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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Apple Rosemary Pork

Today marks 8 weeks with two kids under 4 years old. When people ask me how life is with two, the first word that I can think of is “Crazy.” Literally I feel like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep with anything I do. Hurry up and get everything done before all hell breaks loose. Even though our house is chaotic, I wouldn’t change a thing. My little monsters bring me so much joy.

Now onto some meat! Our staple pork roast recipe is my Cranberry Pork Roast. I just made that last week and needed to change it up a bit. This tasty bad boy is made with my favorite spice, rosemary. Yum, yum.

You can really eat this pork roast alone or get creative like we did with some pork tacos (stay tuned for my autoimmune protocol plantain tacos with an apple avocado slaw).

Apple Rosemary Pork
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 hr
Total Time
10 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 3-4 lb Pork Shoulder
  2. 2 C Apple Juice
  3. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
  5. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  8. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  9. 1/2 tbsp Sea Salt
  10. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  11. 1 tsp Black Pepper
  12. 2 Large Sprigs Rosemary
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 8-10 hours on low turning roast over halfway through cooking time.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Scones

 

One of my favorite things to eat with coffee is scones! I remember the first one was over a late night study date with my college friend, Jill. Oh man was it yummy! Normally I am fruit scone connoisseur, but I decided to make these chocolate chip treats for our little man (fully knowing his little fingers would pick out the chocolate chips first). They turned out pretty darn tasty, so I wanted to share the recipe.

Aside from baking, my baby sister graduated from high school. We are 18 years apart and it seems like yesterday that she was just a little peanut at my graduation. Watching her group up has been so much fun and I am excited for her next journey. Here is a picture of her and her boyfriend, Zach after the ceremony.

Katie Graduation

Chocolate Chip Scones
Serves 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 C Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used Pamelas Baking & Pancake Mix)
  2. 1/4 C Honey
  3. 2 tsp Baking Powder
  4. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
  5. 4 tbsp Butter, softened (replace with coconut oil for dairy free alternative)
  6. 1 Egg
  7. 1/2 C Non-Dairy Milk
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add in the eggs, honey, milk, vanilla and butter to the bowl. Mix together with a hand mixer over medium speed for one minute. The batter will be thick.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the cookie sheet. Evenly spread into a circle until the dough is about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the scones start to turn golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife cut the scones into 8 wedges.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Feel free to add nuts to the batter or frost with icing after pulling out of the oven.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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No-Bake Cornflake Treats

My favorite recipe from home education class in middle school was cornflake saucepan cookies. Of course I liked them, the recipe called for a 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of corn syrup, 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter and oodles of cornflakes in just ONE BATCH. What is not to like about that much sugar!

Ever since starting my blog, I have been wanting to make a healthier version of my second favorite cookie (my ultimate favorite is peanut butter blossoms). Notice a peanut butter them in my favorite cookies, LOL. 

When I couldn’t sleep past midnight this morning I decided that instead of getting angry about not being able to get some more zzzzs that I would give this recipe a whirl. They are turned out great even in my zombie like stupor!

I used Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) to be able to send the cookies with Mason to daycare, but you really could use any creamy seed or nut butter. Each one will give you a slightly different flavor. It just depends on if you have allergies you need to work around. The current recipe is nut and peanut free :)

Mason’s first reaction after looking at these cookies was, “What are they? I don’t like them.” The “I don’t like them” came out before he even took a bite. Go figure! I broke one up into smaller pieces for him and told him to try one flake. Now he is halfway through his first cookie and saying, “Mommy these are delicious.”

No-Bake Cornflake Treats
Serves 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 C Gluten Free Cornflakes
  2. 1 C Sunbutter (or favorite nut or peanut butter)
  3. 2/3 C Honey
  4. 1 tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Heat up sunbutter, honey and vanilla in a large microwave safe bowl for 60 seconds. Stir together to completely combine the ingredients.
  2. Add in cornflakes and stir together until the cereal is evenly coated.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper.
  4. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.
Notes
  1. Store in airtight container for up to 3-5 days or in freezer for 1-2 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Raw Peanut Butter Cookies

Daddy is out of town, so I have been on single mom duty this weekend. I have to admit it was much easier to chase around a busy toddler alone when I was not 26 weeks pregnant, actually sleeping more than 5 hours a night and was not side-tracked thinking about my dad’s recent lung cancer diagnosis!

Despite my growing bump and fatigue, Mason and I had a great Saturday. I don’t often say this, but he was an angel the whole day.

Msaon and Berries

We walked to the park, had lunch at a hibachi grill (he loved watching the chefs light things on fire and cook at our table) and finished out the evening with some homemade cookie dough blizzards.

Mason’s favorite part was the ice cream from the blizzards, but mine was the cookie dough. Because the cookie dough was so delicious, I thought it deserved its own lime light!

Seriously if you are craving cookie dough, but do not want to processed sugars, eggs or butter in the dough than you need to give these a try. They are amazing!

Raw Peanut Butter Cookies
Serves 12
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Peanuts
  2. 1/2 C Honey
  3. 1 1/4 C Almond Flour
  4. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  5. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt (omit if peanuts are salted)
  7. 1/2 C Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Add peanuts to a food processor and process until peanut butter forms. This will take between 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour in honey, extracts, salt and almond flour until cookie dough forms. Pulse in chocolate chips.
  3. Grab a spoon and eat the heck out of the dough ladies and gentlemen.
  4. If you have enough dough left, the easiest way to get uniform cookies is using an ice cream scoop. Scoop out the dough onto wax paper and form a crisscross pattern with a fork by pushing gently down in the center.
Notes
  1. Store in refrigerator for 1 week or in freezer for up to 3 months.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Cookie Dough Blizzard

 

Some days you just want something sweet for dinner. I mean really all I wanted was a blizzard from Dairy Queen, but I am frightened by the ingredients in their ice cream so I rarely go. For good reason too….just have a look at the toxic ingredients in Dairy Queen’s soft serve ice cream:

– Calcium Sulfate
– Polysorbate 80
– Magnesium hydroxide
– Xanthan Gum
– Corn Syrup Solids Corn syrup, corn syrup solids, and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are all made from corn, and bottom line, all are sugar and genetically modified)
– Potassium Sorbate
– Mono and Diglycerides
– Guar Gum
– Sodium Phosphate
– Soy Lecithin or Soya Lecithin
– Carrageenan

Sounds yummy, huh? Well, if you were to make homemade ice cream I guarantee you wouldn’t be reaching for any of these ingredients! When I have time and energy I prefer to make my own ice cream from Greek Yogurt. However, dairy is not always my best friend either! Today I decided to use bananas as the base for the ice cream and make a raw cookie dough from peanuts, almonds, honey, vanilla, salt and dark chocolate chips. Doesn’t get much healthier than that! I have to admit it tasted different than the highly unhealthy cookie dough blizzards from Dairy Queen (mostly because of the bananas), but it was delish!

Give it a whirl when you are craving ice cream and want it to be HEALTHY! Or just make the raw cookies. They are incredibly yummy! Doesn’t this picture just make you want to dig in!

Raw Cookie Dough Cookies

Cookie Dough Blizzard
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Cookie Dough
  1. 3 C Peanuts
  2. 1/2 C Honey
  3. 1 1/4 C Almond Flour
  4. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  5. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 C Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
Ice Cream
  1. 3 C Bananas, frozen
  2. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  3. 2 tbsp Cacao Powder
  4. 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  5. 1/2 C Almond Milk
Directions
Cookie Dough
  1. Add peanuts to a food processor and process until peanut butter forms. This will take between 3-5 minutes.
  2. Pour in honey, extracts, salt and almond flour until cookie dough forms. Pulse in chocolate chips.
  3. Freeze for 1 hour to harden it a bit for the ice cream.
Ice Cream
  1. Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. The mixture will be thick, so you will have to stop the blender to stir and start again. I had to do this about 5 times before a smooth ice cream formed.
  2. Cut up the frozen cookie dough and stir into ice cream.
  3. ENJOY!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Whew, I did it! I ran 20 miles yesterday at 18 weeks pregnant. This was a run I have been dreading for the first 15 weeks of marathon training. I was not sure I was going to be able to do it, but I told myself going into it to just finish one mile at a time. All I can say is I felt great the entire run (well, minus having to take 3 bathroom breaks….but hey, when you have a baby pushing on your bladder that is to be expected). Now, I have two easy runs (14 and 10) before the Boston Marathon on April 20th. The hard part is I know I will be running the race a minimum of an hour slower than my usual pace, but in order to keep myself and the baby safe (doctor’s orders) I need to keep my heart rate in check. This requires me to run about 3 minutes per mile slower than usual. I am okay with this because it is knowing that I qualified to be there and participating in Boston is super exciting for me!

Now, besides running I have been craving everything to do with peanut butter, almonds and chocolate the past 6 weeks. I mean seriously! Now, grant it I have found ways to add protein, unprocessed sugars and other wholesome ingredients into my recipes, but still I know I can’t keep up these cravings after the Boston Marathon is over or I will turn into a blimp. Okay, the feasibility of me turning into a blimp will never happen with how active I am, but you get my drift.

So, my recipe for today and sorry about the lapse in posts. Quite frankly I am too tried with working, training for a marathon, being pregnant and chasing around a toddler to have enough energy to post as frequently as I used to. I promise one day I will return to giving you all some incredible recipes again, but for now you have to settle for some chocolate chip blondies. I actually made this as a birthday cake for my wonderful husband.

I have to admit these are incredible! They have a crusty top just like brownies and are incredibly soft on the inside. They remind me of soft batch cookies in the bar form, but the best part is they are gluten free! YUM!!

 

Chocolate Chip Blondies
Serves 16
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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 C Almond Flour
  2. 2 C Almond Flour
  3. 2/3 C Brown Rice Flour
  4. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  5. 1/2 C Butter, room temperature
  6. 2/3 C Evaporated Cane Sugar
  7. 1/3 C Honey
  8. 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla
  9. 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  10. 1 Egg
  11. 1 Tsp Salt
  12. 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  13. 1/2 C Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 cake pan.
  2. Process 1 C almond flour until smooth butter is formed.
  3. Add butter & evaporated cane sugar. Blend until smooth.
  4. Mix in eggs, vanilla, almond extract honey and salt.
  5. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Press dough evenly into the cake pan.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  9. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Trail Mix Cereal Bars

15 weeks as of yesterday. Only 25 weeks to go, but who is counting? ME! 

I know some ladies love being pregnant (why? I will never, EVER understand), I am not a fan. Never was during Mason and am not this time around. I guess the nerves of being the soul provider for a baby really get to me. This is especially because after having several miscarriages I am a nervous wreck and constantly think, “Oh my goodness what if I lose the baby today.” I know, I know that is a horrible thing to say, but when you have faced loss it is hard to block these feelings. Debbie Downer, yes! 

Aside from me being a worry wort, I also do not like to feel like a Goodyear Blimp for 40 weeks. I know part of being pregnant is gaining weight to support the growth of the baby, but being bloated, growing out of your clothes and being endlessly gassy or constipated just flat out SUCKS. I am high endurance athlete who loves to run and all of these things make doing my favorite stress reliever extremely difficult. Yes, I still ran into 37 weeks with Mason, but 30 to 37 I really had to struggle to run 4 minutes per mile behind my normal pace. SNIFF, SNIFF…..it is hard to do my favorite hobby half-assed and more like quarter-assed for 9 months! Actually with after birth recovery it is really closer to 11 months.

Okay, I had to get out my feelings :) Thanks for letting me vent.

Aside from my depressive, I hate being pregnant rant….I did make some really tasty trail mix cereal bars this week. I made these two days ago and the pan is already over half gone. Mostly because my husband took some with him for his boy’s date night with neighbors. Although I do have to say that Mason and I put a pretty big dent into them too.

My main reason for making these was I wanted rice crispy bars, but didn’t want to use corn syrup or marshmallows. So, I replaced the nasty and unhealthy sweeteners with a combo of honey, maple syrup and can sugar. THEY ARE YUMMY FOLKS!  

Trail Mix Cereal Bars
Serves 16
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 C Brown Rice Cereal
  2. 1 C Sunbutter
  3. 1/3 C Honey
  4. 1/3 C Maple Syrup
  5. 3 tbsp Evaporate Cane Sugar
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  8. 1/2 C Peanuts
  9. 1/3 C Raisins
  10. 1/3 C Chocolate Chips or Chocolate Coated Candies
  11. 1/3 C Yogurt Covered Raisins
  12. 1/3 C Dried Cranberries
Instructions
  1. Heat sunbutter, vanilla, evaporated cane sugar, honey and maple syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir occasionally to prevent the sunbutter mixture from burning.
  2. Add in the brown rice cereal and mix together until the cereal is evenly coated with the syrup.
  3. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Press down in a 13 X 9 cake pan with parchment or wax paper. Wait 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  5. Store at room temperature for up to five days (if they last that long).
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Peanut Butter Pudding

Pregnancy craving of the day….peanut butter cookie dough! 

I was seriously envisioning making up an enormous batch of cookie dough and eating it to pieces.

However, these dreams were crushed when it dawned on me that we didn’t have any butter. RATS! Back to the drawing board…..BOO, HOO! 

Finally I decided to make the peanut butter protein pudding I used to eat every morning for breakfast. Except in this version I added another protein source through chickpeas. 

Chickpeas? Yes, you read that right! Before you turn your nose up or completely dismiss this recipe (which I am sure many of you already have) know that chickpeas have a very mild flavor and create a wonderful creamy dip when pureed. It is the perfect protein source to for this scrumptious treat!

Trust me when I say this pudding tastes amazing and is good for you too :) 

Peanut Butter Pudding
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Peanut Butter
  2. 1 Can Chickpeas
  3. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  4. 1/4 C Honey
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tsp Vanilla
  7. 4 tbsp Mini Chocolate Chips (optional topping)
Instructions
  1. Blend together chickpeas, peanut butter and Greek yogurt in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Add in honey, vanilla and salt and mix together until combined.
  3. Divide into bowls, top with chocolate chips and chill for one hour before serving.
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Egg-Free Sandwich Bread

I have been placing very little or no attention to making breads on my blog. Primarily because making breads is tricky. If you have too much Xanthan gum the bread comes out hard as a rock; if you do not have enough protein binder it will come out crumbly/grainy. After years of being gluten free I have tried numerous store-bought breads (only one worth buying is Udis) and have tried making some at home. I already have a quinoa bread recipe on her that is great, but I wanted to try another version without using eggs. Yesterday I tried something new, I didn’t follow the flours in any recipe and just said, “I want to try my own blend that has a high concentration of protein and see what happens.” I mean really who gives a hoot if it doesn’t turn out. 

So, knowing that gluten based breads have a protein structure from the gluten that makes them stretchy, I added both psyllium husk and used almond flour as one of the main flours. This was a good call because the bread was doughy in the center like a would expect from homemade gluten free breads! In all, I personally think this bread is a great substitute when you need to eat gluten free. Oh another obstacle I wanted to concur was making it vegan (e.g. no dairy or eggs). Eggs also serve as a protein and binder, which is another reason for the psyllium husk! I did this because my husband can’t have eggs or gluten right now (doctor’s orders) and he told me he has been craving a sandwich. What a good wife I am slaving away for an hour just so he can have some homemade bread. 

This bread was great straight out of the oven with some almond butter and jam. We also toasted some for sandwiches for lunch and it turned out very well too! Enjoy! 

The bread will keep for a couple days at room temperature or you can slice it and freeze it for use later. Will keep for 3 months in the freezer.  

Egg-Free Sandwich Bread
Serves 8
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Blanched Almond Flour
  2. 1/4 C Tapioca Flour
  3. 3/4 C Potato Starch
  4. 1 C Sweet Sorghum Flour
  5. 1 1/2 C Lukewarm Water (110 degrees roughly)
  6. 1/4 C Agave Nectar or Honey
  7. 1 tbsp Instant Yeast
  8. 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  9. 3 tbsp Psyllium Husk
  10. 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  11. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  12. 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and shut off. Will be used for rising the dough.
  2. Place yeast and honey in a small bowl. Mix together lukewarm water until yeast has dissolved. Set aside for five minutes to allow yeast to brew.
  3. In a stand-mixer combine the dry ingredients together. Add in the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and yeast mixture. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes to allow air to enter into the dough.
  4. Grease a bread loaf pan with olive oil spray. Place dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Place in warm (but turned off) oven for 30 minutes with the door open a crack.
  5. Take the bread out, remove plastic or towel and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Bake bread for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Turn temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Bread should have a golden brown crust and soft center.
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.
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Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I have been on a quinoa salad kick lately! My last two salads have been centered around this delicious little seed :) Why not when it tastes delicious right? I love this one because of the cranberries, apples and brussel sprouts. I am a crunchy salad kind of girl so this one was right up my alley! 

Aside from salads, I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays. We were blessed to have a wonderful Christmas in Alexandria! My dad bought $96 worth of king crab and boy did it hit the spot. I love, love Alaskan king crab. It reminds of me of living in Alaska and one of my favorite TV shows, Deadliest Catch. Yummy!

We also spent some time swimming with Mason at the hotel pool. They had a kiddie pool and boy did the little guy get brave at the end. He kept running, losing his balance and then doing a nose dive head first into the water. Obviously we were there to catch him every time, but his face was classic when he came out of the water! 

Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. 1 C Quinoa
  2. 2 C Water
  3. 3/4 C Cranberries
  4. 1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
  5. 2 C Brussels Sprouts, shaved
  6. 2 Small Apples, chopped
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  2. 3-4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Apple Juice
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 3 Tbsp Honey
  6. 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  7. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions
Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  1. Add two cups of water to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Add quinoa and turn down heat to simmer (low). Cook for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed. Set aside and allow to completely cool before adding other salad ingredients.
  2. Chop up the apples and shave the brussel sprouts either with a mandolin or food processor. Put all of the salad ingredients into a medium size bowl. Add quinoa once it has come to room temperature.
Apple Cider Dressing
  1. Add dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar or a food storage container. Add lid and shake until completely combined.
  2. Toss the dressing into the salad when ready to serve.
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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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Maple Sugar Cookies

Christmas is approaching fast and normally I make oodles and oodles of cookies. In my gingerbread smoothie post, I mentioned that the smoothie was able to curb my cookie craving. Ya, okay that was short-lived. It lasted until the afternoon and after seeing numerous posts on Facebook of others making Christmas goodies I just had to make a least one cookie for the holidays! I know, I know I caved as I am supposed to be doing the Autoimmune Protocol diet with my husband. My primary motivation to do it with him was to clean my leaky gut and see if I can reintroduce oatmeal and dairy. I am finishing out the last 3 weeks, but really needed a cookie :) Hopefully doing the last three weeks will still do the trick! 

Another reason why I made them is to start a holiday tradition with Mason! Growing up I cherished the bonding time my mom and I had while making Christmas cookies. Even though it took twice as long to roll out the dough, cut out the cookies and decorate them, Mason had a blast. Plus, he was trying to sneak cookie dough every second he got, which is something I would do when my mom turned her back to grab sprinkles or toss a pan of cookies in the oven. He he he! Like mother like son I guess, but hey who doesn’t love cookie dough!  

Also, you may wonder why I didn’t try to make a Paleo or AIP cookie? Well, quite frankly with a no nut policy at daycare, I can’t use coconut flour or almond flour, so that leaves rice flour because we eat gluten free in our house. Plus, I don’t want my kid to grow up not experiencing the joys of cookies, so I made these maple sugar cookies for him to take with to school on Friday for their cookie decorating event. 

Maple Sugar Cookies
Serves 18
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Palm Oil Shortening
  2. 1 3/4 C Brown Rice Flour
  3. 2/3 C Potato Starch
  4. 1/3 C Tapioca Flour
  5. 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
  6. 1 tsp Baking Soda
  7. 2/3 C Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
  8. 1/4 C Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
  9. 1 tsp Maple Extract
  10. 2 Egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together shortening and sugar together with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs, honey, salt and maple extract and mix together for another minute until combined.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients until large clumps of dough forms.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Roll out onto a flat surface (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) with a small amount of brown rice flour and a rolling pin. Make shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.
  7. Place the cut out cookies evenly (about 1/2 inch apart) onto baking sheets & cook for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  9. Allow the cookies to come to room temperature before decorating.
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Pumpkin Spice Granola

With Thanksgiving coming right around the corner I have been craving pumpkin pie! However, I have never really been fond of the crust. I usually would eat the filling and leave the crust sitting miserably on my plate. However, I love granola. I could eat it for every meal! So, this recipe goes out to all of you pie crust haters!

I served this granola with my sweet potato pudding recipe! YUMMY! Eat your heart out!

On a side note, I have to let you know that I pulled this granola out of the oven right before I went to pick Mason up from daycare. I also had his dinner all set to go. As soon as he saw this granola it was all she wrote with his dinner. Good news is he loved it! He had two bowls with some yogurt.  

Pumpkin Spice Granola
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Coconut Flakes, unsweetened
  2. 1 C Carob Chips
  3. 4 tbsp Sunbutter
  4. 1/4 C Honey
  5. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  6. 1 C Banana Chips
  7. 1/4 C Pumpkin Puree
  8. 2 tsp Cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  10. 1/2 tsp Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place ingredients into a food processor and pulse 10-15 times until every thing is combined into small clumps.
  3. Pour granola evenly onto a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes stirring half way through.
  5. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes before serving.
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Blueberry Basil Smoothie

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

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

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

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

Blueberry Basil Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 Small Basil Leaves
  2. 2 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 2 C Cherries, frozen
  4. 1 C Strawberries
  5. 1 C Purple Kale
  6. 2 C Spinach
  7. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 1 tsp Honey
  10. 2 Tangerines, peels removed
  11. 2 Bananas, peel removed
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
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Apricot Cashew Cups

This recipe is the beginning of many energy bars, cups, balls and bites that I will be making over the next 22 weeks for Boston Marathon training.

I am fully aware that it would be a hell of a lot easier just to grab a box of Clif bars from the store. However, the protein blend in these bars typically contains soybeans, soy protein, soy flour, rice flour and barley malt and a grain blend of inulin, flaxseed, oat bran and psyllium! Soy, barley and oats are difficult for me to digest and give me intestinal distress, so this recipe is my attempt to make a more allergy friendly alternative for fueling my runs.

The star ingredients are cashews and apricots, but I tossed in Maca as an added bonus. Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. The key benefit of Maca is it has been associated with enhanced athletic performance. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, examined “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

You will also notice I have included carob chips and are probably curious as to why I am classifying this recipe as Paleo when carob is a legume. Well, according to Mark’s Daily Apple, it is Paleo-friendly because we are actually consuming the carob pod and not the seed where harmful anti-nutrients reside. 

Apricot Cashew Cups
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Cashews, Raw
  2. 1/2 C Apricots
  3. 3 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla
  6. 2 tbsp Honey
  7. 1/2 C Carob Chips
  8. 1 C 65% Dark Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Put 2 cups of the cashews, apricots and coconut palm sugar in a food processor and process until broken down into fine pieces (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add salt, vanilla, carob chips, honey and remaining cashews. Pulse 10-15 times until cashews have been broken down into small pieces.
  3. Line muffin tin with paper cups. Press down the cashew mixture into cups about 3/4 of the way up. Make sure to firmly press into cups before adding chocolate.
  4. Pour chips in microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Repeat 3-4 times until chocolate is melted. Do not over do it or chocolate will become lumpy.
  5. Pour a thin layer of chocolate into each cup. I use a large soup spoon and then push it out to the edges.
  6. After cups are filled, you can smooth out the chocolate more by tapping the muffin tin lightly on the counter a couple of times.
  7. Place muffin pan in refrigerator for an hour before serving.
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Carrot Tangerine Gummies

Halloween is right around the corner! I have been watching two shows that definitely fit the bill for Halloween type thrillers, “The Walking Dead” and “The Following.” Both are highly entertaining, but “The Following” is just beyond moral! I can’t believe that many people would actually follow along with a serial killer. Yikes, be nice crazy people they all have families! I know, I know it is just a movie, but still there are creepy creeps who would actually do something that terrible! I am actually watching “The Following” while typing up this post :) 

Back to Halloween talk, my little man is going to be Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Halloween. I can’t wait to share photos of him trick or treating with everyone! For now, I pulled out his photo from last year. He was the Cookie Monster and wanted to go inside everyone’s houses. I love this photo because he looks so unsure about being all dressed up! A little grumpy actually. Still cute though. 

Cookie Monster

I could just look at pictures of my little guy all day long, but I should probably talk about the gummies! I bought this pumpkin silicone mold on Amazon and have been dying to make some fruit and veggie gummies for Mason.

Today I finally got around to making some! For gelatin, I bought this brand on Amazon, Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin. It is grass fed and extremely healthy for you. One take-away you must know is that not all gelatin should be created equal. You may be tempted to buy gelatin from your local supermarket. I don’t blame you, it is cheap and readily available. BUT and a BIG BUT, this gelatin is made from unhealthy animals who are grain-fed and stand around in their own feces all day long! Living in inhumane conditions makes these poor animals prone to infection. To avoid disease, these animals get pumped full of antibiotics, which leads to imbalanced gut flora. Also, grain-fed cows are fed unsafe genetically modified grains, prone to bad bacteria and have a higher tendency of developing food borne illness such as E.coli contamination. 

Cows are supposed to eat grass! It keeps them lean and healthy without the need for antibiotics. Pasture raised animals products are healthier because they contain more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. So, when making your own gelatin it is very important to buy a grass-fed gelatin. 

Now, why should gelatin be included in your diet? There are a whole host of health benefits, but the following reasons are why my family includes gelatin in our diets are:

1) Digestion: Glycine (amino acid) found in gelatin has been found to elevate levels of hydrochloric acid, which is necessary to absorb nutrients and helps aids in the digestion of protein from muscle meats. Adelle Davis and Linda Clark found that as we age levels of hydrochloric acid are depleted, contributing to malnutrition issues, such as anemia. According to Davis, “Too little hydrochloric acid impairs protein digestion and vitamin C absorption, allows the B vitamins to be destroyed and prevents minerals from reaching the blood to the extent that anemia can develop and bones crumble.”1

2) Arthritis Support: Gelatin contains Chondroitin, which is a supplement taken by arthritic sufferers to reduce pain and stiffness. Gelatin is therapeutic for joint, cartilage and tendon health because this form of dissolved connective tissue from animal bones contains proline and glycine. John F. Prudden, MD, DSci discovered therapeutic doses of proline and glycine dramatically improved rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative autoimmune conditions and digestive based conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases.2

3) Lowers Inflammation: Lean protein is heavily consumed in American diets to “promote” heart health. However, the compounds of tryptophan and cysteine contained in lean meats inhibit our thyroid from functioning properly, which in turn causes inflammation and elevated levels of stress in our bodies. This imbalance can be improved by adding gelatin to our diets.3

Davis, Adele, Let’s Get Well (Signet, 1972), p. 142.

Prudden, JF, The biological activity of bovine cartilage preparations, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatology, 1974, III, 4, 287-321.

3 Peat, Ray, Gelatin, Stress and Longevity. http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/gelatin.shtml.

Carrot Tangerine Gummies
Serves 20
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 C Carrot Juice
  2. 1 1/2 C Tangerine Juice
  3. 2 C Fresh Mango
  4. 6-8 tbsp Honey
  5. 7 tbsp Grass Fed Gelatin
Instructions
  1. Put mango, tangerine juice and carrot juice into a high-speed blender. Combine until a smooth juice forms. Transfer juice to a small saucepan.
  2. Add the gelatin to the fruit juice and allow it to bloom for a couple of minutes. Blooming means the liquid will absorb the gelatin on the surface. After the blooming occurs, stir in the gelatin completely with a wire whisk. This mixture will be slightly thick.
  3. Place over medium heat and continuously stir until the liquid becomes thin and runny. Make sure the liquid is warmed through completely, but never let it boil or the gelatin will not set up properly.
  4. Stir in the honey until combined and pour into a gelatin candy mold or a 13x9 cake pan.
  5. Cool for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Notes
  1. Pour any leftover gelatin mixture into a baking pan and cut into squares after it sets in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Modern Parents Messy Kids
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Loaded Bacon Boats

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

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

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

Incredibly excited! We just booked our trip to New England in April, so I can run in the Boston Marathon! This has been on my bucket list for years. I have qualified for the race three times and the previous two times I was not able to go because A) the race closed within 8 hours of registration and B) I had Mason and did not think I would be ready in time for the race. I guess the saying goes, “The third time is a charm.” We are also traveling to the race early to be able to visit family and friends in New Hampshire. Hopefully my mom and sister will be able to travel to see me race as well, but for now my Husband’s mom, Milly, my husband and Mason are flying to Boston to join in on the fun. Keeping my fingers crossed on my side of the family!

Outside of this exciting news, I am also gaining great management experience. Recently I was promoted to a research director, so I now manage a team of four health care researchers. Talk about a trip!  I never imagined how much additional work from an HR perspective is involved (hiring, corrective action plans, making employees happy, etc.). Despite all of these challenges, I actually liking it more than I thought I would. So, thanks to my manager for giving me the opportunity. 

With being a manager, training for a marathon, adding/creating recipes for BareRoot Kitchen and keeping up with my busy toddler, I am trying even harder to be 100 percent focused on putting the best foods as humanly possible into my body. With this goal, I always have a green smoothie for breakfast and try to have a salad for lunch. I just love how many vitamins and minerals I am consuming in my first two meals. Plus, it gives me oodles of energy! I have noticed that after following a smoothie/salad diet for the last 3 months that I have slept better (actually needing less sleep), had considerably more energy and much better mental clarity (can accomplish work tasks quicker).

This all leads me to the new salad I created yesterday. I have added fresh dill to salads before (try my Salmon Avocado Salad), but it has been a while and boy, I should be added this herbs to salads more often because the result is YUMMY! I really loved this salad! I had it for lunch, but it would be a wonderful side dish to my Sweet & Spicy Chicken or Cherry BBQ Spare Ribs.  

Fresh Herb Market Salad
Serves 2
Dill and parsley give this salad wonderful flavor. I recommend serving this as a side dish to either my Cherry BBQ Spare Ribs or Sweet & Spicy Chicken.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Fresh Herb Salad
  1. 2 tbsp Fresh Dill, roughly chopped
  2. 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
  3. 4 C Mixed Greens (Beet greens, arugula, baby kale & spinach blend)
  4. 3 Radishes, thinly sliced
  5. 1 C Broccoli Florets, roughly choppped
  6. 3 Mini Bell Peppers (red, orange and yellow for color), roughly chopped
  7. 1/4 C Feta (optional; omit for Paleo diet)
Citrus Vinaigrette
  1. 1/4 C Orange Juice
  2. 1 Lemon, juice
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/4 tsp Salt
Directions
Fresh Herb Salad
  1. Chop and toss salad ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
Citrus Vinaigrette
  1. Add ingredients into a quart sized mason jar. Shake until the olive oil, vinegar and juice are thoroughly combined. If the oil separates just shake it up again.
  2. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve with your favorite entree.
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