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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Pulled Pork Tacos

Yesterday was a bundle of excitement! While walking Mason to daycare I noticed a really scary looking guy in our neighborhood. Me being a worry wart, I double checked every lock in the house and even locked the door leading to the garage, which is normally left unlocked because the garage doors themselves lock. The joke was on me because when the sprinkler company shut down our system for the winter I went into the garage to open up the main sprinkler panel for him and locked myself out of our house. Luckily, I had the baby with me and had him all wrapped up in a blanket. Dum, de, dum, dum, dum!

Of course I didn’t have my key with me so Luke had to come home from work early to rescue me from my bonehead move, lol. Instead of going back to work he stayed home. Mason saw daddy working from home on his computer and just had to get in on the action. I went in there to check on them, when Mason told me, “Mom, you can’t be in here we are busy working.” Even though I got the raw end of the deal, it was one of the cutest things he has done yet!

Aside from Mason’s cuteness, I made a very delicious Autoimmune Protocol friendly meal (omit the pepper for strict diet*). For the pork, I used my slow cooker and made my apple rosemary pork. The tortillas were modified from Brittany Angell’s cookbook, “Every Last Crumb.” Brittany’s tortillas are my favorite and I mean my favorite tortillas of all time (and even when I could eat flour tortillas). They are the perfect wrap for allergy friendly diets.

In all, Luke told me it was the best AIP meal I have made to date. I really hope you try this recipe and also love.

* Per my note on pepper, Luke’s doctor has okayed peppers but told him to stay away from all other nightshades. This is just based on our experience and Luke not having a reaction to peppers. For a strict AIP diet, remove the black pepper from the recipes. It will still taste delicious.

Pulled Pork Tacos
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
Tacos
  1. 3-4 lb Pulled Pork, cooked
  2. 2 Apples, cubed
  3. 3 Avocados, cubed
  4. 1 Lemon, juice
  5. 1 Onion, cubed
  6. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Plantain Tortillas
  1. 4 Plantains, slightly ripe (skin starting to turn yellow)
  2. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1/4 C Water
  4. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  5. 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  6. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Directions
Tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take off plantain skins and place all of the tortilla ingredients into a high powered blender. Start the blender on low until ingredients start to mix together. Use the paddle to push the batter down from the sides. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth.
  3. Place parchment paper on 4 cookie sheets. Ladle the batter into round circles on the parchment paper (about six inches in diameter) and spread out evenly with a spatula.
  4. Bake the first two cookie sheets in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the tortilla onto the other side and bake for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Repeat the baking process with the other two cookie sheets.
Tacos
  1. Cube the avocado, onion and apples.
  2. Mix together the cubed mixture with salt, pepper and lemon juice until combined.
  3. Layer the pulled pork and apple guacamole on top of the tortillas.
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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Tandoori Chicken Kebabs

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

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

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

Mason Surgery

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

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

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

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

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

 

Many have asked how my dad is doing. Well, to be honest we are still waiting back for more tests before we will know the treatment protocol. The good news is a couple of his doctors are not 100 percent convinced that the spot in his lungs is cancer. They are running some blood work to see if the cell build it up is due to an autoimmune condition called, Sarcoidosis.  

Sarcoidosis is a disease involving abnormal collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) that can form as nodules in multiple organs. The granulomas are most often located in the lungs. Treatment typically consists of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin or in cases where the condition develops to the point that it has a progressive and/or life-threatening course, than doctors will prescribe steroids and/or drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate.

We are waiting for blood tests to come back confirming sarcoidosis. If this is not the case, then he will under go a biopsy of the tissue to test for lung cancer. Crossing our fingers it is sarcoidosis :)

Aside from patiently waiting to hear back from doctors, I have been trying to distract myself with cooking. Well that and running. Both are very therapeutic for me. Last week I made these delicious avocado, bacon and chicken melts for dinner and have been telling myself that I need to get them on my blog. Finally getting around to it. These would go great with my chili lime sweet potato fries!

Chicken Avocado Melt
Serves 3
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  2. 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  3. 1 tsp Salt
  4. 1 tsp Pepper
  5. 1 Avocado, ripe
  6. 1/2 lb Bacon
  7. 4 Slices Havarti Cheese
  8. 1 Loaf of Gluten Free Rosemary Focaccia (I used Canyon Bakehouse)
  9. Mayonnaise
  10. Stone Ground Mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Fill the bottom of a roasting pan with a 1/2 inch of water. Place the chicken breasts on top and liberally coat with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Top with cheese in the last couple minutes of baking.
  3. While chicken is roasting cook bacon over medium until crispy. Set aside.
  4. Slice the focaccia bread in quarters and toast lightly. Spread mayonnaise (I prefer Sir Kensington since it uses free range eggs) and stone ground mustard over the top of the bread.
  5. Once the chicken is done cooking, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Assemble the chicken, avocado slides and bacon pnto the focaccia bread.
  7. Enjoy!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chili Lime Sweet Potatoes

Happy Mother’s Day to all! When I started writing this post I got to thinking, why I am working on Mother’s Day? Well, technically my blog is a “hobby.” I say “hobby” because cooking yummy stuff is a hobby, but actually taking photos and writing up a blog posts is work :) However, I love sharing recipes with family and friends, so here I am working on Mother’s Day. TEE HEE.

To celebrate, we are going out to breakfast with my mom, sister and soon to be step-sister as my mom is getting married in September. We are headed to my favorite breakfast spot, Keys. They have the biggest and most amazing omelets. I usually get the vegetarian omelet and can never finish the darn thing, but that’s okay because it is just as good warmed up the next day. And this is coming from someone who thinks leftovers are disgusting!

Aside from breakfast, my boys got me a spa gift card. Oh boy am I excited to get my tired little legs worked on. They are still not fully recovered from running the Boston Marathon (22 weeks pregnant – if you missed my previous blog post about it) and also taking a beating from pregnancy related leg cramps. Seriously, when the night-time leg cramps happen they cause a serious lump in my calves that takes several days to work out via a foam roller and my wonderful husband’s massages. At any rate, I am just looking forward to a day of pampering myself as I rarely sit down to rest! Busy bee has to be my middle name.

All right, so enough chitter chatter and on to the goods. Chili lime sweet potato fries were a hit and were served with my chorizo quinoa peppers. This was a great combo and resulted in the family eating up every last crumb!

Hope you enjoy and have a fantastic Mother’s Day!

Chili Lime Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1 Lime, juice
  3. 1 tbsp Adobe Chili Sauce
  4. 1/8 C Olive Oil
  5. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  6. 1 tsp Cumin
  7. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp Salt
  9. 1 tsp Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into fries. Coat fries with olive oil, chili sauce, garlic, lime juice and spices.
  3. Place fries in a single layer onto a cookie sheet (I used two cookie sheets).
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and cook for another 20 minutes or until fries start to turn golden brown on the edges.
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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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.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Braised Citrus Chicken

We have a ton of meat from our CSA last year that we need to use up fast because the new shares start in February! So, looks like I will be making a lot of soups, slow cooker and beef/poultry/pork recipes in the next three weeks. The next two recipes in the works are a beef pho and some sort of stuffed tenderloin. The beef pho is because I love this soup from a Vietnamese restaurant by my husband’s work. Hoping that I can get mine to taste as good, but I am not holding my breathe considering I usually don’t have as good of luck at making Asian food at home :)  

Aside from dreaming up food recipes, I take my SAS base programming exam on Thursday. I studied last weekend and will be studying again all day tomorrow (minus a few work meetings). I am little nervous that they are going to ask me a ton of behind the scenes processing questions. I know how to write code I just don’t care what is going behind the scene. I write, push a button and boom I get results. The rest is FLUFFY details that bored me while studying. I am sure it will bite me where the sun don’t shine. Just need to get a 70. I can do this!!

My little man also made a wand at school the other day. You know one of those with a star on the end that fairies use. Well anyway, I got to school yesterday and he touched me with the wand and said, “Mommy you are a princess.” Well now did that melt my heart or what! Then he proceeded to take an enormous dump in his diaper on the way home, so I think he was just softening me up for what he was going to do next instead of going in the toilet. LOL! At any rate I just love the things he says! 

Now on to this delicious slow cooked chicken recipe. It is easy as pie to make. Okay I don’t know about you guys, but is pie easy to make! I don’t think so and I love to bake! Seriously the dough is a pain in the BUTT unless you buy it pre-made. Okay that saying doesn’t work in my book, but this recipe is SUPER easy! Just toss the ingredients in the slow cooker and come back 6 hours later to shred it. Oh and, my husband ate 2/3 of this in one sitting. If you have hungry tummies like my house you may want to get a bigger chicken and increase the cooking time 20 minutes per extra pound :) I can only imagine what my grocery bill is going to be when Mason is older!  

Braised Citrus Chicken
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3-4 lb Whole Chicken
  2. 2 tbsp Mustard
  3. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  4. 1 Lime, juice
  5. 1/8 C Agave Nectar or Honey
  6. I C Orange Juice
  7. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  8. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  9. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  10. 1 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  11. 2 tsp Cumin
  12. 2 tsp Onion Powder
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
  2. Mix together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the chicken.
  3. Cook over low heat for approximately 6 hours or until the chicken starts to fall apart.
  4. Shred and serve with your favorite side dish or even use for tacos.
Notes
  1. If you are following a strict Autoimmune Diet Protocol replace the mustard and cumin with 1 more tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and another 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. These modifications will make the dish less spicy, but it will still be delicious!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Herb Pork Crown Roast

I have always wanted to make a pork crown roast because they look so cool, but the tricky part was knowing where to buy one! I have never seen one at the grocery store (maybe because I haven’t looked hard enough). So, I reached out to Hilltop Pastures (where we get almost all of our meat) and they had one custom made for me. Super duper sweet of them considering they take December and January off from CSA and market drop offs. Big thanks to Sara and Tom for doing a special order for us! If you want to check out what they have here is there website (we have been very pleased with all of the meat thus far!): www.hilltoppasturesfamilyfarm.com

So, for the roast I overcooked it just a tad because I was busy entertaining guests, but it was still delicious! My sister’s boyfriends (I mean boyfriend singular….jeez) kept saying, “Oh my goodness, this is good!”

If you are looking for Christmas dinner or need alternatives for turkey this is a winner! It is very easy to make too! You just need some twine and a little bit of muscle to get the two pieces put together. Mine got a little distorted because of the pan, so next time I would use one that is bigger so it creates more of a perfect crown (obsessive compulsiveness coming out in me). Despite it looking like a football it still tasted amazing! We are a football fanatic family so I guess that was okay too.

Here is a picture of what the chops look like after being cut:

Pork Crown Roast1

Now onto the recipe :)

Herb Pork Crown Roast
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-12 lb Pork Crown Roast
  2. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  3. 4-5 Sprigs Rosemary
  4. 6-8 Sprigs Thyme
  5. 1/2 tbsp Sweet Basil, dried
  6. 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped
  7. 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  8. 1/2 tbsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. If roast is not assembled into a crown already (mine came in two pieces), wrap and tie twine around the base so that the two pieces are connected. I used three pieces. Mine was oblong because of my pan, so next time I would use a bigger one to create a crown instead of a football. Didn't affect the taste at all though!
  3. After assembly, place the roast, rosemary and thyme into a roaster. Combine the olive oil and spices together and rub generously over the roast meat.
  4. Cover with tinfoil or the roasting pan lid (mine didn't fit, so I went with the foil).
  5. Roast in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast for another 30-45 minutes. Check internal temperature of the meat at about 2 hours. Once it reaches 145-150 degrees in the center the roast is done. If it is still not done roast for another 15 minutes and check temperature again.
  6. Allow the meat to rest 20-30 minutes before serving. Cut into chops as shown in the picture above.
Notes
  1. I stuffed the crown with my roasted root vegetable recipe by adding the veggies one hour into the cooking time.
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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Pomegranate Pepita Salad

Oh what to do when your dog decides she has to wake you up at 12:43 AM to go to the bathroom. Normally I go to bed around 7 and get up around 3 am, but 12:43 is going to leave a mark today! I know you are probably thinking well, why don’t you go back to bed? There is a fine line for me when trying to go back to bed. Sometimes it works, but rarely. So, once I am up, I am up for good (unfortunately). Hopefully tonight I will get my full 8 hours or I will be a bear tomorrow! 

I decided that since I am up and already put in 30 hours for work this week as of Wednesday that I would work on my linked in profile, write up this blog post and also research becoming a Beach Body coach. I have been participating in group challenges with a high school friend, Jackie (who also happened to marry my cousin, Josh). The challenges have involved eating clean, substituting one meal per day with a Shakeology smoothie and having one meal per day be a salad. I started participating in the groups because I was looking for something socially that fit my interests. I also just flat out feel better physically and emotionally when I continuously eat healthy. 

So, wanting to engage in clean eating with other ladies I decided to give Jackie’s groups a shot and I LOVE THEM. I have met so many new and fun ladies that I decided that it would be fun to be a coach too :) Honestly I get so excited to see all of the messages, meals and inspirational messages other ladies post to the group boards on Facebook! To make a long story short, Jackie asked if I would be interested in joining her team to help run clean eating and exercise groups because I have a passion for living a healthy lifestyle. After doing some research on Skakeology and Beach Body and talking to my husband, he and I both agree that it would be the perfect complement to this blog. It will also be a great hobby for me and a way to engage with others who also want to improve their health.

After I get all set up I will add details on my blog about the challenges and products used for the various challenges. Hopefully some of you will want to join in on the fun! Cheers to living life to the fullest and taking care of your body! 

Pomegranate Pepita Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Pomegranate Pepita Salad
  1. 3 C Shaved Brussel Sprouts
  2. 3 C Arugula
  3. 1 Large Sweet Potato
  4. 1/4 C Pepitas (Omit for AIP diet)
  5. 1/2 Cooked Bacon, nitrate-free
  6. 1/2 C Pomegranate Seeds
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  1. 1 Lemon, juice
  2. 1/4 C Honey or Agave Nectar
  3. 1/2 C Apple Juice
  4. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  5. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  6. 1/2 tsp Salt
  7. 1/4 tsp Pepper
Instructions
Pomegranate Pepita Salad
  1. Peel the sweet potato and chop into 1/2 inch squares. Steam for 10-12 minutes until tender. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperate.
  2. Mix together other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set in the refrigerator while making the dressing and allowing the sweet potatoes to cool.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
  1. Add salad dressing ingredients to a quart sized mason jar. Shake until combined.
  2. Once sweet potatoes are cool, toss them and the dressing into the salad. Serve immediately.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Turkey Artichoke Lasagna

I have been craving lasagna for a while! My husband cannot have nuts, seeds, cheese, grains or tomatoes right now with being on an autoimmune protocol diet, so this pretty much leaves a standard lasagna with ohhy, goohy cheese off of the table.

I had been thinking about how I could make a lasagna without tomatoes for months. Now, one would think, “Oh, just use pesto”. Well it is pretty hard to use pesto when you can’t use nuts or seeds! Getting my creative juices flowing I decided to use artichokes and coconut cream for the sauce and white sweet potatoes for the noodles. This dish turned out absolutely fantastic. So much so that we ate over 1/2 of the pan in one sitting! 

When buying coconut cream or coconut milk remember that not all of them are treated equal. Several use preservatives or thickeners (e.g. guar gum, carrageenan), so try to find a brand where the only ingredients are coconut and water. I have had the best luck finding a can in the Asian section of my local supermarket or on Amazon. Also, remember that even though it says it is Organic doesn’t mean it is the best choice. Many organic brands have guar gum. Trader Joe’s and Nature Value are good ones if you can’t find anything in the store. 

I should also mention that my husband’s integrative medicine specialist gave the okay to eat peppers during his elimination diet. Many AIP diet protocols eliminate them, but in his doctor’s experience he has not seen peppers leading to increased inflammation in arthritis patients. If you are sensitive to peppers, the recipe would taste just as great without them :) 

Turkey Artichoke Lasagna
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Large Sweet Potatoes, white flesh
  2. 3 cups Spinach
  3. 1 14 oz Can Coconut Cream
  4. 1 14 oz Can Artichoke Hearts, chopped
  5. 1 lb. Nitrate Free Bacon, cooked and chopped
  6. 1 C Turkey Breast, cooked and chopped
  7. 1 Red Pepper
  8. 1 Large Yellow Onion
  9. 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  10. 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
  11. 1 tsp Celery Salt
  12. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  13. 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  14. 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  15. 5 tbsp Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add bacon slices to a large frying pan and cook 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Flip the bacon over to cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until bacon crisps up in the pan. Allow bacon to cool over paper towels for 5 minutes to remove grease.
  3. For the turkey, I either pick up a rotisserie breast at the grocery store or use leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner.
  4. In a separate pan, add half a tablespoon of olive oil and cook peppers and onions until the onions are slightly translucent. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Combine the bacon, turkey, peppers, onion, coconut milk, herbs/spices, 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and artichoke hearts in a medium sized bowl.
  6. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes with a mandolin or a food processor.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, veggie and meat mixture to a 13 x 9 metal cake pan. Add a single layer of the sliced sweet potatoes. Top the sweet potato layer with half of the remaining coconut milk mixture and sprinkle with a layer of spinach. Repeat this process one more time and then top with a final layer of the sweet potatoes. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dish.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top layer of sweet potatoes are tender.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Strawberry Avocado Salad

I am finally home after spending two days in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona for a research conference. Don’t get me wrong being in Arizona was heaven compared to the cold Minnesota weather, but I really missed Mason, Luke and Scylla (our doggy).

While in AZ, I stayed at the Fairmont Princess. Oh man, is that place decked out for the Holiday! They had a Santa’s workshop, choo choo train rides, skating rink and a Christmas light show. I really wish Mason would have been there because he would have had a blast!

After being on the road, I tried to have decent meals but it is hard to find good quality food when traveling! So, I was definitely craving a homemade kale salad for lunch today and came up with this concoction. It was so incredibly delicious that my husband and I polished it off in no time. 

Strawberry Avocado Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Strawberry Avocado Salad
  1. 3 C Baby Kale
  2. 3 C Kale, chopped
  3. 1 1/2 C Strawberries, chopped
  4. 1 English Cucumber, chopped
  5. 1/2 lb. Nitrate Free Bacon, cooked and chopped
  6. 1 C Chicken Breast, cooked and chopped
  7. 1 Large Avocado, chopped
Celery Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. 3 Meyer Lemons, juice
  2. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  3. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. 1/3 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/4 tsp Celery Seed
  6. 1/2 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
Directions
Strawberry Avocado Salad
  1. For the chicken, I just pick up a free range rotisserie chicken and chop it up to save time. To cook the bacon, add slices to a large frying pan and cook 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Flip the bacon over to cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until bacon crisps up in the pan. Allow bacon to cool over paper towels for 5 minutes to remove most of the grease.
  2. Add chopped vegetables, chicken and chopped bacon to a large salad bowl.
Celery Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. Add salad ingredients to a quart sized mason jar and shake until combined.
  2. Toss with salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Berry Sprout Chop Salad

Our Christmas decorations are finally up…whoop, whoop!

XMas Tree

We had several issues getting the lights to work this year. The little mother effers really pissed me off because half of the strands were out. I spent at least an hour taking out burnt lights and plugging in news ones, but much to my demise they still didn’t work. Finally I turned to my husband and said, “Combined you and I make X dollars an hour and this is a waste of our time considering we can buy new lights for less than our hourly wage!” He started laughing and said, “Oh honey you are starting to think like me!” LOL! Hence we bought new LED lights so they last longer and we do not have to go through this process again so quickly! The lights are also way more vibrant than standard bulbs. Love them! Now let’s see if the little 2 1/2 foot monster (in the photo) can keep the ornaments on the tree :) 

All right, now on to my day 2 salad for the 12 days of Christmas salads challenge I am doing with some fun ladies! This one is YUMMY! I love the combination of crunch from the brussel sprouts, peppery flavor from the arugula and sweet/tanginess from the orange pomegranate dressing. This one is winner in my opinion. 

Berry Sprout Chop Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Berry Sprout Chop Salad
  1. 3 C Arugula
  2. 3 C Brussel Sprouts, shaved
  3. 1 1/2 C Blueberries
  4. 1/2 C Cranberries
  5. 1/2 C Pomegranate Seeds
  6. 1/4 C Green Onions, finely chopped (optional)
Orange Pomegranate Dressing
  1. 2 Oranges, Juice
  2. 1 C Pomegranate Blueberry Juice
  3. 1/2 Olive Oil
  4. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  6. pinch of pepper
Directions
Berry Sprout Chop Salad
  1. Toss together salad ingredients into a large bowl.
Orange Pomegranate Dressing
  1. Add salad dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until combined.
  2. When ready to serve, toss the dressing into the salad.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Blackberry Fig Salad

Today I start a 12 days of Christmas salad challenge with some friends where each day we substitute one meal with a salad. The main goal is to sustain our weight rather than pack on the pounds during the holidays like so many of us do! To kick of this fun-filled event, I made this blackberry and fig salad. Fig newtons are my favorite so my husband and I were joking that we should call this the “Fig Newton” salad or oh gee what did you have for lunch today, “Oh, I had a fig newton salad.” 

At any rate, this salad is delicious and a change of pace from many main stream salads (e.g. boring stuff like garden or Caesar salads). I only say boring because those salads would get old if I had to alternate them for 12 days! 

Blackberry Fig Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
Blackberry Fig Salad
  1. 3 C Spinach
  2. 3 C Mixed Greens
  3. 1/4 C Fennel Bulb, chopped
  4. 1 C Blackberries
  5. 1/4 C Pomegranate Seeds
  6. 1/4 C Dried Figs, chopped
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  2. 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  3. 2 Oranges, juice
  4. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  5. 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  6. Pinch of Black Pepper
Directions
Blackberry Fig Salad
  1. Chop figs and fennel. Toss the greens, vegetables and fruit together in a large bowl.
Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Combine salad dressing ingredients in a pint sized mason jar. Shake until combine and toss with salad greens when ready to serve.
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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Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Today was the start of a five day eating challenge for me. I posted the challenge on here for others to join the love. Hoping that through this challenge I can at least impact the eating habits of one person :) I know that I can impact one person then that person may impact another and so on and so forth!

Other than the clean eating challenge we just got back from a fun-filled holiday vacation in Milwaukee. While there Mason was able to spend some quality time with his Amoo (Luke’s mom), Papa (Luke’s dad), Gamma Sherry (Luke’s Stepmom), Auntie Kristin (Luke’s sister), Uncle Dean (Kristin’s husband) and cousins, Hannah and Lily. I think the highlight of the trip was seeing him play endlessly in the Children’s Museum. We even managed to get a two hour nap out of him after we left the museum, which is extremely rare! In all, I am thankful for being able to spend four days with Luke’s family and for having wonderful meals while we were there.

Post holidays always bring everyone back to reality. I say this, because in Milwaukee we had several days of eating everything but gluten-filed items. The downfall of this dietary change was it pushed my husband’s psoriasis (which had been in remission for almost three months) back into full gear and also means that his psoriatic arthritis is probably also flaring. Luke thinks it is a combination of having dairy and soy, but it could also be the reintroduction grains/legumes back into his diet.

Nonetheless, we are waiting for some blood tests from Luke’s integrated medicine specialist for food allergies. The doctor is recommending he go back on the Autoimmune Protocol diet to heal his leaky gut in the meantime. Last time he was on the diet we didn’t completly heal the gut because we didn’t introduce probiotics. We also didn’t have him on the supplements of oregano oil , humic acid or protelytic enzymes (natural steroid), so we are hoping this time around we can alleviate his psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis symptoms quickly. So, with all of this I will be back to creating a lot more AIP friendly foods to help keep my husband well nourished :) All I care about it just healing my husband as much as possible through the only way I can make an impact and that is through food. If I didn’t have this I would feel helpless :(

To kick off the next 30 days of my husband’s diet, I made an AIP version (e.g. no dairy, no grains, no corn, no soy, no eggs) version of one of my favorite dishes, spaghetti carbonara. The first time I had this dish was at my Aunt Sherry’s house and man, oh man was it good! Obviously, I can’t use eggs, pasta or cream, so it had to be modified quite a bit, but folks it tastes darn good this way! 

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Spaghetti Squash
  2. 2 Cans Coconut Milk
  3. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  4. 1 tbsp Garlic
  5. 1 C Mushrooms
  6. 1/2 lb Nitrate Free Bacon
  7. 1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped
  8. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  9. 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  10. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  11. 1 tsp Pepper
  12. 1/4 C Parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Lay the squash skin side up in two cake pans. Cover with 1 inch of water. Place tinfoil tightly over the top and bake for 40 minutes in the oven.
  3. While the squash is baking, fry the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Will take about 4-5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the bacon. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Drain the the grease from the bacon pan (leave just a little on the surface). Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes over medium heat until onions are translucent. Toss in the mushrooms and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the mushrooms soften a little, stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice and spices. Chop the bacon into bite sized pieces. Add it into the mushroom cream sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until the coconut milk has reduced to half.
  6. Scoop out the spaghetti squash noodles into a colander over a large bowl (save the shells). Doing this step will remove excess water from the squash. Let it set for 15-20 minutes. Drain out the water from the bottom bowl.
  7. Add spaghetti squash to the large bowl and pour the mushroom cream sauce over the top. Mix together the sauce and noodles until combined.
  8. Stuff the noodle cream mixture back into the spaghetti squash and bake over 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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