Creamy Mushroom Chicken

We are putting the finishing touches on our basement now, which involves the fun stuff such as a furniture, arcade game and pool table. We are still waiting on the pool table and furniture, but our arcade game with 3100 games arrived on Friday night. The first thing I did Saturday morning was get in some Miss PacMan and Pole Position action. SO MUCH FUN! Although I do have to say that I was much better at dodging the ghosts in my younger years. Now, I need to give Asteroids, Frogger, Dr. Mario and Donkey Kong a turn.

Other than entertainment we have some illnesses going on the house! Well not all of us, but Mason and Luke have hand, food and mouth disease. It is some NASTY stuff. It started out with a high fever, proceeded by bumps all over their hands, knees, ears, mouth, and feet. Kaeden and I haven’t come down with it yet….fingers crossed! In addition to the bumps, there is a lot of swelling, itchy and pain in the limbs. Both of my boys are miserable and highly contagious, so we are trying our best to stay from others in fear of passing along this crud.

Now, on to our dinner last night. I really wanted some sort of cream sauce and chicken. I have been religious about trying to continuously stick to healthy eating via the 21 day fix meal plan. So, I made a “cream” sauce without using dairy. It turned out great! Give a try and let me know what you think :)

Creamy Mushroom Chicken
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
Oven Roasted Chicken
  1. 2 lb Chicken Thighs or Breasts
  2. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  4. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  5. 1 tsp Chipotle Seasoning
Mushroom Cream Sauce
  1. 2 tbsp + 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  2. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  3. 2 C Chicken Stock
  4. 4 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  5. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1 C Mushrooms
  8. 1 C Onions
Directions
Oven Roasted Chicken
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place 1 inch of water into a broiling pan.
  3. Layer chicken on top of the broiling pan. Combine spices together. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and add a little bit of the spice rub to each piece of meat. Rub in gently.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20-25 or until internal temp is 145 degrees.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
  1. Heat up 1 tsp of coconut oil in frying pan. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent.
  2. Add remaining coconut oil to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Using a wire whisk stir in the tapioca flour until a doughy paste is formed.
  3. Turn temperature up to medium high and whisk in the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time. Constantly stir the sauce the whole time to avoid lumps. Repeat with adding the additional chicken stock until a creamy sauce is formed. If needed you can add another 1/2 cup of chicken sauce if the sauce is too thick.
  4. Fold in the whole grain mustard, salt, pepper and mushroom/onion mixture.
  5. Serve the mushroom cream sauce over the chicken.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Burrito Bowls

Pizza! Goodness, I was on a short fuse today because I had both boys home with me all day. When I get a little frazzled I crave crappy foods and today all I wanted for dinner was Dominos to deliver me a heavily cheesy pepperoni pizza. Would I have felt good eating pizza? While consuming it, yes most definitely. However, I would have felt like an enormous blob an hour afterwards!

So, instead of succumbing to the little devilish voice screaming for PIZZA, I decided to make these grain free chicken burrito bowls. Good stuff, YES INDEED!

Oh and my inner crazy signed up for a half marathon in the dead of winter! For whatever reason I am the girl who loves winter running. It could be snowing like mad and even below zero, but I will still get geared up and run in it. I am beginning to think that I actually like the challenge of winter runs more than just going out when it is 70 in the summer. Oh well, different strokes for different folks, right? YEP!

Chicken Burrito Bowls
Serves 2
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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
  1. 2 C Cooked Chicken, cubed (I used rotisserie to save time)
  2. 1 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  3. 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  4. 1 Head of Cauliflower
  5. 4 TBSP of Chipotle Dressing (Brianna's is what I used)
  6. 1 Red Pepper, thinly sliced
  7. 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  8. 1 TBSP Taco Seasoning
  9. 2 C Romaine Lettuce
  10. 1/2 C Salsa
  11. 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  12. 1 TBSP Butter
  13. 1/4 C Cilantro, finely chopped
  14. 1/2 Lime, juice
  15. Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Put cauliflower florets in food processor and pulse until it is broken down into rice sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and microwave for 6 minutes. Add butter, cilantro, lime and salt and pepper.
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the peppers, onions and taco seasoning. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat until al dente (slightly crunchy).
  3. Heat up the black beans in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add a little hot sauce or salsa for spice.
  4. To assemble the bowls, put a cup of the cooked cauliflower cilantro rice into a bowl. Top with the black beans, chicken, cheese, sautéed veggies, salsa, chipotle dressing and lettuce.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Meatball Marinara

Well I almost hit a trifecta yesterday! I was feeding Kaeden when all of a sudden I hear, “Mommy I have to go potty.” I burst out of the chair, hurrying Mason off to the bathroom. We got his pants off enough and instantly his “fountain of youth” sprays all over the bathroom floor. HA! Potty training is HARD! Seriously my least favorite job about parenting. Anyway, so I clean up mess number one and then I was changing the baby’s diaper and I hear, “Mommy, the dog pooped on the bumpy rug and it is BIG one.” HA! Clean up on aisle 9 number two. Luckily I didn’t hit grossness number three with VOMIT, but I have had one of those days before. Now, I know why I don’t bother to buy nice clothes, do my hair or try to look presentable…..it just doesn’t fit in with the mommy cards!

Aside from my janitorial expeditions, we had a great family outing. I have Fridays off from work, so I took the boys to see Santa and met up with Luke for lunch. Mason loved Santa and Kaeden didn’t turn into a scream-a-pillar. Great success! Here is a picture from lunch! I had tons of veggies, chicken and brown rice from Big Bowl. It is by far my favorite Chinese. Oh and notice Mason has already decided he is embarrassed to have pictures taken with mommy. OH BOY!

Big Bowl

I also kicked off a clean eating challenge with my friends Laura and Michelle. It was a great turn out and everyone had enthusiasm throughout the five days. I just love doing this sort of thing to educate folks not familiar with clean eating and to also keep me on track. I tend to fall of the wagon around the holidays with due to baked goodies. LOVE ME SOME COOKIES. Pretty sure I am descendent of Santa Claus.

During the challenge I made these Chicken Meatballs with marinara sauce and served it over the top of spaghetti squash.

Chicken Meatballs1

It was so good I wanted to share with everyone here :)

Chicken Meatball Marinara
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Ground Chicken
  2. 1/2 tsp Pepper Flakes
  3. 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  6. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  7. 1 Jar Marinara Sauce
  8. 1 Spaghetti Squash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place flesh side down into a 13x9 cake pan. Add a 1/2 inch of water and cover with tinfoil. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  3. Combine ground chicken and spices. Form into balls about the size of a walnut. Place in an 8x8 cake pan and bake with the spaghetti squash for 25 minutes until lightly golden on top.
  4. Heat up marinara sauce over medium heat until warm and add in the meatballs when they are finished baking.
  5. When spaghetti squash is done, add to a bowl and top with the marinara/meatballs.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Almond Chop Salad

While being pregnant with Kaeden I became obsessed with chopped salads. I used to love leafy greens like spinach, baby kale, green or red leaf, but I was repulsed by them during pregnancy and still am. Don’t know what happened, but I fell like a cow grazing in a pasture and I just can’t do it. Missing out on my greens I began to experiment with shaved brussel sprouts, broccoli slaw, cabbage and kale. The thing I love about this combo is it is CRUNCHY for minutes, crunchy for hours, crunchy for days! Nothing is worse than tossing on your favorite dressing and the salad is soggy within seconds. I need the crunch folks. Hand me a plate of cooked spinach, collards or beet greens and I, but not the greens will vanish in seconds. Anyway! Enough of my distaste for most greens. In my opinion they only belong in smoothies were you can blend them to smithereens and not even know they are there.

Aside from this delicious recipe (must try….come on you will like it), Luke and I are starting a round of P90X3 (Luke) and Insanity Asylum (me) after Thanksgiving. Time to get our unfinished basement prepped for some sweat-filled workouts. Yippee! Oh, what a fun way to work off some baby weight and curb some of that holiday weight gain! I have never really had an issue with holiday weight gain, but that is because I either run or do some sort of physical activity to counterbalance the extra calories. I always look at weight loss or weight maintenance as a numbers game. If you are putting more into your mouth (e.g. pie, cookies, fudge, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and on and on….) than you are outputting through exercise then you are going to gain weight. I encourage you to start with exercise, but also be careful about your food choices. Skip that extra cookie and go for a walk. Or do not make the green bean casserole, so you are not tempted to eat it. Heck bring this salad to Christmas dinner and wow people with how darn good it tastes! Most importantly, I am here to help out and am going to come up with some new recipes for you all in the next couple of weeks / months!

I know you are thinking yah, yah, okay I will try not to eat the whole plate of cookies (lord knows I want to), but you can and you will not eat it if you put your mind to it! Done with my sermon now!

Oh, I also need to share our super exciting family outing, Menards. “You save big money, you save big money when you shop Menards.” That damn song! I think I heard it 100 times yesterday. The deer haunters need to pause and aim for the speakers at Menards for my sanity. Whoop, I know we are ripping it up in our 30’s! In all seriousness Mason had a blast. They have their Christmas decorations out and he was running from light displays to ornaments to snow village. If you are looking for cheap entertainment Menards is the place! Who needs the Children’s museum, whewwwwww not us. After this little adventure we put up all our Christmas decorations. The cutest thing was seeing Mason outside “helping” daddy! We finished out the evening with a visit from my sister and her better half from Alaska! Great seeing them!

Chicken Almond Chop Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Citrus Poppyseed Vinaigrette
  2. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  3. 1 Lemon, Juice
  4. 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  5. 1 1/2 tsp Poppy Seeds
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/4 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 Grapefruit, Juice
  9. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
Chicken Almond Chop Salad
  1. 1 bag Broccoli Slaw
  2. 1 bag Brussel Sprouts, shaved
  3. 1 bunch Kale, chopped
  4. 2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  5. 1 C Raisins
  6. 1 C Almonds, slivered
Directions
Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
  1. Mix together dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Chicken Almond Chop Salad
  1. Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in dressing when ready to serve.
Notes
  1. This salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator as long you leave the dressing off. Just put on the dressing when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

Wow, wow, wee, wow it’s a post and a good one too! Trust me :)

Let’s see what is going on in our casa. Simple answer, LOTS! Baby is set to arrive in 6 weeks, we are finishing our basement, Mason (our almost three year old) transitioned to his big boy bed, Mason had surgery to remove his ear tubes, my dad is undergoing radiation therapy for stage 1 lung cancer, my sister graduated high school, and we just had my two sister in-laws and their families in town for a week. Busy, busy! Oh and we spent a long weekend at our cabin where we greeted by a big fury black bear 5 times! Talk about a 5 am morning wake up when you are about to let out the dog and see a black bear feasting on your trash! I have never seen my sister move so quickly in the morning.

Here is Mason before surgery (oh, my cute boys!):

Mason Surgery

He was such a trooper and even went back into the surgery area without mom and dad. Now grant it he had a dump truck that he was driving back there, but still he was so brave!

Aside from family life I have also been extremely busy at work trying to get projects wrapped up or assigned to others while I am out on maternity leave. When I had Mason it was easier because I was not a manager, so my projects could just sit in limbo until I returned. This time is trickier since I have to make sure my team is taken care of and has projects to work on while I am out. I will really miss all of them for 10 weeks!

Oh and I am STILL RUNNING. People think I am C-R-A-Z-Y, but honestly besides having to run about 3 minutes per mile slower than normal it feels really good to get in my runs! The hardest part is just making the full 5-6 miles without having to take a bathroom break :) The further along I get the more I have noticed that I need to plan my route around the most port-a-potties and bring TP because they are frequently out, LOL! TMI, TMI….yah, well that is nothing compared to what I could share!

Now, onto the star of the show…..my tandoori chicken kebabs. I say star of the show because I LOVE THIS RECIPE! It is super easy, light and yummy on the palate! This chicken would go great with a gluten free couscous (or regular if you are not sensitive to gluten), cauliflower rice or quinoa. Or you could do some sort of Greek lettuce wrap. I have this recipe tagged as Paleo too, because if you are looking for a non-dairy alternative use coconut cream instead of Greek Yogurt.

Tandoori Chicken Kebabs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
6 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
6 hr 30 min
Prep Time
6 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
6 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lb Chicken Breast, cut in 1 inch pieces
  2. 1 Red Pepper
  3. 1 Yellow Onion
  4. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  5. 3 Lemons, juice
  6. 6 tbsp Greek Yogurt
  7. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  8. 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  9. 1 1/2 tsp Coriander
  10. 1 tsp Salt
  11. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  12. 1 tbsp Crushed Ginger (fresh)
  13. 1 tbsp Horseradish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut up chicken and vegetables. Set aside in a large food storage container or a gallon sized freezer bag.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the chicken and veggies, making sure to coat all of the pieces with the marinade. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before cooking.
  3. Put on metal skewers by alternating between chicken and veggie layers. If using wooden make sure you soak them for 10-15 minutes prior to avoid them from burning in the oven.
  4. Broil in the oven for 5-6 minutes on each side or until the veggies/chicken started to brown up slightly.
  5. Serve with cauliflower rice, gluten free couscous or quinoa.
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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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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Grain-Free Biscuit Pot Pie

I have been neglecting my blog the last week. Why? Well, three reasons:

1) HARD WORK – Seriously blogging is exhausting work and I needed a break. It may not seem that hard to make food, take pictures, format the pictures in a photo editor, write/load the recipe, write up a post, categorize the recipes into recipe indexes, post the recipe on Pinterest/Facebook and send out a newsletter. PHEW, okay I think you get my drift! I am not joking when I say each recipe is at least a 2-3 hour time commit. So every now and then I just need a break from this WICKED HARD HOBBY! Otherwise I would lose my passion about it and not create allergy friendly recipes for you folks!  

2) WORK – Is crazy busy! I have two new employees and one going out on maternity leave next Tuesday. As a result I have spent about 50-60 hours per week trying to stay caught up. Once I get the employees up to speed and get my employee back in April I am hoping things will die down!

3) GREAT BOOKS – I have been reading the Divergent Series and am addicted. Who can blame me for taking time off from my blog for having some quality time in front of a good book? I can’t wait to see the movies too. Man is that pathetic or what being in my mid-thirties and liking a book written for young adults. Oh well, right?  

Don’t worry though I have a great recipe for you today and have some Paleo breakfast ideas brewing (hint hint, cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins and pancakes…I want to devote February/March to BREAKFAST)! Breakfast here we come, YIPPEE!  

Grain-Free Biscuit Pot Pie
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
Chicken Pot Pie Base
  1. 2 C Chicken, cooked and cubed
  2. 3 C Broccoli, florets
  3. 1 C Peas, frozen
  4. 1 C Carrots, chopped
  5. 32 oz Chicken Stock
  6. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  7. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  8. 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  9. 1 tsp Pepper
  10. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  11. 1/2 tsp Celery Seeds
Drop Biscuit Dough
  1. 3 tbsp Almond Milk
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp Lemon, juice
  3. 3/4 C Blanched Almond Flour
  4. 1 C Sweet Potato or Potato Flour
  5. 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  8. 2/3 C Spectrum Vegetable Shortening
Directions
Chicken Pot Pie Base
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add olive oil and tapioca flour to a large sauce pan and whisk together over medium heat until a thick dough forms together.
  3. Stir in a cup of chicken stock until dissolved and thickened. Repeat this process four times until you have a thick base.
  4. Mix in chicken, frozen peas, carrots, broccoli and spices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender.
  5. Pour the pot pie base into a 13 X 9 baking pan.
Drop Biscuit Dough
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and dairy free milk to allow it to sour.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter with a pastry dough blender. Continue to work the dough together until pea sized clumps form.
  3. Slowly add in the milk and lemon juice until the dough comes together.
  4. Drop by large spoonfuls on top of the pot pie base. Try to evenly space throughout the dish so each serving will have a couple small biscuits.
  5. Cook in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Every Last Crumb
Adapted from Every Last Crumb
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Strawberry Walnut Salad

Oh salads, I love you so and especially this one! Funny I have made this strawberry walnut salad with a homemade citrus poppy seed vinaigrette many times, but I realized I have yet to add it to my blog. What is wrong with me? Sorry for my delinquency folks because this is an incredibly delicious salad that needs to go in everyone’s mouth right now! 

I actually made this salad for my post long run lunch on Sunday. I am on week four of Boston Marathon training and had a nine miler. Nine miles is a cake walk for me, but what made it hard was the temps being only 0 degrees outside and trying to move with so many layers on. Yikes! I know you are thinking I have lost my marbles, but after two pairs of pants, three layers of under armor shirts, mittens, a hat and my hoodie it wasn’t so bad. The only thing that got cold was my face, so I should really invest in some sort of mask. Luke told me I could wear his Flash Gordon outfit! Wouldn’t that get some head turns, LOL! 

Strawberry Walnut Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Strawberry Walnut Salad
  1. 2 C Strawberries, sliced
  2. 6 C Baby Spinach
  3. 1 1/2 C Chicken Breast, cooked and cubed
  4. 1 C Walnuts, roughly chopped
  5. 1/2 C Red Onions, thinly sliced
Citrus Poppyseed Vinaigrette
  1. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  2. 1 Lemon, Juice
  3. 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  4. 1 1/2 tsp Poppy Seeds
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1/4 tsp Pepper
  7. 1 Grapefruit, Juice
  8. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
Directions
Strawberry Walnut Salad
  1. Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Citrus Poppyseed Vinaigrette
  1. Add vinaigrette ingredients to a large food storage container or a quart sized mason jar. Whisk together until the juice, oil and vinegar is combined together.
  2. Toss with salad and serve immediately.
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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Asian Quinoa Salad

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

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

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

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

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

Ever since being gluten free I tried many different chicken and dumpling recipes, but none of them have ever turned out. Growing up this was my favorite soup, so I have been a bit bummed that I couldn’t find a good recipe. A couple of weeks ago, my brother-in-law made a hominy gumbo soup and immediately I thought, “Gee this hominy would be a perfect substitute for dumplings!” After boiling hominy it resembles mini-dumplings and has definitely filled a void for me! 

With Thanksgiving leftovers coming you could always make this soup and substitute turkey for the chicken :) 

Chicken & Hominy Soup
Serves 12
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 4 Chicken Breasts, free-range
  2. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 2 cans Golden Hominy, drain juice
  4. 2 C Quinoa, uncooked
  5. 4 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
  6. 4 Carrots, rough chopped
  7. 2 Parsnips, peeled and rough chopped
  8. 1 Large Rutabaga
  9. 4 C Water
  10. 64 oz Chicken Stock
  11. 2 tbsp Sea Salt
  12. 3 tsp Pepper
  13. 1 tbsp Oregano
  14. 2 tsp Turmeric
  15. 1 tbsp Garlic
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place chicken breasts on top of a broiling pan with an inch of water in the pan underneath. Drizzle the top with olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub in with your fingers. Turn over and repeat. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Chop into one inch pieces and set aside.
  3. Add vegetables, hominy, quinoa, spices/herbs, chicken stock and water to large soup kettle. Cook over medium high heat until the liquid comes to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for one hour or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add in cooked chicken and simmer for another 20-30 minutes over low heat.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Thai Chicken Basil Curry

We had a wonderful time visiting my sister (Candace) and her husband Tom last weekend. Normally they live up in Alaska, but they come down to Minnesota for a couple weeks every winter. For dinner, my sister made a fabulous Moose (which I have never had before, yummy) curry for dinner. I already had a curry dish planned for day 3 of my post holiday clean eating challenge, so having her meal got my butt moving! Thanks Candace and Tom for inspiration for this dish and hosting us for the weekend!

Now onto this curry dish! For the coconut milk, I recommend trying to find one that only has coconut and water as the ingredients. Other brands add gums and other artificial ingredients that can cause gut irritation. The one I found at my local grocery store, that did not have these additives, is called Savoy. Also, the green curry paste, Mae Ploy, does not have any MSG, preservatives or artificial colors. It is damn tasty too!

All in all this was an incredibly tasty dish!  

Thai Chicken Basil Curry
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Ingredients
Thai Chicken Basil Curry
  1. 1 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
  2. 2 tbsp Green Curry Paste
  3. 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  4. 1/4 C Lemongrass, chopped
  5. 2 Basil Leaves, chopped
  6. 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  7. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  8. 1 C Chicken Broth
  9. 2 C Coconut Milk
  10. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  11. 1 Lime, juice
  12. 1 tsp Turmeric
  13. 6 Green Onions, chopped
  14. 3 C Broccoli, cut in florets
  15. 3 C Shredded Chicken
Sweet Potato Noodles
  1. 2 Sweet Potatoes, spiralized into noodles
  2. 1 tsp Salt
  3. 1 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
Directions
Thai Chicken Basil Curry
  1. Saute green onions, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and 1 tablespoon of palm oil shortening over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, curry paste, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, turmeric, fish sauce, chicken stock and shredded chicken. Bring to a boil and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the coconut milk reduces to half.
  3. Add in the broccoli and basil and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Sweet Potato Noodles
  1. Steam for 3 minutes over boiling water.
  2. Remove and saute with salt and palm oil shortening in a pan for another 5-7 minutes or until noodles are tender. You may need to do this in batches depending on how many noodles you have.
  3. Layer the curry sauce on top of the noodles and eat your heart out!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Autumn Harvest Salad

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas

Kids are a hoot MOST OF THE TIME. I say most in screaming bold letters because Mason took a deuce (aka…dump, number 2, pinched a loaf, okay you get my point) in the tub last night! Of course Luke was at basketball, so he missed it all!

Yah, so I was looking at recipes on Pinterest when all of a sudden I looked over at Mason and he was literally dropping the kids of at the pool. I tried with all of my might to get him onto to his potty before he succeeded at his mission, but I failed miserably. Instead I found myself hosing down Mason, cleaning toys and bobbing for turds from the tub with a toy frying pan. The whole time I was fishing for turds, he kept saying, “Mommy, there is a poopie right there.” I just kept saying, “Thanks buddy.” YUCK, that was not fun! And just when I thought I had things under control we missed one, he stepped in it and the whole cleansing process started over again. Oh, the joys of parenthood. 

If you have experienced clean up on aisle 9 due to your toddler dumping a load off at Tubville, I would love to hear about it!

Okay, so doesn’t that just put you in the mood for some Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas….

Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas 

Probably not, but by the time you get the groceries, prep the meal, get it in the oven and watch the this yumminess bake away you will have forgotten about my gross story! At least I hope so! 

Anywho, my husband requested this dish. I have a similar one of my blog (Southwestern Lasagna) that is vegetarian. This version is quite a bit different from the other one because I used sweet red pepper hummus, quinoa, chicken and fresh tomatoes. They are both delish (just different) and are especially good topped with some plain Greek yogurt, avocado and a little hot sauce. YUM! In fact, I am going to go get a little bit more right now! 

Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Chicken Stock
  3. 2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  4. 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  5. 4 C Cheddar Cheese
  6. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  7. 2 C Corn
  8. 2 C Greek Yogurt
  9. 2 C Refried Beans
  10. 1 C Sweet Red Pepper Hummus
  11. 12 Corn Tortillas
  12. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  13. 1 tsp Pepper
  14. 1 tsp Cumin
  15. 1 tsp Onion Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add chicken stock and quinoa to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until quinoa is fully cooked. Set aside.
  3. Mix together the Greek Yogurt, refried beans, hummus and spices in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Spread a thin layer of the hummus mixture onto the bottom of a 13x9 glass pan (this will help avoid the tortillas from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan).
  5. Place a layer of corn tortillas on top of the hummus mixture and spread half of the remaining hummus mixture with a spatula on top of the tortillas. Add half of the chicken, veggies, corn, cheese and quinoa on top of the hummus mixture.
  6. Repeat step five again.
  7. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove tinfoil and broil over high heat for another five minutes to brown up the cheese.
  8. Serve with hot sauce, salsa, guacamole and greek yogurt on top.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Kale Berry Mint Salad

After going on vacation I got off my salad for lunch wagon and boy have I been feeling pretty lethargic. Instead of salads I was eating grain based foods, such as gluten free grilled cheese, butternut squash risotto or a gluten free almond butter sandwich. All are healthy and totally yummy, but I just have so much more energy when I incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into my diet as humanly possible. So, in efforts to add salads back in I came up with this new salad. Now, don’t get me wrong I have standbys (one of my favorites being my Southwest Chicken Salad), but this salad is so deliciously different from anything I have ever tasted. The mint adds freshness and creates a burst of flavor that many salads are lacking. This salad is not autoimmune friendly, but could easily be nut free by omitting the cashews. I have them in there because I love having a little crunch in my salads. 

Kale Berry Mint Salad
Serves 2
Mint gives this salad a distinct, but delicious flavor. The crunch from the cashews and kale also add great balance to this salad. Give this a try for a light lunch or as a side dish for some grilled fish or chicken.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Kale Berry Salad
  1. 3 C Purple Kale
  2. 1 C Chicken, cooked and cubed
  3. 1 C Strawberries, chopped
  4. 1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
  5. 1/2 C Cashews, chopped
  6. 1/4 C Fresh Mint, finely chopped
  7. 1/2 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
Balsamic Citrus Dressing
  1. 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  2. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 1/4 C Orange Juice
  5. 1 tbsp Honey
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt
Directions
Kale Berry Salad
  1. Chop all ingredients and add to a medium sized bowl.
Citrus Balsamic Dressing
  1. Add salad dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar. Cover with lid and shake until combined.
  2. Toss dressing and salad ingredients together. Serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Root Vegetable Soup

My favorite soup growing up was my grandma’s chicken noodle soup. Obviously being gluten free, I can no longer eat this delicious soup or the homemade noodles that were doughy and simply melted in mouth. However, after years of watching my mom and grandma make homemade soups, I came up with this version. It does not have any noodles (unfortunately), but has a whole host of wonderful root vegetables that make a hearty and delightful meal. If it is any consolation, my toddler ate three bowls of this soup. I should also mention it is gluten-free, paleo and autoimmune friendly.

Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 6
Delicious and hearty root vegetable soup that is the perfect meal for a cold fall or winter day.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Whole Chicken (rotisserie), free-range
  2. 6 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
  3. 6 Rainbow Carrots, rough chopped
  4. 1 Large Rutabaga
  5. 6 C Water
  6. 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  7. 2 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 tbsp Oregano
  9. 2 tsp Tumeric
Instructions
  1. Remove chicken meat from the bones. Chop up and set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Add vegetables, spices/herbs, water and chicken bones to large soup kettle. Cook over medium high heat until the water comes to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for one hour or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove bones and add cooked chicken before serving.
Notes
  1. I prefer to use a rotisserie chicken and set aside the cooked meat vs. boiling the whole chicken in the pot to make the broth because it leaves the chicken moist. When boiling the meat in the broth it tends to dry out more than I prefer.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Lemon Zucchini Pasta

We have vegetables galore between our garden and our recent CSA share. I used up some in a smoothie this morning, some in a salad for dinner and now more in this refreshing pasta dish. When I say pasta, it is really not pasta, but rather zucchini noodles. Zucchini is the perfect replacement for grain-based noodles because they stay firmer than spaghetti squash. If you have tried it, give it a whirl. I promise you will like it and besides what a better way to use up the oodles of zucchini you probably have coming out of your garden.

Lemon Zucchini Pasta
Serves 6
Summer pasta is something that I have been craving lately, so I threw together this light and refreshing dish today. The best part is it not only gluten free, but it is also grain free since the noodles are made from zucchini.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Medium Zucchini
  2. 2 C Corn
  3. 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  4. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  5. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  6. 1 Orange Pepper, chopped
  7. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  8. 2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  9. 3 Lemons, juice
  10. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  11. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  12. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  13. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  14. 1 tsp Pepper
  15. 1 tbsp Garlic
Instructions
  1. Chop all of the vegetables and make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer. Set aside.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and garlic in a wok or large sauce pan. Add all of the vegetables (except for the zucchini), corn and tomatoes. Cook for 5-7 minutes over medium high until the onions start to become slightly translucent.
  3. Add in the chicken and zucchini noodles. Continue to rotate the noodles so they cook evenly. Noodles will take about 5 minutes to cook. Remove from burner and drain out excess water.
  4. Mix together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and agave nectar.
  5. Transfer noodle mixture to a bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing mixture (I would start with a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches a consistency you like). Use any extra dressing for a salad.
  6. When ready to serve, top with Parmesan cheese (optional).
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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Chicken Zoodle Soup

I am writing up this post while Mason is watching “Curious George.” The cute part is he gleams from ear to ear every time George comes on the screen. Kids are just so adorable! Speaking of kids, we started trying for a second child. However, trying is a loose term because of my husband was recently diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. The arthritis medication used to combat joint degeneration is Methotrexate and unfortunately I have found numerous sources linking this to birth deformities. Sources recommend being clean of this drug for six months before trying. My hubby has not started the drug yet, but we are at a crossroads between delaying treatment versus having a second child. Delaying treatment will cause good cells to be attacked and the excruciating pain to continue and/or get worse. Treating will potentially end our chances of having a second child. This is a tough choice to make, but we have opted for trying for another kid for now since my husband has to take these drugs for a long time anyway!

So, in the meantime we are going to focus as hard as we can on eliminating foods that are linked to aggravating autoimmune conditions. For starters we pulled out gluten and many grains from his diet. This week he also decided to test the elimination of dairy. He is not at the point of 100% paleo plus the elimination of nightshades (e.g. peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes, tomatillos, etc.), but we are slowly getting there. I did however create this yummy recipe that is getting close to the diet he needs (except for the corn). It is also an excellent way to use up zucchini from the garden. Enjoy!

Chicken Zoodle Soup
Serves 8
Zucchini noodles are the perfect substitute for the grain based alternatives in chicken noodle soup.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Summer or Yellow Squash
  2. 4 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 1 lb Chicken, cooked and chopped
  4. 1 Onion, chopped
  5. 1 C Peas, Frozen
  6. 1 C Corn, Frozen (Optional, omit for Paleo diet)
  7. 64 oz. Chicken Stock
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 1 tsp Black Pepper
  10. 1 tsp Curry Powder
  11. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  12. 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  13. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
Instructions
  1. Heat up coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the carrots and onion. Cook until onions are translucent (approximately 8-10 minutes).
  2. Add in the chicken stock, peas, chicken, corn and spices. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
  3. While soup is simmering, make zucchini (and or yellow squash) noodles with a vegetable spiralizer. I left the skin on the squash, but removed the two ends.
  4. After 45 minutes add in the zucchini noodles. Cover and let the soup cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Notes
  1. I bought a free range rotisserie chicken from our health food store to avoid having to roast the chicken on my own. Passing along this tip just in case you are in a time crunch like I was when making this recipe.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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