint. However, butternut squash has more vitamin A and vitamin C than pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it has the highest levels of vitamin-A in the Cucurbitaceae squash family with about 354% of RDA. Why is this important? Well, Vitamin A is a natural anti-oxidant that helps the body maintain skin and mucus membrane integrity and optimal eye-sight. Research studies also suggest vitamin A rich foods protect the body against lung and oral cavity cancers. Based on this detail, there is nothing wrong with using pumpkin for pies, smoothies and other desserts as it still contains many nutritional benefits, but butternut squash is a superior choice! 

Now going back to the shake I was asked to make. I broke another rule, I actually made a smoothie because I didn’t have any homemade coconut milk to add to this yummy creation! However, my recommendation to make it creamier (this is for Danielle) is to replace the apple juice with a non-dairy milk and add another cup of frozen butternut squash (for a thinner shake leave out the extra butternut squash). If making a thick shake you will want to stop to stir your blender every 15-20 seconds to get a uniform mixture and also so you do not burn out your blender motor!

Cheers to Danielle and her lovely family. Hope this is yummy for you, your adorable daughters (Abi and Eleanor) and of course Adam too! 

"Pumpkin" Pie Smoothie
Serves 2
Fall is my all-time favorite season because I love butternut squash, pumpkins, apples and cranberries! Therefore, I decided to incorporate two of my favorite fall foods into this delicious smoothie. Substitute a non-dairy milk for the apple juice to create a delicious shake or just use this recipe as is for a wonderful breakfast item.
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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. 2 Bananas, frozen
  2. 2 Apples, frozen
  3. 4 C Butternut Squash, frozen
  4. 1 C Carrot Juice
  5. 3 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 1 Lemon, juice
  8. 1-2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  9. 2 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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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.
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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/
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Kale Blueberry Smoothie

I am catching up on some smoothies I made prior to going on vacation to New York City with my mom and my sister. Boy is NYC fun! While there we visited the Brooklyn Bridge (great view of city from bridge), 911 Memorial/Museum (breathtaking), Statue of Liberty (gorgeous), Ellis Island (spent 2 minutes there & left), Times Square (busy, but very neat) and Grand Central Station (amazing architecture). I would highly recommend seeing everything, but Ellis Island. We literally boarded the same ferry boat that we arrived in because none of it was remotely interesting to my mom, sister and I. If you are a history buff then it would be right up your alley. In all, I had a fantastic time with my favorite ladies! Here is a picture of us having lunch on our first day (well, us minus me).

Mom Katie NYC

 

Now on to the delicious kale and blueberry smoothie. For this smoothie I used purple kale, but you could use any variety. If you are wondering, here is a list of kale’s nutritional benefits (source):

1. Loaded with fiber – Kale will keep you fuller longer, which curbs snacking and keeps your weight down. Diets rich in leafy greens, like kale, have been associated with decreased risks of various cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis.
2. Phytochemical – Kale helps lower the risk of eye related conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, because it’s loaded with phytochemicals (lutein and zeaxanthin). One half cup of kale meets the daily suggested dose of lutein and zeaxanthin (6 to 15 milligrams) for optimal eye health.
3. Vitamin A – Kale contains this antioxidant, which boosts immunity and maintains healthy bone structure.
4. Vitamin K – Kale produces osteocalcin, which is a protein our body uses to strengthen bone composition. Women with low intake of Vitamin K have significantly lower bone density and are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
5. Vitamin E – This antioxidant keeps our minds sharp by removing free radicals from our brain cells!

Kale Blueberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Hints of lemon, blueberries, cherries and kale make this a delicious treat! I made this for breakfast, but really you could make it for any meal or for a snack.
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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. 3 C Cherries, frozen
  2. 3 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 3 C Purple Kale
  4. 2 Apples, cores removed
  5. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  6. 2 C Water
  7. 2 Lemons, juice
  8. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Apple Blueberry Smoothie

I need to get my creative juices flowing this morning! Normally I post something more interesting here, but quite frankly I am tired and only have maternity claims on the brain. And I say maternity claims that are not for me, but for a work project that I just kicked off yesterday. It is sort of exciting (in the nerdy sense) because I will get to evaluate pregnancy costs and outcomes for low income mothers engaging in a maternity support program compared to those who did not. The hypothesis is mothers who engage will have lower incidence of NICU babies, low birth weight babies, etc.

Are you asleep with my boring rambles yet? If not and you are still with me then let’s get down to business! It is smoothie time once again. This one is like pie filling in a cup … apples, blueberries and cinnamon OH MY. It looks good, doesn’t it? Give it a try! 

That is about all I have for today, now back to my geeky research job. 

Apple Blueberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Rise and shine sleepy heads, this smoothie is a delicious start to your day with the combination of apples, cinnamon and blueberries.
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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. 3 Apples, peeled and cored
  2. 3 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 2 Bananas
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 2 C Apple Cider
  6. 1 1/2 C Water
  7. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 3 C Spinach
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Berry Avocado Smoothie

It is day two of the Autoimmume Protocol (see my Autoimmune Research section for more details on foods to avoid/include list) and for day one I went through periods of feeling great to having a monster headache. Not sure if that is a withdrawal from gluten-free grains and/or nuts, but I thinking it is the grains.

For day two (today) I made this incredible smoothie. When I told my husband the smoothie had coconut milk, avocados, kale and strawberries he turned his nose up at the word coconut and it took him a good hour before he pulled the blender container out of the fridge. Then as he was walking out the door he took a big sip and said, “Wow, this is really good. I can’t taste the coconut at all.” So, there you have it, I have one voter who gives this smoothie two thumbs up!

So, you may be curious like I was about coconut. On the Autoimmune Protocol you are not allowed to have nuts or seeds of any variety for the first four weeks. Coconut is deceiving because it has nut in its name. However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.”

Due to the limited impact coconut has on gut permeability, coconut is allowed on the Autoimmune Protocol diet. Plus, there are numerous sources documenting the gut healing properties of coconut. Based on research from www.thehealthyapple.com, the healthy saturated fats and acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties gently cleanse your Gastrointestinal (GI) system by inhibiting the growth of digestive viruses. At any rate, these health benefits are why it is good to sneak in some coconut milk into smoothies! If you are not a fan of the coconut flavor don’t fret because you can barely taste it in this smoothie! 

Berry Avocado Smoothie
Serves 2
This smoothie is a wonderful balance of tang from the lemon and sweetness from the coconut. Even my husband who is not a fan of coconut said this smoothie was delicious!
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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. 2 Avocados
  2. 3 C Strawberries, frozen
  3. 1 C Mangoes, frozen
  4. 1 1/2 C Pomegranate Juice
  5. 1 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 Lemons, juice
  7. 1 C Coconut Milk
  8. 2 C Kale
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Pear Strawberry Smoothie

We are starting a four-week Autoimmune Protocol diet today, which involves the elimination of the following foods from our diet (http://autoimmune-paleo.com/paleo-autoimmune-protocol-print-out-guides/).

I know what you are thinking, “Wow, what are you going to eat for the next four weeks?” So, we are pretty much already there considering I cook meals with very few grains. Instead of thinking about what we cannot eat, we are thinking about the health benefits of eating foods that are more easily digested by our bodies and are more autoimmune friendly (e.g. reduce inflammation/joint pain from arthritis). After four weeks, we can start re-introducing foods to determine what foods cause problems.

If you are curious how foods interplay with our digestive system and contribute to autoimmune conditions read my posts of “Nightshades & Autoimmunity” and “Leaky Gut Syndrome” or check out this site www.paleomom.com for a whole host of information.

To kick off our diet I made this smoothie for breakfast, which includes fresh pears, kale, strawberries and apple juice. This green smoothie is 100% delicious and includes a lot of nutrients from the kale. Kale is the perfect green to add to smoothies due to the following health benefits (http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/food-weight-loss/6-things-you-dont-know-about-kale): 

1. It has more vitamin C than an orange. One cup of chopped kale has 134 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, while a medium orange fruit has 113 percent of the daily C requirement. Gram for gram, kale has more than twice the vitamin C as an orange.

2. It’s…kind of fatty (in a good way!). We don’t typically think of our greens as sources of even healthful fats. But kale is actually a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential for brain health, reduces Type 2 diabetes risk, and boots heart health as well. 

3. It might be the queen of vitamin A. Kale has 133 percent of a person’s daily vitamin A requirement—more than any other leafy green.

4. Kale even beats milk in the calcium department. It’s worth noting that kale has 150mg of calcium per 100 grams, while milk has 125mg.

5. It’s better with a friend. Kale has plenty of phytonutrients, such as quercetin, which helps combat inflammation and prevent arterial plaque formation, and sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound.  And acid from lemon juice helps make kale’s iron more bioavailable as well.

Pear Strawberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Pear, strawberries and kale are a refreshing and delicious combination. Try this green smoothie for breakfast or for a nutritious snack!
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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. 3 Pears, core removed
  2. 3 C Strawberries, frozen
  3. 3 C Kale, stems removed
  4. 3 C Apple Juice
  5. 1 Lemon, juice
  6. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  7. 1 Banana
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cucumber Lime Smoothie

So, as I was making this smoothie I realized that the ingredients are probably a show-stopper or outside of some people’s element. I kind of thought the same thing as I was tearing off leaves of cilantro and squeezing in fresh lime juice. It almost felt like I should grab a bag of tortilla chips for my guacamole smoothie :) However, I have to say this smoothie is fresh and delicious. It has hints of cilantro and lime, but it takes on more of a sweet flavor from the frozen tropical fruit. One of my favorites for sure!

Why cilantro? This herb has a higher concentration of antioxidants than common fruits and veggies, making it more effective at removing free radical that are running through your body. Cilantro cleanses and removes heavy metals like mercury from the body due to its ability to bind to heavy metals, loosen them from your tissues, and extract them out of your body through a process called as chelation. Aside from these key facts, cilantro also:

  • Is a good source of the minerals potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium
  • Contains healthy bone supporting vitamin K
  • Yields anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol
  • Helps improve sleep quality
  • Relieves anti-anxiety effects
  • Has antibacterial and anti-fungal actions

Source: http://www.healthysmoothiehq.com/cilantro-smoothie (I did not develop this smoothie recipe from here, just used the nutritional facts)

Oh and I have to admit I never liked cilantro for years. I could immediately taste in salsa, Mexican food and other dishes. As soon as I saw this little green nemesis it was game over for eating the food. However, after years of forcing myself to just eat it, I have grown to love this herb. Now, I am happy I stuck with it because the health benefits are great and it also tastes fantastic in smoothies!

Cucumber Lime Smoothie
Serves 2
Cilantro, lime, avocado, cucumbers ... are we making guacamole? No, but I had this exact same thought when I was tossing these ingredients into the blender. This smoothie is actually sweet and tastes fantastic with the fresh herbs and lime juice. Plus it has a powerful lineup of nutritional benefits from the cilantro.
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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 Avocado
  2. 2 C Spinach
  3. 1 Cucumber, peeled and seed removed
  4. 3 Limes, juice
  5. 1 1/2 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 1/2 C Carrot Juice
  7. 4 C Pineapple, Mango, Peach Blend, frozen
  8. 1 C Cilantro Leaves
  9. 2 Bananas
  10. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Citrus Cucumber Smoothie

I am a smoothie addict! I love having them every morning for breakfast. The fun part about smoothies is there are thousands of combinations. This morning’s smoothie of choice was an effort to use up cucumbers and citrus fruits that I had hanging out in the fridge.

The fresh cucumber and orange/grapefruit are a delicious combination! I promise you will love this smoothie!

Citrus Cucumber Smoothie
Serves 2
Fresh citrus, cucumber, bananas and frozen pineapple/strawberries and mango make a delicious combination. This smoothie is great for breakfast, but would also be a perfect summertime treat.
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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. 2 Grapefruits, juice
  2. 3 Oranges, juice
  3. 1 Cucumber, seeds and skin removed
  4. 1 C Carrot Juice
  5. 1 C Apple Juice
  6. 4 C Pineapple/Mango/Strawberry Blend, frozen
  7. 1 Banana
  8. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Apple Beet Green Smoothie

Did you know that beet greens have a similar flavor to spinach? I did not until recently. So, if you like green smoothies and are looking for a nutritional alternative to spinach or if you do not want to waste anything you receive from a CSA, beet greens are the perfect addition to a smoothie. They are milder in flavor than kale and swiss chard and will take on the flavor of any fruit or juice you pair with them.

Not to mention two cups of beet grains are:
– Low in calories (17 for every two cups)
– Provide 89 milligrams of calcium (9% RDA)
– 160% RDA of vitamin A (as beta-carotene)
– High in the essential amino acid, tryptophan (10% RDA), which regulates mood and sleep cycles in humans

In addition to the beet greens, I have added hemp seeds, which provide a healthy dose of protein, omega fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and minerals. With all of these added health benefits, give beet greens and hemp seeds a shot in your morning smoothie!

Apple Beet Green Smoothie
Serves 2
Beet greens are mild in flavor and are the perfect green to add to smoothies if you are new to the green smoothie arena!
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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. 2 C Beet Greens, tough stems removed
  2. 3 C Pineapple/Mango mix, frozen
  3. 1 Banana
  4. 2 C Apple Juice
  5. 4 Medjool Dates, pits removed
  6. 1/2 C Cashews, raw
  7. 2 tbsp Hemp Seeds
  8. 2 C Water
Instructions
  1. Soak the hemp seeds, cashews and dates in the apple juice for 10 minutes.
  2. After ten minutes, add all ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  3. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sundays are great because it gives us time to do family activities. One of my favorites is to have a nice brunch.

We had some delicious pre-cooked beff/pork sausage from our meat CSA and some acorn squash, so I made this meal. Luke told me three times that this was really good, so that should be some incentive to try it!

Plus, cooking gave me a break from watching the World Cup. Don’t get me wrong I like soccer, but not 9 hours per day for a weeks on end. Sorry soccer enthusiasts, but I would rather watch American Football :)

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4
Apples, fresh pork/beef sausage, oregano and almonds stuffed in acorn squash made for a delicious Sunday brunch with the family!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Acorn Squash
  2. 2 Apples, chopped
  3. 1/4 C Fresh Oregano, chopped
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  6. 1/8 Cayenne Pepper
  7. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 lb. Pork/Beef Sausage (pre-cooked), chopped
  9. 1/2 C Almonds, raw & chopped
  10. 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  11. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  12. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half & scoop out inside of squash. Place upside down in cake pan and fill 1 inch of water in the bottom. Top with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. While the acorn squash is baking, heat up coconut oil in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and cook for five minutes.
  4. Toss apples, almonds, sausage, oregano and spices into pan and saute for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt and pepper to taste (if necessary).
  5. After squash is done, pour a heaping spoonful of the sausage apple mixture on top.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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