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
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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.

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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!

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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
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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.

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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.

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Serve while hot.

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Enjoy!

Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken

It’s finally grilling season in Colorado. Can’t believe we had highs in the 80s today when last week we had snow where we were camping. I adapted this from an Ina Garten recipe. It’s really quite lovely. Very lemony. Delicious. Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow. 

Lemon Garlic Grilled Chicken

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 20 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (3 chicken breasts)
  • 2 teaspoons Wildtree Lemon Rosemary seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil or regular grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 

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 grill to medium high. Place the chicken on the grill, and cook on the first side for about 8 minutes. Turn once and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Continue to cook until the meat registers 165F. It will take about 16-20 minutes total, depending on your grill. When the meat registers 165F, immediately turn off the grill and remove the chicken. This would be great with grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or grilled romaine lettuce.

  
Enjoy!

Paleo-ish Beef Tacos

I try to avoid grains as much as possible. When it comes to sandwiches and other things that require tortillas, sometimes I feel really deprived. There’s only so much salad you can eat, after all.  I decided to whip up a batch of Paleo-ish tacos today. Since I can eat dairy, I put a tiny dab of sour cream and a minimal sprinkle of cheese on top. If you want to make guacamole out of the avocado, go right ahead. I like to eat guacamole on cucumber slices. I also use these cucumber “chips” for salsa. For guacamole, I use 1 avocado, 1 teaspoon Wildtree Guacamole mix, and 1 teaspoon lime juice.

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Paleo-ish Beef Tacos

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb organic ground beef.
  • 2 teaspoons Wildtree Fajita Seasoning.  If you don’t have this on hand, use a good fajita seasoning.  I like Wildtree b/c it doesn’t have any strange fillers, wheat, or corn flour. You can also use Penzey’s.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 organic romaine lettuce heart
  • Garnishes such as avocado, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.

Directions:

Preheat a large frying pan on medium.  Cook the ground beef until brown and then stir in fajita seasoning and salt. I don’t add any liquid to the mixture. Set aside on the stove, covered.

Cut the romaine lettuce in half cross-ways and separate the leaves to make the “taco shells”.  Do any chopping of your garnishes.  Assemble tacos and enjoy!

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This is a Paleo-friendly and Ideal Protein Phase 1-friendly recipe if you leave off the sour cream and cheese.

Korean Bulgogi Beef

This is one of those wonderful dishes that tastes so good but, when you order it out, you often wonder what you’re eating and if you are going to get “glutened”. This may take a little time to prepare at home, but trust me…  It’s SO worth it.

Korean Bulgogi Beef

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs New York strip steak
  • 2 tablespoons Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil or regular grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore seasoning (or you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup Tamari sauce (or gluten free soy sauce or gluten free Teriyaki sauce)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (or more if you want it spicy)

Directions:

In a large ziploc bag, combine the oil and seasonings and let them sit while you prepare the steak. I like to freeze the steaks for about an hour so that they are easy to slice. You are looking for paper-thin strips for the steak. So sharpen your favorite knife and go to town…  You can also ask an Asian grocery butcher if they sell pre-sliced Bulgogi meat. It might be rib eye or New York strip. Basically you want some marbling so that the meat isn’t dry and boring. When you are ready to cut the steak into strips, make sure that you slice it across the grain. This way the meat will be tender and easy to chew.

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Once the meat has been cut into thin strips, allow it to marinate in the bag with oils/seasonings for several hours or up to a day in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this.

Make sure that you thaw it completely before cooking. You will be cooking individual slices in the pan, and you don’t want to be tearing apart partially frozen bits of meat. Preheat a skillet or wok to medium-high heat. Use a small amount of oil to grease the pan, and cook the steak in batches. Make sure that you don’t crowd the pan, since that will lead to the meat steaming rather than getting nice and brown. Cook on each side for about 30 seconds, then pile up the meat onto a dinner plate. I use tongs when cooking this. You will need to work in batches. Once all the meat is browned, toss it all in the pan for a final heat-through.

Serve with rice and sauteed vegetables. Tip: but frozen plain rice at Trader Joe’s or other grocery stores. It takes three minutes in the microwave.

Note: this is traditionally served with half-moon slices of onions. While that’s delicious, I don’t tend to cook with onions because they make my husband sick. We had an onion-free version of this and it was delicious. If you choose to add onions, feel free to add them to the marinade. Cook them in the pan before starting the steak, then add them back to the pan when you do the final heat-through before serving.

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Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken Breast “Deli” Meat

Have you ever read the ingredients on deli meat? Thought about the price per pound? Why not make this for dinner one night and then slice it up for lunch for the rest of the week? You could even slice it up and put it alongside other healthy snacks on the anytime shelf (see link). I don’t normally like buying really large chicken breasts, but this is one recipe where I make an exception to that rule. In fact, for this recipe, the larger the better.  Just make sure not to overcook them. When the thermometer reads 165F, you are done. You don’t want this being rubbery and overcooked.

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large chicken breasts)
  • 2 teaspoons Wildtree Lemon Rosemary seasoning (or seasoning of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil or regular grapeseed oil

Directions:

In a large ziploc bag, combine the oil, seasonings, and chicken. Allow to marinate for several hours or up to a day in the refrigerator. You can also freeze this. It’s one of my son’s favorite freezer meals. You can also double this recipe, make some for dinner, and then slice the leftovers for lunch meat for the rest of the week.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Grab a sheet pan and some aluminum foil. Line the sheet pan with foil. Place the chicken breasts on the foil-line pan and roast, turning once every 6-8 minutes, until the meat registers 165F. It will take about 20-22 minutes total, depending on your oven. When the meat registers 165F, immediately turn off the oven and allow the chicken to sit for about an hour. Slice thinly and store in a tightly sealed glass container. Use for sandwiches, salads. I especially like this between butter lettuce sandwiches leaves.

Store in the refrigerator for up to several days. It will likely not last that long. You can also freeze this after it’s cooked, but only do that if you didn’t freeze it before cooking.

Feel free to experiment with other seasonings like Cajun Blend, Java Rub, Chipotle Lime, or whatever else you’d like.

Enjoy!

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
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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.
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Enjoy!

Wildtree Mac and Cheese Sauce

Have you ever read the back of a package of popular mac and cheese and seen the list of ingredients in the cheese sauce packet?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my child eating Yellow 5 OR Yellow 6, whatever those are.  As a result, I’ve really taken to the Wildtree Kids Cheez blend, although I make a sauce differently from the directions on the bottle. Since I guess that officially counts as a recipe, here goes.

Wildtree Mac and Cheese Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 mins
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Ingredients:

Directions:
Grab a small saucepan and turn on the stove to medium heat. Melt the butter and dump in the Wildtree Kids Cheez.  Add the milk and stir with a whisk until blended. Continue heating through until the mixture just starts to bubble and thicken.
Serve over broccoli or mix with pasta.
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Enjoy!

Low-carb Dairy-free Beef Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is one of those dishes that seems easy to make without dairy, until you realize how tough it is to make a good creamy mashed potato without milk, butter, or cream. Since I’m not a proponent of strange ingredients, those vegan butter substitutes kinda scare me. Add the extra challenge of making it low carb and compliance with Ideal Protein (by using mashed cauliflower), and the whole thing becomes exponentially harder. After a lot of research and thinking, I’ve finally cracked the creamy mashed cauliflower recipe. See the link here for the recipe.

To make this recipe for shepherd’s pie, you’ll need at least half the recipe for my mashed cauliflower. In fact, that recipe is so good that I’m going to at least double it next time I make it.  It does require the food processor, so I’ll have to do it in batches, but that’s ok with me.

This dish can be assembled and refrigerated up to two days before you plan to eat it. It’s also a good candidate for freezing, although you have to either freeze one of your good dishes or use disposable cake pan. This would work well in a disposable 8″ or 9″ square cake pan.

Low-carb Dairy-free Beef Shepherd's Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 60 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef, between 85% and 90% fat
  • 1 teaspoon powdered onion
  • 2 teaspoons Wildtree Garlic Galore OR use granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Tip: by it in a tube and don’t struggle with canned tomato paste ever again.
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Make sure that you pick one that is gluten free.  I like Wan Ja Shan Organic Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini, about one small zucchini.
  • 1 turnip, cut into 1/4″ cubes.

Directions:

Grab a large frying pan, chef’s knife, cutting board, and a 8″ or 9″ square baking pan, preferably one that’s not too shallow. You’ll also need a box grater.

You’ll need at least one half recipe of the mashed cauliflower listed here. If you’ve previously frozen the mashed cauliflower, make sure that you’ve thawed it out prior to starting. If you plan to freeze the shepherd’s pie, I suggest making the mashed cauliflower the day before and putting it in the fridge in a storage container until you are ready to assemble everything. Never freeze things twice…

Brown the ground beef over medium heat in the frying pan. While it’s browning, chop the turnips and grate the zucchini. Once the ground beef is no longer pink, add all the spices and vegetables. Cover, lower the heat to low, and let the mixture cook until the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes.

You are now ready to assemble the casserole. Spoon the meat mixture into the baking dish, then top with the mashed cauliflower. You can top it with parsley or sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 400F until the top is browned nicely and it’s heated through, about 20 minutes. I normally broil it at the end for a few minutes. Tip: Use a teaspoon to make little fluted edges around the edge of the baking dish. This will allow the heat to escape so that you don’t have a bubbling giant mess on the bottom of the oven.

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Serve with your favorite vegetables.

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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
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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!