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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Berry Melon Smoothie

Well, I am officially 23 weeks along. Only 17 weeks plus or minus a few until we meet our new little dude. Both Luke and I were baffled last night by the size of newborn diapers as I was putting some into our changing. They are just so TINY and we don’t remember Mason being that small anymore. Yikes! I am sure it will be like riding a bike though. Once the little man is in our arms we will immediately know what to do.

We also starting prepping the nursery. For Mason, we painted his room a light blue. We decided to go with yellow this time around and the first paint looked like the sun and I mean a bright sun blew up on the walls. Seriously, you needed to wear sunglasses to even enter the room. Luke showed it to Mason and his response was, “Oh, it is beautiful daddy.” However, we just had to repaint with a more toned down shade of yellow!!

Aside from the prepping the nursery we are also in the process of building Mason (and baby #2) a sand box. We have been letting him play in our unplanted garden bed (aka… what I call the dirt box), but man does he get dirty. Grant it sand is not much cleaner, but at least you can brush it off easier than dirt.

We have also been planting our garden with cold weather crops, such as kale, spinach, peas, onions, green leaf lettuce, carrots, etc. They are coming up nicely and boy I cannot wait to eat them soon! With summer coming right around the corner, I really wanted to make a refreshing smoothie for breakfast. Hence the mix of melon and berries along with salad greens. YUM-O! Hope you enjoy!

Berry Melon Smoohtie
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 Spinach
  2. 1 C Honeydew
  3. 1 C Watermelon
  4. 1 Banana
  5. 2 C Berries, Frozen
  6. 1 1/2 C Apple Juice
  7. 1 1/2 C Water
  8. 1 Lemon, juice
  9. 1 tbsp Honey or 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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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
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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/
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Avocado Taco Yams

My husband has been craving tacos lately, but we are not at the point where he can have taco shells. After doing some research on the alternatives, I could have made some plantain tortillas which didn’t have any flour or eggs in them. However, we didn’t have plantains in our house and didn’t want to leave the house given the subzero temperatures! Plus, I just wasn’t sold on how they would taste (my guess is yummy, but plantain tortillas? You get my drift). So, YAMS it is! 

Personally the smell of yams baking in the oven makes me want to YAK! Yes, there were many times were I wanted to run out of the kitchen to visit the porcelain goddess, aka the toilet. I bit my pride and suffered through the horrible smell just to give Luke some pleasure of having “tacos.”

Folks, despite not liking the smell of yams, I do love the flavor. They were a totally tasty match with the taco meat and avocado mash. I would have also really liked to toss in some chili powder or cayenne pepper to spice these babies up, but peppers flare up inflammation in my hubster’s joints. BUMMER, I know. Not have spicy tacos totally blows goats, but you just have to make due when you are working on quality of life here! Oh, and you are probably thinking lady your meat is not cooked in the picture. Don’t judge (in fact don’t ever judge until you know the facts….here is my spunk coming out at 3 am after a cup of coffee), it is 100% cooked! We used 1 pound of moose and another pound of grass fed ground beef. Moose when cooked looks like raw hamburger. TRUST ME, “DING MEAT IS DONE!”

At any rate, Luke gave these pseudo tacos two thumbs up and thanked me profusely for making him a hearty meal :) So, if you are an AIP sufferer and want tacos give these stuffed goodies a whirl!  

Avocado Taco Yams
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Medium Sized Yams (Red Flesh Sweet Potatoes)
  2. 2 lbs Grass Fed Beef
  3. 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  4. 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  5. 1 tsp Pepper
  6. 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  7. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  8. 1/2 C Water
  9. 2 Lime, juice
  10. 2 Avocados
  11. 2 tbsp Red Onion, finely chopped
  12. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Either bake sweet potatoes (yams) in 350 degree oven for 90 minutes or microwave them for 7-9 minutes. Make sure if microwaving that you poke holes into the potatoes with a fork.
  2. Brown hamburger in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked completely (mine may look raw, but that is only because we used 1 pound of moose and 1 pound of beef and moose has a deeper red color after cooked).
  3. Drain the grease and add back into into the large pan with spices, water and juice from 1 lime (reserve the other one for the avocado mash).
  4. For the avocado mash, place the flesh of the avocados into a small bowl with the remaining lime juice. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Mash together with a potato masher until the avocado chunks are brown down into small pieces.
  5. To assemble, cut a slit down the center of the potato and press together the edges to make a boat. Add a heaping spoonful of taco meat and avocado mash. Top with your other favorite taco fixings!
Notes
  1. Get creative with your fixings! I would add some hot sauce, but I am spicy girl!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Herb Pork Crown Roast

I have always wanted to make a pork crown roast because they look so cool, but the tricky part was knowing where to buy one! I have never seen one at the grocery store (maybe because I haven’t looked hard enough). So, I reached out to Hilltop Pastures (where we get almost all of our meat) and they had one custom made for me. Super duper sweet of them considering they take December and January off from CSA and market drop offs. Big thanks to Sara and Tom for doing a special order for us! If you want to check out what they have here is there website (we have been very pleased with all of the meat thus far!): www.hilltoppasturesfamilyfarm.com

So, for the roast I overcooked it just a tad because I was busy entertaining guests, but it was still delicious! My sister’s boyfriends (I mean boyfriend singular….jeez) kept saying, “Oh my goodness, this is good!”

If you are looking for Christmas dinner or need alternatives for turkey this is a winner! It is very easy to make too! You just need some twine and a little bit of muscle to get the two pieces put together. Mine got a little distorted because of the pan, so next time I would use one that is bigger so it creates more of a perfect crown (obsessive compulsiveness coming out in me). Despite it looking like a football it still tasted amazing! We are a football fanatic family so I guess that was okay too.

Here is a picture of what the chops look like after being cut:

Pork Crown Roast1

Now onto the recipe :)

Herb Pork Crown Roast
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-12 lb Pork Crown Roast
  2. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  3. 4-5 Sprigs Rosemary
  4. 6-8 Sprigs Thyme
  5. 1/2 tbsp Sweet Basil, dried
  6. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  8. 1/2 tbsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If roast is not assembled into a crown already (mine came in two pieces), wrap and tie twine around the base so that the two pieces are connected. I used three pieces. Mine was oblong because of my pan, so next time I would use a bigger one to create a crown instead of a football. Didn't affect the taste at all though!
  3. After assembly, place the roast, rosemary and thyme into a roaster. Combine the olive oil and spices together and rub generously over the roast meat.
  4. Cover with tinfoil or the roasting pan lid (mine didn't fit, so I went with the foil).
  5. Roast in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast for another 30-45 minutes. Check internal temperature of the meat at about 2 hours. Once it reaches 145-150 degrees in the center the roast is done. If it is still not done roast for another 15 minutes and check temperature again.
  6. Allow the meat to rest 20-30 minutes before serving. Cut into chops as shown in the picture above.
Notes
  1. I stuffed the crown with my roasted root vegetable recipe by adding the veggies one hour into the cooking time.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Gingerbread Smoothie

Good morning smoothie enthusiasts! I have been unable to bake this holiday season, which if you know my baking habits this is torture. Normally I bake at least 20 different varieties of cookies and candies, but not being able to use nut or grain based flours while being on the autoimmune protocol baked goods are just not the same. In fact, I tried to make some AIP friendly cookies last week. The flavor was great, but they were incredibly dry and gritty from the coconut flour. I still haven’t mastered coconut flour, so I am going to keep trying until I get a kick ass AIP cookie for you!

Until then, I decided I would make a Gingerbread Smoothie instead :) Totally curbed my cookie cravings for the day! 

Also, on a positive and random note our dog finally stopped vomiting. I woke up at 1:30 am yesterday to dry heaving! Sorry for too much detail, but nothing is worse than waking up from a dead sleep to a hurling pet. The hard part is bursting out of bed and getting them to either the tile or hardwood floor. Why do pets insist on yacking on carpet? Anyway, after the first episode she proceeded to toss her cookies until we fired up the carpet cleaner at least 8 times. She even prayed to the porcelain goddess in Mason’s tent. He went to go play in it and started yelling, “Mommy, Daddy Scylla sick in my tent.” Poor buddy even stepped in it. So, YES, today I am thankful for not cleaning up after our dog :) 

Gingerbread 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 Frozen Peaches
  2. 2 C Frozen Butternut Squash
  3. 2 C Coconut Milk
  4. 1 C Carrot Juice
  5. 1 C Apple Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1/2 tsp Ginger
  9. 1 tbsp Lucuma Powder
  10. 6 Medjool Dates, pits removed
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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Turkey Artichoke Lasagna

I have been craving lasagna for a while! My husband cannot have nuts, seeds, cheese, grains or tomatoes right now with being on an autoimmune protocol diet, so this pretty much leaves a standard lasagna with ohhy, goohy cheese off of the table.

I had been thinking about how I could make a lasagna without tomatoes for months. Now, one would think, “Oh, just use pesto”. Well it is pretty hard to use pesto when you can’t use nuts or seeds! Getting my creative juices flowing I decided to use artichokes and coconut cream for the sauce and white sweet potatoes for the noodles. This dish turned out absolutely fantastic. So much so that we ate over 1/2 of the pan in one sitting! 

When buying coconut cream or coconut milk remember that not all of them are treated equal. Several use preservatives or thickeners (e.g. guar gum, carrageenan), so try to find a brand where the only ingredients are coconut and water. I have had the best luck finding a can in the Asian section of my local supermarket or on Amazon. Also, remember that even though it says it is Organic doesn’t mean it is the best choice. Many organic brands have guar gum. Trader Joe’s and Nature Value are good ones if you can’t find anything in the store. 

I should also mention that my husband’s integrative medicine specialist gave the okay to eat peppers during his elimination diet. Many AIP diet protocols eliminate them, but in his doctor’s experience he has not seen peppers leading to increased inflammation in arthritis patients. If you are sensitive to peppers, the recipe would taste just as great without them :) 

Turkey Artichoke Lasagna
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Large Sweet Potatoes, white flesh
  2. 3 cups Spinach
  3. 1 14 oz Can Coconut Cream
  4. 1 14 oz Can Artichoke Hearts, chopped
  5. 1 lb. Nitrate Free Bacon, cooked and chopped
  6. 1 C Turkey Breast, cooked and chopped
  7. 1 Red Pepper
  8. 1 Large Yellow Onion
  9. 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  10. 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
  11. 1 tsp Celery Salt
  12. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  13. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  14. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  15. 5 tbsp Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add bacon 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 grease.
  3. For the turkey, I either pick up a rotisserie breast at the grocery store or use leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.
  4. In a separate pan, add half a tablespoon of olive oil and cook peppers and onions until the onions are slightly translucent. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Combine the bacon, turkey, peppers, onion, coconut milk, herbs/spices, 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and artichoke hearts in a medium sized bowl.
  6. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes with a mandolin or a food processor.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, veggie and meat mixture to a 13 x 9 metal cake pan. Add a single layer of the sliced sweet potatoes. Top the sweet potato layer with half of the remaining coconut milk mixture and sprinkle with a layer of spinach. Repeat this process one more time and then top with a final layer of the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dish.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top layer of sweet potatoes are tender.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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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
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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/
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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
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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/
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Berry Sprout Chop Salad

Our Christmas decorations are finally up…whoop, whoop!

XMas Tree

We had several issues getting the lights to work this year. The little mother effers really pissed me off because half of the strands were out. I spent at least an hour taking out burnt lights and plugging in news ones, but much to my demise they still didn’t work. Finally I turned to my husband and said, “Combined you and I make X dollars an hour and this is a waste of our time considering we can buy new lights for less than our hourly wage!” He started laughing and said, “Oh honey you are starting to think like me!” LOL! Hence we bought new LED lights so they last longer and we do not have to go through this process again so quickly! The lights are also way more vibrant than standard bulbs. Love them! Now let’s see if the little 2 1/2 foot monster (in the photo) can keep the ornaments on the tree :) 

All right, now on to my day 2 salad for the 12 days of Christmas salads challenge I am doing with some fun ladies! This one is YUMMY! I love the combination of crunch from the brussel sprouts, peppery flavor from the arugula and sweet/tanginess from the orange pomegranate dressing. This one is winner in my opinion. 

Berry Sprout Chop Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Berry Sprout Chop Salad
  1. 3 C Arugula
  2. 3 C Brussel Sprouts, shaved
  3. 1 1/2 C Blueberries
  4. 1/2 C Cranberries
  5. 1/2 C Pomegranate Seeds
  6. 1/4 C Green Onions, finely chopped (optional)
Orange Pomegranate Dressing
  1. 2 Oranges, Juice
  2. 1 C Pomegranate Blueberry Juice
  3. 1/2 Olive Oil
  4. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  6. pinch of pepper
Directions
Berry Sprout Chop Salad
  1. Toss together salad ingredients into a large bowl.
Orange Pomegranate Dressing
  1. Add salad dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined.
  2. When ready to serve, toss the dressing into the salad.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Blackberry Fig Salad

Today I start a 12 days of Christmas salad challenge with some friends where each day we substitute one meal with a salad. The main goal is to sustain our weight rather than pack on the pounds during the holidays like so many of us do! To kick of this fun-filled event, I made this blackberry and fig salad. Fig newtons are my favorite so my husband and I were joking that we should call this the “Fig Newton” salad or oh gee what did you have for lunch today, “Oh, I had a fig newton salad.” 

At any rate, this salad is delicious and a change of pace from many main stream salads (e.g. boring stuff like garden or Caesar salads). I only say boring because those salads would get old if I had to alternate them for 12 days! 

Blackberry Fig Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Blackberry Fig Salad
  1. 3 C Spinach
  2. 3 C Mixed Greens
  3. 1/4 C Fennel Bulb, chopped
  4. 1 C Blackberries
  5. 1/4 C Pomegranate Seeds
  6. 1/4 C Dried Figs, chopped
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  2. 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  3. 2 Oranges, juice
  4. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  5. 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  6. Pinch of Black Pepper
Directions
Blackberry Fig Salad
  1. Chop figs and fennel. Toss the greens, vegetables and fruit together in a large bowl.
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Combine salad dressing ingredients in a pint sized mason jar. Shake until combine and toss with salad greens when ready to serve.
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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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Today was the start of a five day eating challenge for me. I posted the challenge on here for others to join the love. Hoping that through this challenge I can at least impact the eating habits of one person :) I know that I can impact one person then that person may impact another and so on and so forth!

Other than the clean eating challenge we just got back from a fun-filled holiday vacation in Milwaukee. While there Mason was able to spend some quality time with his Amoo (Luke’s mom), Papa (Luke’s dad), Gamma Sherry (Luke’s Stepmom), Auntie Kristin (Luke’s sister), Uncle Dean (Kristin’s husband) and cousins, Hannah and Lily. I think the highlight of the trip was seeing him play endlessly in the Children’s Museum. We even managed to get a two hour nap out of him after we left the museum, which is extremely rare! In all, I am thankful for being able to spend four days with Luke’s family and for having wonderful meals while we were there.

Post holidays always bring everyone back to reality. I say this, because in Milwaukee we had several days of eating everything but gluten-filed items. The downfall of this dietary change was it pushed my husband’s psoriasis (which had been in remission for almost three months) back into full gear and also means that his psoriatic arthritis is probably also flaring. Luke thinks it is a combination of having dairy and soy, but it could also be the reintroduction grains/legumes back into his diet.

Nonetheless, we are waiting for some blood tests from Luke’s integrated medicine specialist for food allergies. The doctor is recommending he go back on the Autoimmune Protocol diet to heal his leaky gut in the meantime. Last time he was on the diet we didn’t completly heal the gut because we didn’t introduce probiotics. We also didn’t have him on the supplements of oregano oil , humic acid or protelytic enzymes (natural steroid), so we are hoping this time around we can alleviate his psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis symptoms quickly. So, with all of this I will be back to creating a lot more AIP friendly foods to help keep my husband well nourished :) All I care about it just healing my husband as much as possible through the only way I can make an impact and that is through food. If I didn’t have this I would feel helpless :(

To kick off the next 30 days of my husband’s diet, I made an AIP version (e.g. no dairy, no grains, no corn, no soy, no eggs) version of one of my favorite dishes, spaghetti carbonara. The first time I had this dish was at my Aunt Sherry’s house and man, oh man was it good! Obviously, I can’t use eggs, pasta or cream, so it had to be modified quite a bit, but folks it tastes darn good this way! 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Spaghetti Squash
  2. 2 Cans Coconut Milk
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  4. 1 tbsp Garlic
  5. 1 C Mushrooms
  6. 1/2 lb Nitrate Free Bacon
  7. 1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped
  8. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  9. 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  10. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  11. 1 tsp Pepper
  12. 1/4 C Parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay the squash skin side up in two cake pans. Cover with 1 inch of water. Place tinfoil tightly over the top and bake for 40 minutes in the oven.
  3. While the squash is baking, fry the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Will take about 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the bacon. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Drain the the grease from the bacon pan (leave just a little on the surface). Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes over medium heat until onions are translucent. Toss in the mushrooms and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the mushrooms soften a little, stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice and spices. Chop the bacon into bite sized pieces. Add it into the mushroom cream sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until the coconut milk has reduced to half.
  6. Scoop out the spaghetti squash noodles into a colander over a large bowl (save the shells). Doing this step will remove excess water from the squash. Let it set for 15-20 minutes. Drain out the water from the bottom bowl.
  7. Add spaghetti squash to the large bowl and pour the mushroom cream sauce over the top. Mix together the sauce and noodles until combined.
  8. Stuff the noodle cream mixture back into the spaghetti squash and bake over 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Some days are good, some days are bad and some days you just want to go back to bed until the next day! That was my day yesterday.

My day started out with finding out that my sister’s friend shot her self and is in a coma. Now grant it, I didn’t know her, but I just can’t fathom life being so bad that you would try to leave behind a grieving little brother, parents, family and friends. This got me thinking about my life. I am not suicidal, but some days are so crazy stressful that I become impulsive and get agitated/angry very quickly. I recognize that this could escalate into mental health issues (depression) and am working on simplifying my life to make it less stressful and more enjoyable. Working less and blogging less is what I have come to reduce the hours that I am “working.” Instead I should be resting, reading or napping (I don’t know just something relaxing).

I know, I know I have worked so hard to get to this point with my blog, but I have realized that I need a break. It is hard work developing recipes, taking pictures, writing up posts and getting everything posted via newsletters or social media. In fact it is the most time consuming thing that I have ever done. Maybe that is why I pushed it so hard, challenges fuel me.

So, this brings me to my goal for day 4 of my cleaning eating challenge: eat well and reduce the stress in my life! This means that after writing up the clean eating challenge I am going to limit blogging of new recipes to 1-2 per week (I had been average 4-6). Obviously, when I make a fabulous recipe or do some gluten free/paleo holiday baking I will share it with you, but for the next month I may be a little quiet! 

Blueberry Basil Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 Small Basil Leaves
  2. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 2 C Cherries, frozen
  4. 1 C Strawberries
  5. 1 C Purple Kale
  6. 2 C Spinach
  7. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 1 tsp Honey
  10. 2 Tangerines, peels removed
  11. 2 Bananas, peel removed
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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Pineapple Maca Smoothie

Let it snow! We are going to get dumped on today! We could get a foot of snow or more today. Doesn’t that make you want to move to Minnesota! This is actually abnormal as we haven’t had a storm of this magnitude this early in the year since 1991.

Winter Wonderland

I am just hoping we do not have a super hard winter because I am training for the Boston Marathon. I knew signing up for the race that I would have to train in sub-freezing (maybe even sub-zero) temps and run through buckets of snow, but I didn’t think this would happen until December or January. The snow gods have it out for me. Jerks!  

I know, I know…..it seems strange making a smoothie when snow is on the horizon, but I just love getting as many fruits and vegetables as I can into my morning routine. I used to be a gluten-free cereal or yogurt parfait breakfast girl. Every morning I would either grab a bowl and load it up with some dairy-free milk or have some Greek yogurt and granola. These breakfast choices always left me feeling a little sluggish and never sat well in my tummy! Knowing that I was having issues tolerating grains and dairy, I started a 21 cleanse in July where smoothies were the main staple.

While on the cleanse, I fell in love with having smoothies every morning for breakfast. Honestly, I thought I would get sick of them, but it hasn’t happened yet. Plus, the best part is I have noticed a tremendous difference in my energy and overall well-being.

All right, I was a naughty girl yesterday and flooded my system with at least two pieces of my gluten-free Lemon Cream Carrot Cake (not Paleo friendly, but 100 percent delicious) for my birthday. To get my system flushed out, I wanted to start my day out with some great nutrients. The smoothie I have for you this morning is full of greens and has the nutritional supplement of Maca powder. You are probably not familiar with it or have it readily available. Just skip it if you don’t have it, but you should know that Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. Researchers have found Maca powder:

1) Boosts Energy – Maca powder has been found to enhance athletic performance. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

2) Balances Hormones/Mental Health – A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science found yellow, red and black maca reduced depression in rats, while black maca improved learning and cognitive functioning. The scientists attributed these results to the balancing effect maca has on the production of stress-inducing hormones of cortisol and adrenaline in the body.

3) Lowers Blood Pressure – Maca is rich in potassium, which prevents high blood pressure. A 2010 study from Bioresource Technology found maca was associated with lower blood pressure because its phenolic compounds inhibited the enzyme relevant to hypertension during cultured experiments. 

If you are feeling experimental and what to reap the benefits, try adding some Maca powder to your smoothies! 

Pineapple 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. 3 C Pineapple, frozen
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 C Romaine Lettuce
  4. 2 C Kale
  5. 1 Avocado
  6. 2 Lemons, juice
  7. 2 1/2 C Orange Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 2 tbsp Maca Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
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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Purplicious Carrot Smoothie

Good morning lovelies! 

It is my birthday on Sunday and oh what to do…my husband asked me what I would like to do and the only thing that comes to mind is eat carrot cake! LOL! Besides that I want to take Mason to a choo-choo train store just to be able to watch his excitement as he plays with the Thomas engines. Obviously the last thing is to get a good steak in my belly and watch some football. I LOVE FOOTBALL. Not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am in three fantasy football leagues and even run a ladies only league.  

Now, onto business. Our CSA box had a purple theme this week, which included purple carrots, purple leaf lettuce, purple daikon radishes, purple cauliflower, purple cabbage…okay you get my drift. Just purplicious goodies all around! My first item of business was to tackle the overflow of purple in my refrigerator with this creamy purple carrot smoothie. 

For the carrots, if you have a high-powered blender you can just remove the stems and toss them uncooked in your blender. I have a Vitamix and this smoothie came out silky smooth!

Speaking of Vitamix, if you are in the market for a new blender, Target is running some great deals on reconditioned blenders right now (they are selling for $300 and are normally $500). I know $300 is still a big chunk of change, but it is TOTALLY worth it. I LOVE MY VITAMIX! Look out Luke, but I am cheating on you with my blender. 

Purplicious Carrot 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. 4 Purple Carrots, tough stem removed
  2. 2 C Purple Leaf Lettuce
  3. 2 Bananas
  4. 2 Pears, core removed
  5. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  6. 2 C Water
  7. 1 C Strawberries, frozen
  8. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  9. 1 C Mango, frozen
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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