Mediterranean Chicken “Pasta”

Here’s another recipe that I developed to serve with rutabaga pasta. I decided to include the instructions for making it again. The rutabaga is quickly becoming my favorite vegetable… And while this does require a special piece of equipment, it’s totally worth it if you ask me.

So, what’s the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip?  I’ll save myself the trouble and just link to this article. If you’re too lazy to go read that link, turnips are more white and rutabagas are more yellow.

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Mediterranean Dry Rub
  • 1 teaspoon Wildtree Garlic Galore or use powdered garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 6 sundried tomato halves, chopped into thin strips
  • 4 baby artichoke hearts (bought mine at Costco), quartered and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Basil leaves for garnish
  • 1 large rutabaga
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Mix the chicken and spices in a bowl and allow to sit in the fridge for a few hours. You can also freeze the meal at this stage.

Prepare the rutabaga pasta.

Peel the rutabaga and use a Paderno spiralizer to make rutabaga “pasta” (see photos).

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Once the rutabaga is fully spiralized, use kitchen shears or a knife to cut the strands into lengths of about 12″. Heat water in a pasta pot to a boil and add a pinch of salt.

Prepare the chicken.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Brown the chicken. Add the sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts to the chicken and allow them to heat through. Add the butter and stir until melted. Now add the cream, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge all the yummy brown bits. Lower the heat, cover, and let the sauce simmer until the pasta is ready.


Dump the spiralized rutabaga into the boiling water. I cooked it for about 6-8 minutes (but I’m at 5400ft above sea level). Pluck a piece out from time to time and pull it off the stove when it reaches al dente (a little bit of bite) texture. Drain and serve as you would pasta. Garnish with basil or parsley.

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
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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!

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
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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!

 

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is one of my favorite sauces. It’s great on chicken and beef alike, and pairs really well with a good Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve decided to highlight two recipes that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc. The first is a Flank Steak with Argentine Chimichurri sauce, and the second (which I will develop soon) is a Tequila Chipotle Lime Chicken Lettuce Wrap.

I had to develop a chimichurri sauce without cilantro because my husband hates the taste of cilantro. He says that it “tastes like poison.” I must admit that sometimes I make it with cilantro just so that he doesn’t eat any of it, but this time I decided to research recipes and make one with oregano and parsley.

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Fresh large bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley. Don’t buy the curly kind. You want about 1.5 cups of parsley leaves.
  • One container of fresh oregano. You know, those little plastic containers that they sell in the produce department.  You’ll need about 1/4 cup of loosely packed leaves.
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste. I use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few shakes of pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon Wildtree Lemon Grapeseed Oil + 1 tablespoon Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil (if you don’t have these, use 2 tablespoon of grapeseed oil with some lemon rind grated into it).
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Directions:

Grab a mini food processor or a regular food processor. Note: this recipe works much better in a mini one, because the volume of what you are making is so small.  Pick the parsley leaves off the stems and place in the container of the mini food processor. Do the same with the oregano. Put the garlic on top. Mix with the food processor until the leaves are chopped and an even consistency.

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Next, add the red pepper flakes, some salt and pepper, the oils, and the vinegar. Blend with the food processor again until blended. Taste with a spoon and adjust seasonings.  It might need a little more salt, for example.

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Product note: I have the Cuisinart Mini Prep and I absolutely love it. When you use the “chop” feature, the blade goes one direction. When you press the other button for “grind”, it goes backwards and dislodges anything that might have gotten stuck.

Note: this is best made the day before you want to serve it. You should let the flavors incorporate fully for the best-tasting sauce. Serve room temperature with flank steak, grilled chicken, or use as a dip with raw veggies.

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Enjoy!