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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Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

What is new in our world, potty training! Not for me or Luke, although considering I have had to high tail it off into the bushes during long runs it is actually for our little man! For the most part he has been a little rockstar when we get him on the potty.

It is just getting him on the potty! We bought some stickers for a calendar and give him 1 for potty and 2 for doing the big dead (aka…number 2). He also gets a piece of chocolate for number 2. This has helped, but he still likes to hide behind his train table and pinch out a loaf in his diaper! Oh the joys of parenthood.

But, I didn’t get on here to talk about bowel movements only!

I actually wanted to share a new chicken recipe that I made the other night. I really wanted a sandwich, so I made my Herbed Flatbread (without the eggs, I substituted a flax egg, which is 1 tablespoon flax and 3 tablespoons of water) and artichoke stuffed chicken breasts. It was delicious!

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
Serves 3
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Chicken Breast
  2. 1/2 C Artichokes, chopped
  3. 1/2 C Mushrooms, chopped
  4. 1/2 C Almonds, chopped
  5. 1 lb. Bacon (nitrate-free)
  6. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  7. 1 tsp Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  10. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butterfly chicken breasts in half and flatten with a meat mallet.
  3. Mix together the salt, pepper and spices in a small bowl. Rub on top of the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle 1/4 of the artichokes, mushrooms and almonds on top each of the four chicken breasts. Fold together and wrap with the bacon (I also use twine to tie them together and this helps keep the stuffing inside the chicken while cooking).
  5. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts until golden brown on each side (about 5 minutes on each side). Transfer to a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Allow meat to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. As shown in the picture I made this into a chicken sandwich, but can also be served with your favorite side dish.
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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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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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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Bacon Scallop Zucchuccine

Great news to report! My husband, who suffers from psoriatic arthritis and has now been on the Autoimmune Protocol for two months now, is slowly starting to regain more strength in his hands! Since being on this diet he has noticed that remedial tasks such as opening a bag of chips are now possible without a considerable amount of excruciating pain. This gain in strength and improvement in symptoms has come without the use of prescription medications too! To get this far he has used the Autoimmune Diet Protocol, increased doses of Vitamin D/Omega 3 capsules and consumed daily Curcumin Turmeric supplements. Totally awesome, huh? We are hoping that this trend continues! 

So, while on this very restrictive diet it can seem like the end of the world after you look at what you cannot eat. However, I try to focus on the positive and come up with tasty meals for my hubby. One of which is my Bacon Scallop Zucchuccine recipe.

Oh my Goodness gracious this was a good meal folks! Definitely two thumbs up meal for my husband! 

Bacon Scallop Zucchuccine
Serves 2
This is a super easy, but incredibly flavorful Gluten Free, Paleo and Autoimmune Friendly meal.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb Bacon, chopped
  2. 1 dozen Large Scallops
  3. 2 Zucchinis
  4. 2 Lemons, juice
  5. 1/2 Medium Red Onion, chopped
  6. 2 tbsp Garlic
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable spiralizer, make thick zucchini noodles similar to the size of fettuccine. Set aside.
  2. Fry bite sized bacon pieces in a large sauce pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Pat down to remove excess grease.
  3. Pour some of the bacon grease into a can or glass mason jar to use later, but leave some for frying up the scallops and zucchini noodles.
  4. Heat up the pan used to fry bacon over high heat. Add the scallops and cook 2-3 minutes (slightly less time for smaller scallops) on each side until they start to get browned on each side. While cooking sprinkle salt, pepper and lemon juice over the top of one side of the scallops. Make sure to spread them apart to allow for equal cooking. You may need to rearrange them too if the center of the pan gets hotter than the outer edges. Set aside and cover with tinfoil to keep warm.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles and garlic to the bacon pan. Toss in cooked bacon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Using metal tongs, keep combining the ingredients until the noodles are al dente (slightly crunchy, but not soggy). Add in the scallops just to warm them up slightly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle more lemon juice over the top (if desired) and serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Loaded Bacon Boats

BACON, YUM! Not sure if I really need to say more than bacon, but in light of this being a blog I suppose I can ramble on about things going on in our family. Well, let’s see….BACON on the brain. Besides BACON, I just found out my sister came through another surgery with flying colors. Hooray! The surgeon took skin from her ear to replace the scar tissue on her nose, resulting from our car accident in 2008. Her recovery has amazed me! To read more, see my dedication to Katie. I am also taking the rest of the afternoon off from work because I already put in 43 hours this week (63 last week) and I am not feeling all that well :( Boohoo! 

Enough of me just rambling! Let’s get down to BACON again … Enjoy! 

Loaded Bacon Boats
Serves 4
This recipe is full of flavor and is super easy to make. Call it Rachel Ray style because you can get it done in less than 30 minutes! Plus it is Paleo and Autoimmune Friendly.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1/2 lb Bacon (nitrate free), chopped
  3. 2 C Brussel Sprouts, chopped into quarters
  4. 1 C Mushrooms, sliced
  5. 1 C Onion, chopped
  6. 2 tsp Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 Lime, juice
  8. 1 tbsp Honey
  9. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  10. 1/4 tsp Salt
  11. 1/4 tsp Pepper
  12. Salt & Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Microwave the sweet potatoes for 8-9 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, fry up the bacon, brussel sprouts, onion and garlic. Cook over medium up heat until the brussel sprouts are tender.
  3. Drain out the excess bacon grease from the pan after the veggies and bacon are done cooking.
  4. Sprinkle the veggies and bacon with lime juice, honey and salt/pepper to taste.
  5. Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes. Mash the potatoes with coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  6. Add the mashed sweet potatoes back in to the skins and top with the brussel sprout and bacon mixture.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Bacon Leek Potato Salad

I just received the new cookbook, “A Paleo Kitchen” created by Juli Bauer and George Bryant. If you haven’t checked it yet, there are some great looking recipes. Today was the first day I had the opportunity to try one their recipes. I was looking for a different salad to make with some pork chops, so I tried the “Bacon Lime Sweet Potato Salad”.

I am confident the recipe is fantastic as is, but I made some modifications to the dressing to cut down on the flavor of the balsamic vinegar. To do this, I added a tablespoon of honey and the juice from 1/2 of a red grapefruit. Also, instead of green onions, I sauteed up two leeks because I love the combination of bacon and leeks together. Other than these changes I stuck with the original recipe. Thanks to Juli and George for the idea!

Bacon Leek Potato Salad
Serves 4
Need an idea for a picnic side dish? Try this Paleo and gluten free friendly potato salad. The flavors are amazing!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
Bacon Sweet Potato Salad
  1. 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes, chopped
  2. 1 lb. Bacon, nitrate free
  3. 2 Medium Leeks, chopped
  4. 2 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
Grapefruit Lime Dressing
  1. 1 C Fresh Dill, finely chopped
  2. 1/2 Red Grapefruit, juice
  3. 1 Lime, juice
  4. 2 tbsp, Olive Oil
  5. 2 tbsp, Balsamic Vinegar
  6. 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  7. 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  8. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  9. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  10. 1 tbsp Honey
Directions
Bacon Sweet Potato Salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop the sweet potatoes into one inch cubes. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Add the sweet potatoes to the pan and roast for 35-40 minutes in the oven.
  3. While sweet potatoes are roasting, saute the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat on each side for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Set aside and pat off some of the bacon grease.
  4. After the bacon is cooked add the chopped leeks to the bacon pan. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Set aside and pat down with a paper towel to remove most of the bacon grease.
  5. Add the leeks, bacon and sweet potatoes to a medium size bowl.
Grapefruit Lime Dressing
  1. Mix together salad ingredients in a small bowl. Toss the dressing with the leeks, bacon and sweet potatoes until evenly coated.
Adapted from The Paleo Kitchen
Adapted from The Paleo Kitchen
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 

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Bacon Artichoke Lasagna

Was craving non-traditional lasagna & found inspiration for this dish from the artichoke pesto recipe on www.OMGpaleo.com. Thanks Juli for getting my creativity kick started! My version is not Paleo, but you could easily make it that way by substituting the rice noodles for thinly sliced zucchini or almond flour noodles. The other thing is if you are strict Paleo you would also want to omit the cheese or use raw cheese.

My quality control tester (aka. my hubby) said this is DARN GOOD, but I had him sold at BACON. 

Bacon Artichoke Lasagna
Serves 6
Lasagna made with an artichoke pesto lasagna and bacon. Great twist on a family favorite.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
Cilantro Basil Pesto
  1. 1/2 C Pine Nuts
  2. 1 Lemon, juice
  3. 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  4. 5 tbsp Chicken Stock
  5. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  6. 1/2 C Fresh Cilantro
  7. 1/2 C Fresh Basil
  8. 1/2 C Fresh Parsley, Italian Flat Leaf
  9. 1 jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  10. 1/8 tsp Salt
  11. 1/8 tsp Pepper
Lasagna
  1. 1 Pkg. Brown Rice Noodles
  2. 1 Pkg. Nitrate Free Bacon
  3. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  4. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  5. 1 tsp Garlic, crushed
  6. 1 Pkg. Crimini or Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  7. Salt, to taste
  8. Pepper, to taste
  9. 1 Pkg. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Directions
Cilantro Basil Pesto
  1. Add pesto ingredients to a food processor and mix until creamy. If pesto is too thick add another tbsp of chicken stock until it reaches the desired consistency. If it is too runny, good luck. No really, add in some more pine nuts and it will thicken up some.
Lasagna
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil nice noodles for 12-14 minutes until tender.
  3. Drain out water & run under hot water for a minute or two to avoid the noodles from sticking together.
  4. While noodles are boiling away, chop bacon and saute until slightly golden brown. Remove most of the rendered bacon fat (but save it because you can use it as a cooking fat for other dishes, like scrambled eggs ... YUM).
  5. Saute onion, red pepper and garlic in bacon pan over medium heat until onions are slightly translucent. Add in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms become soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir bacon & veggies into pesto sauce.
  7. In an 8x8 pan layer noodles, pesto & cheese & repeat.
  8. Top with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and place under broiler for 4-5 minutes or until cheese becomes golden brown. Watch carefully because it can burn quickly.
Notes
  1. I used pine nuts because I prefer the flavor to other tree nuts, but I have also seen a lot of recipes use walnuts. Pine nuts are really a seed, but to make it "nut" free you could also try hemp seeds. They would render a similar flavor to the pine nuts. In fact, I may give that a try next time & let you know how it shakes out :)
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Sweet & Spicy Chicken

I was going to make a coconut curry dish with zucchini noodles, but since it was so nice out I decided to switch gears and do some grilling.

With chicken already defrosting and bacon chilling in the fridge, I whipped together this sweet and spicy marinade for some bacon wrapped chicken. We paired this with some grilled zucchini, yellow onions and red peppers.  

It was one of those meals where I was full, but kept going back for more! 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken
Serves 4
Yippee it is finally grilling season. Which means it is time for some bacon wrapped, sweet & spicy chicken.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Chicken Breasts, cubed
  2. 1 lb Bacon, nitrate free
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. 2 tbsp Honey
  6. 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  7. 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  9. 1 tbsp Paprika
  10. 1 tbsp Cumin
  11. 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  12. 1 tsp Onion Powder
Instructions
  1. Mix together spices, olive oil, vinegar and honey. Add chicken breasts & marinate for at least 1 hour in refrigerator.
  2. Cut bacon slices in half & wrap the pieces around the marinated chicken.
  3. Add bacon wrapped chicken to skewers.
  4. Grill on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Notes
  1. If using bamboo skewers, make sure you soak them in water for 5-10 minutes prior to adding the meat. They will burn if you skip this step :)
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Sweet Potato Quiche

Some nights I crave breakfast…actually if I had my way I would eat breakfast for every meal. Well, I was having one of those breakfast for dinner days & this quiche was the result.

The flavor of the crust was so good that I received rave reviews from my husband, his sister and my mother-in-law!

I used ricotta cheese when I made it, but Greek Yogurt would work great too. Keep in mind that when you pick out ricotta cheese, that you find one without carrageenan. Carrageenan is this food additive that has been linked to digestive issues and cancer cases. This link from the SeriousEats.com is a good source for finding ricotta cheese brands without carrageenan:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/08/taste-test-ricotta-cheese.html

Here is another interesting excerpt from CooksIllustrated (it is astounding the garbage they pack into mainstream Ricotta):

“Originally crafted from the whey by-product of Romano cheesemaking, ricotta cheese has garnered fame on its own as a white, cushiony filling for baked pasta dishes. As ricotta has gained global popularity, however, preservation methods used by many large-scale manufacturers have turned these once fluffy, buttery, sweet curds into chalky, sour spreads. Commercial brands are packed with gums and other stabilizers to guarantee shelf-stability for weeks. Read labels and look for a fresh ricotta without gums or stabilizers.”

I am fully convinced many of our current digestive issues are the direct result of food additives, GMOs and other alterations of the original state of food. That is for another discussion, but for now here is the recipe & the end of my rant :) In fact, I am statistical researcher, so if anyone wants me to do the research to test my hypothesis I would be more than willing to take on the work!

Sweet Potato Quiche
Serves 6
Delicious breakfast quiche that is perfect for a Sunday morning meal.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
Almond & Rosemary Crust
  1. 1 1/2 C Almond Flour
  2. 5 tbsp Spectrum Vegetable Shortening
  3. 1 tbsp Rosemary, fresh
  4. 1 tbsp Flax Meal
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 3 tbsp Water
Quiche Filling
  1. 1 C Bacon, chopped (nitrate free)
  2. 6 eggs
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt or Ricotta Cheese (raw)
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  6. 1/4 C Red Pepper, chopped
  7. 1/4 C Onions, chopped
  8. 1 tsp Garlic, crushed
  9. 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
Directions
Almond & Rosemary Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add ingredients to food processor and mix until dough forms.
  3. Press dough evenly into the bottom of a round pie tin.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
Quiche Filling
  1. Beat eggs with salt & pepper. Stir in ricotta & set aside.
  2. Cook bacon in a large saute pan until golden brown. Set bacon aside.
  3. Remove the bacon grease from the pan, but leave a light coating on the surface for sauteing the remaining vegetables.
  4. Cook sweet potatoes in bacon grease for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add remaining vegetables & garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add bacon & vegetable mixture to crust.
  7. Pour egg ricotta mixture over the top of bacon/vegetables.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes until eggs are firm in the center & start to turn golden brown.
Notes
  1. Put pie tin over a cookie sheet to avoid any of the eggs from spilling over the sides.
  2. Use raw cheese for Paleo diet (if you are less strict). Otherwise, you can always substitute a 1/4 C of non-dairy milk for the cheese.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Bacon Sweet Potatoes

I despised sweet potatoes growing up! This was because the only sweet potatoes I was exposed to was at Thanksgiving & it was loaded with cinnamon, brown sugar and marshmallows. YUCK! Once I discovered savory sweet potato recipes, I developed a new love for the nutritious little taters! 

Bacon Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
Twice baked sweet potatoes topped with bacon and spiced pecan, YUM!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Ingredients
Sweet Potato Stuffing
  1. 4 Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1 C Greek Yogurt (can substitute for 2 tbsp non-dairy milk for Paleo diet)
  3. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  4. 1 tbsp Butter
  5. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  7. 1 tsp Paprika
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 1/2 tsp Pepper
Topping
  1. 1/2 C Bacon (nitrate-free), cooked and chopped
  2. 1/4 C Pecans, chopped
  3. 1 tsp EVOO
  4. Cinnamon, pinch
  5. Cumin, pinch
  6. Chili Powder, pinch
  7. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wrap sweet potatoes in tinfoil and bake directly on rack for 90 minutes.
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, mix ingredients for the topping together & set aside.
  4. After sweet potatoes are done baking, cut off a thin slice off the top of each potato to scoop out the inside of each potato. Only scoop out enough to maintain the structure of the potato because the mixture will go back inside.
  5. Add sweet potato & remaining stuffing ingredients to a food processor. Mix until smooth.
  6. Stuff the potato skins with the stuffing and add the topping.
  7. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. I added feta cheese to the top of the potatoes, but this is optional.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Bacon Feta Pork Kiev

The key to my husband’s heart is bacon. If bacon could be incorporated into every meal he would be an extremely happy dude! 

For the pork chops and bacon we get these directly from a local organic farmer. The pork is air-raised, meaning the pigs are not couped up (I mean jammed together) in a barn. Also, we buy bacon that is nitrate free.

According to various sources (e.g. Organic Consumers Association to name one), sodium nitrate is a chemical used in meat processing to cure meat/inhibit the growth of bacteria. This food additive has been found to be highly carcinogenic & accelerates the formation/growth of cancer cells throughout the body. SO MORALE OF STORY, buy bacon that is nitrate free if you can!

Bacon Feta Pork Kiev
Serves 2
Why not have a bacon wrapped pork chop stuffed with a broccoli & feta cheese? YUM!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Pork Chops, thick cut
  2. 6 Slices of Bacon, nitrate free
  3. 1 C Broccoli, finely chopped
  4. 1 tbsp Butter
  5. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  6. 1/2 C Feta Cheese
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
  9. Seasoning Salt
  10. Twine
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Steam broccoli until al dente (still slightly crunchy, but not soggy).
  3. Melt one tablespoon of butter in small bowl. Add the butter with the chopped broccoli & feta cheese together. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Feta is naturally salty, so you may want to taste the mixture before adding seasoning.
  4. Make a lengthwise slit in the center of each pork chop.
  5. Season the outsides of the pork with salt, pepper and seasoning salt.
  6. Add the kiev stuffing to the inside of the pork. Wrap the stuffed pork chops with bacon.
  7. Cut 4 pieces of twine for each pork chop. Tie these pieces around the pork chops to keep the stuffing and bacon together.
  8. Heat up TBSP of olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Once warm saute pork chops 6 minutes on each side.
  9. Transfer pork chops to a baking sheet. Add to pre-heated oven & bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Let the pork chops rest for 5 minutes before serving or the juices will run all over your plate. Remove twine before eating!
Notes
  1. I prefer to use bone in pork chops & then cut down the center of the meat until hitting the bone, but you can use boneless pork chops too. If using boneless do not cut all the way through the meat or your stuffing will fall out of one side.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Portabella Bacon Burger

Every year we have a bacon day at our cabin. This year our test recipe is a twist on a typical bacon burger by chopping bacon & cooking it directly with the beef patty. To make it grain free, I substituted portabella mushrooms for the bun.

This turned out absolutely delicious! Cannot wait to share with others at the cabin!

Portabella Bacon Burger
Serves 3
Delicious recipe for grilling season!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb Bacon, nitrate free
  2. 1 lb Beef, grass fed
  3. 6 Portabella Mushrooms
  4. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  5. Seasoning Salt
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Toppings for burger (Cheese, Tomato, Spinach, Onion, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Chop bacon into bit size pieces.
  2. Press bacon into biscuit cutter and then top with hamburger to form a patty.
  3. Saute burgers (bacon side down) on medium heat until its starts to crisp up. This took about 6 minutes. Season burgers with salt, season salt and peppers on the hamburger side while cooking.
  4. Once the bacon is crispy flip the burger over and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until your desired consistency. Add cheese on top of bacon (optional).
  5. Using a separate pan, heat coconut oil.
  6. Saute portabella mushrooms 5-6 minutes on each side.
  7. Sprinkle some salt & pepper on each side while cooking.
  8. When everything is done, place one portabella mushroom on the plate.
  9. Top with burger patty, hamburger toppings and another portabella mushroom.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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