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

  • 2 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.