Greek Chicken Kabobs

I know it’s been a while since I posted a recipe.  What can I say? Life got in the way…  Well, I’m making a commitment to cook more, develop recipes, and I even got the blogworthy dinner plate out again.  So watch out!  It’s grilled season here in Colorado so get prepared for some easy, delicious recipes.  I even got new skewers…

I recently started using rosemary oil for the arthritis in my right thumb. Strangely enough, I’ve been craving Greek chicken kabobs ever since. I looked up a few recipes, then realized that I have Wildtree Opa! blend and that’s about all you need to make something Greek and delicious. So here goes.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1.5″ chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Opa! Greek Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore Seasoning (or use crushed garlic and some salt/pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wildtree Mediterranean Dry Rub

Directions:

Grab a gallon Ziploc bag. Mix all the seasonings in the bag and place the chicken pieces in the bag. Marinade for a few hours or mix and then freeze until you are ready to cook.

When you are ready, preheat a barbecue grill to medium-high. Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and put them on the grill. I used four skewers for one pound of chicken. Grill on the first side for approximately five minutes, then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes.

IMG_0201

You want the chicken to register approximately 165F on a meat thermometer, which will take about 12-18 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. Serve with steamed vegetables, rice, and tzatziki sauce.  I make a Wildtree tzatziki sauce by mixing Fage 2% plain greek yogurt with a little bit of Wildtree Opa! Seasoning and some lemon juice. Delicious!

IMG_0223

 

Teriyaki Garlic Chicken Wings

I’ve been secretly on a chicken wing kick.  There is a local restaurant here that does an amazing dry rub on its chicken wings. I wanted to create a teriyaki chicken wing recipe to celebrate the launch of Wildtree’s Teriyaki Sauce.  So here goes!

Teriyaki Garlic Chicken Wings

  • Servings: 20 wings
  • Time: 50 mins
  • Print

Ingredients for the wings:

  • 20 chicken wing drumettes. This is a little over 3lbs. Look for these at your grocery store. It’s where the butcher has already separated the wing into the two parts and discarded the weird pointy wing tip
  • 2 tablespoons Wildtree Garlic Galore
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil or regular grapeseed oil

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup Wildtree Teriyaki Sauce (or other teriyaki sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari sauce (or use soy sauce if you don’t care if it’s gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

In a large ziploc bag, combine the oil, seasonings, and chicken. Allow to marinate for a few hours or up to a day in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this if you’d like.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the chicken from the bag and spread out the individual pieces on a sheet pan. Cook on one side for 10 minutes. Make the glaze while the chicken is cooking. Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium until it thickens slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Turn the stove to low to keep the glaze warm. After the first 10 minutes in the oven, turn the chicken pieces and cook for another 10 minutes. Continue to flip/cook until the meat registers 165F, between 30-35 minutes total cooking time.

IMG_9876

When the meat registers 165F, immediately turn off the oven and remove the chicken.

Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and coat with the glaze.

IMG_9878

Serve while hot.

IMG_9885
Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I think I’m on an official lettuce wrap kick. I decided to develop this recipe to enjoy PF Changs-type lettuce wraps. Did I mention that between gluten free and no egg, that’s about the only dish at PF Changs that I can eat? Almost everything on the menu, even the GF menu, is marinated in something that contains egg.  Sigh… I like these almost as much as the PF Changs variety, and probably more so if I skipped the crispy rice noodles at the restaurant. 🙂

Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup gluten free Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore, or use 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed oil or grapeseed oil (for the pan)
  • 1.5 lb ground chicken breast
  • 4 oz white mushroom, diced (1/2 package)
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts, diced
  • 1 butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated.
  • Optional additional toppings include: chopped bell peppers, green onions, additional teriyaki sauce for dipping.

Mix the Teriyaki sauce through salt in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat a large frying pan on medium. Cook the ground chicken with the grapeseed oil until no longer pink. While the chicken is browning, prep any optional toppings that you plan to serve with the lettuce wraps. Once the chicken is no longer pink, stir in the mushrooms and water chestnuts and allow to heat through. Stir in the sauce from the small bowl and heat through. I served this with additional teriyaki sauce and sliced green onions on top.

Gluten-free Egg-free Italian Meatballs

Buckle up. These are amazing… Three people have told me that. Low carb, no eggs, no gluten. This is my new go-to recipe for meatballs. It does have dairy. I just hope they freeze well. More on that in a few days and I will update. 

So…  the chicken meatballs I developed a few weeks ago weren’t tender at all, so I decided to step back and try a recipe with ground beef.  After a bunch of recipe research, I decided to use ricotta cheese for moisture. This recipe is also centered around a 1.5lb package of ground beef from Costco. This recipe makes 30 meatballs, which is about perfect considering I only wanted to use one pan. This would be awesome with my rutabaga pasta. If you do that, note that this recipe includes the sauce for the meatballs. Each serving is 5 meatballs…

Gluten-free Egg-free Italian Meatballs

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 2.5 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Smoked Tomato and Mozzeralla Blend
  • 1/4 cup Wildtree European Dipping Oil – Balsamic
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • One 15oz. container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  • One 24oz. jar marinara sauce
  • 6oz water
Grab the largest saucepan that you have that has a good lid. By the end of this recipe, you will be cramming 30 meatballs in it and it’s best if they can fit in one layer. I used our large cast iron pan and a copper lid that happens to fit it.
Get your big food processor out. Trust me, this recipe is worth the clean up. You’ll also need two small bowls. In the first bowl, mix the flax seed and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. In the second bowl, mix the 1/4 cup European Dipping Oil and the Smoked Tomato and Mozzeralla Blend.
Allow both to sit while you start adding ingredients to the food processor.
Put the cutter blade in the food processor bowl. Combine the following ingredients on in the food processor bowl: ground beef, ricotta, parsley, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and potato flakes. Add both the flax seed mixture and the dipping oil mixture and pulse to combine. You want to pulse it enough so that everything is mixed. It will look like a pinkish paste when you are done, and that is OK!
Preheat the stove to medium-low heat and grab a cutting board and two dinner plates. Use a spoon to scoop out small portions of the meat mixture and put them on the cutting board. I find it easiest to work in batches of 10.  Make 10 meatballs and then start them browing in the pan. While those are browning on one side, make 10 more meatballs and put them on the first dinner plate. Flip the meatballs over once using a silicone spatula. These are so tender that they will fall apart unless you are very careful. Let them brown on the second side. Don’t worry about the pinkish hue that’s left around the middle because they will finish cooking in the sauce later. They should look like the photo below. Remove them to the second dinner plate and start browning the second batch.
Continue until all three batches have been browned. Scrape the bottom of the pan, add the marinara sauce and the 6oz water (I put the water in the jar and shake it up to loosen any good stuff that is left). Put all the meatballs back in the pan and allow them to come to a simmer.
Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. I simmered mine for 10 minutes before they came up to temperature (145F).  They will firm up and shrink a little bit.  You can freeze small portions of these in Ziploc containers.  I doubt we’ll have any to freeze.  Yes, they are that good.  OK.  I set aside some to freeze because I want to make sure they bounce back alright.
IMG_9819 IMG_9820
Enjoy!

Gluten-free Egg-free Albondigas en Salsa

We are back from vacation and I’m so happy to be back in my kitchen and no longer beholden to restaurant food. This is a quick recipe for meatballs in spicy chipotle tomato sauce. I’ve made this before with beef/pork, but decided to adapt this to make it with ground chicken and pork. 

This type of recipe makes a great appetizer to take to a potluck. It has plenty of protein and is gluten and egg free. I learned the potato flake trick from reading the Cook’s Illustrated gluten-free cookbook. Of course, most gluten-free recipes are chock-full of eggs. 

I tweaked the recipe here slightly because my hubby said that the meatballs had too much pepper. (I cut down on the Rancher Rub and tweaked the ratio of flax/water slightly as well). Making meatballs out of a lean meat like chicken is difficult b/c it’s so easy for things to dry out. As such, I highly recommend simmering the meatballs in the sauce rather than oven baking them if you are worried about them drying out. Just make sure that they reach 165F before you serve them. 

Full disclosure. This is a recipe I am still perfecting. What I’ve written here is the next recipe that I plan to test based on prior experience, research, and gut feeling. I suggest you read this for recreational purposes only at the moment :-). If you do try the recipe below, please comment and let me know what you think and if you’d change anything. 

 

Gluten-free Egg-free Albondigas en Salsa

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Print

Meatball ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon flax seed
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup potato flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree garlic galore OR use minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Rancher Rub
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup 
Preheat oven to 375F and grab a cookie sheet, large mixing bowl, small bowl, and a large sauce pan.  Mix the flax seed and water in the small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes in the refrigerator for it to set. This acts like an egg and provides some binding capability for the meatballs. Mix the remainder of the ingredients in the large bowl. Make sure to mix gently so that you don’t make the meatballs tough. Add the flax/water and combine. Use a cookie scoop (1″) to scoop portions of the meat mixture out on to the cookie sheet.  Use your hands to roll the balls into rounds and place back on the cookie sheet.

While the meatballs are cooking, start the sauce. Cook the meatballs for 12 minutes, flip and cook an additional 12 to 18 minutes until meat thermometer registers 165° F. If everyone in the family is eating the meatballs in the chipotle sauce, you can also cook the meatballs in the sauce. See below for instructions. I do them separately in the oven so that my 7-yr-old can have meatballs with plain marinara while the rest of us eat the spicier sauce. I think this dries them out more…


Sauce ingredients:

  • Two 24 oz cans tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle paste (I like Olo brand, which I found on Amazon).
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer. If you’d like to cook the meatballs in the sauce, skip the oven directions above and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes before adding the meatballs. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 20-30 minutes until they register 165F on a meat thermometer.

We served these with fresh steamed veggies.  My son has penne, plain marinara, and the meatballs.

Enjoy!

 

Low-Carb Grain-Free Gluten-Free Nachos

Sometimes when you lead a low-carb gluten-free lifestyle you just crave something that sounds completely indulgent and unhealthy. I got this idea when we ate at a Mexican restaurant in Colorado Springs that offered a Paleo menu. They served the guacamole with red bell pepper strips.  It got me thinking…  So here it is! Why not make nachos without the chips?

Low-Carb Grain-Free Gluten-Free Nachos

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 bell peppers or one 1lb package of mini peppers
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken (you can also seasoned taco meat)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp Wildtree fajita seasoning or similar type of seasoning
  • 1 tsp Wildtree garlic galore OR 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • Additional toppings such as tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, and salsa. Optional squeeze of lime and guacamole.

Directions:

Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grab a sheet pan, and line it with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the peppers into thick strips so that they will be able to hold the nacho ingredients and act like a large chip. If using mini peppers, cut them in half and remove the stem and seeds. You may need to press them flat. In a medium bowl mix the chicken, grapeseed oil, fajita seasoning, garlic, cider vinegar and salt. Spoon the chicken mixture onto the pepper slides and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top with tomatoes, olives, and/or cilantro and serve with a side of salsa and/or guacamole. If you feel like it, squeeze with lime before serving.

This is a perfect use for salsa made with fresh tomatoes since the flavors will absolutely shine…  (Picture of nachos coming soon.)

996025_10201390411955049_465948717_n

Enjoy!

Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips

I was really amazed with how much these shrank in the oven. Start with a gigantic zucchini if you can. This will be a great way to use up the tons of zucchini we plan to grow this summer.

Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: A few hours (mostly hands off)
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (about 4 cups) thin sliced Zucchini
  • ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper (OR use Hot Chili Pepper and Garlic Blend from Wildtree instead)
  • ½ tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Note: Preheat oven to 230 degrees F. I cut my zucchini on a mandoline slicer using the thinnest setting. In a medium bowl whisk salt, pepper, grapeseed oil (if used), and vinegar. Add sliced zucchini. Toss with the “dressing” to coat. Arrange slices on sheet trays. Bake for about 1 hour and then turn the oven off.  Allow them to completely dry out.  I used four giant zucchini and they shrank considerably.  See below for a before/after picture.  Make these the day before and store in a bowl covered in foil.

If you want to kick this up a notch, consider substituting Hot Chili Pepper and Garlic Blend from Wildtree instead of the salt and pepper.

IMG_9231

Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Mini Caprese Salad Bites

I love taking a vegetable dish when I’m asked to take an appetizer to a party. I find that most of the dishes end up being heavy or cracker friendly, and I like to keep the carbs low while eating real food.  I’m also a fan of just taking cut-up veggies, and I’ll share a great idea for that in a few days. For now, this is basically a portable caprese salad. These are probably best served with a fork so that you can cut them in half.

Mini Caprese Salad Bites

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Campari tomatoes (larger than cherry tomatoes, smaller than regular tomatoes). Look for these at Trader Joe’s and/or Costco.
  • 8-10 sticks of mozzarella string cheese or 1 container pearl sized buffalo mozzarella.
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Wildtree Tuscan Dipping Oil, or use a combination of grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar.

Directions:

Rinse and pat dry the tomatoes. Remove all stems. Cut off the top of the tomato. Use a sharp paring knife cut a thin slice off the bottom so that they don’t roll around. Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or the paring knife. Discard the seedy centers. Place the tomato cut side down on a paper towel to drain liquid.

Depending on the size of your tomatoes cut the mozzarella sticks into bite size pieces that will fit nicely in to the tomato (or use the pearl-sized mozzarella balls). Rinse and gently pat dry the basil. Hand tear generous pieces to go in the middle of each tomato.

To assemble, line your scooped out tomatoes on a cutting board or cookie sheet. Line each tomato with a piece of basil, gently pushing it to the bottom of the tomato. Top off with a piece of mozzarella. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt. Drizzle with Wildree Tuscan Dipping Oil. Best served when cheese is at room temperature.

IMG_9237

Enjoy!

Cheese Crisps

Trust me, these are worth the effort, especially if you trying out a grain-free or low carb diet and want something crunchy. I really like these crumbled up on top of salads.

Cheese Crisps

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 60 mins
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Swiss and Gruyere

Directions:

Grab a cookie sheet and some parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375°F. Drop small piles (about 2 tsp each) of the cheese onto the parchment paper. Make sure to leave a little bit of space because the cheese will spread out. You can tap down on the cheese slightly to help this process.  Bake for 8-12 minutes until the cheese begins to brown nicely. You want the edges to look slightly crispy.  Remove the crisps from the oven and allow them to cool for about 3 minutes before using a very thin spatula to move the crisps over to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cheese until you’re happy with how many crisps you’ve made.

IMG_9234

Store in an airtight container. These will last about week, but you will probably eat them all before then.

Enjoy!

Tequila Chipotle Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These were delicious! I wanted to make something Mexican that didn’t have salsa, cilantro, or onions. What I discovered was a whole new Mexican flavor profile.  I’m definitely going to make these again.

Tequila Chipotle Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil.
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast.
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle en adobo paste in a tube. I like Olo’s Chipotle Paste.
  • 1 tablespoon tequila.
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore Seasoning, or powdered garlic.
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Chipotle Lime Seasoning.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated.
  • Optional additional toppings include: chopped bell peppers, Mexican cheese, chopped English cucumbers, chopped cherry tomatoes.

Preheat a large frying pan on medium.  Cook the ground chicken with the grapeseed oil until brown. While the chicken is browning, grab a small bowl and mix all of the other ingredients together. Prep any optional toppings that you plan to serve with the lettuce wraps.  Once the chicken is no longer pink, stir in the rest of the seasonings from the small bowl and heat through. I served this with my Argentine Chimichurri and a Cranberry Lime Margarita.

559525_10205136243518497_7337612013151999483_n

IMG_9546