Beef Vegetable Chili

Man oh man am I pooped from doing the 21 Day Fix Plyo and T25 workout videos this morning! Normally I run outdoors, but today is a cardio (e.g. off running) and it is -8 degrees, so I whipped out my workout friends. I have done many hour long workout videos in the past and none of them compare to the jam packed 25 and 30 minutes workout of the Beachbody ones. Seriously it is some ass-kicking and heart rate pumping stuff! 

Aside from getting my butt moving, I have been craving chili in the worst way lately! It is not something we have made in months because my husband can’t have beans, tomatoes or peppers with the AIP diet

To my surprise, Luke made this chili for me after I went to bed. What a nice guy considering this is one of his favorite meals and he can’t even eat it! I think I married a BIG TIME winner :) 

Beef Vegetable Chili
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb Grass Fed Ground Beef
  2. 1 tbsp Butter or Palm Oil Shortening
  3. 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  4. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  5. 1 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
  6. 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  7. 1 24 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  8. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  9. 1 tsp Pepper
  10. 2 tbsp Chili Powder
  11. 1 tbsp Cumin
  12. 2 cans Chili Beans, with juice
  13. 2 cans Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed
  14. 1 32 oz Chicken Stock
Instructions
  1. Brown hamburger in a large frying pan. Drain the fat and set aside.
  2. Using a dutch oven, saute peppers, onion and garlic in butter for 8-10 minutes until al dente.
  3. Add in hamburger, beans, tomato puree, tomatoes and spices to the vegetables.
  4. Simmer over low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to allow spice mixture to soak into the hamburger and vegetables.
  5. Is it that EASY? YESureeeee!
Notes
  1. Serve with tortilla chips, avocado and Greek Yogurt.
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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Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

Woot, woot. I signed up for a chance to run in the 2015 Boston Marathon this morning. I will not get the final word until October, but I have a good shot considering registration they are now accepting the fastest runners below a previous marathon of 3 hours 40 minutes. My qualifying time was 3 hours and 23 minutes, so my time should be quicker than other applicants. However, there is always a BIG BUT to things as running in this race is also conditional on conception of baby #2. We have been trying, but have been unsuccessful thus far. I have had a history of infertility issues and coupling that with my husband being on steroids for his autoimmune conditions the odds are not in our favor. Knowing how much this race means to me my husband gave me the green light to apply knowing that: A) I might not get in to the race if applicants are faster than me and B) I might not race if pregnant (depends on how far along I would be and how the pregnancy was going). Risky yes, but worth it because running the Boston Marathon has been my dream for years. Anyway, wish me luck on all accounts! 

Now that I got this good news (or potentially bad news) off my chest, now I can share this delicious smoothie. For this yummy drink, I offset the tartness of the strawberries and kiwi with pineapple and bananas. I also added some Kale for additional health benefits. This is the perfect drink to start out your day. For me, it fueled me through my morning run this morning! Enjoy!

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie
Serves 2
Sweet and tangy, oh my! This smoothie is a healthy and nutritious way to start your day or it also works great to power you up for running, walking or whatever exercise gets you moving.
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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. 4 Kiwis
  2. 2 C Strawberries, frozen
  3. 1 1/2 C Pineapple, frozen
  4. 2 Bananas
  5. 1 C Acai Juice
  6. 1 C Pomegranate Juice
  7. 1 C Water
  8. 3 C Baby Kale
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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Lemon Zucchini Pasta

We have vegetables galore between our garden and our recent CSA share. I used up some in a smoothie this morning, some in a salad for dinner and now more in this refreshing pasta dish. When I say pasta, it is really not pasta, but rather zucchini noodles. Zucchini is the perfect replacement for grain-based noodles because they stay firmer than spaghetti squash. If you have tried it, give it a whirl. I promise you will like it and besides what a better way to use up the oodles of zucchini you probably have coming out of your garden.

Lemon Zucchini Pasta
Serves 6
Summer pasta is something that I have been craving lately, so I threw together this light and refreshing dish today. The best part is it not only gluten free, but it is also grain free since the noodles are made from zucchini.
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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
  1. 3 Medium Zucchini
  2. 2 C Corn
  3. 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  4. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  5. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  6. 1 Orange Pepper, chopped
  7. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  8. 2 C Chicken, cooked and chopped
  9. 3 Lemons, juice
  10. 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  11. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  12. 2 tbsp Agave Nectar
  13. 2 tsp Sea Salt
  14. 1 tsp Pepper
  15. 1 tbsp Garlic
Instructions
  1. Chop all of the vegetables and make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer. Set aside.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and garlic in a wok or large sauce pan. Add all of the vegetables (except for the zucchini), corn and tomatoes. Cook for 5-7 minutes over medium high until the onions start to become slightly translucent.
  3. Add in the chicken and zucchini noodles. Continue to rotate the noodles so they cook evenly. Noodles will take about 5 minutes to cook. Remove from burner and drain out excess water.
  4. Mix together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and agave nectar.
  5. Transfer noodle mixture to a bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing mixture (I would start with a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches a consistency you like). Use any extra dressing for a salad.
  6. When ready to serve, top with Parmesan cheese (optional).
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Peach Cilantro Salsa

Peaches galore….recipe number 3 in an attempt to use up 20 pounds of fresh peaches! So, I am not a big tomato salsa girl, but when you add peaches and agave nectar it totally throws a curve ball into my opinion! This is by far my favorite salsa recipe and I think it would be wonderful with grilled halibut. In fact, if I can find any fresh halibut in Minnesota (wow, do I miss fresh fish from Alaska…I was too spoiled) I will make it. 

Peach Cilantro Salsa
Serves 12
Fresh peaches, farm-fresh tomatoes and cilantro from our garden work well in this fresh and fabulous salsa. This salsa would be a perfect topping for grilled fish or pork carnita tacos.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Peaches, pits removed and chopped
  2. 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  3. 1 Jalapeno, finely diced
  4. 1 C Cilantro, chopped
  5. 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tbsp Agave Nectar
  7. 2 Limes, juice
Instructions
  1. Combined chopped peaches, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro into a medium size bowl.
  2. Stir in lime juice, agave nectar and salt until combined.
  3. Serve with chips, tacos or grilled fish.
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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Lime Tomatillo BBQ Ribs

Started watching “Orange is the New Black” last week and have it on in the background as I am writing out this post. It is a very entertaining show that I highly recommend!

Aside from my new mini-series of choice (last one being “The Walking Dead”), I am starting to research the link between diet and autoimmune conditions. Having a solid background in health and wellness research and a master’s degree in health services research, I feel compelled to learn as much as I can about how diet can impact autoimmune conditions. My recent interest in autoimmune diseases has been prompted by my husband being diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.

With this diagnosis, I have decided to put my research expertise to use by helping him heal as much as possible. For starters, I need to point out that this recipe is not autoimmune friendly because of the presence of nightshades (e.g. tomatillos, jalapenos, paprika and tomatoes). However, my husband has decided that he wants to do the migration to a Paleo/autoimmune diet slowly. He is starting by eliminating grains, legumes and dairy. Going at his own pace, this recipe is Paleo friendly, but does not adhere to a strict autoimmune diet protocol. We will get there eventually.

If curious what foods to include/avoid if you have an autoimmune conditions check out this guide from Autoimmune Paleo (http://autoimmune-paleo.com/paleo-autoimmune-protocol-print-out-guides/).

To help others, I am also starting an autoimmune page. As I gather more research I will post helpful information under this page. The intent is to assist others who are battling from similar issues. Be patient though, I am extremely busy working a full-time job (e.g. director of research team absorbing 50 hours of my time/week), being a mother of a toddler and making healthy food for my family. It may take a while for me to develop, but I promise this detail is in the works!

Now, moving on to the recipe, these ribs were delicious! First, I slow cooked them in the oven with a dry rub and in the last 30 minutes of cooking I smothered them with the tomatillo lime BBQ sauce. For a side dish, I roasted some roasted yellow and green summer squash with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven. Very yummy meal, I must say!

Lime Tomatillo BBQ Ribs
Serves 4
These ribs were slow roasted in the oven and then topped with a tomatillo BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce is the perfect blend of tart, tangy and sweet.
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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
Lime Tomatillo BBQ Sauce
  1. 10 Tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  2. 1 Jalapeno
  3. 2 Limes, juice
  4. 1 C Carrot Juice
  5. 1 C Orange Juice
  6. 2 Tomatoes, stems removed and quartered
  7. 1 tsp Salt
  8. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  9. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  10. 1 Onion, chopped
  11. 1 tsp Coriander
  12. 2 tbsp Honey
  13. 1/2 C Fresh Oregano
Spare Ribs Dry Rub
  1. 1 rack Spare Ribs
  2. 1 tbsp Cumin
  3. 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  4. 1 tbsp Salt
  5. 1/2 tbsp Black Pepper
  6. 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  7. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  8. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  9. 1 tsp Cinnamon
  10. 1 tsp All Spice
  11. 1 tsp Coriander
  12. 1 tsp Paprika
Directions
Lime Tomatillo BBQ Sauce
  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven. Cook over medium-high until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Add to blender and mix until smooth. Put in refrigerator until ribs are done slow roasting.
Oven Roasted Spare Ribs
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs to ensure the fat is rendered during cooking. Here is a guide from Weber on how to remove the membrane: http://www.weber.com/weber-nation/grill-skills/mastering-ribs/rib-prep/removing-the-membrane-from-baby-back-ribs. It is for baby back ribs, but the idea is identical no matter what ribs you choose.
  3. Mix together the dry rub seasoning and apply liberally on the meat side of the ribs.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and top this with a metal wire rack. Add ribs (meat side up) to the top of the wire rack.
  5. Broil on high for five minutes or until the ribs start to bubble slightly.
  6. Turn down oven to 300 degrees. Cover the ribs with aluminum foil and slow roast for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. After this point brush on the tomatillo BBQ sauce every ten minutes. Repeat this process three times. Leave off the tinfoil for this part.
  8. Let the ribs cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.
http://barerootkitchen.com/
 

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Beef Zucchini Lasagna

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

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

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

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

Summertime fun

Now on to the recipe …

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

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Sweet Potato Curry Bisque

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

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

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

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

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Tomato Vegetable Bisque

Soup three of wisdom teeth fun! And a bisque too. Doesn’t bisque make the soup sound so fancy? Well, not really, it is just a glorified French term for a heavy cream soup. However, I was not going to settle for putting heavy cream in my soup without first taking a stab at a substitute!

The closest thing I have found to imitating heavy cream is Greek Yogurt. I should get some stock in Fage because I am in love with their product and use it in almost all of my recipes that call for sour cream or heavy cream! Anyway, the yogurt did the trick. Plus, it added a ton of protein!

This way my favorite of the three soups I made during my recovery! I served this with grilled cheese and sweet potato fries for our little guy (torture because I couldn’t eat them too!).

As I have mentioned before, my definition of Paleo includes yogurt and cheese, if you are strict Paleo, substitute the yogurt for a can of coconut milk. 

FYI, when selecting tomatoes, I use fresh or buy Pomi tomatoes in a box. If you can, try to avoid canned tomatoes as they are linked to BPA exposure (e.g. carcinogens). Here is a link discussing BPA exposure (if you want to read more information):

http://www.breastcancerfund.org/assets/pdfs/tips-fact-sheets/tip-card-ten-canned-foods-to.pdf

Tomato Vegetable Bisque
Serves 8
Creamy tomato vegetable soup that is perfect for a cool winter day or if you are recovering from wisdom tooth surgery & need some nutrients, LIKE ME!
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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. 5-6 Celery Stalks, rough chopped
  2. 4 Carrots, rough chopped
  3. 2 Onions, rough chopped
  4. 2 26 Ounce Cans, Crushed Tomatoes
  5. 2 tsp Salt
  6. 1 tsp Pepper
  7. 5 Sprigs Thyme, fresh
  8. 1 C Basil, fresh
  9. 2 Bay Leaves
  10. 4 C Chicken Stock
  11. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  12. 1 tbsp Bacon Grease
  13. 1 1/2 C Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Chop the vegetables.
  2. Heat up bacon grease in large pot (yes, bacon grease because it renders amazing flavor). Use coconut oil if you do not have bacon grease on hand.
  3. Add vegetables, garlic and salt & pepper. Saute for 6-8 minutes until onions are slightly tender. Add in chicken stock, fresh herbs & turn temperature up to medium high heat.
  4. After mixture comes to a boil, simmer on low for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
  5. Remove herbs.
  6. Add vegetable mixture to blender. Mix until smooth.
  7. Put back into pot and stir in yogurt.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Green Tomatillo Salsa

Tonight was taco night! Yum! To go along with one of my all-time favorite meals, I made some homemade tomatillo salsa, taco seasoning for the ground beef and fresh guacamole. I forgot to take a picture of both the taco meat and guacamole, but I promise to post these recipes next time.

This was the first time I gave Mason a whole taco, shell and all. He picked it up and sniffed it, but refused take a bite. I didn’t push it, thinking eventually this would be one of his favorites :)

Here is the recipe for the yummy salsa though!

Green Tomatillo Salsa
Serves 12
Green tomatillo salsa with hints of jalapeno, lime and garlic.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-10 Tomatillos
  2. 1 Green Pepper
  3. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  4. 3 Jalapeno Peppers
  5. 3 Tomatoes
  6. 1 tbsp Salt
  7. 2 Limes, juice
Instructions
  1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and cut into quarters.
  2. Take the stem portion off of the jalapeno peppers and tomatoes.
  3. Cut tomatoes into quarters.
  4. Remove seeds and core from the green pepper. Cut into large strips.
  5. After prepping the peppers, tomatillos and tomatoes throw everything into a blender or food processor (for this recipe a blender works better to get an even consistency). Pulse until small chunks of salsa are formed.
  6. Add additional salt to taste.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Quinoa is my new favorite super food. 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 rocks it from a nutritional perspective, so I have been trying to put it into a lot of my recipes lately & even the ones where I am making desserts. In the next couple of days I will also be adding two cookie recipes I made from Quinoa! I am cookie freak & trust me when I say they rock too! Aside from cookies, here is a savory recipe of quinoa in a salad.

Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Serves 6
Light & refreshing salad made with quinoa, chickpeas, basil, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette.
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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
  1. 1 C Red Quinoa, cooked
  2. 1 C Chicken Stock
  3. 1/2 C Water
  4. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/4 Rice Vinegar
  6. 1 Lime, juice
  7. 1 tbsp Mustard
  8. 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  9. 1 Red Onion, chopped
  10. 1 C Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  11. 1/2 C Basil Leaves, fresh & chopped
  12. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  13. 1/2 C Feta Cheese, crumbled (optional)
  14. Salt
  15. Pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring chicken stock and water to boil.
  2. Add quinoa, turn down heat to low & simmer until fully cooked. Takes roughly 20 minutes or until liquid fully absorbed. Let quinoa cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  3. Mix together olive oil, mustard, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and basil.
  4. Mix dressing with cooked quinoa, vegetables, chick peas and feta cheese in a large large bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Omit feta for vegan version.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Vegetable Chop Salad

For whatever reason I have been craving hard core vegetables lately! This is an oddity because normally I want every baked good under the sun. So, I experimented with my frequent salad creations & went with a grapefruit vinagrette. I am hit or miss with grapefruits most days, but they are super healthy for & the dressing turned out totally awesome! One of these days I also need to share my homemade sesame ginger dressing because it is the BOMB!

Vegetable Chopped Salad
Serves 2
Chopped salad that is loaded with veggies, eggs & sunflower seeds and topped with a grapefruit vinaigrette.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
Chopped Salad
  1. 1/4 C Broccoli Spears, rough chop
  2. 1/4 Cucumber, peeled & chopped
  3. 1/4 C Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
  4. 1/4 Bell Peppers, (I used red, yellow and orange)
  5. 6-8 Baby Carrots, sliced
  6. 2 Hard Boiled Eggs (Free Range), chopped
  7. 1/4 C Sugar Snap Peas, cut in half
  8. 2 C Spinach,
  9. 1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
Grapefruit Vinaigrette
  1. 1/2 Grapefruit
  2. 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  3. 1/8 C Olive Oil
  4. 1/2 tsp Salt
  5. 1/8 tsp Pepper
  6. 1 tbsp Honey
  7. 1 tsp Hemp Seeds
  8. 1/4 tsp Celery Seeds
Directions
Salad
  1. Cut up veggies and eggs. Add all salad ingredients to a medium sized bowl.
Vinaigrette
  1. Squeeze grapefruit juice into bowl (make sure to take out the seeds).
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together until everything is combined.
  3. Toss with salad ingredients.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Butternut Spaghetti Sauce

Looking to hide veggies from your kids without even noticing, try adding pureed butternut squash to your spaghetti squash! This sauce is my favorite rendition of my all-time favorite comfort meal. 

For tomatoes (crushed and pureed), I prefer to use Pomi tomatoes because it does not have citric acid added to the ingredients & it comes in a box. A box, who cares? Well I do and I try to avoid canned tomatoes because “recent reports indicate that the lining of most cans (including tomatoes, beans and soda) contain a resin that leaches a toxic chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), into food. BPA has been shown to be a neuroendocrine disruptor and causes several biological problems, especially during development”. The biggest issue is the impact on children. Kids have a smaller body weight, so exposure to BPA has a bigger impact to them because they cannot metabolize/eliminate the toxins from their body as effectively as adults. 

So, either buy pre-made tomato sauce from a jar or get tomatoes from a box (if making sauce from scratch). If plan on being even more ambitious by canning them in glass jars this summer :) When I do this I will be sure to post my recipe!  

Butternut Spaghetti Sauce
Serves 8
Spaghetti squash noodles topped with a butternut marinara sauce. Meal loaded with veggies! Yum!
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
2 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Butternut or Buttercup Squash
  2. 1 Spaghetti Squash
  3. 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  4. 1 tbsp Garlic, crushed
  5. 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  6. 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  7. 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  8. 2 C Mushrooms, sliced
  9. 1 26 ounce Carton Tomatoes, pureed
  10. 1 26 ounce Carton Tomatoes, crushed
  11. 1 Can Tomato Paste
  12. 1 tbsp Basil
  13. 1 tbsp Oregano
  14. 1 tsp Celery Salt
  15. 1 tsp Salt
  16. 1/2 tsp Pepper
  17. 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  18. 1 LB Ground Beef, grass fed
  19. 1 LB Ground Italian Pork Sausage, air-raised
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut butternut squash & spaghetti squash in half, removing seeds out seeds.
  3. Put squash face down in separate cake pans (butternut in one & spaghetti squash in another since they have different baking times), cover with an inch of water and wrap with tinfoil.
  4. Bake butternut squash for 60-70 minutes until the flesh is tender. You can check this by stabbing the thickest part with a fork.
  5. While the squash is baking, heat up coconut oil.
  6. Add onion, red pepper, green pepper and garlic until onions are slightly translucent.
  7. Once onions are cooked add in mushrooms. Continue to saute until mushrooms are tender.
  8. In a separate pan, cook the ground beef and Italian pork sausage until fully cooked.
  9. Spoon out the butternut squash & puree with an immulsion blender or food processor until smooth.
  10. Add to a large saucepan with vegetables and meat. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook on medium until the liquid comes to starts to bubble slightly. Turn down heat to low, add spices & simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  11. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  12. Add the spaghetti squash to oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  13. Spoon out spaghetti squash & top with sauce.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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Cucumber Basil Salad

This is my favorite salad! I have even received rave reviews from my sister-in-law who said, “You had me at tomato & basil” when I brought this to our cabin.

Anyway, we had a huge crop of basil and parsley in our garden, so this was the perfect recipe to take advantage of the fresh herbs. Doesn’t get more organic than that :)

It is super easy to make too. Give it a whirl & let me know what you think.

Cucumber Basil Salad
Serves 8
Perfect salad to make ahead for a neighborhood BBQ or family picnic.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
  1. 1 C Broccoli Spears
  2. 1 Cucumber, peeled & chopped
  3. 1/2 C Basil Leaves, fresh & chopped
  4. 1 - 15 oz. Can Black Olives
  5. 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  6. 1/2 C Feta Cheese, crumbled (optional)
Salad Dressing
  1. 1/4 C Parsley, fresh & chopped
  2. 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  3. 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  4. 1/4 C Olive Oil
  5. 1/2 tsp Salt
  6. 1/8 tsp Pepper
  7. 1 tbsp Honey
Instructions
  1. Mix together salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Combine salad dressing ingredients together until everything is combined.
  3. Toss with salad ingredients.
Notes
  1. Let salad cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving to allow the vegetables to soak up the dressing.
http://barerootkitchen.com/

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