Simple Citrus Kale Salad

“If you hate kale, you’ve been doing it all wrong.” That’s what people used to tell me. And I just thought they were mean people. Then my sister in law showed me how to massage it, and I started to explore the wonderful world of kale. The other trick with kale is that you need an acidic dressing. But, whatever you do, don’t taste the dressing before putting it on the salad.

Simple Citrus Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch green kale, stemmed removed and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (don’t use the curly kind)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts sell them in the produce section)
  • 1 navel orange, cut into bite-size pieces

Directions:

Grab a large bowl, knife, cutting board, and your salad spinner. Remove the stems from the kale, roll each leaf, and chop. Massage the kale with the salt until it lets out liquid, about one minute. Rinse and dry in the salad spinner. Taste the kale to make sure that you rinsed off enough of the salt. If it’s still really salty, rinse and spin a second time. Rinse the bowl and place kale back in it. Add the avocado oil, lemon juice, pepper, and parsley. Add the orange wedges and pomegranate arils right before serving. If you’d like to store this salad, make up until the point of adding parsley, and add orange wedges and pomegranate arils on the day that you’re eating it. This will store nicely for 1-2 days in the fridge.


Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Apples and Blackberries

Meet my new favorite salad. I only recently ventured into the land of kale salad. Until then, I’ve seen it stacked up on salad bars, looking dry and unappetizing. And while I wasn’t afraid of kale, I just never really went out of my way to order it or make it myself. I’d heard of “massaging your kale,” but it sounded like something that I should do after my yoga class before meditating (I don’t do either).

In short, I didn’t realize how easy it was until my sister-in-law Krista showed me a few weeks ago. I had to tweak the recipe she showed me, of course.  Oh, one thing to note: don’t mess with the dressing. The end product is a fine balance of sweet and tart, and that makes the final salad just perfect.

Kale Salad with Apples and Blackberries

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch green kale, stemmed removed and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (don’t use the curly kind)
  • 1 Gala or Fuji apple, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (Trader Joe’s sells them in a small package in the produce section)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped into bited-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pint blackberries

Directions:

Grab a large bowl, knife, cutting board, and your salad spinner. Remove the stems from the kale, roll each leaf, and chop. Massage the kale with salt until it lets out liquid, about one minute. Rinse and dry in the salad spinner. Rinse the bowl and place kale back in it. (You can also watch the attached video to see how to chop and massage the kale.)  Continue to assemble the salad by adding carrot, parsley, apple, pomegranate, and onion. Add the olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Stir and taste, then adjust seasonings to your liking. This salad will store nicely for 1-2 days in the fridge. Add blackberries right before serving.

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https://youtu.be/kcZFZPofWTo

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.

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
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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.

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!

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)
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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