Meat

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

easy slow cooker bbq pulled chicken

There are two requirements to qualify as a weekly dinner go-to in the Corna household…

  1. You need to be super EASY TO MAKE…
  2. And super YUMMY TO EAT!

And gosh darn it, this dish has it all!  I take about 1 lb of chicken, mix in some broth, and smother it with love…I mean BBQ sauce, and then let my slow cooker do the rest.  By the time I come back from work, I just have to shred the chicken inside the crock pot and serve however I like!

easy bbq pulled chicken in crock pot

easy slow cooker bbq pulled chicken

I can top a salad, a sweet potato, or even an egg casserole with it…but most times I eat it as is, with a side of roasted veggies!  For an extremely simple and easy recipe, it has such a wonderful flavor to it.  There is no added sugar, and the broth keeps the chicken juicy so it doesn’t dry out.  This is totally optional, but before serving I like to drizzle extra BBQ sauce and top with cilantro.

easy bbq chicken slow cooker with cilantro and garlic

You can make at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for quick protein, or make some for your next dinner party.  If you’re really feeling crazy, add on top of macaroni and cheese (OMG YUM)! 

I’m really excited for you guys to try this household staple, since its easily become one of year-round favorites!

easy bbq pulled chicken in crockpot, topped with extra BBQ sauce

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: bbq, crock pot, easy, pulled chicken, simple, slow cooker
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 1-1.25 lbs raw, organic chicken my preference is chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce I use Sweet Baby Rays
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Add broth to crock pot and lay chicken on top.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic directly over chicken.
  • Evenly pour BBQ sauce over chicken.  Cook on high for 3 hrs, or low for 7-8 hrs.  When finished cooking, use two forks and shred in slow cooker.  Serve when ready to eat, or store in fridge for up to 5 days.
Meat

Golden Rotisserie Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here in Ohio the saying goes…”if you don’t like the weather, stay a day”.  And let me tell you, there is no truer statement!  Within the past week, the weather has fluctuated from below freezing to almost 60 degrees…which for me, equates to head cold.  I don’t know if this has been scientifically proven, but I’m pretty sure at the first sign of a cold my culinary motivation hits an all time low, and my body craves chicken soup.  Since this has been a busy work week for me, I needed something quick, easy, and not from a can (ick!). 

The most effort this recipe requires is just the chopping of veggies.  And say you’re really strapped for time…a lot of vegetables can be found pre-chopped for you in the produce section of most grocery stores.  After that you’re really just dumping everything in a pot and letting it simmer until the rice cooks!

rotisserie chicken and wild rice soup with turmeric and garlic

In replacing the traditional “noodle” component with wild rice, it helped to create a healthier, and gluten free option.  And the best part is, the rice cooks right into the soup, so you don’t need to prepare it ahead of time!  Can I get an AMEN?!

For my fellow sick-goers you seriously cannot go wrong with this recipe for one reason, and one reason alone…BROTH.  Heated broth helps to dilate your blood vessels, allowing you to clear some of the congestion, while on a nutritional level, the broth supports your immune system and boosts detoxification.  Plus you get the added benefit of vitamins from your veggies.  I’m pretty sure this soup is exactly what my imaginary doctor ordered!  

I know I’m talking about chicken soup here, but this is actually a really flavorful and savory recipe!  Just ask my husband…I think he had 2 servings (and thats me being conservative) tonight just for himself.  Simmering all of the ingredients for 45 min. gives the soup an opportunity to blend all the flavors together, including the juice from the rotisserie chicken.

And in case you’re dying to know…the turmeric is what gives this soup its “golden appearance”.  

rotisserie chicken soup with turmeric

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Golden Rotisserie Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken soup, gluten free, turmeric, wildrice

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 4 stalks bok choy or celery chopped
  • 1/2 8 oz pack sliced mushrooms chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/3 cup wild rice uncooked
  • 64 oz vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 breast meat rotisserie chicken chopped

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat up oil and butter over medium eat.
  • Once butter is melted, add in chopped garlic, onion, carrots, bok choy, and mushrooms and sauté.  While veggies are cooking, add in spices and mix.  Saute veggies for approx 8-10 min, or until onions and bok choy become soft and transparent.  Once veggies are sautéed, add in wild rice and mix in.   
  • Stir in broth, bay leaf, and chicken.  Leave on medium heat and allow to simmer for 45 min.  
  • Remove from heat and serve!  I like to top mine with almond slices for some extra crunch, but thats totally optional!
Holiday

Homemade Holiday Cafe Mocha

Peppermint Cafe Mocha and Cinnamon Cafe Mocha

Guys.  I have a new obsession this winter…CAFE.MOCHAS.  I seriously don’t know what took me so long to try these, but holy guacamole I’m so glad I did!  I love having my black coffee in the morning, and then to add hot chocolate to it?! YES, YES, and more YES.  Whoever first crafted this heavenly, caffeinated, chocolatey sip from heaven…I commend you.

So obviously I want to make this a winter staple in my house for those snow day pick me ups, or when the winter blues are sucking the life out of my happy hormones.  The problem with coffee shop mochas, albeit they are DE.LIC.IOUS., is that they are full of sugar and calories.  And if I’m being honest, I would really like to enjoy my mocha with a side of cookie and not feel bad about it later.

And that’s how I set forth on mission, Super-Yummy-Cafe-Mocha-With-Side-Of-Guilt-Free.  I used cocoa powder with almond milk as the hot chocolate base, and honey as the sweetener.  Added some homemade black coffee with a little vanilla extract, drank it and then me and my mocha lived happily ever after.  JK JK…anyone who knows me, knows I cant leave a good thing well enough alone, sooooooo…

I added a little holiday twist!  PEPPERMINT and CINNAMON.  Don’t worry folks, not both of those flavors together.  Two separate mocha flavors, because my husband likes to remind me that everyone on the planet doesn’t like peppermint as much as I do.  So there we have it, and now you can have it at home too…whichever way you prefer! 

Homemade Holiday Cafe Mocha

And the best part…for the added flavor, all you need is a candy cane or cinnamon stick (how fun?!).  For peppermint…use the candy cane as your stir stick.

Homemade Peppermint Cafe Mocha with Candy Cane

And for  cinnamon, use a cinnamon stick for stirring!  Or if you don’t have a stick available, use a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder for flavor.

Homemade Cinnamon Cafe Mocha

Homemade Holiday Cafe Mocha

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: cafe mocha, cinnamon, coffee, hot chocolate, mint
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 cups black coffee
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • candy cane (optional)
  • cinnamon stick or powder (optional)

Instructions

  • Start brewing a pot of coffee or 2 cups from Keurig.
  • In a medium pot, pour in almond milk and cocoa powder and whisk over medium heat.
  • Once milk and cocoa mixture starts to bubble, stir in honey.  Add vanilla extract, then coffee, and stir to combine all ingredients.  Ladle or pour into individual mugs.
  • For peppermint flavor, add a candy cane as your stir stick.  For cinnamon, add a cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder.  Stir and enjoy!  Yields enough for 3 medium drinks, or 4 small.
Appetizers

The Art of a Cheese Board

Cheese Board Mastery 101

THE ART OF A CHEESE BOARD (or if I’m feeling fancy, charcuterie board).  

Ahhhh one of my favorite past times…eating cheese:)  I swear, there is no better crowd pleaser than a big board filled with CHEESE and MEATS.  I can admit, sometimes cheese boards can seem outrageously fancy and intimidating.  BUT…I have a scientifically proven method to creating the perfect cheese board, and I have simplified it into a few easy steps just for you guys!

So take a seat, get out your notebook, cause class is in session!

Cheese Board 101: Introduction to Charcuterie 

  1. Cheese Selection. Variety variety variety.  My recommendation is 3 cheeses minimum; 1. BRIE, 2. a cheddar (flavored or plain), and 3. a spicy variety (like a pepper jack).  And if you really want to set the bar high, use cream cheese and top with a jam…think of it as extra credit.  You’re going to want to arrange the cheeses on your board first, as these will be the center pieces.  Spread them out, so they can shine in their own perspective corners!  I like to cut some pieces of each cheese block prior to serving…helps blend the board together.

Step 1: Arrange variety of cheeses on serving board or plate

  1. Meat Selection. I recommend 2-3 different types of cured meats (meats that are salted, dried, or preserved).  You can either get sausage, and cut into thin slices, or get the pre-packaged thinly sliced meat (capocolla, prosciutto, pancetta, etc.).  Take your cured meat and scatter them around the cheeses.  If its a thin slice of meat, just pinch them in the middle and lay on the board to where it almost makes a tent.  Lay a couple of pieces together to form a pile.   

Step 2: Add meat selection around cheese

Step 2: scatter meat selection around cheeses

  1. Accessorize.  This is where the men get separated from the boys, where the leaders pull away from the pack!  This is where you make your cheese board look like something out of a magazine, while everyone else is serving meat and cheese roll ups.  The best thing you can do is go to your local grocery store and scour the antipasto bar.  Get anything and everything that looks good.  My favs are roasted garlic cloves, stuffed olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms.  

Charcuterie Board

Once you have your antipasto selections, fill in the empty spaces of the board with your items.  Don’t be afraid to lay them on some of the meats or other antipasto items if you run out of room.  I believe its better to stack, then to leave open space.  Once finished, top off with some nuts (walnuts or  some Spanish almonds), herb sprigs, and serve with crackers or toasted bread!

3 easy steps to a homemade cheese board

And just like that, you have created a beautiful masterpiece that will live on forever (this is a fact because everyone will be taking pictures of it).  Mostly what I love about cheese boards is that there is so much going on, and you truly have the freedom to make it your own, both as the creator and consumer.  Have fun with this one, and just take it step by step!  

3 easy steps to a homemade cheese board

 

The Art of a Cheese Board

Prep Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: antipasto, appetizer, charcuterie board, cheese board, cured meats, fresh herbs
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 3-4 blocks variety of cheese (brie, aged cheddar, pepper jack, cream cheese topped with hot pepper jam)
  • 2-3 cured meats (prosciutto, pancetta, capocollo)
  • 1 cup variety of antipasto (garlic cloves, sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed olives, marinated mushrooms)
  • 2 sprigs herbs (thyme and rosemary)
  • 1 loaf french baguette

Instructions

  • Grab a large serving platter or wooden board.  Place cheeses on board first, and arrange so they are spread out from one another.  Cut a couple pieces of each to get it started.
  • Arrange meats around cheese blocks.  For the thinly sliced meats, pinch them in the middle and lay on the board to where it almost makes a tent.
  • Take antipasto items and fill in open spaces of the board.  Top off with nuts, sprigs of herbs, and serve with bread and/or crackers.
Meat

Easy One-Pan Baked Chicken

Easy One-Pan Baked Chicken Thighs

Gotta love yourself an easy baked chicken dish to chow down on during a busy week, right?!  Sometimes life gets hectic and time to make a homemade meal gets away from us…and if you’re trying to be good during the week and avoid eating out, then those busy days really suck!

This is one of my go-tos if I’m ever feeling stretched for time and energy.  Its so simple and the majority of the cook time is just baking the chicken…HALLELUJAH!  The broth makes the chicken super juicy and tender, while the spices give it extra flavor!  I love the meat from chicken thighs, so that has been my cut of choice as of late, but you could really use any cut of chicken.  Especially if serving kids, you may want to try a cut of meat without bones.

Easy Baked Chicken pre-baking

You can add veggies to cook with the chicken or just bake it in broth…I have done both and either way works great!  Add a side dish, use it as a salad topping, or store in the fridge and eat throughout the week.  Also makes as a great option for a group dinner (add the veggies…it’ll really dress it up)!  Make it in a nice baking dish or skillet, and serve with mac and cheese! 

The best thing you can do when picking your poultry?  HINT…it’s not removing the skin.  BUY ORGANIC and FREE RANGE, if possible.  Keep the hormones, nasty bacteria, and antibiotics from commercially available chickens out of your own body and get yourself a chicken that was fed its proper omnivorous diet (not an entire existence worth of grains, soy, and corn…YUCK).  And contrary to popular belief, chicken skin is actually OKAY to eat.  Its when the skin is cooked to a crisp and fried that it creates harmful chemicals.  So, baking organic chicken with the skin on is the way to go.

Also the skin holds most of the juices and flavor, so HECK YEA I’m keeping it on!

Easy One-Pan Baked Chicken ready to eat

 

Easy One-Pan Baked Chicken

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Keyword: baked, chicken, easy, gluten free, paleo

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lbs chicken thighs (I like mine with skin) or any part of chicken
  • 1 cup broth vegetable or chicken
  • 1/2 white onion (optional) quartered
  • 1 handful baby carrots (optional) cut in half long ways
  • 2 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Spice Mixture

  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour broth into a baking dish or skillet.
  • Add onion and carrots to bottom of baking dish, then lay chicken on top of vegetables (if you choose to bake chicken without the veggies, just add chicken after broth).
  • Brush some oil over chicken, then evenly cover the tops of each chicken thigh with spice mixture.  Bake for 50 min.  Squeeze lemon juice over chicken once done baking, serve with a side dish or over a salad!
Vegetarian Meals

Antioxidant Rich Berry Bars

Antioxidant Rich Berry Bars; paleo and gluten free

’Tis the season for colds, am I right?!  

These little gems tend to make an appearance at our place at the first sign of a head cold, and for good reason.  Its basically a snack bar containing multiple SUPERFOODS, loaded with antioxidants to help you get your mojo back!  Not only are these gluten free, paleo, and super nourishing, but the cool temperature of the berry compote will soothe even the sorest of throats.

Even though these bars have a particularly beneficial effect during the cold season, these are absolutely year-round quality snacks you can make with little time and effort.  Make them for your family to grab as a healthy snack after school, early morning breakfast on the go, or even serve as a dessert option at your next dinner party.  Either way you serve ‘em up, they’ll go fast!

All-natural, paleo, gluten free ANTIOXIDANT RICH BERRY BARS

This recipe contains blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and dates, with a little additional topping love from the goji berry!  The gluten free paleo crust, takes all of 15 min of baking, and the delicious, all-natural compote, takes 10 min on stovetop.  Freeze for an hour, or overnight, cut into bars, and store in the fridge!

Berries , like the ones included in this recipe, contain high levels of antioxidants, which act to neutralize naturally occurring free radicals that damage cells in our bodies.  By incorporating foods high in antioxidants to your diet, you can help to counteract the long term effects of free radicals in the body.  Such benefits include skin health, immune system support, heart health, eye health, and memory function.

all-natural, paleo, gluten free ANTIOXIDANT RICH BERRY BARS

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Antioxidant Rich Mixed Berry Bars

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Snack
Keyword: antioxidant, blackberries, gluten free, goji berries, raspberries, strawberries, superfood

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Crust

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Berry Compote

  • 6 oz organic blackberries
  • 6 oz organic raspberries
  • 6 oz organic strawberries approx. 13 strawberries
  • 4 tbsp almond flour
  • 5 dates pitted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • goji berries sprinkle on top
  • sliced almonds sprinkle on top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together almond flour and shredded coconut.
  • In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Take crust mixture and transfer it to lined baking dish.  Pat down crust mixture so that it is evenly distributed across the surface of the baking dish.  (I used the back of a spatula to thin the crust out.)
  • Bake in oven for 15 min.
  • While crust is baking, begin fruit compote.  Prepare fruit by rinsing, remove stems from strawberries and cut in half, and remove pits from dates.
  • Add water and all berries to saucepan and turn up to high heat.  Stir berries periodically until mixture begins to boil.  Let boil for 1-2 min, then reduce to medium heat.  Take a potato masher and periodically mash the fruit mixture.
  • Let sit on medium heat for an additional 8-10 min, while periodically stirring and mashing.  Remove from heat, stir in almond flour and let cool.
  • Once your crust is finished,  set out to cool.  Once the crust and berry compote have cooled off to room temp, pour compote mixture onto crust.  Spread an even layer over crust, sprinkle with goji berries and almonds.
  • Freeze for minimum 1 hr, for best results freeze over night.  Remove from baking dish, pull out parchment paper, and cut into squares.  Store in fridge and enjoy!
Meat

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sweet Potatoes

 

SWEET POTATOES, BBQ PULLED CHICKEN, and GUAC you don’t need to pay extra for…need I say more people?!  David and I had ourselves one of these tonight for dinner, while re-watching the Buckeye game for a THIRD time.  I know, I know.  We need a hobby right? lol  As if our addict tendencies aren’t susceptible enough, we are totally obsessed with these BBQ Pulled Chicken Sweet Potatoes now!

This was the perfect meal to accompany our Sunday football binge watch session, and it easily makes enough for 4 people (or just save the leftovers for later in the week)!  I threw some chicken in the crock pot, did some house cleaning and Christmas decor prep, then baked the sweet potatoes before we were ready to eat.  Once the chicken and sweet potatoes were done cooking, I sautéed some veggies, made a bowl of guac, and then loaded that puppy up!

Not only is this dish super satisfying and filling, but the sweet potato carries a lot of beneficial nutritional value as well!  Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and various different vitamins, such as  A, B, C, and manganese.  I usually try to consume sweet potatoes with some fat, in this case the avocado in the guacamole, as fat is known to increase Vitamin A absorption.

This dish can definitely be incorporated into a week day meal by setting the crock pot cook temperature to low and cooking the chicken for 7-8 hours.  That way after work, or after the kids get out of school, you’ll have most of the work done ahead of time, and can use your time on other things!

ENJOY!

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sweet Potato

Ingredients

  • 2-4 small-medium sized sweet potatoes 1 for each person being served
  • 1 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-1.25 lbs organic chicken breast or tenders
  • 1/2 cup broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 cup favorite BBQ Sauce I use Sweet Baby Rays
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
  • 1 bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup red onion cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp EVOO or avocado oil
  • 4 green onion chopped

Guacamole

  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • 1 tbsp red onion chopped
  • 1 small roma tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp pickled jalapeno chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 lime squeezed

Instructions

  • Add broth to crock pot, and lay chicken on top.  Grind salt and pepper to cover chicken.  Add BBQ sauce and cook on high heat for 3 hours, or low heat for 7-8 hours.
  • When chicken is done cooking, take 2 forks and pull apart chicken in the crock pot.  Leave on warm heat and set aside until time to serve.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  
  • Take sweet potatoes, rinse, and cut a line down the middle of each one going 3/4 of the way through.
  • Melt butter, oil, and chopped garlic together in a bowl. When melted, take a brush or spoon and cover the skin of each sweet potato.
  • Take covered sweet potatoes and bake on a foil-lined baking dish for 50-60 min. Potatoes are done cooking when you can easily poke with a knife.
  • While potatoes are baking, cut up 1 bell pepper, and 1/4 cup onion.  Add 2 tbsp oil to a pan and sauté vegetables over medium heat (approx. 10-12 min).  Set aside until potatoes are done cooking.
  • Right before serving, start to make guacamole.  Take 2 avocados, cut in half, scoop out pit, and throw flesh into a mixing bowl.  Take a potato masher and mash avocado until it has a chunky consistency.  Take chopped onion, tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, cilantro, lime, and mix together.  
  • When potatoes are done baking, let cool, and then pull apart from where the line was cut.  Using a tong, add a layer of veggies and pulled chicken along the center of the sweet potato.  Top with a scoop of guacamole and green onions.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Holiday

An Ode to Thanksgiving: A Few of My Favorite Things

stuffing in red casserole dish, mac and cheese in red casserole dish, with cranberry sauce on black table with decorations of nutmeg and herbs

 

GUYS.  We are days away from Thanksgiving, which I might add…is my ALL TIME fav Holiday.  Thanksgiving is the epitome of what this blog is all about, which is why I’m so excited to share these recipes with you!  Not to mention, this Holiday is basically an entire day that revolves around food.  Can I get an amen?!

In honor of Thanksgiving being my favorite Holiday, I decided to feature 3 of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes to share with you guys!  So without further ado, let me introduce you to the crew…

  • THE BEST Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

This mac and cheese will change your life forever.  I’m serious.  It’s so dang good that anyone you serve it to will become your new best friend.  This was a recipe my mom used to make for us growing up, and it continues to be a classic to this day.  AND to make this all the more exciting…there’s a secret ingredient!  Yup…NUTMEG.  Adding nutmeg takes this mac to a whole other level, and will seriously challenge your will power to not eat all the cheese sauce before adding pasta!

THE BEST Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: creamy, mac and cheese, macaroni and cheese, nutmeg
Servings: 8 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 pint half and half cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 block velveeta cheese cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 block sharp white cheddar cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp fresh nutmeg ground
  • 1 1 lb box rotini pasta cooked
  • 1/2 cup panko

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lay out all of your ingredients ahead of time, as the sauce will need to be stirred while cooking to prevent hardening or burning.
  • Prep the cheeses by cutting them into thin slices (that way they melt in the saucepan quicker).  Allow cream to get close to room temp, to avoid curdling.
  • Once ingredients are laid out, add butter to saucepan over medium heat.  Allow to melt and then whisk in flour.
  • Slowly pour cream into saucepan in stages, while continuously stirring.  This will thicken and create the roux for your cheese sauce.
  • Once you have added all the cream and created your roux, start to add the cheeses and continually stir.  Add cheese in stages (a handful of velveeta and cheddar at one time).  Stir in cheese until it melts, then add another handful until everything is blended together. 
  • Sprinkle in nutmeg and stir.
  • Add most of your cooked noodles to the cheese sauce and stir (I leave out a handful of noodles so it's extra creamy!).
  • Transfer to a greased baking dish.
  • Melt butter in a separate bowl and stir in 1/2 cup panko.  Take panko mixture and sprinkle on top of mac and cheese.
  • Bake for 30 min with foil on top for first 20 min.

Notes

  • I use Vermont Sharp White Cheddar by Cracker Barrel for my choice of cheddar.
  • Rotini pasta is my favorite to use with mac and cheese, because I find that its shape is best for grabbing the sauce.
  • Gluten Free Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing 

Just to be clear…stuffing is the real MVP of Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s probably the one item that you could mix in with every other dish and it all tastes bomb.com.  Think about it…turkey? Yup.  Cranberry Sauce?  Yup.  Mashed potatoes?  Yup.  Pumpkin Pie?  Well, maybe not pumpkin pie.  

This recipe gives you a gluten free stuffing to make for the centerpiece of your plate.  Find yourself a GF bread, get yourself some sausage, and mix in all the veggies!  Mixing in wild rice is so yummy and gives it added flavor.

Gluten Free Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: gluten free, rosemary, sage, sausage, stuffing, thyme, wild rice
Servings: 10 people
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 3/4 loaf bread
  • 8-10 oz sausage cooked
  • 3 tbsp butter grass-fed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 sticks celery peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 pack portabello mushrooms chopped
  • 3 cups chicken bone broth
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice yielded from 1 cup dry wild rice
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large casserole dish with oil.  Set casserole dish aside. 
  • Cook 1 cup of wild rice (should yield approximately 3 cups cooked).
  • Add 2 tablespoons EVOO to saucepan and cook sausage over medium heat.  Break apart with a spoon.
  • Take a loaf of gluten free bread, and cut 3/4 of the loaf into small cubes.  Take bread cubes and set aside in casserole dish.
  • When sausage is done cooking, pour over bread in casserole dish.
  • Chop garlic, onion, mushrooms, and celery.  Add 3 tablespoons of butter to saucepan with sausage drippings, add chopped veggies, and cook over medium heat. Sauté veggies for 8-10 min or until wilted.
  • Add chopped herbs (sage, thyme, and rosemary), and 2 cups broth to veggie mixture and stir.  Once broth is warmed up, remove from heat.
  • Whisk together 1 cup of broth, two eggs and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. 
  • In the casserole dish, already containing the bread and sausage, add the vegetables with broth, and cooked wild rice.  Stir together and let cool a little.  Then add broth/egg mixture (want the dish to cool down so the eggs don't cook).  Stir all ingredients together.
  • Drizzle apple cider vinegar over the top to bring out the flavor.
  • Bake for 30 min with foil over top.  Remove foil for last 10 min of baking.

Notes

  • In order to cut down on time there are definitely parts of this recipe that can be prepped days ahead.  For myself, I chopped all the veggies the day before making it.  OR you could make the entire dish a couple days ahead of time and store in an air tight container or freezer bag.  Then on the day of serving, just grease the pan and pop in the oven to cook!
  • If made ahead of time, bring it to room temp, add a little more broth (as it was all soaked up while in the frig), blend and bake.
  • If putting the stuffing in a bird, just stuff and cook as usual.
  • Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

There is something to be said about a really good homemade cranberry sauce.  This recipe avoids the refined white sugar and uses natural sweeteners, like honey and oranges, instead.  The sauce has a wonderful mixture of bitter and sweet, with added dimension from the orange juice, and some seasonal spice of cinnamon.  As if the taste isn’t enough to get you to try it, the color it makes is absolutely gorg!

Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: cinnamon, cranberry sauce, fesh cranberry, homemade, orange
Servings: 10
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 2 naval oranges juice
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  • In a sauce pan combine cranberries, honey, juice from oranges, and cinnamon stick.  (Some chunks or orange fell into the saucepan while I was juicing them and I just left them in there!)
  • Cook on medium heat for 20 min.  Cranberries will start to pop.
  • Stir a couple times while over heat.  This will help blend the ingredients together, and you'll start to see the sauce forming.
  • Remove from heat to allow sauce to cool and thicken.  Once sauce has cooled, remove cinnamon stick.
  • Store in container or mason jar and refrigerate until time to use!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving this week and that we all take a moment to appreciate those around us.  Enjoy the craziness of family, the time with friends, and the moments shared with one another over some really good food:) 

Vegetarian Meals

Roasted Beet Salad

 

Hands down, this has to be one of my all-time FAVORITE salads.  It brings such a unique and refreshing taste to the table, and is a great way to incorporate these mega-nutritious beets into your diet!  (Not to mention, the display will surely impress your family or guests).  Be bold and different this Holiday season, and leave the traditional food fare to everyone else!

If I’m being honest, I think beets get a seriously bad wrap.  I know they have this super rigid exterior, with very little “sex-appeal”, BUT…if you give it some time (in the oven), get to know it a little bit, maybe even pour it a nice glass of wine; they will turn out to be one of the most beautiful vegetables you’ve ever seen! 

One reason you should get to know beets better, is because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties.  Interestingly enough, their potent anti-inflammatory properties are what give them their deep pigments!  They are also known to lower blood pressure, increase energy levels, boost digestion, improve brain health and heart health, help prevent cancer, and promote weight loss.  

So yeah, I actually can’t think of one bad thing to say about beets.  Oh, and they taste AMAZING TOO!  So do yourself a favor, and give this beet salad a try…I think you’ll be surprised at the end result 🙂  But if you don’t believe me, take it from my friend Dwight here…

Image result for dwight schrute and beet

Roasted Beet Salad


Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Author: Lulu

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized beets or 2 large (gold or red)
  • arugula enough to make a bed on serving dish
  • 2 tangerines peeled; or 1 orange, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates pits removed
  • 1/3 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • goat cheese optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil EVOO or avocado oil

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice or juice from half a fresh lemon
  • 1 tbsp. Italian herb mixture

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel beets and cut into large chunks.
  • Transfer beets into a mixing bowl, add 2 tbsp. of EVOO with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  • Wrap beets in tin foil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Beets are done cooking when they become soft (you can stick a knife/fork into it easily).
  • While beets are cooking, toss arugula and onions in a mixing bow, and mix in the dressing.
  • Lay arugula mixture on a serving tray.
  • Cut beets into smaller chunks and lay over arugula.
  • Add tangerines, dates, and walnuts to rest of salad and serve. If using goat cheese, add at this time.
Breakfast & Brunch

Bacon and Egg Muffins

bacon and egg muffins in a black skillet with avocado toast on white table
Bacon and Egg Muffins with Avocado Toast

 

Did someone say brunch?!

So here in Columbus during the fall, FOOTBALL SEASON = LIFE.  And when noon games are on the schedule…that equals BRUNCH!  As if waking up to the promise of an early bloody mary isn’t good enough, I get to make this scrumptious little number with a side of avocado toast!  And then I invite my friends over to scarf it down before heading to our fav tailgate spot.

Now I know thats only relevant to our little bubble here in Ohio, but this dish makes for a great brunch course for any friend or family gathering.  These are seriously easy to make and take no time at all (which is great for us non-morning, snooze-button-pressing, messy-bun wearing, running-out-the-door-to-our-seriously-P.O.’d-uber-driver folk).

Now if you haven’t noticed yet, you likely will soon, but I try to sneak turmeric into everything I can.  Like everything.  This India-originated spice might be one of the world’s healthiest foods, and is likely the most researched as well.  It has so many health benefits that it should definitely find its way into your pantry…and more importantly your food.  Here we go: inflammation, skin health, diabetes, depression, pain, blood clots, cancers, toxicity and obesity.  The studies around turmeric and its impact on the listed health benefits is truly amazing, and I would highly encourage further research for those who are interested.

But I digress…

bacon and egg muffins with green onions and avocado toast on white table
Bacon and Egg Muffins

These bacon and egg muffins will not disappoint, and are super nutritious for you as well!  I made these the other morning before company came, and then let them sit in the oven on 150 degrees to keep them warm before putting them out.  Pair them with some avocado toast, and you have yourself a full brunch!  OR…these could easily be made at the beginning of the week and stored in the fridge for a quick morning breakfast.

I think you guys will love these and seriously excited for you to try!  Also, if anyone is a spice fanatic, don’t be afraid to add more red hot in the egg mixture, sliced jalapeños or top with sriracha!

 

Bacon and Egg Muffins

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 17 muffins
Author: Lulu's Table

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup red hot
  • 1/4 cup milk unsweetened almond
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 cup fresh kale chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper (any color) chopped
  • 4 pieces bacon cooked and chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease muffin pan.
  • Crack 12 eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
  • Add milk, red hot, garlic, turmeric, ground flax seed, kale, pepper, and mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour egg mixture into muffin pan 3/4 full.  Sprinkle cooked bacon and green onions on top before placing in oven.
  • Bake for 15 min, let cool, and serve.