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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Frozen Strawberry Parfait

Another breakfast item, whoop, whoop! I love smoothies, but sometimes I want them to be thicker and have some crunch to them! To get this effect yesterday, I made a smoothie, but added less liquid to make it thicker and layered it between a nut mixture to give it some crunch. I was also able to sneak some spinach into the smoothie layer too. I know kids are suckers for not wanting to eat greens, but I bet you they would eat this and not even know there was spinach in there (well unless they see you make it). 

I must admit that even though I am loading this recipe under breakfast, I actually made this for lunch because I wanted a strawberry spinach salad, but wasn’t in the mood for physically eating spinach. I go through streaks where I am salad fanatic and then don’t want to be near greens for months. What to do? Well, put greens in something so I don’t even know I am eating them. Yep, yep, just call me a BIG KID. 

At any rate this totally hit the spot! Enjoy! 

Frozen Strawberry Parfait
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
Frozen Strawberry Layer
  1. 1 C Frozen Strawberries
  2. 1 C Spinach
  3. 1 C Ice
  4. 1 C Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  5. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  6. 3/4 C Pomegranate Juice
  7. 1/2 C Water
Almond Coconut Granola
  1. 1/4 C Almonds
  2. 1/4 C Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
  3. 1 tsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  4. 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  5. 1 C Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Directions
Frozen Strawberry Parfait
  1. Place smoothie ingredients into a high powered blender. Blend on low to get the ingredients to start mixing together and turn to high. May need to stop periodically and mix everything together by hand a few times (or use the plastic mallet that comes with your blender to push the ingredients towards the blade while mixing). Stop when the ice, spinach and frozen strawberries are blended together.
Almond Coconut Parfait
  1. Pulse together almonds, coconut and sweeteners in a small food processor. Chop together until the almonds and coconut are into smaller pieces.
  2. Add 1/2 of the frozen strawberry layer to a glass, top with fresh strawberries and a tablespoon of the granola mixture. Repeat this and add more granola/strawberries to the top.
  3. Serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Oatmeal ‘Cookie’ Shake

I made this for lunch the other day because I wanted some oatmeal cookies! This definitely hit spot without giving me a sugar crash like cookies do. I am always trying to substitute unhealthy items with healthier alternatives. Plus, I wanted to gear up my smoothie/shake lineup for the 21 day slim down challenge we starting on Monday! We have 21 people doing the challenge, which is totally awesome. Nothing makes me happier than seeing 21 lovely ladies and even some DUDES taking the initiative to eat healthy, exercise and have FUN while doing it! Whoop, Whoop.

In spirit of the 21 day challenge, many of the folks doing the challenge are actually do the 21 Day Fix, which breaks out portions into colors. So, for convenience this shake uses 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 spoons.

Oatmeal 'Cookie' Shake
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  2. 2 C Ice
  3. 1 1/2 C Water
  4. 1 C Almond Milk
  5. 1 tbsp Almond Butter
  6. 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1/4 C Oatmeal
  9. 2/3 C Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Add ingredient to blender and mix until combined. For a thicker shake add more ice or for a thinner shake add more water.
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 32 ounces and serves a meal replacement or yummy snack.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Coconut Mango Smoothie

In efforts to be more “thrifty” I have started to check out books from the library instead of buying them used on Amazon. Well this plan was working out rather nicely until I spilled a glass of water all over “Gone Girl”. I attempted to dry it out and return it hoping that I could get away with it. However, yesterday afternoon I get a call from the librarian, asking me if I had an accident with the book. Me….pause and then “Um, yep I sure did!” LOL! So, end of the story is there is a stop hold on my library account until I pay for a new copy. So, my effort to be thrifty is amounting to a $23.75 replacement fee. CURSES!

Now that I shared my mishaps, I also want to share this smoothie recipe! All I can say is YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS! It is liquid crack (additive and oh so delicious)!

Coconut Mango Smoothie
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 C Flax Seed Milk
  2. 1 C Pomegranate Juice
  3. 2 tbsp Coconut Butter
  4. 2 C Mango, frozen
  5. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  6. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  7. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt, plain (omit for Paleo diet)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 1 - 32 ounce serving). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
  2. Coconut butter is not the same as coconut oil. For this smoothie, I used Nutiva's Coconut Manna. If you haven't tried it before, do it. It is pureed coconut butter and it is delicious for smoothies.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Mango Ginger Smoothie

In continuing on with my goal of having a smoothie every day for breakfast, I am always thinking about different combinations. One ingredient that I have not touched yet is ginger. Why? Mostly because I am not a big fan of ginger, but I know lots of other people love ginger! 

The main reason I wanted to give a ginger a try in a smoothie is because of its digestive benefits. According to an excerpt on www.livestrong.com

Ginger contains two constituents – gingerol and shogaol – which are thought to help stimulate your body’s flow of digestive juices such as saliva, gastric secretions and bile, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center online. Ginger has been shown in some cases to help improve appetite and reduce digestive problems such as colic, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, gas and indigestion. But one of ginger’s most well-researched benefits is its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting. Ginger may also help increase muscle tone around the intestines and aid the stomach in moving food down the digestive tract. Additionally, ginger may help reduce nausea by interfering with serotonin receptors, which are responsible for sending “vomit” signals to the brain.

So, keeping the health benefits in mind I created this smoothie. If you need a breakfast to calm down some tummy troubles, give this smoothie a try! Even though ginger is not my favorite, this drink was delicious! 

Mango Ginger Smoothie
Serves 1
Start your day out right with this delicious green smoothie. The combination of ginger, lemon, citrus and mango make it light and refreshing.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Mango, frozen
  2. 1 Banana, frozen
  3. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  4. 2 Oranges, juice
  5. 1 Lemon, juice
  6. 1 tsp Crystallized Ginger
  7. 1 tsp Agave Nectar
  8. 1 C Kale
  9. 1 C Carrot Juice
  10. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt, plain (omit for Paleo diet)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 1 - 32 ounce serving). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 

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Berry Zucchini Smoothie

Just getting over a migraine. Boy did a nap help! Not sure if others suffer from migraines. I do not get them often, but when I do they are always with an aura. I call it the crappy ring of fire warning me of a crummy headache to come :) 

Moving on to the goodies, this green smoothie takes on a new twist by adding chunks of zucchini, baby kale, frozen fruit and Greek Yogurt. The main reason why I tossed in the zucchini (which is technically a fruit) is I am trying to use up some of the bumper crop coming out of our garden. Both my husband and I think this smoothie is YUMMY and wanted to pass it along to the rest of you.

Berry Zucchini Smoothie
Serves 2
Trying to use up summer squash from your garden? Toss it in a smoothie with some kale, frozen fruit, pomegranate juice and Greek Yogurt. I promise it will be love at first bite (sip).
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Medium Zucchini, peeled and chopped
  2. 2 C Baby Kale
  3. 3 C Pineapple, frozen
  4. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  5. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  6. 1 C Greek Yogurt (optional, omit if dairy free or strict Paleo)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Pomegranate Tea Smoothie

My first attempt at this smoothie was an epic fail. I started making it at 4:30 AM. I heard Mason whimpering to get up, so I started up the blender and ran upstairs to get him. While pulling him out of the crib, I heard an enormous CRAAAASSSHHHH! Mason is in the repeat everything mommy and day says phase, so inside all I could hear was, “Oh shit!”

We went downstairs and found the dog licking up the smoothie. The crappy part was it was not just on the floor, but along with walls, our cabinets, the refrigerator, pantry door, etc. It was everywhere. Then later in the morning I tried to go for a bike ride and my back tire was completely flat (needs a new tube). At that point the tears starting rolling down my cheeks. Really the smoothie and tire is not a big deal. There are rags and bike shops for that sort of thing! What it really comes down to is I am crabby/shocked/sad/whatever other emotion I can muster up because yesterday my husband was diagnosed with Psoratic Arthritis at the age of 36. I just keep thinking okay this is not what I want my husband to have to manage for the rest of his life.

At the end of the day, he has a treatment protocol in place and we are just trying to prevent the arthritis from doing more damage than it already has. I know it is just an adjustment and things will get back to normal, but it is just the initial shock that is hard.

Anyway, to make light of this story, I held my chin high and made another smoothie. This is a green smoothie that is full of antioxidants from the blueberries and pomegranate juice and tastes delicious. Enjoy!

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie
Serves 2
This smoothie is one of my favorite breakfast treats! The green tea, pineapple, blueberry and pomegranate are a wonderful combination that you will absolutely love.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Baby Kale
  2. 3 C Pineapple, frozen
  3. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  4. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  5. 2 C Green Tea, unsweetened
  6. 2 C Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Pineapple Celery Smoothie

Lately, I have been brave about smoothie ingredients. This morning I tossed in some celery, parsley, mixed greens and frozen fruit into the blender and it turned out great! My husband who loves celery in everything (spaghetti sauce and blood mary’s) referred to this smoothie as a delicious, fruit-infused bloody mary. 

If you are new to green smoothies I would recommend starting with my Tropical Green Smoothie, but as you acquire a taste for green smoothies, I highly recommend this one! 

Pineapple Celery Smoothie
Serves 2
Feeling brave, try adding some celery, parsley and mixed greens to a fruit smoothie. These ingredients increase the nutritional content and help to cleanse the body of toxins.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Stalks Celery
  2. 1 C Fresh Parsley
  3. 3 C Mixed Greens
  4. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  5. 2 C Mango, frozen
  6. 2 C Carrot Mango Juice
  7. 1 C Carrot Juice
  8. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  9. 1 tbsp Honey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
  2. Omit Greek Yogurt for strict Paleo diet or if you are looking for dairy free option.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cherry Cilantro Smoothie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peaches were on sale at the grocery store and I have been dying to make a tropical fruit/peach frozen treat to share on my site. This is so delicious it was hard for me to not eat it while taking photos!

Oh and the best part is there are only five ingredients in the frozen yogurt and it is super easy to make too! Finally, for those sensitive to dairy, Greek Yogurt is easier on your digestive system. See my Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe for more details. 

Now for fun, how about we compare my 5-ingredient version (3 of which are types of fruit!) to the highly processed and loaded with food additive frozen yogurt alternatives:

Ingredients in TCBY Butter Pecan Frozen Yogurt:

Skim Milk, Maltodextrin, Polydextrose, Non Fat Dry Milk, Contains 2% or Less of: Erythritol, Maltitol Syrup, Emulsifier and Stabilizer (Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Mono & Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan), Natural & Artificial Butter-Pecan Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Water, Alcohol, Caramel Color), Condensed Skim Milk, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel Color, Whey Protein Concentrate, Disodium Phosphate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Vitamins A & D. Milk cultured with the following live active cultures: B. lactis, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. lactis, L. casei, S. thermophilus, L. rhamnosus. Contains: Milk.

Ingredients in PinkBerry Cookies and Cream Yogurt:

Nonfat milk, sugar, cookies n cream (sugar, enriched flour [wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin moninitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), soybean and palm oil with TBHQ for freshness, cocoa processed with alkali, invert sugar, contains two percent or less of degerminated yellow corn flour, corn starch, chocolate, salt, leavening [baking soda, monocalcium phosphate], artificial flavor, soy lecithin, whey), nonfat yogurt (pasteurized nonfat milk, live and active cultures), nonfat yogurt powder (nonfat milk, culture), dextrose, carrageenan, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono- and digylcerides, rice starch

Ingredients in Kemps No Sugar/Fat Free Vanilla Frozen Yogurt:

Nonfat Milk, Cultured Skim Milk, Maltodextrin, Polydextrose, Sorbitol, Mono and Diglycerides, Food Starch-modified, Locust Bean Gum, Sodium Alginate, Carrageenan, Aspartame, Artificial Flavor, Annatto (vegetable Color), Live And Active Cultures.

Seriously? What the heck is all of that stuff in red? Wouldn’t you feel better knowing you are eating peaches, pineapple, mangoes, Greek Yogurt and honey? I DO & I sure feel better feeding my son homemade frozen yogurt!

Peach Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4
Who doesn't love frozen yogurt? I sure do. This easy to make frozen yogurt is not only delicious, but is loaded with protein from the Greek Yogurt and Vitamin C from the fruit.
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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. 1/4 C Honey
  2. 3 Fresh Peaches
  3. 1 C Mangoes, frozen
  4. 1 C Pineapple, frozen
  5. 4 C Greek Yogurt, plain
Instructions
  1. Remove the skin and pits from the peaches. Cut into wedges.
  2. Place the peaches and the remaining ingredients into a blender and mix until a creamy milk forms.
  3. Pour this mixture into an ice cream maker.
  4. Follow the manufacturers' instructions for making the frozen yogurt (I have a Cuisinart and it took roughly 25 minutes to make).
  5. Serve immediately or in the freezer for later. I recommend buying an ice cream safe container for storage (a regular food storage container will cause ice cream to become rock hard and you will need to thaw it for at least 30 minutes before consuming).
Notes
  1. If you are using an ice cream maker that requires the bowl to be frozen for 24 hours prior, make sure to do this step or your ice cream will not freeze properly.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Lemon Parsley Smoothie

I know what you are thinking…”Parsley? In a smoothie? Is this girl nuts?” Well, that is okay if those thoughts are running through your head. However, make them stop because the fresh herbs make this smoothie delightfully fresh! Plus, according to www.whfoods.com (fantastic site, BTW), parsley:

1. Promotes Optimal Health – Parsley’s volatile oils—particularly myristicin—have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. Myristicin has also been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of parsley’s volatile oils qualifies it as a “chemoprotective” food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).

2. Protects Against Rheumatoid Arthritis – While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitamin C-rich foods, such as parsley, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints. Those who consume the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.

With these cool facts, why not give it a whirl in a smoothie?

Lemon Parsley Smoothie
Serves 2
The fresh herbs in combination with the fresh lemon juice make this smoothie a delightful morning treat!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Spinach
  2. 1 C Fresh Parsley, stems removed
  3. 1 C Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  4. 1 C Apple Juice
  5. 1 C Carrot Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 2 Lemons, juice
  8. 1 tbsp Honey
  9. 3 C Pineapples/Mangoes/Strawberries, frozen
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cherry Lime Smoothie

Just returned from a long weekend in Door County, Wisconsin and trying to catch up on some recipes I made weeks ago! Before getting to this delicious tart and tangy smoothie, I have to post a few photos of Mason in Lake Michigan. Let’s just say he got a little saggy in the pants after falling down in the water from a big wave and he was much braver than the adults by plunging right into the 52 degree water! 

Lake Michigan - Waves

 

Lake Michigan

Now on to the smoothie! This was another creation from my fourteen day cleanse diet. I am now finished with the fourteen days, but I have decided to continue on and do 14 days on and one week off. I am keeping up with this healthy lifestyle not because I need to lose weight (which was not my goal at all), but just because I have tons of energy! Plus, it gets me eating a boat load of veggies, which I love! Imagine me saying “boat” with a thick Minnesota accent too! I am not quite as bad as the actors in the movie “Fargo,” but is it pretty close, “Ya, You Betcha!” 

Cherry Lime Smoothie
Serves 2
Sweet and tangy smoothie where every drink has you reaching for more! Enjoy on as a snack on a hot day or as a meal replacement.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 C Cherries, frozen
  2. 1 C Raspberries, frozen
  3. 1 C Blueberries, frozen
  4. 3 C Kale
  5. 1 Lime, juice
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  8. 2 C Carrot Mango Juice
  9. 1 C Water
  10. 2 C Ice
Instructions
  1. Remove tough stems from kale, reserving only the leaf green leaves for the smoothie.
  2. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  3. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Beef Zucchini Lasagna

My husband and I made this together (well he was more of my Sous Chef/assembly man, but he did a fantastic job)! The best part about this lasagna is it is loaded with yummy vegetables in the sauce and noodles, which are actually thinly sliced zucchini.

For the sauce, I used my butternut spaghetti sauce as the base. I love tossing in pureed butternut or buttercup squash because orange squashes contain a powerhouse of nutrients such as carotenoids (shown to protect against heart disease), beta-carotene (protects against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration), vitamin C (anti-oxidant fighter and reduces risk of inflammation from auto-immune disorders). So, if you cannot tell it is there then why not add it for the health benefits? Or just add it to get your little ones to eat more veggies. Do it, I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU and even if you don’t like squash! 

Anyway, my husband has told me four times that this is some good lasagna, but put a swear word rhyming with trucking in between the “good” and the “lasagna”. The phrase is from “Kids in the Hall” and is a must see episode if you are into comedy! 

After dinner we did some car washing, Mason started with his car first. I had to post the picture because I think it is is adorable! I am really biased though. 

Summertime fun

Now on to the recipe …

Beef Zucchini Lasagna
Serves 10
Need ideas for a grain free alternative to a classic beef lasagna? Look no further by trying zucchini noodles in place of rice or wheat pasta. This recipe is allergy friendly, extremely nutritious and tastes absolutely delicious.
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Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
3 hr 35 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
3 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Spaghetti Sauce (Try my Butternut Spaghetti Sauce)
  2. 2 lbs Grass Fed Ground Beef (if using your own sauce)
  3. 2 C Cottage Cheese (find a brand without carrageenan)
  4. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  5. 1 C Parmesan Cheese
  6. 3 Eggs
  7. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 1 tsp Garlic
  9. 1 C Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  10. 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  11. 5-6 Zucchinis, thinly sliced with food processor or mandelin
  12. 2 C Mozzarella Cheese
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle one teaspoon of sea salt over the thinly sliced zucchini. Assemble a metal cooling rack over a cookie sheet. Place the zucchini on top of the cooling rack and let it sit for 1-2 hours to allow some of the water to drain out of the vegetables. The salt will work to make this process happen and helps to avoid lasagna soup.
  2. After two hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Brown ground beef over medium heat in a large frying pan (not necessary if you are using my Butternut Spaghetti Squash recipe since it already calls for ground beef).
  4. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, Greek Yogurt, parmesan cheese, eggs and remaining spices until combined. Set aside.
  5. Using a glass 13x9 pan, start the lasagna assembly by placing 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Top with lasagna, cheese mixture and more sauce. Repeat this process one more time and then add the mozzarella cheese to the top layer.
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Leave the lasagna under the broiler for another 5 minutes to brown up the cheese. Watch carefully though, because the cheese can burn quickly.
  7. Allow the lasagna to cool for 25-30 minutes before serving. You can eat it early if you are in a time crunch, but waiting allows some of the moisture to be absorbed.
Notes
  1. For a strict Paleo diet, try this cashew nut cheese recipe as a substitute for the cottage cheese/Greek Yogurt filling: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/dips-spreads/raw-cashew-cheese-recipe/.
  2. I am not sure on the ratio in comparison to the cottage cheese and Greek Yogurt mixture, but I am assuming you could make 3 cups as a replacement. Also, leave out the parmesan and mozzarella cheese if you want to make it dairy free. I cannot tell you how these changes will impact the flavor and texture as I have not tried it. However, give it a try and let me know how it turns out.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite treats is ice cream, but my stomach does not tolerate milk based ice creams very well. The downer is that most non-dairy and even dairy brands of ice cream contain additives that have been linked to digestive issues (e.g. the main one is Carrageenan). Here is a link to harmful side effects of Carrageenan as researched by Cornucopia Institute: http://www.cornucopia.org/tell-the-usda-to-remove-carrageenan-from-organic-foods/. For convenience, it is also helpful to know that this ingredient is in products other than ice cream and here are the brands that should be avoided: http://www.cornucopia.org/shopping-guide-to-avoiding-organic-foods-with-carrageenan/. Avoiding this additive is nearly impossible when you are looking for ice cream (dairy or non-dairy).

Since I am able to tolerate Greek Yogurt, but not dairy milk, I have started to make my own. If you want to know why Greek Yogurt is easier on  your digestive system than dairy milk, read up on the interesting tidbits on this link (at a high level Greek Yogurt strains out most of the lactose, making it easier to digest): http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/greek-yogurt-cause-lactose-intolerance-3102.html. Also, here is a link to suggestions from Mark’s Daily Apple on how to overcome lactose intolerance by strengthening your digestive system via probiotics/vitamin D: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-intolerance-what-it-is-and-how-to-determine-if-you-have-it/#axzz360orwMRr. Probably a lot of reading material, but this is the researcher coming out in me and is beneficial for your body. At a minimum, I would recommend taking the time to read up on the health risks of Carrageenan. 

If you are thinking, I don’t have the time to make ice cream, trust me this recipe is much easier to make than standard ice cream. Typically for regular ice cream you have to slowly reduce heavy cream over the stove for approximately 30 minutes, whisking constantly to avoid it from curdling. And that is just cooking time, after slaving away you have to chill in the fridge until it cools and then you can finally load it into the ice cream maker. Boohoo, I don’t have the patience for that process. Oh and ice cream has a boat load of sugar in it.

My recipe substitutes maple syrup or honey for the sugar and takes no time at all! Just mash up some strawberries, toss in some Greek Yogurt, vanilla and maple syrup and BAM you can immediately put it into your ice cream maker. Twenty to thirty minutes later you have a wonderful, creamy and protein rich frozen yogurt treat. 

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Serves 4
Treat yourself on a warm summer day with some homemade frozen yogurt! This creamy & decadent frozen treat is made with Greek Yogurt, fresh strawberries and maple syrup.
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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. 4 C Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  2. 1/3 C Maple Syrup or 1/4 C Honey
  3. 1 tbsp Vanilla
  4. 1 C Fresh Strawberries, mashed
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mash up some fresh strawberries. Make sure you remove the stems.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients until combined.
  3. Add the strawberry mixture to the ice cream mixer and follow the manufacturers' instructions. Mine takes approximately 25 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately or in the freezer for later. I recommend buying an ice cream safe container for storage (a regular food storage container will cause ice cream to become rock hard and you will need to thaw it for at least 30 minutes before consuming).
Notes
  1. If you are using an ice cream maker that requires the bowl to be frozen for 24 hours prior, make sure to do this step or your ice cream will not freeze properly.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Apple Kolhrabi Salad

Day two of PTO, well not really PTO because I have been reformatting this site all day :) At any rate, here I am watching “The Conjuring”, working on my blog and there is a thunderstorm working its magic outside. Talk about a silly idea when I am home alone. I used to love scary movies, but I am not sure that is the case anymore! They really creep me out now.

During a break from the movie, I needed to use up some arugula and garlic greens from our CSA (Crop Share Agreement from www.driftlessorganics.com, I am not getting endorsed to promote them, I just love this farm and their veggies), so I made a creamy arugula salad dressing. This put me in a bit of a pickle because I had dressing, but no salad greens to eat with the yummy dressing.

Going back to the drawing board, I thought why not use fruit, dates and some veggies and see how it tastes. It was a pretty darn good combo I must say! In fact, I liked having greens in the dressing instead of the salad because the leaves tend to get wilted. I am a consistency girl, so once spinach, lettuce or any green is no longer crunchy than I no longer want to eat it. Picky, picky, I know, but at least I try to eat as many of them as possible! 

So, the best part about this salad is you get hints of pepper from the arugula, sweet from the date, salt from the cashews and tart from the apple. It is a wonderful balance of texture and flavors. I will be making this again for sure!   

Apple Kohlrabi Salad
Serves 2
This salad is a wonderful balance of flavor and texture with hints of pepper from the arugula, sweet from the date, salt from the cashews and tart from the apple.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
Creamy Arugula Dressing
  1. 2 C Arugula
  2. 1/2 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  3. 1 Lemon, juice
  4. 1/2 C Garlic Greens
  5. 2 tbsp Honey
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  8. 3 tbsp Olive Oil
Apple Kohlrabi Salad
  1. 1 Pink Lady Apple, chopped
  2. 1/2 C Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  3. 1/2 C Cashews, chopped
  4. 1/2 C Almonds, chopped
  5. 1 Kohlrabi, chopped
  6. 1 C Fresh Blueberries
Directions
Creamy Arugula Dressing
  1. Put dressing ingredients into food processor and mix until creamy. Will take roughly 1 minute.
  2. Add additional honey one teaspoon at a time if you want the dressing sweeter.
Apple Kohlrabi Salad
  1. Chop nuts, dates, apples and kohlrabi (make sure to peel the kohlrabi since the outer skin is tough; I left the peel on the apple).
  2. Put the chopped ingredients and blueberries into salad bowls & top with dressing. I evenly divided mine into two bowls.
Notes
  1. For strict Paleo diet, try coconut milk or a non-dairy yogurt.
  2. Use the leftover dressing for sandwiches or other salads. I actually made a gluten free pizza and used it in place of pizza sauce :)
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Pineapple Banana Lassi

Yesterday, I was on PTO and spent 8 hours reformatting this site. I swear I have carpel tunnel from having to use the mouse so much! I am pretty sure I am seeing-crossed too. Maybe this would be a good time to take an “about me” photo :)

Aside from the behind the scenes work of getting this site ready for prime time, I also did some brainstorming. Okay, every time I go to the India Palace (which is not often enough), I get a mango lassi. The last time we went, Mason ate chickpeas, cucumbers and all of my mango lassi. Well, of course he would. It is loaded with sugar and because he is my kid naturally he gravitates towards desserts!

My mission was to create a variation using pineapple instead of mango and get rid of as much sugar as possible by using dates and fruit as a natural sweetener. I made this for breakfast and it was fantastic! Mason doesn’t know that mommy didn’t share her pineapple lassi this time :) 

Pineapple Banana Lassi
Serves 2
Sweetened with dates, this pineapple banana lassi is out of this world delicious. Give it a whirl with some Indian food or make it for breakfast.
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Prep Time
24 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
24 hr 10 min
Prep Time
24 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
24 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Medjool Dates, Pitted
  2. 1 C Water
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  4. 1 Banana
  5. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  6. 1 1/2 C Carrot Juice
Instructions
  1. Soak the dates in water overnight.
  2. Add dates to blender with juice. Mix until dates are broken down.
  3. Put remaining ingredients into blender and mix until smooth. If it is too thick add additional juice. If too thin add more frozen pineapple.
Notes
  1. I use Fage 2% greek yogurt because it is creamiest and tastes better than the alternative plain yogurts on the market. For strict Paleo, give coconut milk a try instead of Greek Yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Banana Split Parfait

Banana splits are a popular dessert. Why? Good question and I could never come up with a good answer! In fact, when I worked at Dairy Queen I always wondered why any sane person would order a glorified Sundae with bananas & walnuts on it. Ewwww! Speaking of good old Dairy Queen, this was my second shortest job on record. The only one that can top it was my four hour stint at Chilis. Teenager jobs, so much fun! I will save my Burger King experience for another post. 

Anyway, now that I am older and a “little” wiser, I now like everything in a banana split. So, instead of making a dessert, I decided to give it a shot for breakfast. My verdict is that I am still not crazy about the bananas (even though I love bananas on their own), but the rest is fabulous. The bananas are not in the cards for me because of the texture, but for you banana split enthusiasts this is the perfect breakfast for you!

Banana Split Parfait
Serves 2
Hey, banana split enthusiasts, this is the perfect breakfast for you! Bananas, strawberries and pineapple blanketed in layers of walnut granola and chocolate chips. What a great treat to start the day.
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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
  1. 1 C Strawberries, chopped
  2. 2 Bananas, chopped
  3. 1 C Pineapple, chopped
  4. 1 C Granola (I used my homemade peanut butter granola)
  5. 2 tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life)
  6. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  7. 1 tsp Maple Syrup
Instructions
  1. Mix chocolate chips and granola in a small bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir maple syrup into Greek Yogurt. I prefer to use plain so then I can control the amount of sugar, but you can skip this step if you prefer to buy vanilla yogurt.
  3. In two sundae cups, add ingredients in this order: Bananas, granola, yogurt, strawberries, granola, yogurt, pineapple and granola.
  4. Grab a spoon and eat it up!
Notes
  1. If you are not crazy about the bananas (aka....ME), replace bananas with another fruit.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Katie’s Salmon Alfredo

This meal is my sister’s favorite and I want to dedicate this to recipe to her.

IMG_0614[1]

I want to honor Katie for the strength she has had through year’s of therapy, surgeries and doctors appointments due to a head on car collision. I was also in the accident, but came away without physical injuries. However, it has been damn hard to forget the mental ones. As part of my recovery I am sharing my recollection of the accident:

My sister and I are 18 years apart and have different fathers. For Christmas, in 2008, we (meaning my husband, sister and our two dogs – Marley and Scylla) went to visit my dad for an ice fishing trip. Just think Grumpy Old Men with fishing shacks shattered around the lake! Yep, that is Minnesota winter fun! The roads were black ice that day, but we promised Katie we would go fishing. So, we started on our three mile trek to the lake. In route, an SUV lost control and hit us head on. Katie was sitting in the back seat with our doggies and didn’t have her seat belt on. Luckily our Great Dane/Lab mix, Marley, hit the windshield, pushing Katie into the dash/center console. I say luckily because the impact was so forceful that if Marley hadn’t pushed her down my memory of the accident would have been a hell of a lot worse and I think I would need more than a blog post to feel human again. Okay, so everyone lives, but it is the memory that is painful….so here goes…..

After the impact, I made sure Luke was okay, he was, and called for Katie, but didn’t get an answer. I remember thinking WTF…oh no, oh my god, shit, (yep every swear came word to the surface). This sent a wave of panic through my body. I quickly opened up my car door and ran to back door on my side. I opened it not knowing what I would find or what would happen. After I opened the door, our dogs burst out and took off running down the 2-way highway. I tried to round them up, but they were gone. Then it dawned on me to get back to Katie. When I got back, there were people around her and she was lying on the back seat lifeless, her nose was completely crushed and at least a once inch gash was exposed on her forehead. Her once blonde hair was crimson and I remember yelling, “Call 911, call 911” and having witnesses tell me they already did. The police got there immediately and one officer pulled me aside and politely told me that my sister was alive, but I needed to calm down to keep her calm or she would keep me in the back of the police car. Well, I ended up in the back of the police car for what seemed like an hour. Okay, okay, it was really probably 2 minutes, but I took some deep breaths, hoped the worst didn’t happen and focused on our dogs. The cop let me out and I could see Scylla (our Weimaraner) running down the middle of the road, weaving in and out of cars. At one point she ran right past me, but I was not able to catch her. I just kept thinking this dog is my life, I can’t lose her and Katie. Finally, I had to give up and get into the ambulance with my sister. As we were pulling away from the accident, my dad (who was called to the accident and was traveling behind us to go fishing) was able to get Scylla into his truck. This brought a rush of calm until the paramedics started working on my sister. They wouldn’t let me ride in the back because I was a basket case, so I had to ride in the front. However, ambulances are not sound proof, and I can still hear the screams of terror coming out of my sister on the ride. After getting her to the first hospital she was transferred to two different hospitals until ending up in the ICU of a Level One Trauma center. In the end she had a broken jaw, crushed nose and broken skull plate. My dad also found Marley in the driveway of a house a mile away from the accident (both dogs undergoing minor injuries). 

Now, five years later, my sister is still having surgeries to repair her nose and forehead, but she looks absolutely stunning at prom! This photo is our mom, Katie and me. I am actually the tallest (little cheaters have heels on and I do not have any shoes on). 

IMG_0239[1]

Thank you for allowing me to share this experience. I bottled it up for many years, but am now sharing the gory details. I also share it because I want to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt. We are so fortunate to have my lovely sister here today, but it could have been much worse! At any rate, love you sissy!  – Es (my nickname from Katie)

Now onto the recipe. So, I was super excited when shopping for the ingredients for the Alfredo. Our grocery store, which I despise due to lack of quality, recently started carrying fresh, wild caught salmon. Well it is about time! However, I do have to say that I had to throw away a large package of portabella mushrooms because they were rotten. Boo sub-par grocery store, you are my nemesis. I said God Dammit out loud as I was tossing the $8 mushrooms into the trash, when I heard Mason clear as day repeat, “GOD DAMMIT!” Whoops! Looks like mommy needs to watch her language. Honestly, if I didn’t live 20 minutes from the nearest food co-op or Whole Foods, the crummy grocery store we have would not get a dime of my business.

All right, I digress once again. What is exciting, is I was able to use fresh oregano and basil from our garden in the Alfredo. Yummy! Oh and because I am addicted to Fage yogurt, I used this in place of heavy cream. Everything about the dish tasted awesome. Cheers to Katie’s Salmon Alfredo. LOVE YOU BABY SIS!

Katie's Salmon Alfredo
Serves 4
Lemon, fresh herbs and Greek Yogurt make the Alfredo sauce light and creamy. This recipe is frequently requested in my family.
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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 Salmon, wild-caught
  2. 1 lb Quinoa Linguine, cooked
  3. 2 tbsp Fresh Garlic, crushed
  4. 2 Lemons, wedged
  5. 2 tbsp Bacon Grease
  6. 1/4 C Brown Rice Flour
  7. 4 C Whole Milk
  8. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  9. 1 tsp Lemon Pepper
  10. 2 tsp Salt
  11. 1 tsp Pepper
  12. 1 sprig Fresh Basil
  13. 1 sprig Fresh Oregano
  14. 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  15. 1 package Mushrooms
  16. 1 Yellow Onion
  17. 2 C Greek Yogurt
  18. 1 C Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat up large pot of water to boiling and add pasta. Cook according to box directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking. Remove the skin from the salmon by holding the tail on your non-cutting hand and have knife in other. Hold the skin firmly and move the knife flat against the cutting board in a see-saw motion moving down the filet. Make sure the knife blade is flat or you will remove too much of the meat.
  3. Sprinkle the fish with salt, pepper and lemon pepper on eat side. Rub into the meat.
  4. Heat up bacon grease in a large sauce pan and olive oil in a large frying pan (both over medium heat). Add 1 tbsp of fresh garlic to the frying pan.
  5. Add flour to the bacon grease, stirring until a dough forms. Whisk in whole milk 1 cup at a time until mix is incorporated. Keep adding the milk until everything is combined. Turn heat down to low & whisk in Greek Yogurt and parmesan cheese. Add 2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic salt and fresh herbs. I left herbs right on the stem and removed prior to serving.
  6. Add fish to the frying pan. Cook for 4 minutes and turn over. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the filets and cook for another 4 minutes. Set aside on a plate & cover with tinfoil.
  7. Add another tablespoon of garlic to the frying pan and saute onions for 4 minutes. Add mushrooms & pan fry until they are tender. Add this mixture to the Alfredo sauce.
  8. When done, assemble entree with a layer of noodles, sauce and salmon on top.
Notes
  1. My recommendation is 100% against using skim milk over Greek Yogurt! What about the fat you ask? Well, it is good for you in moderation. I know this is counter intuitive given the low fat craze pushing nasty, watered down skim milk, but remember vital ingredients are taken away to get the milk skim and then fortified back into dairy products. Use raw or closest to the natural state as possible and your body will appreciate it!
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Sweet Potato Curry Bisque

After a trip to my favorite Indian restaurant with some co-workers, I was inspired to make a soup out of some of the wonderful flavors/ingredients I sampled from the buffet.

Before getting to how to make the bisque, I have to say that I had a great time catching up with some ladies I have worked with for five years. We bantered on about the recent layoffs, which has left everyone uneasy, and vented about family items. I learned that state colleges in Minnesota now cost $25,000/year. Oh my, do we need to increase the money we put aside for little Mase-Man because tuition will have doubled by the time he gets to college age. Anyway, it left me reeling in shell shock! KA-CHING A LING, there goes our retirement :) All in all, every penny we spend to further our son’s education will be well worth it, but it gave me heartburn hearing the price tag.

WHEW-eeee. Okay, back to the task at hand. This soup is creamy, aromatic and is a beautiful blend of Indian spices. I am a sweet potato and cinnamon junkie, so this savory soup a perfect treat for lunch. Give it a try and let me know what you think.  

Sweet Potato Curry Bisque
Serves 6
Curry, cinnamon and Greek Yogurt make this soup heavenly. Make this soup for lunch or use as an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Medium Sweet Potatoes, rough chopped
  2. 1 Red Onion, rough chopped
  3. 1 Jar Vegetable Marinara
  4. 4-5 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  5. 1 tbsp Fresh Garlic, crushed
  6. 8 C Water
  7. 1 tbsp Bacon Grease
  8. 4-5 Stalks Celery, rough chopped
  9. 2 C Cauliflower Florets
  10. 2 tbsp Madras Curry Powder
  11. 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  12. 1 tbsp Salt
  13. 1 tsp Pepper
  14. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  15. 1 C Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Heat up bacon grease in a large dutch oven. Add sweet potatoes, thyme, garlic, onions and celery & cook over medium heat until onions are slightly translucent. This will take between 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining spices, marinara, cauliflower and water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Transfer in batches to a blender (filling the blender 3/4 of the way full with vegetables and broth). Blend each batch until smooth & transfer to a separate large kettle or bowl. Repeat this process until all of the vegetables/broth have been pureed.
  4. Stir in Greek Yogurt & top with fresh cilantro or hazelnuts.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Strawberry Cupcakes

Every month daycare has a birthday celebration. Since strawberries are in season and Mason cannot eat the gluten cake they normally serve, I created these gluten free & delicious cupcakes for him. I could not have been more elated when his teachers told me he ate the whole thing!

Normally, I do not like to use evaporated cane sugar or processed sugars like powdered sugar, but after having to scratch two batches of strawberry frosting (lots of money down the drain), I used powdered sugar because I knew it would come out to the right consistency. Besides moderation is the key! My husband and his coworker said this frosting is amazing & does not taste as cloyingly sweet as most butter creams.

Strawberry Cupcakes
Serves 12
Adding fresh strawberries to the cake batter and frosting make for a perfect springtime dessert.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
Strawberry Cupcakes
  1. 1 C Butter, softened
  2. 2 C Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Pamelas)
  3. 3 Eggs
  4. 3/4 C Evaporate Cane Sugar
  5. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  6. 1 tsp Baking Powder
  7. 2 tsp Vanilla
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 1 8 oz Strawberry Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
  10. 1 1/2 C Fresh Strawberries, crushed
Strawberry Cream Frosting
  1. 1 C Butter, softened
  2. 1/2 C Spectrum Vegetable Shortening
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla
  4. 2 Lemons, juice
  5. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
Directions
Strawberry Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mash the strawberries in a small bowl with a potato masher. Set aside 1 cup for cupcakes and a 1/2 cup for the frosting.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar with a hand or stand mixer on medium until smooth (will take 2-3 minutes).
  4. Add in eggs, vanilla and salt & mix until smooth (will take another 1-2 minutes).
  5. Mix flour, baking soda and baking powder into the wet ingredients until combined.
  6. Hand stir in the strawberries.
  7. Spoon the batter into the paper liners. Fill the liners about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way to the top or the batter will spill over while baking.
  8. Bake between 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes will be slightly golden brown on top when they are done.
  9. Cool completely on a metal wire rack before frosting.
Strawberry Cream Frosting
  1. While cupcakes are baking, cream together butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla with a mixer on high until smooth. Make sure butter is softened or the frosting will have small chunks of butter in it.
  2. Mix in agave nectar, lemon juice, and strawberries.
  3. Add 1/2 C of powdered sugar. The agave nectar and strawberries add sweetness to the frosting, so the less powdered sugar you add the better. However, in order to reach a butter cream consistency I needed to add about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
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