Grilled Pesto Chicken and Rutabaga Rice (AIP and Grain-free)

I’ve recently discovered rutabaga and it’s many ways to enjoy it! I’ve seen it at the store for years sitting next to the turnips and daikon radishes and never gave them a second glance, though I’m not sure why?! Over the last few months, I’ve experimented with various preparations and recipes and they are quite versatile and delicious.

While I love my quinoa and brown rice, sometimes I need a dish that’s light and filling and packed with nutrition… and this recipe fits the bill. Rutabaga is a bit sweeter than a turnip, compliments the hearty greens and they hold up nicely when pulsed into rice-like pieces in a food processor and sautéed in a skillet. If you are a fan of alternative rice dishes or you avoid grains and/or you follow a paleo lifestyle, add this dish to your repertoire!
rutabag-rice-and-pesto-chicken-close

This AIP-friendly pesto can be used as a dip, a marinade, a sauce or a spread. You can whip up a batch quickly and marinade chicken or toss it with fresh roasted veggies for some added zip. For a vegan dish, substitute grilled portobella mushrooms or roasted cauliflower steaks for the chicken. Oh, how I love options! rutabag-rice-and-pesto-chicken1

Grilled Pesto Chicken & Rutabaga Rice (AIP-friendly, Grain-free) 
Gluten-free, Grain-free, AIP-friendly, Soy-free, Egg-free, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Sugar-free, Nut and Seed-free

 For marinade:
4 chicken breasts (roughly 8 oz), pounded to even thickness to ensure even cooking
1/2 cup AIP-friendly pesto (use store bought if you can have nuts and/or dairy but check ingredients because might not be dairy-free, AIP-friendly and/or vegan)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

For rutabaga rice:
2 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into medium cubes
2 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil
1 small yellow or white onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt or more to taste
3 cups chopped kale, swiss chard (or your favorite greens)
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
fresh lemon juice for serving
additional pesto for serving if desired

Directions

  1. In a tupperware container with a lid or in a gallon zip lock bag, add chicken, pesto, lemon juice and salt. Shake around fully coated and let marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. To make the “rice”, pull out a food processor and use the “S” blade (you might be able to use a high-powered blender but I haven’t tried this). Add the cubed rutabaga chunks and pulse until it resembles a rice-like size.
  3. Preheat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan (or skillet). Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until cooked through depending on thickness (chicken is safely cooked when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees). Tent the chicken with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. While chicken is cooking (or while resting after if you don’t want to multi-task), heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and rutabaga rice and saute for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add sea salt, kale/chard/greens and broth and stir. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5-8 minutes, checking to see when the rutabaga “rice” is tender.
  6. Taste and season rice with salt if needed and/or toss in a drizzle of lemon juice or pesto. Serve with chicken and enjoy!

rutabag-rice-and-pesto-chicken2

Nut-free, Dairy-free Basil Pesto
Makes roughly 1/2 cup

3 1/2 cups chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 cup more basil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions for pesto: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend on high for a smoother sauce-like pesto until smooth or pulse for 30 – 60 secs until pesto reaches your preferred consistency, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor with a spatula. Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days.
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Shawarma-Spiced Meat and Roasted Root Stew

It’s that time again in Montana, where the overcast days are more than just a rare occurrence and the winter is looming…while I’m holding on tight to fall as long as I can, I am embracing heartier dishes that heat me up from the inside-out. emu-roasted-root-stew That means it’s chili, stew and soup season! The first to make an appearance is this warm-spiced stew with ground emu and an array of sweet roasted root vegetables. Not only is this recipe easily adapted for what veggies and ground meat you have on hand, it’s a lovely pairing of sweet, salty and comfort with a variety of textures where you can swap out ingredients to suite your dietary needs. The root veggies compliment the shawarma spices and the ground meat beautifully, the apple cider vinegar makes the flavors really pop and the quinoa and mushrooms add to bulk and “meatiness” of the stew.

If you prefer a vegan or vegetarian cuisine, substitute the ground meat for chickpeas, more grains or add in additional mushrooms. If you do not have broccoli or zucchini on hand, swap either for chopped kale, chard and/or cauliflower. If you avoid grains, leave out the quinoa and serve on it’s own or over sweet potato or rutabaga rice.
emu-roasted-root-stew2Shawarma-Spiced Emu and Roasted Roots Stew
Paleo-friendly option, Vegan/Vegetarian option, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Egg-free, AIP-option, Grain-free option, Sugar-free

3/4 lb ground emu or ground meat of choice* (for vegan substitute 1 can of cooked chickpeas or 8 oz more mushrooms)
3 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if using a higher fat ground meat since emu is quite lean)
1 small onion, diced (yellow or sweet onion)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3-4 Tbsp Shawarma curry spice mix**
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 -2 tsp sea salt
3-4 cups bone broth or homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan/vegetarian)
1-2 cups broccoli, broken or chopped into small florets
3/4 – 1 cup cooked quinoa (or rice. For veggie friendly, can increase to 2 cups or omit for paleo/grain-free)
3 cups roasted root veggies (sweet potato, beets, carrots, parsnips – one, two or a combo)***
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley + more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. If you do not already have roasted root veggies on hand, go ahead and preheat oven to 400F. Toss the following peeled and small diced veggies in 2 Tbsp oil of choice and sea salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned: 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip and set aside.
  2. In a soup pot or a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and ground meat and saute until meat is no longer pink. (If using chickpeas, do not add quite yet), stirring often and breaking up pieces of meat into crumbles, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add in the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, shawarma spice mix, salt, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini and saute for another 6 minutes or so until mushrooms have released their natural juices.
  4. Add in broth/stock, broccoli, cooked quinoa (and chickpeas if vegan/vegetarian) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cooked root veggies, apple cider vinegar and parsley and let cook for one minute or so. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, garnish with additional parsley and enjoy!

emu-roasted-root-stew1*Ground beef, bison, chicken, turkey or lamb would all be lovely options if not vegetarian. You can use up as much as 1 lb of meat if omitting the quinoa/rice or reduce to 1/2 pound of meat and increase grain or veggies if wanting to reduce the cost when purchasing good quality meat.

***I peeled and small diced 1 sweet potato, 1 beet, 1 carrot and 1 parsnip, then tossed in 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted at 400F for roughly 30 minutes until cooked and tender.

**If you follow the AIP diet, use the following shawarma spice blend and combine the following. Start with 2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp and add more if you want more flavor and spice, I am generous with seasoning but some people may prefer a more mild dish: 3 tsp garlic powder, 3 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp tsp tumeric, 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp sea salt, 3/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cloves

Allergy-Friendly Grain-free Waffles (SRC)

As a child, my mom made these Mickey Mouse waffles that I still remember to this day. The waffle iron was in the shape of Mickey’s face and my favorite part was saving his waffle ears to eat last and filling them up with lots of maple syrup…mmm! A good hearty breakfast is right up with there with pizza and brownies on my “top comfort foods list” and waffles are always included.
Not to mention, the smell of waffles cooking is deliciously intoxicating…how can you go wrong with this bread-like goodness that’s fluffy yet crisp on the edges? Plus, you can pile them with toppings from fruit and chocolate chips to savory options like crumbled bacon, scrambled eggs and/or a smear non-dairy cashew cheese (or shredded cheese). YUM!
Grain-free waffles 1

Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs

I was assigned Traci’s blog Burnt Apple this month for the Secret Recipe Club, and wow what a fun collection of recipes to search through! Not only does her site contain a delicious repertoire, Traci has a knack for “taking any meal and giving it a healthy makeover.”  Her Healthy Pixie Sticks have me intrigued, photos of her gluten-free Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls had me salivating and her Dark Chocolate Thin Mints had dreaming if my old favorite Girl Scout cookies with a fun twist.
I ultimately chose these allergy friendly waffles since I’ve been in a bit of a breakfast funk and I was in the mood for comfort food. The fact that you can roll the waffles with a rolling pin to make a “waffle wrap” also caught my attention! These grain-free beauties use half coconut flour and half tapioca starch which boosts the fiber content, making them chock-ful of healthy fats and balanced carbs. 
Grain-free waffles aip1AIP version of Allergy-friendly Waffles without eggs
I opted to make two batches of waffles: I wanted to test each of Traci’s options – trying both the vegan/AIP (auto-immune protocol recipe) version without eggs and the paleo-friendly version with eggs to see what the difference was in the final product. When struggling with my own health and food allergies, I’ve experimented with AIP recipes so I wanted to give them both a shot. I’m so glad I came across this recipe, it’s a winner! I used coconut milk for the non-dairy milk, coconut oil for the fat and I substituted a sprinkle of stevia (to taste) instead of sugar in both recipes but stuck to the original recipe.
The waffles with eggs were delightful! Crisp on the edges, light and fluffy and filling with a touch of sweet 🙂 When I made the AIP-version of the waffles, they took much longer to cook in the waffle iron than the batter made with eggs, while delicious the result was more gummy and not fluffy like typical waffles. My bananas has light brown specks on them so I think a greenish yellow banana might be better since it’s more starchy and/or increase the amount of coconut flour by 1-2 Tbsp. I will give these a go again! I might even experiment with plantains instead of bananas since they are more starchy in general. Each batch makes about 8 waffles, so feel free to freeze any extras and just pop them into a toaster oven when you want a quick breakfast!
Grain-free waffles aip2AIP version of Allergy-friendly Waffles without eggs 
Allergy Friendly Waffles  (lightly adapted from Burnt Apple)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Seed-free, Sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, Nightshade-free, Vegetarian, Egg-free option, AIP-option, Yeast-free, Vegan Option

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (cow’s milk can be used if you tolerate but won’t be dairy-free)
  • 3 eggs (AIP use two bananas in place of the eggs)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar or sugar or a pinch of stevia*
  • 1 tsp alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or neutral oil (can use melted ghee or butter but will not be dairy-free or AIP)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

For serving (optional, ideas)

  • Sliced bananas or fresh berries
  • Carob chips or chocolate chips or cacao nibs (not AIP-friendly unless homemade)
  • Maple syrup, drizzle of honey or your favorite jam or jelly
  • Your favorite nut or seed butter (not AIP-friendly)
  • Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
  • Nitrate-free bacon (not vegetarian) or coconut “bacon”
  • Coconut whipped “cream”

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and butter or oil until smooth. Add in the coconut flour, tapioca or arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until smooth.
  2. Heat waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions. Brush waffle iron with oil or butter. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter onto each waffle iron. (You may need to adjust the amount of batter depending on the size of your waffles). Close and cook according to manufacturers instructions.
  3. Remove waffles from iron (if AIP batter is used, you may need a fork to carefully peel the waffles off the iron), serve immediately or allow waffles to cool to room temperature before placing in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
  4. To make waffle rollups: While waffle is warm, roll with a rolling pin until flat. Fill with bacon, scrambled eggs, veggies, fresh fruit or any other combination you like. Place toppings in a thin strip along the waffle. Roll up and serve.

Yield: 8 waffles

For AIP-friendly version notes: If your bananas are sweet and speckled with brown, you might consider eliminating the sweetener altogether if you prefer more savory waffles. As I mentioned above, when I made the AIP-version of the waffles, they took MUCH longer to cook in the waffle iron than the batter made with eggs. My bananas has light brown specks on them so a more green banana might be better since it’s more starchy or increase the amount of coconut flour by 1-2 Tbsp.

Grain-free waffles 2Allergy-friendly Waffles with eggs 

For other recipes in this week’s reveal, click the link below!

White Chocolate Mint Tea Latte (Vegan)

Cool fall mornings are my favorite…when my cozy bed tries to lure me back in, yet I slip on sweats and slippers and head to the kitchen to brew a warm cup of tea. I find it energizing and invigorating! While I love my morning smoothies, I need to heat up first with something hot when it’s chilly in the house.

white choc mint tea latte
Why not make something nourishing and comforting at the same time? This minty latte has healthy fats from the hemp and cacao butter, peppermint that is soothing for your tummy and digestion, and contains a little protein and fiber from the hemp hearts. This latte is also caffeine-free (unless you use a green or black tea) so you can enjoy a cuppa as a treat after dinner if you’d like!

This quick and easy drink is ideal for sipping while you’re curled up on the couch reading a book, watching tv or having some downtime. If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate, feel substitute carob powder (for AIP) or raw cacao powder for a darker chocolate version and add a touch of coconut cream for richness.
white choc mint tea latte2

White Chocolate Mint Tea Latte
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Caffeine-free option, Paleo-friendly, AIP-friendly option, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegetarian, Vegan

Ingredients

16 oz boiling water
2-3 bags of herbal peppermint tea (I have some brands of mint tea that are stronger than others, if you prefer a more prominent flavor, use 3)
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp raw cacao butter*
2 Tbsp hemp hearts (omit for AIP, and substitute 2-3 Tbsp coconut cream)
2 tsp agave, coconut nectar, honey (don’t use if vegan) or a pinch of stevia (adjust sweetener to taste)

Directions
1. Steep tea bags in boiling water until desired strength, usually 3-5 minutes for herbal tea.
2. Add prepared tea along with the remaining ingredients in a blender (I use a high-powered blender such as Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Enjoy while hot or warm!

*For a chocolately version, use raw cacao powder or carob (for AIP and caffeine-free). For a thicker, creamier result add a couple tablespoons of coconut cream.