Vegan Ranch Kale Chips

Our little man is teething, I think. Poor baby. He had at least an hour of uncontrollable fuss yesterday until I finally decided to dope him up with some ibuprofen. Not a big fan of pain meds, but I would much rather do that than the tooth numbing tablets that have resulted in babies choking. I also rubbed his gums with my finger. He settled down right away and was leaning into it like a dog when you scratch their ears. I just pictured him going, “Oh yah! That’s the spot, Mom.”

Today, we are going to have a play date with one of Mason’s old classmates. We switched his daycare center and one of the tough things was leaving his old friends behind. Well, luckily when I was out on a run I ran into the mom and dad of Mason’s old bestie! We are going to start having more play dates for the kids. They haven’t seen each other in 6 months so it will be interesting to see if they remember each other and what they do when they see each other for the first time again :)

Now, on to my snack attack. I love kale chips and I have been looking for a little variety in my kale chip addiction, I decided to switch up my ‘Cheesy’ Garlic Kale Chip recipe by making a vegan ranch version. The spicier and cheesy version is still my favorite, but this recipe is also very good and especially for those who look ranch dressing! 

Vegan Ranch Kale Chips
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 hr
Total Time
12 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 C Kale or 2 Large Bunches
  2. 1/2 C Nutritional Yeast
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 1/2 C Water
  5. 1 1/2 C Hummus
  6. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  7. 1 tbsp Salt
  8. 2 C Cashews, raw
  9. 1 Lemon, juice
  10. 1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  11. 2 tbsp Chives, chopped
  12. 1 tbsp Basil, chopped
  13. ¼ tsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. Tear off the kale leaves from the tough inner stems. The kale will shrink in the dehydrator to about half of its original size, so keep the leaves between 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Place the leaves in a large bowl.
  2. For the non-dairy ranch sauce, add the remaining ingredients to a high-powered blender. Puree ingredients together until the sauce resembles a cheese sauce.
  3. Pour the ranch sauce over the kale and mix together until it covers the leaves evenly.
  4. Add the kale in a single layer onto the dehydrator trays. Dehydrate the kale at 135 degrees for 10-12 hours.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Almond Chop Salad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mason Surgery

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

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

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

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

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

Well, I am officially 23 weeks along. Only 17 weeks plus or minus a few until we meet our new little dude. Both Luke and I were baffled last night by the size of newborn diapers as I was putting some into our changing. They are just so TINY and we don’t remember Mason being that small anymore. Yikes! I am sure it will be like riding a bike though. Once the little man is in our arms we will immediately know what to do.

We also starting prepping the nursery. For Mason, we painted his room a light blue. We decided to go with yellow this time around and the first paint looked like the sun and I mean a bright sun blew up on the walls. Seriously, you needed to wear sunglasses to even enter the room. Luke showed it to Mason and his response was, “Oh, it is beautiful daddy.” However, we just had to repaint with a more toned down shade of yellow!!

Aside from the prepping the nursery we are also in the process of building Mason (and baby #2) a sand box. We have been letting him play in our unplanted garden bed (aka… what I call the dirt box), but man does he get dirty. Grant it sand is not much cleaner, but at least you can brush it off easier than dirt.

We have also been planting our garden with cold weather crops, such as kale, spinach, peas, onions, green leaf lettuce, carrots, etc. They are coming up nicely and boy I cannot wait to eat them soon! With summer coming right around the corner, I really wanted to make a refreshing smoothie for breakfast. Hence the mix of melon and berries along with salad greens. YUM-O! Hope you enjoy!

Berry Melon Smoohtie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Spinach
  2. 1 C Honeydew
  3. 1 C Watermelon
  4. 1 Banana
  5. 2 C Berries, Frozen
  6. 1 1/2 C Apple Juice
  7. 1 1/2 C Water
  8. 1 Lemon, juice
  9. 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Paleo Noodle Lasagna

You may have noticed that my blogging activity has decreased over the last month. The main reasons for my absence is nothing has tasted good for the last 14 weeks. Many things like salad greens repulse me beyond belief and I am VEGGIE LOVER!

Oh, the joys of being pregnant! So, because I have been eating very bland and boring things repetitively, I have not mustered up the creativity to actually put something on her that is BLOG WORTHY! 

Until today…….

I actually had a craving for lasagna, but the real deal. I didn’t want to use zucchini noodles, because veggies sound terrible right now and quite frankly as much as I love my Beef Zucchini Lasagna recipe it really only tastes good fresh. I am a leftover SNOB and I just can’t get myself to eat this dish after the first day. 

SO…..my husband can’t tolerate rice (it flares up his arthritis symptoms, leaving out rice noodles) and cannot have corn yet (leaving out corn noodles), but he is now okay with tomatoes, peppers and almonds. HOLLER, HIP-HIP-HOORAY, because this makes meal time way less restrictive. Anyway, I researched how to make fresh almond flour noodles and found a fabulous recipe from Brittany Angell for the noodles in this recipe.

Luke has not been able to reintroduce cheese yet. This was the second challenge on making this dish! Traditional lasagnas are made with ricotta. Oh boy, what to do? Well, I found a great dairy free recipe using almonds. The consistency came out perfect and made this lasagna irresistibly creamy! 

Finally, I topped half of the lasagna with cheese and I really should have only done a 1/4 of it because Luke had half of it gone in two days! More for me, boom!

Oh and I must also mention this dish tastes wonderful fresh out of the oven and heated up the next day in the microwave, which is a major bonus that I was striving for when making this dish.

This is my favorite lasagna I have on my blog. They are all good, but this one just takes the CAKE! 

Paleo Noodle Lasagna
Serves 8
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Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Prep Time
3 hr
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Ingredients
Almond Ricotta Cheese
  1. 1 1/2 C Blanched Almonds, slivered
  2. 1 C Water
  3. 1 Lemon, juice
  4. 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  5. 1 tsp Sweet Basil
  6. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
Almond Flour Noodles
  1. 3 C Blanched Almond Flour
  2. 6 tbsp Tapioca Starch (or Arrowroot Powder)
  3. 1/4 tsp Salt
  4. 2 tbsp Psyllium Husk Powder
  5. 2 tbsp Water
  6. 2 Eggs
Spaghetti Sauce
  1. 2 - 25 oz. Jars Marinara Sauce
  2. 2 lb. Grass Fed Ground Beef
  3. 1 1/2 C Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  4. 1 1/2 C Mushrooms, chopped
  5. 1 tsp Sweet Basil
  6. 1 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Celery Salt
  8. 2 C Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (optional topping if you tolerate dairy)
Directions
Almond Ricotta Cheese
  1. Place blanched almonds to the blender and cover with water. Allow to soak for at least 3 hours.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend together until it forms a creamy ricotta cheese.
  3. If the cheese is to thick add an additional tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches the correct consistency.
Spaghetti Sauce
  1. Brown the grass fed beef until cooked completely. Add in the basil and salt for flavor.
  2. Pour the spaghetti sauce, chopped mushrooms/peppers, hamburger and celery salt into a large sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat for 30-45 minutes until the mushrooms and peppers start to become a little tender. They will finish cooking in the oven.
Almond Flour Noodles
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl with a pastry cutter. The dough will be very thick and hard to combine at the end, but use your fingers to combine if necessary.
  3. Form into a ball, divide into two pieces of dough and roll out between two pieces of parchment paper one section of the dough at a time.
  4. Make sure to roll out into a thin layer (about a 1/16 to 1/8 inch in size). To form noodles cut with a pizza cutter.
  5. Add a layer of pasta sauce to the bottom of a 13x9 pan.
  6. Top with a layer of the almond flour noodles, half of the almond ricotta cheese (spread out evenly across the noodles) and half of the spaghetti sauce.
  7. Repeat with another layer of noodles, ricotta cheese and sauce.
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella over the top of the lasagna (if you can tolerate dairy). Otherwise leave it off and top with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Brittany Angell
Adapted from Brittany Angell
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Grain-Free Biscuit Pot Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had all intentions on getting my herb roasted turkey recipe onto my blog before Thanksgiving. However, life got extremely busy and we were not home for the holiday this year, so I apologize for the delay in getting this easy fail proof recipe out to you lovely folks. I guess if you make a bird for Christmas (some do) then here you go! 

I know everyone has their favorite ways to cook the bird. Some risk their lives and the vitality of their home by frying it. Even though I know this is probably delicious, I just can’t fathom doing this to a lean and low calorie meat! Or maybe I am just a chicken about getting in front of so much hot grease! Either way I am not a fan of frying the turkey.

Outside of frying, the other alternative is roasting it in the oven. This by far is my preferred method, but then again the preparation of the turkey can be very different. My brother-in-law swears by brining the turkey over night so it stays moist (his turkey is great by the way). I am personally too lazy to go through that much preparation and don’t think it is necessary to get a tasty turkey. Instead I like to create an herb, lemon and olive oil mixture that is spread under the skin of the turkey breasts/legs and then I stuff the inside of the bird with lemon, apple and celery. It is easy and I have been told by several people who do not like turkey (mind you) that my turkey is wonderful.

Now, here we are on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I asked Luke if he wanted to make our turkey and he said he was game. My response was, “Great, I am game too”. Then I asked the little dude if he was game, there was a slight delay and then a solid, “Nope!” Oh man did Luke and I burst out laughing! Goodness, is hearing a two year say “nope” with so much clarity a HOOT! Oh and I really wanted to take a picture of the turkey after it came out of the oven, but my hubby carved it before I had a chance too. Oops! So, all you get is the carved version over some arugula. 

I also want to mention that yesterday we also went on a REAL choo, choo train ride with Grandpa Byron (my biological father), Grandma Denise (my step mom), Uncle Cody (my brother), and my brother’s wife (Kandi). Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in the train before we went out on a ride, so Mason was able to, completely against his will, sit on Mrs. Claus’ lap. He refused to sit on Santa’s! LOL. 

Santa

I think his face says it all! “Who are these two strangers and why are you making me sit on their laps!” Despite this he had a very fun time riding in the caboose and playing with the choo, choo train sets. 

Herb Roasted Turkey
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 12-15 lb. Free-range Turkey
  2. 3/4 C Olive Oil
  3. 3 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  4. 2 tbsp Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, finely chopped
  7. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  8. 2 tsp Ground Peppercorns
  9. 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  10. 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  11. 1 Lemon, quartered
  12. 1 Apple, quartered
  13. 2 Celery Stalks, cut in large pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Rub 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the ground peppercorns inside the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the cut up apples, lemons and celery. This will help retain moisture and will infuse the turkey with these great flavors.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices together in a small bowl. Gently lift up the skin of the turkey breast and legs. Brush the lemon herb mixture under the skin. Brush the remaining mixture over the surface of the breast and legs.
  4. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Cover with the roasting pan lid or tightly with aluminum foil. Roast the turkey in the oven for 10-15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature of the turkey legs reach 165 degrees. It usually takes a free range 12-14 pound turkey roughly 2 1/2 to 3 hours to cook completely (non-free range turkeys take an extra 20-30 minutes longer to cook).
  5. Make sure to baste the turkey with the turkey juices every thirty minutes. Also, after 2 hours 15 minutes of roasting, remove the lid and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes to brown the turkey.
  6. Remove from the oven, place the lid back on the roasting pan and allow the turkey to set for 20-30 minutes before carving.
Notes
  1. If using frozen turkey, make sure the turkey is completely defrosted. This can be done by letting the turkey defrost in the sink for at least 24 hours or by submerging the turkey in a warm water bath for 3-4 hours. For the warm water bath, you will want to keep draining the water and filling it up with warm water every hour to speed up the defrosting process.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Pineapple Maca Smoothie

Let it snow! We are going to get dumped on today! We could get a foot of snow or more today. Doesn’t that make you want to move to Minnesota! This is actually abnormal as we haven’t had a storm of this magnitude this early in the year since 1991.

Winter Wonderland

I am just hoping we do not have a super hard winter because I am training for the Boston Marathon. I knew signing up for the race that I would have to train in sub-freezing (maybe even sub-zero) temps and run through buckets of snow, but I didn’t think this would happen until December or January. The snow gods have it out for me. Jerks!  

I know, I know…..it seems strange making a smoothie when snow is on the horizon, but I just love getting as many fruits and vegetables as I can into my morning routine. I used to be a gluten-free cereal or yogurt parfait breakfast girl. Every morning I would either grab a bowl and load it up with some dairy-free milk or have some Greek yogurt and granola. These breakfast choices always left me feeling a little sluggish and never sat well in my tummy! Knowing that I was having issues tolerating grains and dairy, I started a 21 cleanse in July where smoothies were the main staple.

While on the cleanse, I fell in love with having smoothies every morning for breakfast. Honestly, I thought I would get sick of them, but it hasn’t happened yet. Plus, the best part is I have noticed a tremendous difference in my energy and overall well-being.

All right, I was a naughty girl yesterday and flooded my system with at least two pieces of my gluten-free Lemon Cream Carrot Cake (not Paleo friendly, but 100 percent delicious) for my birthday. To get my system flushed out, I wanted to start my day out with some great nutrients. The smoothie I have for you this morning is full of greens and has the nutritional supplement of Maca powder. You are probably not familiar with it or have it readily available. Just skip it if you don’t have it, but you should know that Maca powder is a Peruvian nutritional supplement that is used to treat various conditions, ailments and diseases. Researchers have found Maca powder:

1) Boosts Energy – Maca powder has been found to enhance athletic performance. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, “eight healthy cyclists were timed while completing a 40-kilometer bike ride before and after 14 days of taking maca. The study found that maca supplementation significantly improved the athletes’ cycling time, pointing to maca’s energizing effects.”

2) Balances Hormones/Mental Health – A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Science found yellow, red and black maca reduced depression in rats, while black maca improved learning and cognitive functioning. The scientists attributed these results to the balancing effect maca has on the production of stress-inducing hormones of cortisol and adrenaline in the body.

3) Lowers Blood Pressure – Maca is rich in potassium, which prevents high blood pressure. A 2010 study from Bioresource Technology found maca was associated with lower blood pressure because its phenolic compounds inhibited the enzyme relevant to hypertension during cultured experiments. 

If you are feeling experimental and what to reap the benefits, try adding some Maca powder to your smoothies! 

Pineapple Maca Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 C Pineapple, frozen
  2. 2 Bananas
  3. 2 C Romaine Lettuce
  4. 2 C Kale
  5. 1 Avocado
  6. 2 Lemons, juice
  7. 2 1/2 C Orange Juice
  8. 2 C Water
  9. 2 tbsp Maca Powder
  10. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Autumn Harvest Salad

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Shrimp Pineapple Kebabs

Yesterday was our neighborhood Halloween party. I was supposed to go as a beer girl, but my costume (which I ordered from Ebay) never showed up! Sniff, sniff, sniff. So, instead of going as nothing, I decided not to go. I know, I know total party pooper! My husband was trying to encourage me to still go, but this brings me to revealing my personality…

Bare with me for a sec, I promise I will get to it…..

My philosophy professor in college once asked us to write up a brief essay on whether or not we have an open or closed door policy on meeting new people. My answer was neither, I am a revolving door. A revolving door? Yes, I am a revolving door because I am indifferent to people. From my past history, I have a general distrust for people, not really letting them inside until I have evaluated them completely. So, I make them rotate and rotate and rotate until I trust them. Some people get to know me right away, but the majority see only glimpses of me, which is unfortunate because I am loving and funny as shit! My husband is very social, which has helped, but I still go through periods where I am very standoff-ish. Sorry, sorry, sorry….in terms of break up words…..it is not you, but my lame donkey ass!  

All right, so what the heck does this have to do with the Halloween party. Well, large parties put my revolving door mentality into overdrive. Unless it is my own party, the room is filled with people that I do not know or who I do not completely trust. The whole experience puts me into stimulation overload because my brain goes into scanner mode and evaluates the actions, mannerisms and intent of everyone in the room. Sounds kind of crazy, but it can be too much for me! I am not anti-social, but I would much rather be in smaller gatherings or something that involves sports or fishing then I am on my game. Otherwise, I can get really quiet and want to get the heck out of dodge! Ya, so since I didn’t have a costume I didn’t want to stand out for not having costume and didn’t really want to get pushed it my revolving door policy. 

So, if you have ever wondered why I go off for runs by myself or am more independent it is me recharging my batteries and just being me. I am fueled more by independence than social settings. This all used to make me a little self-conscious, but now I just frankly don’t care. I am who I am and lots of people love me. Recognizing all of this, has just allowed me to interact in different ways and try to overcome my shortcomings. Booyah, there you have it, Jess disclosed! 

Enough of philosophical and psychological analysis of myself :) Let’s get down to business….food! This recipe is fresh, delicious and friendly on your waste line. Even though it says it serves four people, it will really only serve two if you have a hungry, hungry hippo husband like I do! I will trade you grocery bills any day of the week! 

Shrimp Pineapple Kebabs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
  1. 1 Head Cauliflower
  2. 2 C Cilantro, chopped
  3. 1 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening or Coconut Oil
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 1 tsp Pepper
  6. 1 Lime, juice
Shrimp Pineapple Kebabs
  1. 2 lb. Shrimp, peeled
  2. 3 C Fresh Pineapple, 1 inch chunks
  3. 2 Medium Red Onions
  4. 1 Lime, juice
  5. 1 Lemon, juice
  6. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 tsp Ginger, crushed
  8. 2 tsp Salt
  9. 1 tsp Pepper
  10. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  11. 1/3 C Agave Nectar
  12. Bamboo Skewers
Directions
Shrimp Pineapple Kebabs
  1. Add all kebab ingredients (except bamboo skewers) to a large bowl.
  2. Marinate 30 minutes.
  3. Soak bamboo skewers in water while kebab mixture is marinating.
  4. After 30 minutes, place pineapple, shrimp and onions onto the skewers.
  5. Heat oven to broil or grill to medium high heat.
  6. For oven, place shrimp kebabs on a roasting pan (put 1/2 inch of water in bottom of pan) and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. For grill, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
  1. While the kebabs are marinating, remove the florets from the head of cauliflower. Shred into small rice sized pieces with a food processor.
  2. As the kebabs are cooking, heat up oil over medium heat. Add in the shredded cauliflower, cilantro and lime juice. Cook for approximately 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve the shrimp pineapple kebabs over the cauliflower rice.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Pumpkin Coconut Curry

Fall is my all-time favorite season! I love everything about it. Nothing is better than watching leaves turn shades of crimson red, harvest orange and rustic yellow. I love these color combinations so much that my office and dining room are modeled after a fall color pallet.

Another added benefit of fall is it is fun to come up with recipes using pumpkin, apples, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and other fall harvested fruits and vegetables. Having some pumpkin lying around I decided to try my hand at a fall inspired curry.

Most of the ingredients used in this recipe are Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) friendly (except for the cumin). Seed based spices are allowed during week one of the reintroduction phase of the autoimmune protocol diet. So, if you can tolerate cumin seeds then this would be considered AIP friendly.  

Pumpkin Coconut Curry
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
Pumpkin Coconut Curry
  1. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  2. 1/2 C Pumpkin Puree
  3. 1 can Coconut Milk
  4. 1 Onion, chopped
  5. 2 Sweet Potatoes, chopped
  6. 3 Carrots, chopped
  7. 1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
  8. 3 tsp Garam Masala
  9. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  10. 1 tsp Pepper
  11. 1 Lemon, juice
Cauliflower Rice
  1. 1 Head Cauliflower
  2. 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  3. Salt
  4. 1 Lime, juice
  5. Pepper
Directions
Pumpkin Coconut Curry
  1. Add coconut oil, garlic, sweet potatoes, carrots and onions to a large frying pan. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, shrimp, lemon juice, spices and pumpkin. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Cauliflower Rice
  1. Remove the florets from the head of cauliflower. Shred into small rice sized pieces with a food processor.
  2. Heat up coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the shredded cauliflower and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve the shrimp coconut curry over the cauliflower rice.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Sunny Citrus Smoothie

When I think of citrus, I think of warm climates, sunny beaches and picturesque sunsets.

Living in Minnesota we are able to enjoy a slice of warm heaven over the summer, but the rest of the year it is a bit cooler. Contrary to what people think, we actually have great weather for 9 months of the year. It is the three months of cold and bitter winters which gives Minnesota the frozen tundra stereotype.

To survive through the bitter cold I like to add citrus to my smoothies. It gives me a sensation of being someplace warm and helps me remember the beautiful spring, summer and fall weather we have. Plus, the vitamin C content in this smoothie is the perfect defense against the upcoming flu season.

Sunny Citrus Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Meyer Lemons, juice
  2. 1 Lemon, juice
  3. 1 Grapefruit, juice
  4. 3 C Orange Juice
  5. 1 C Carrot Juice
  6. 1 C Water
  7. 1/2 C Mint Leaves
  8. 2 Bananas, frozen
  9. 2 C Pineapple, frozen
  10. 1 C Mango, frozen
  11. 1 C 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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Spinach Pear Smoothie

One of my favorite fruits to add to smoothies is pears! All I do is remove the core (leave the skin on), cut them into quarters and add them into my blender. The reason why I leave the skins on is because according to www.whfoods.com, “recent studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients as the flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids. The skin of the pear has also been show to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber”.

Since I leave the skins on, I like to buy organic pears and prefer red, but for this recipe I used the bartlett variety. However, pears are not on the dirty dozen list of fruits and vegetables containing the highest amount of pesticides, so in a pinch you can buy the cheaper non-organic variety. 

Spinach Pear Smoothie
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Pears, core removed and cut in spears
  2. 2 Lemons, juice
  3. 1 1/2 C Orange Juice
  4. 2 C Water
  5. 3 C Spinach
  6. 2 C Tropical Fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya), frozen
  7. 2 tsp Lucuma Powder or 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
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 about 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Bacon Scallop Zucchuccine

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

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

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

Bacon Scallop Zucchuccine
Serves 2
This is a super easy, but incredibly flavorful Gluten Free, Paleo and Autoimmune Friendly meal.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb Bacon, chopped
  2. 1 dozen Large Scallops
  3. 2 Zucchinis
  4. 2 Lemons, juice
  5. 1/2 Medium Red Onion, chopped
  6. 2 tbsp Garlic
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable spiralizer, make thick zucchini noodles similar to the size of fettuccine. Set aside.
  2. Fry bite sized bacon pieces in a large sauce pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Pat down to remove excess grease.
  3. Pour some of the bacon grease into a can or glass mason jar to use later, but leave some for frying up the scallops and zucchini noodles.
  4. Heat up the pan used to fry bacon over high heat. Add the scallops and cook 2-3 minutes (slightly less time for smaller scallops) on each side until they start to get browned on each side. While cooking sprinkle salt, pepper and lemon juice over the top of one side of the scallops. Make sure to spread them apart to allow for equal cooking. You may need to rearrange them too if the center of the pan gets hotter than the outer edges. Set aside and cover with tinfoil to keep warm.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles and garlic to the bacon pan. Toss in cooked bacon, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Using metal tongs, keep combining the ingredients until the noodles are al dente (slightly crunchy, but not soggy). Add in the scallops just to warm them up slightly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle more lemon juice over the top (if desired) and serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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No’mato Spaghetti Sauce

Many autoimmune sufferers eliminate nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) from their diet because it has been found to reduce symptoms of inflammation. Without tomatoes as a base for spaghetti sauce many recipes use beets. If you are like me, you can detect the flavor of beets within a 10 mile radius. In fact, I don’t really like them at all unless they are fried chips! Other than chips, I have tried disguising them in smoothies and sauces, but geez whiz I can still detect those nappy things!

So, while my husband has following the autoimmune diet I decided to dabble in the ‘No’mato Sauce world by creating my own version with cherries as the base. It is WAY BETTER FOLKS! Well, unless you like beets of course :) 

No'mato Spaghetti Sauce
Serves 6
Looking for a recipe for spaghetti sauce that does not use nightshades or beets? This sauce is autoimmune friendly and very delicious!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 6 C Tart Cherries, frozen
  2. 3 Purple Carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 3 Orange Carrots, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  5. 3 Stalks Celery, chopped
  6. 2 tbsp Fresh Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  8. 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, stems removed
  9. 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  10. 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
  11. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  12. 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  13. 1 tsp Pepper
  14. 1 tsp Salt
  15. 1 tsp Turmeric
  16. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  17. 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  18. 1 tsp Celery Salt
  19. 1 Lemon, juice
  20. 1/2 C Water
  21. 1/2 C Cranberry Juice
Instructions
  1. Saute carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a dutch oven or large soup pan with coconut oil until onions are translucent. Will take approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Once veggies are tender, add in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour ingredients into a blender (or use an emulsion blender) and mix until a smooth sauce forms. Add an additional 1/2 cup of water if the sauce is to thick.
Notes
  1. Serve this on top pizza or with zucchini noodles for a delicious meal.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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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.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Kale Blueberry Smoothie

I am catching up on some smoothies I made prior to going on vacation to New York City with my mom and my sister. Boy is NYC fun! While there we visited the Brooklyn Bridge (great view of city from bridge), 911 Memorial/Museum (breathtaking), Statue of Liberty (gorgeous), Ellis Island (spent 2 minutes there & left), Times Square (busy, but very neat) and Grand Central Station (amazing architecture). I would highly recommend seeing everything, but Ellis Island. We literally boarded the same ferry boat that we arrived in because none of it was remotely interesting to my mom, sister and I. If you are a history buff then it would be right up your alley. In all, I had a fantastic time with my favorite ladies! Here is a picture of us having lunch on our first day (well, us minus me).

Mom Katie NYC

 

Now on to the delicious kale and blueberry smoothie. For this smoothie I used purple kale, but you could use any variety. If you are wondering, here is a list of kale’s nutritional benefits (source):

1. Loaded with fiber – Kale will keep you fuller longer, which curbs snacking and keeps your weight down. Diets rich in leafy greens, like kale, have been associated with decreased risks of various cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis.
2. Phytochemical – Kale helps lower the risk of eye related conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, because it’s loaded with phytochemicals (lutein and zeaxanthin). One half cup of kale meets the daily suggested dose of lutein and zeaxanthin (6 to 15 milligrams) for optimal eye health.
3. Vitamin A – Kale contains this antioxidant, which boosts immunity and maintains healthy bone structure.
4. Vitamin K – Kale produces osteocalcin, which is a protein our body uses to strengthen bone composition. Women with low intake of Vitamin K have significantly lower bone density and are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
5. Vitamin E – This antioxidant keeps our minds sharp by removing free radicals from our brain cells!

Kale Blueberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Hints of lemon, blueberries, cherries and kale make this a delicious treat! I made this for breakfast, but really you could make it for any meal or for a 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 Cherries, frozen
  2. 3 C Blueberries, frozen
  3. 3 C Purple Kale
  4. 2 Apples, cores removed
  5. 2 C Pomegranate Juice
  6. 2 C Water
  7. 2 Lemons, juice
  8. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients to blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If the smoothie is too thick, add an additional tablespoon of water or juice until desired consistency. If too thin, add an additional 1/2 cup of frozen fruit.
Notes
  1. This smoothie was created as a meal replacement (makes 2 - 32 ounce servings). If you are looking for a smaller portion cut the ingredients in half.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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