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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Chicken Avocado Melt

 

Many have asked how my dad is doing. Well, to be honest we are still waiting back for more tests before we will know the treatment protocol. The good news is a couple of his doctors are not 100 percent convinced that the spot in his lungs is cancer. They are running some blood work to see if the cell build it up is due to an autoimmune condition called, Sarcoidosis.  

Sarcoidosis is a disease involving abnormal collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) that can form as nodules in multiple organs. The granulomas are most often located in the lungs. Treatment typically consists of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin or in cases where the condition develops to the point that it has a progressive and/or life-threatening course, than doctors will prescribe steroids and/or drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate.

We are waiting for blood tests to come back confirming sarcoidosis. If this is not the case, then he will under go a biopsy of the tissue to test for lung cancer. Crossing our fingers it is sarcoidosis :)

Aside from patiently waiting to hear back from doctors, I have been trying to distract myself with cooking. Well that and running. Both are very therapeutic for me. Last week I made these delicious avocado, bacon and chicken melts for dinner and have been telling myself that I need to get them on my blog. Finally getting around to it. These would go great with my chili lime sweet potato fries!

Chicken Avocado Melt
Serves 3
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  2. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1 tsp Salt
  4. 1 tsp Pepper
  5. 1 Avocado, ripe
  6. 1/2 lb Bacon
  7. 4 Slices Havarti Cheese
  8. 1 Loaf of Gluten Free Rosemary Focaccia (I used Canyon Bakehouse)
  9. Mayonnaise
  10. Stone Ground Mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Fill the bottom of a roasting pan with a 1/2 inch of water. Place the chicken breasts on top and liberally coat with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Top with cheese in the last couple minutes of baking.
  3. While chicken is roasting cook bacon over medium until crispy. Set aside.
  4. Slice the focaccia bread in quarters and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise (I prefer Sir Kensington since it uses free range eggs) and stone ground mustard over the top of the bread.
  5. Once the chicken is done cooking, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Assemble the chicken, avocado slides and bacon pnto the focaccia bread.
  7. Enjoy!
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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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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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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Bacon Avocado Salad

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

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

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

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

Typically I either make a spicy guacamole (of which I should add my recipe) or my Apple Feta Guacamole as a garnish for tacos or burgers. However, both of these guacamoles have ingredients that are not autoimmune diet friendly (e.g. diary, cumin, and jalapenos). Back to the drawing board! 

When creating my Garlic-Herb Burgers I knew I wanted a sweet and savory topping to enhance the herbs and garlic from the burgers. That is when the pineapple and avocados in our fruit bowl jumped out at me. So, there you have it my on the whim creation of this guacamole recipe. Oh and I must mention this guacamole would be the perfect complement to lime tortilla chips (for those fortunate folks not suffering from digestive issues). Jerks :) Okay, you are not really jerks, but I am a wee-bit little jealous! 

Pineapple Lime Guacamole
Serves 8
This twist on a family favorite uses pineapple in place of jalapenos to form a sweet and savory guacamole. It makes a perfect appetizer or garnish for tacos/burgers.
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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 Avocados
  2. 1/2 Red Onion, rough chopped
  3. 1 1/2 C Pineapple, fresh
  4. 2 C Cilantro Leaves
  5. 2 Limes, juice
  6. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to a food processor.
  2. Using the pulse setting, pulse together the ingredients approximately 10 times until a smooth. Mix together less if you want a chunkier guacamole.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Garlic-Herb Burgers

In my quest to make an allergy friendly meal, I came up with these garlic-herb burgers. They are a wonderful combination of flavors with an arugula pomegranate salad base, garlic-herb burger that is infused with green onions, turmeric, basil and sage and pineapple lime guacamole garnish. I wasn’t quite sure when making the side components how it would all fit together, but I have to say that the flavor combinations work perfectly. 

Another added bonus of this meal is the health benefits of turmeric! According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, “turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also loaded with many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. The anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are great for treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, turmeric’s antioxidant property destroys free radicals in the body that damage body cells. It has been found that those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who consume turmeric on a regular basis experience much relief from the moderate to mild joint pains as well as joint inflammation”.

Garlic-Herb Burgers
Serves 3
These burgers have an arugula pomegranate salad base, garlic-herb burgers infused with green onion and turmeric and a pineapple lime guacamole garnish. The flavors work wonderfully together to create a delicious grain free, nut free, dairy free and Paleo friendly meal.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
Arugula Salad
  1. 4 C Arugula
  2. 1 C Pomegranate Dressing (see recipe here: www.barerootkitchen.com/pomegranate-dressing)
Garlic-Herb Burgers
  1. 2 lbs Grass Fed Beef
  2. 1 tsp Turmeric
  3. 1 tsp Sweet Basil, dried
  4. 1 tsp Sage, dried
  5. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  6. 6 Green Onions, finely chopped
  7. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  8. 1 tsp Pepper
Pineapple Lime Guacamole
  1. (See recipe here: www.barerootkitchen.com/pineapple-lime-guacamole)
Directions
Pomegranate Dressing & Pineapple Lime Guacamole
  1. Make both the pomegranate dressing and pineapple lime guacamole according to the links listed in this post. Set aside in the refrigerator while prepping and grilling the burgers.
Garlic-Herb Burgers
  1. Heat up the grill to medium heat.
  2. Mix herbs, spices, beef and onions together in a medium bowl.
  3. Form the burgers into 1/3 pound patties and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your burger cooked. Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
  4. While the burgers are cooling, mix together the arugula and pomegranate dressing. Add to the bottom of plates.
  5. Top the arugula salad with a burger and a generous spoonful of the pineapple lime guacamole.
  6. Dig in!
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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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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Southwest Chicken Salad

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

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

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

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

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Cherry Cilantro Smoothie

Here I go again adding more herbs (cilantro this time) to smoothies! Have I officially lost my mind? Clinically no, but undiagnosed, most certainly (no comments are allowed from my husband here)! Anyway, before you turn your nose up, you should know that:

“According to a study published in a 2004 edition of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” cilantro leaves contain compounds that deter the growth and proliferation of certain bacteria. The researchers discovered that cilantro leaves protect against Salmonella species, which commonly contaminate food and cause digestive problems and severe gastrointestinal symptoms.”

Source: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/cilantro-digestion-9167.html

“Also, there is also a large amount of literature suggesting that cilantro could be one of nature’s best bonding agents, particularly for individuals who have been exposed to heightened levels of environmental toxins and mercury. Mercury excess is a common problem that may be the result of metallic teeth fillings or over-consumption of predatory fish. Many people suffering from excess mercury report that the feeling of disorientation resulting from the poisoning can be greatly reduced through consuming large and regular amounts of cilantro over an extended period.”

Source: http://rawlivingfoods.tumblr.com/post/35875083556/the-health-benefits-of-cilantro

Are you sold on trying it? Probably, not yet. BUT, trust me when I say this smoothie is delicious! Oh and there are other ingredients in this smoothie that are tremendously healthy for you (e.g. avocado, cherries, mangoes, mixed salad greens, rhubarb, etc.). If that is still not enough to convince you to try it, please know that I have made at least 50 different smoothies in the three months. None were bad, some were just okay (didn’t make the blog cut) and most were delicious. This one is in the delicious camp and is in the top ten of favorites for me. I love the tart from the rhubarb/lime and the sweet from the cherries all mixed together into yummy goodness! 

Cherry Cilantro Smoothie
Serves 2
Give fresh herbs a new life by putting them in "green" smoothies. With the addition of cilantro, avocado, lime, cherries and rhubarb this smoothie is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy all in one! Give it a try for breakfast or for a mid-afternoon 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 Mixed Salad Greens
  2. 1 C Fresh Cilantro, leaves
  3. 1 Avocado
  4. 1 tbsp Honey (1 tbsp more if too tart)
  5. 1 C Mangoes, frozen
  6. 2 C Rhubarb, frozen
  7. 3 C Cherries, frozen
  8. 2 C Apple Juice
  9. 1 1/2 C Carrot Juice
  10. 2 Limes, juice
  11. 1 C Strawberry Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado. Toss the pit and skin.
  2. Put all ingredients into blender and mix until smooth.
  3. If the mixture is too thick add an additional 1/2 cup of juice one at a time until reaching the desired consistency. If too thin add another 1/2 cup of frozen fruit at a time until it thickens to your liking.
Notes
  1. You may need to push some of the fruit into the bottom of the blender to get all of it incorporated.
  2. Also, for this smoothie you will want to blend it just a tad longer than most because of the rhubarb. It has tougher stems than fruit, so the extra processing is key to get it smooth.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Salmon Avocado Salad

Dill, smoked salmon and avocado are a match made in salad heaven! I made this salad for day 4 of my cleansing diet (see my Blueberry Banana Smoothie recipe for more details) and loved it. In fact, I made enough for two days and discovered my husband stole it. Shaking my fists at him as I type this up! 

When shopping for ingredients, be sure to watch out for the smoked salmon. Many brands in the store have harmful additives, such as artificial colors (Yellow No. 6, Red No. 40) and sodium nitrate. These two ingredients are on the top ten list of food additives to avoid and are even banned in European countries.

Sodium Nitrate (also called Sodium Nitrite) – This is a preservative, coloring, and flavoring commonly added to bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and corned beef. Studies have linked eating it to various types of cancer.

Common Food Dyes – Studies show that artificial colors may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer.

  • Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124) – Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission.

              Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more!

  • Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102) – Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.

               Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese and carbonated beverages and more!

Yucko! The kicker is what makes macaroni and cheese orange. It shouldn’t be orange, nor should cheese ever be orange. It is orange because dyes make it that way. This is a concern because we feed our kids this all of the time.Do I do it? Yes, I buy an gluten free organic brand and make it for Mason when I am in a crunch for time. However, I am working on a CrockPot macaroni and cheese that replaces the run of the mill artificially colored orange cheese with carrots and butternut squash for color. The first batch turned out awful (because of the noodles…don’t like the brand), but the flavor was excellent. So, I am also there. Stay tuned!

Okay, so back to the salad. Moral of story is be careful about which smoked salmon you buy. I went to our local food co-op and found some without artificial color and nitrates. Grant it, it wasn’t as pretty as what you typically see in the store (because it was not enhanced with color), but it tasted great.  

Salmon Avocado Salad
Serves 2
This smoked salmon salad is light, refreshing and bursting with flavor. The creamy dill dressing and peppery undertone from the arugula is a great combination.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Salmon Avocado Salad
  1. 2 C Arugula
  2. 2 C Baby Kale
  3. 1 Garlic Scape, finely chopped
  4. 2 Green Onions, finely chopped
  5. 3 tbsp Fennel Bulb, finely chopped
  6. 12-15 Snap Peas
  7. 6-8 oz Smoked Salmon, chopped
  8. 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  9. 1 Avocado, chopped
Creamy Dill Dressing
  1. 1/4 C Fresh Oregano
  2. 4-5 Fresh Basil Leaves
  3. 2 tbsp Fresh Dill
  4. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  7. 2 tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar
  8. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Directions
Salmon Avocado Salad
  1. Add salad greens to a large bowl.
  2. Chop salmon, vegetables and avocados. Add to the top of the salad greens.
  3. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top (optional).
Creamy Dill Dressing
  1. Place ingredients into a food processor. Mix until a creamy dressing forms.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Swiss Chard Smoothie

Boy oh boy, is having a toddler fun! I do not work on Mondays, so this week we went to the beach to build sand castles and play in the water. We also ate a little sand and by we I mean, Mason! After hearing, “Mommy Yucky” I am pretty sure he is not going to do that again. Here is a picture of my little guy growing up so fast:

IMG_0653[1]

After getting back from the beach, Mason helped make our snack, Swiss Chard smoothies with pineapple and bananas. This smoothie and my tropical green smoothie have been my favorite ones to date! Don’t get me wrong, I like them all though. With summer here and getting an overabundance of greens from our Crop Share Agreement (CSA) I am sure I will be making many more smoothies and salads, so stay tuned.

I have forgotten to provide health benefits as of late. I promise I will get better about it. With promises being promises, Swiss Chard is second to spinach in an analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables. To read more detail, here is a great link on the nutritional benefits of Swiss Chard and other vegetables (NOTE: According to this site and WebMD, if you have prone to kidney stones or gallbladder problems read the individual concerns section and/or talk to your physician before making this smoothie):

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

Swiss Chard Smoothie
Serves 2
Looking for a refreshing treat on a hot summer day? Why not give this green smoothie a whirl! It tastes fantastic & is loaded with nutrients from the Swiss Chard, banana, pineapple, grapefruit juice, avocado and carrot juice.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Swiss Chard, tough stems removed
  2. 1 Avocado
  3. 1 Banana, frozen
  4. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  5. 1 Grapefruit, juice
  6. 1 C Carrot/Mango, juice
  7. 1/2 C Water
  8. 4 Dates, soaked in water for 15 minutes
Instructions
  1. Soak dates in 1/2 cup of water for 15 minutes (you can skip this step if you have a high powered blender).
  2. Add dates, water, Swiss Chard, grapefruit juice and carrot mango juice to blender. Mix for 1-2 minutes until a smooth juice forms.
  3. Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and add this to the blender in addition to the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth (will take another minute or two).
  4. If mixture is too thick add some additional water or juice. If too thin add some more frozen pineapple.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Avocado Kale Smoothie

My mission for the summer is to eat as many fruits and vegetables as humanly possible. In fact, I was joking with my husband that when I go to the bathroom the theme song from Ghostbusters is going to come on because I just pooped out Slimer! “I ain’t afraid of no Ghost!” TMI, yes probably, but trying to spice up blogs posts a little :) Plus, I don’t have a problem talking about bowel movements. Just ask my husband!

Okay, enough information about my private life. This smoothie not only tastes delicious but is loaded with leafy greens (kale and spinach). Kale can be a little bitter, so when using it in smoothies you can cut out some of this flavor by adding sweeter fruits such as bananas, pineapple or peaches.

Substitute Greek Yogurt for additional non-dairy milk for strict Paleo diet.

Avocado Kale Smoothie
Serves 2
Smoothie loaded with leafy greens, avocado and fruit. Nutritious way to start your day!
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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. 1 Banana
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  4. 2 C Mixed Fruit (I used strawberries, pineapple and mango)
  5. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  6. 2 C Spinach
  7. 1 C Kale
  8. 1 C Carrot Juice
  9. 1/2 C Almond Milk
Instructions
  1. Add kale, spinach, milk and carrot juice to blender. Mix until it resembles a smooth juice. This may take a minute or two depending on your blender.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Avocado Chicken Salad

I love, LOVE chicken salad, but wanted to spice it up a little by adding in some avocado and granny smith apples. The was recipe was perfect for a light lunch & came out creamy & delicious!

Avocado Chicken Salad
Adding avocados for a twist on chicken salad.
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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, ripe
  2. 1 C Chicken, cooked & chopped
  3. 1 C Granny Smith Apples, chopped
  4. 1/4 C Red Onion, finely chopped
  5. 1/4 C Mayo (use Paleo friendly Mayo or Greek Yogurt if you are less strict)
  6. 1/4 C Walnuts, chopped
  7. 1/4 C Dried Cranberries, unsweetened
  8. 1/4 C Celery, finely chopped
  9. Salt, to taste
  10. Pepper, to taste
  11. 1/8 tsp Celery Salt
Instructions
  1. For the chicken, I used what was left over from my sage butter oven-roasted chicken recipe, but you can also quickly roast some chicken breasts or thighs in the oven. Just top breasts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and cook in a roasting pan (make sure to add water in the bottom to keep chicken moist) for 25-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
  2. Cut avocados in half. Remove pit. Scoop out flesh, but save shells for stuffing the chicken salad mixture. Cut up avocado flesh into chunks.
  3. Hand stir avocado and remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl until combined.
  4. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Stuff mixture back into avocado shells & enjoy!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 

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Avocado Spinach Pudding

What a gorgeous day today, seventies and sunny! It is much deserved after our long winter.

To enjoy some rays, I went out on a 6 mile run and met my boys at the park. The cutest part of the day was running into one of Masons’ classmates on the playground! What a hoot watching them throw wood chips, giggle and get completely dirty :) 

After playtime, I whipped up this pudding to get some protein and veggies into our little guy. The title sounds kind of scary with avocados and spinach, but trust me it was very good! The little guy goggled it up quickly & I am going to eat the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.

Avocado Spinach Pudding
Serves 2
Delicious pudding with avocados, bananas, spinach and Greek yogurt. Great snack for growing little ones!
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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. 2 Bananas
  4. 1/8 C Maple Syrup
  5. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  7. 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
Instructions
  1. Add spinach, maple syrup and greek yogurt to blender. Mix until spinach is broken down into tiny pieces.
  2. Put remaining ingredients into blender and mix until smooth.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cacao Avocado Pudding

This is a yummy dairy-free alternative to chocolate pudding!

Cacao Avocado Pudding
Serves 2
This is a yummy dairy-free alternative to chocolate pudding!
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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. 3/4 C Almond Milk
  2. 2 Avocados
  3. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  4. 2 tbsp Sunflower Butter
  5. 1/4 C Maple Syrup
  6. 6 tbsp Cacao Powder
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. 1 tbsp Pistachios, chopped
Instructions
  1. Blend first 7 ingredients in food processor or blender.
  2. Top with chopped pistachios.
  3. ENJOY!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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