Chicken Meatball Marinara

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

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

Big Bowl

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

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

Chicken Meatballs1

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

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

Today I am traveling to Arizona for a research conference. As much as I am excited to meet coworkers who I have worked remotely with for several years, I am also sad to leave behind this little dude…

Mason selfie

Notice we were eating dinner, so I have bugs in my grill and Mason has food all over his face! Good times!

Before I head out for my early flight this morning, I wanted to share my recent creation. On my husband’s elimination diet (recommended by his chiropractor to heal his leaky gut and reduce inflammation symptoms from psoriatic arthritis) he cannot have tomatoes. Unlike most suggested Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets, his chiropractor did okay peppers because he has not seen cases where these cause inflammation. So, we are following this AIP elimination food list minus the peppers. So, why tomatoes? Well they are considered a nightshade and nightshades such as tomatoes, white potatoes and eggplant (just to name a few) can be toxic to the body, causing inflammation to autoimmune condition sufferers. 

My quest for this recipe was to eliminate tomatoes from the sauce, not replace the tomatoes with disgusting beets (I despise their flavor) like so many tomato-free sauces do and not make it cloyingly sweet. My husband thinks I did a fantastic job! Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.  

Sloppy Sweet Pota'Joes'
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Large Sweet Potatoes
  2. 1 lb. Ground Beef
  3. 1 lb. Ground Pork
  4. 2 tbsp Garlic
  5. 1 tbsp Palm Oil Shortening
  6. 2 C Bell Peppers, rough chopped
  7. 1 1/2 C Raspberries, frozen
  8. 2 1/2 C Cherries, frozen
  9. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  10. 3 Limes, juice
  11. 2/3 C Carrot Juice
  12. 1 tbsp Honey
  13. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  14. 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
  15. 2 tsp Onion Powder
  16. 1 tsp Allspice
  17. 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a 13x9 cake pan and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat up the palm oil shortening. Add the peppers, cherries, raspberries, lime juice, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, honey, apple cider vinegar, carrot juice and 1 tablespoon of garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  4. Add remaining garlic to a large frying pan with ground beef, pork and spices. Cook the meat over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked completely (e.g. beef should no longer be pink in the middle). Set aside.
  5. Place the sloppy joe sauce into a blender and mix until smooth. Put the sauce back into the medium sauce pan. Drain out the fat drippings from the meat and add to the sauce. Cover with a lid to retain heat until sweet potatoes are done baking.
  6. After the sweet potatoes are done, cut a slit down the center. Mash it down just a little bit to make room for the meat. Top with the meat and enjoy!
http://barerootkitchen.com/
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Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas

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

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

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

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

Chicken Quinoa Enchiladas 

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

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

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

We just spent five wonderful days at our cabin. The best part about the cabin is it is in the middle of nowhere and nowhere means no cell phone coverage, running water (bath in the lake) or electricity. We even have a two-seater outhouse, so if anyone is feeling really brave they could play cards with someone else while going about there business. I am proud to say I never have and never well try that, but just throwing it out there as an option that my husband and his friends certainly joke about.

I am grateful I was about to forget about work for a couple days and just focus 100% on family and relaxation! Also, Mason was also in heaven playing with rocks, dirt and water. Nothing is better than a toddler getting dirty, right?

While there, my sister-in-law made several salads. One of which inspired me to make this southwestern chicken. This salad is not autoimmune or Paleo friendly unless you remove the corn and feta cheese, but my husband has decided to eliminate foods one at a time to see what triggers more joint pain anyway. So far we are thinking the culprit is nuts (that rat bastard…quoting my very funny cousin, Josh). Hopefully that is it! 

Southwest Chicken Salad
Serves 2
Fresh corn, avocado and bell peppers create this very colorful, delicious and fresh summer salad. This can be served as a side dish, garnish for tacos or for a main course.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
Southwest Chicken Salad
  1. 3 C Mixed Salad Greens
  2. 2 Cobs of Corn, husked
  3. 1 Avocado, chopped
  4. 1/4 C Feta Cheese
  5. 1/4 C Red Pepper, chopped
  6. 1/4 C Green Pepper, chopped
  7. 1/4 C Red Onion, chopped
  8. 1 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. 1/2 Lemon, juice
  2. 1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  4. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  5. 1 tsp Sea Salt
Directions
Southwest Chicken Salad
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add corn and boil for approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. While the corn is cooking, add the mixed greens to a large bowl. Top with feta cheese, vegetables and chicken.
  3. Once corn is done, cut off the kernels with a knife. This is done by standing the corn upright and running the knife down the side of the cob.
  4. After the corn has cooled to room temperature, add it to the top of the salad.
Lemon Vinaigrette
  1. Add vinaigrette ingredients to a small bowl and mix together until combined. Toss this into the salad when ready to serve.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Turkey Zucchini Burgers

I bought some free-range ground up turkey breast with the intent on making Thai meatballs, but this morphed into a vegetable turkey burger.

For this recipe, I tested a new way to make grain free buns. The sesame seed hamburger buns I made from Against All Grains came out a little spongy and turned soggy when adding a burger to them. In all, the flavor was good, but the consistency was off (I probably did something wrong of course). However, the recipe I used for these Paleo hamburger buns held up much better. 

Oh, and my one reviewer (aka. my husband) said these buns were much better too!

Turkey Zucchini Burgers
Serves 4
Looking for a burger with some added nutrition? This recipe adds in zucchini, red peppers and onion to ground turkey.
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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 lb. Ground Turkey, Free-range
  2. 1/3 C Zucchini, finely chopped
  3. 1/3 C Red Pepper, finely chopped
  4. 1/3 C Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  5. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  6. 1 tsp Salt
  7. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  8. 1 tsp Cumin
  9. 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  10. 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Peppers
  11. 4 Hamburger Buns (See Paleo Hamburger Bun recipe)
Instructions
  1. Heat up one tablespoon of coconut oil and cook chopped vegetables over medium heat until veggies are slightly tender.
  2. Add veggies, turkey and spices to food processor. Pulse 5-6 times to incorporate everything together.
  3. Form meat into patties. Add remaining coconut oil to pan & cook patties 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Notes
  1. Serve with Paleo hamburger buns, spicy mustard, tomato, onion and lettuce. I also added a spread of spicy red pepper hummus for some kick.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Southwestern Lasagna

There was a triathlon in my neighborhood this morning and I am not sure how the participants had enough courage to jump in to the 50 degree water for the swim. Yikes! I sure hope they were wearing wet suits! At any rate, seeing people racing prompted me to kick out a faster run than usual! Boy, did it feel great. I can’t wait to participate in a race later on this summer myself :)

When I got back I was craving some lasagna, but not just any lasagna, I wanted it to be my southwestern version. Also, since this is one of my husband’s favorite meals, I wanted to treat him as well. To be a little different, I made it vegetarian by substituting quinoa for ground beef. Turned out great!

I topped this with fresh guacamole, plain greek yogurt and tomatillo salsa. Delish to the max folks! Hope you enjoy!

Southwestern Lasagna
Serves 10
A delicious southwestern remake of lasagna!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 C Quinoa
  2. 4 C Water
  3. 1 15 oz can Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  4. 1 C Greek Yogurt, plain
  5. 8 Gluten Free Tortillas
  6. 1 C Salsa
  7. 1 C Corn, frozen
  8. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  9. 1 Jalapeno Pepper, chopped
  10. 1/2 Onion, chopped
  11. 1 Lime, juice
  12. 1 tsp Cumin
  13. 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  14. 1 tsp Salt
  15. 1 6 oz. bag Cheddar Cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring four cups of water to bowl over high heat. Add quinoa, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until quinoa is tender & water is completely absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Mix together black beans, salsa, spices, corn, peppers, lime juice, onion and quinoa in a medium sized bowl bowl.
  4. Spread black bean mixture evenly into the bottom of a 13X9 cake pan.
  5. Tear four tortillas in half and place them on top of the black bean mixture.
  6. Top the tortillas with a thin layer of Greek Yogurt.
  7. Add another layer of black bean mixture on top of Greek Yogurt.
  8. Repeat by adding another layer of the tortillas, yogurt and blacks beans.
  9. Add shredded cheese to the last black bean layer.
  10. Cover with aluminum foil & slightly lift up the center as a tent to avoid cheese from sticking.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove tin foil.
  12. Turn oven on broil & bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  13. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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