Rosemary Butternut Squash “Fries”

Everyone, across the board, throughout the universe, likes fries. Unfortunately, most fries are not good for you. Of course you know this. Most are GMO potatoes fried in rancid oils. Sorry.

Luckily I have a healthy, delicious option for you: fries that you’ll love, fries that will feel decadent, taste amazing, please the eye and the belly, but are good for you. These are Rosemary Butternut Squash “Fries”. Look at those brown, crispy edges!
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Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

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These ‘fries’ are sweet and the edges are crispy and when tossed in rosemary they are my favorite! 

But What If You Really Want Potatoes?

Then follow this recipe using sweet potatoes. They are fantastic too and come out crispier than the butternut squash. I just wanted to offer you a non starchy option!

Why Rosemary?

Rosemary is an herb that compliments potatoes and butternut squash really well. Rosemary is one of the most used herbs on the planet. It is drought resistant and easy to grow. In fact, in California it is grown along greenbelts and in parking lots. I NEVER buy rosemary! I just walk outside and clip it. Supposedly just taking a whiff of this aromatic plant improves your memory…I can’t remember where I read that…

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

So Let’s talk About Butternut Squash.

Besides the fact that it’s my favorite veggie here are some things you should know: BNS is loaded with vitamin A, tastes very sweet, lasts forever sitting on your counter, is completely versatile (bake it, fry it, roast it, puree it) and when you buy it at the store it looks like this…

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

 

Working with butternut squash can be difficult unless you have the right tools. You need a good sharp knife (my favorite) and a “Y” peeler (affiliate links). With these two tools peeling and cutting a butternut squash is a piece of cake! 

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

After cutting into ‘fry’ shape, drizzle with olive oil, toss in sea salt, pepper and fresh rosemary and bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

It’s that easy!

The key to crispy fries is to place the oven rack close to the heating element and making sure your ‘fries’ are thin.

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

Serve these babies with these Jalapeño Turkey Burgers (recipe coming soon) and you have yourself a delicious, healthy meal that everyone will love!

Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"

The Recipe: Rosemary Butternut Squash (or Sweet Potato) “Fries”

Tips and what you will need: a good sharp knife (my favorite) and a “Y” peeler are essential for working with butternut squash. I always use unbleached parchment and a rimmed cookie sheet with roasting veggies. The rimmed edges keep the oil from dripping in your oven and the parchment keeps the oil from ruining your pan. This recipe is Paleo and Whole 30 Complaint, gluten free, grain free and dairy free.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Rosemary Butternut Squash "Fries"
 
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The key to these fries is making sure your 'fry' is fairy thin. About a ¼". Be sure to place the rack in the upper third of oven near the heating element.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 'fry' shape (3" by ¼")
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, strip leaves from stem and chop
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Use "Y" peeler to peel butternut squash (or sweet potatoes) scoop out seeds.
  3. Cut into fry shapes about 3" by 14" and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil till veggies are all glistening but not drenched.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss.
  6. Then spread in a single layer on cookie sheet and place in oven for 40-50 minutes until squash is cooked and edges are brown. Flip the fries about halfway through cooking time.
  7. Serve hot!

 

I hope you love these fries as much as I do! Check back in a few days for those amazing Jalapeño Turkey Burgers! ~ Linda Spiker

 

 


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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

All photos and recipes owned and copyrighted by Linda Spiker. Use without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

Many people enjoy beets but say they would use them in recipes more often if they didn’t take so long to prepare. I’ve got that problem solved with this ’15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini!’ Gorgeous greens, cooked beets, tangerines and toasted baguette spread with goat cheese, all drizzled with a Sweet Tangerine Vinaigrette!
Post sponsored by Love Beets!

15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

 

Ordinarily this salad would take about an hour to make. You would need to wash, peel, dice and roast the beets before making the salad, which is great if you have the time to do it. But if you can save time and still have a delicious outcome, why not? I use organic cooked beets from Love Beets! They are non GMO and come fully prepared. All you have to do is dice them up. You can find them in the produce section of a store near you.

15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

I love this beautiful combination of colors and flavors! You can eat the salad alone or serve on top of crostini!

15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

The Recipe: 15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

Tips and what you will need: I used organic cooked beets but you can also roast beets yourself (directions below). You will need a good quality white balsamic vinegar.  

5.0 from 4 reviews
15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A quick and easy salad or appetizer!
Author:
Recipe type: salad, appetizer
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 small cooked beets (I use Love Beets prepared beets. To roast your own: peel, dice and toss beets with olive oil and sea salt. Roast on a parchment covered cookie sheet for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • 1 baguette sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted in oven
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cups arugula
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 5 tangerines, 2 sectioned and sliced, 3 juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil (plus more for brushing bread)
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Slice baguette and place bread on cookie sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted.
  4. Dice beets and place in a bowl.
  5. Peel two tangerines, section and slice each section into thirds.
  6. Juice remaining three tangerines.
  7. Whisk olive oil, tangerine juice, vinegar and honey together. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of pepper.
  8. When bread is toasted remove from oven and spread with goat cheese.
  9. Place arugula on a platter and toss with some dressing. Toss beets with some dressing and then place beets on top of greens.
  10. Place tangerines on top, sprinkle with pine nuts and chives. Eat salad alone or use to top crostini!

 

More amazing products from Love Beets! 

15 Minute Beet and Citrus Salad Crostini

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

How to Make a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast!

Making a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast is incredibly easy. But many people still serve dry, tasteless, chicken breasts. Why? I have no idea. But I plan on ending that practice once and for all. Friends don’t let friends make dry chicken breasts.
(This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure at bottom of page)

How to Make a Perfecty Tender Chicken Breast!

Three Keys to a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast:

  1. Bone in, skin on! The bone and the skin make for the most flavorful, tender Chicken breast.
  2. Brine: Don’t be intimidated! It’s as simple as soaking the chicken in salt water for 30 minutes.
  3. Start on the cooktop, finish in the oven. Tender inside, crispy outside.

    And there you have it! How easy is that? Serve with my Roasted Veggie Salad and you have a nutrient dense, colorful, delicious dinner!

How to Make a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast!

 

LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT MY CERAMIC PAN

I have tried several ceramic pans in the last couple of years. I love that they are non stick and non toxic (no chemical coating needed!) I tried several brands and I really liked them… at first. But within a few months the white ceramic coating was stained and chipped, and the pan was no longer non stick. I also disliked that the pans I tried weren’t oven safe. I got the pan pictured above from Xtrema Ceramic about five months ago and have had it for long enough I feel safe telling you I love it! It’s a solid, heavy pan that cooks evenly and can be transferred from cooktop to oven. The pan and handle are one piece which means the handle will never come loose, but does heat up. A protective silicon handle cover (you can see it in the photo) is provided for protection. I will definitely be adding more to my collection as I replace older pots and pans. 

Healthy, Green Cookware: No Metals, No Leaching

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The Recipe: How to Make a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast

Tips, what you will need and what to serve it with! You will need an oven safe pan and a good sea salt: I use fine himalayan sea salt for brining. People often overcook chicken, making it dry. Please resist that temptation! Serve this chicken alongside any of my salads, vegetable purees, or roasted veggies. This chicken is grain free, gluten free, dairy free, Whole 30 and Paleo.

5.0 from 3 reviews
How to Make a Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast!
 
Prep time
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Achieve a perfectly tender chicken breast every time!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 6 cups water
  • ⅓ cup sea salt, I used fine himalayan but you can use kosher too
  • 3 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • pepper,
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil, butter, clarified butter or ghee
Instructions
  1. Place breasts in water with sea salt and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes,.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Place rack in upper third of oven.
  4. Remove breast from salt water and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
  6. Pour olive oil, butter, clarified butter or ghee into oven safe pan on med /high heat.
  7. When olive oil, butter, clarified butter or ghee are hot, add chicken skin side down to pan.
  8. Lower heat to medium if needed. Cook for five minutes or until skin is golden.
  9. Turn chicken skin side up.
  10. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of chicken breast. Small breasts will cook quickly, some of those monster size ones can take a while!
  11. Do not over cook.
  12. Remove from oven when done and serve.

 

You can also use this technique on grilled boneless skinless grilled chicken breasts! Enjoy ~ Linda Spiker

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

My daughter recently said to me “Mom we make your roasted vegetables and throw them in a salad with rotisserie chicken and it’s amazing.” So here it is: The Roasted Vegetable Salad! Beautiful, filling and warm, perfect for a chilly winter meal!
(This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure at bottom of page)

Roasted Vegetable Salad

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Simply roast carrots, shallots, butternut squash, and parsnips tossed in olive oil and sea salt until the edges are crispy.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Add asparagus for the last 10 minutes…

Roasted Vegetable Salad

…and voila! A colorful, amazing, nutricious salad!

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You can keep it simple by adding shredded rotisserie chicken or serve with my Perfectly Tender Chicken Breast! 

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The Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Salad

Tips and what you will need: Butternut Squash can be a easy to work with or a real pain! Click here to learn to easily work with butternut squash. You will need a rimmed cookie sheet and parchment paper. This salad is grain free, gluten free, dairy free and Whole 30 Compliant.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Vegetable Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A warm, comforting salad. You will need to know how to work with butternut squash so please click link above.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 3 large shallots peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½" cubes
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced ½" thick (on the diagonal if you want to be fancy)
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and sliced ¼ inch (when you get to the thick top cut in half too)
  • one small bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
  • 4 cups baby greens
  • pecans, to taste (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • Dressing:
  • ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Cover rimmed cookie with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. For Salad:
  4. Using a Y peeler, peel butternut squash and cut into ½" cubes. Prepare the rest of vegetables. Place all veggies except asparagus on parchment covered cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Veggies should be glistening with olive oil but not soaked. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss again.
  5. Place vegetables in oven and roast for 40 minutes.
  6. Toss asparagus with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Make Dressing:
  8. Combine ingredients and whisk well.
  9. When veggies have cooked for 40 minutes add asparagus and roast 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Place lettuce on platter, top with vegetables and pecans/chicken if desired.
  11. Dress. Toss. Serve!

 

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MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Is Your Makeup Toxic?

 

Is Your Make Up Toxic?I could make this a really long post…really long, because the beauty industry has some atrocious practices…but I’m not going to. Instead, I am just going to tell you a few things about the cosmetic and skincare industry that you may not know and then offer you several budget friendly, safe alternatives.

You would think that if you live in America, someone, somewhere, would be protecting you from toxins and heavy metals in products that you apply to your and your children’s skin, right? Well this is not the case. In fact, if you are buying cosmetics and skincare products from grocery, drug or department stores, your makeup most likely contains toxic chemicals, including ingredients known to cause cancer, disrupt hormones and cause reproductive harm!

That’s right, your mascara may contain mercury, your deodorant probably has parabens, and those sweet smelling fragrances? They aren’t so sweet. Synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies. And guess what? Cosmetic companies are not obligated to tell you specifically what is in the very products you apply to your body.

Let’s Do a Fact Check:

  1. What year did the US government last pass regulation regarding cosmetics? 1938.
  2. The number of harmful chemicals banned or restricted from cosmetics in the last two decades in Europe? 1300! The number of harmful chemicals banned or restricted by the United States government? Drum roll please. 11! That’s right 11.
  3. What percentage of popular lipsticks were found to contain lead in a 2013 study done by UC Berkeley? 95%. Yep, lead going right on people’s lips and yet there are regulations about lead in the paint that goes on your walls!
  4. Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.
  5. What’s worse is the Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics) allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful (lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates) in the products we put on our skin and on our children’s little bodies every single day, day after day.

    Is your makeup toxic?

It’s Not Just Makeup:

These toxic chemicals are also in your shampoos, body wash, shaving cream, perfumes, lotions, sunscreens and more. It is estimated 30% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into the blood stream. So don’t think what you put on the largest organ of your body doesn’t matter, it does!

So What’s a Girl to Do?!

Now that you know, you can make better choices. Read labels. Google ingredients. Be mindful about every ingredient you put on yourself and your children. 

There are Alternatives and They Don’t have to Break The Bank!

When I first became aware of the dangers in cosmetics I was torn. I thought I would have to choose between looking good and being safe. It turns out that is simply not true. I have an entire Pinterest Board dedicated to DIY Makeup and Skincare recipes that are easy to make and very budget friendly. You can literally make you own skincare and makeup in minutes for a few dollars! There are also some good products at health food stores! Unfortunately I found that I was going to a lot of different stores buying different lines and doing a lot of returning. But if you find what you like health food store cosmetics are generally safe and in the medium price range! So here is where I cut to the chase. If you are like me and not much of a ‘Do It Yourselfer’ and don’t want to spend the time experimenting and returning product, I want to introduce you to Beautycounter.  

Is your makeup toxic?

Beautycounter is a grassroots company started by mothers dedicated to bringing safe, non toxic, high quality cosmetics and skincare to everyone! No harmful ingredients, completely transparent policies, and the products actually work! As I ran out of my department store products, one by one I replaced them with skincare and beauty products from Beautycounter. And I saved money. Department store cosmetics are not cheap! My department store foundation was $56, my Beautycounter foundation is $41. I have been very happy with the quality and have not returned one thing I have purchased from Beautycounter. 

Beautycounter is a one stop shop. They has everything you need for the whole family and it’s delivered right to your door. Skincare, makeup, sunscreen, haircare…everything for mom, dad and the kids. And when you shop at Beautycounter you NEVER have to worry about the ingredients. I hope you will take a look, spend some time scrolling through the products, the ingredients and the the safety promise. I know you’ll love it!

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If you weren’t aware of how toxic most makeup and skin care lines were, now you know. Hopefully you can start weeding out the worst and step by step make healthier choices! What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in them. You can always find Beautycounter on my side and navigation bar! ~ Linda Spiker

MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?

We small bloggers need all the help we can get. Subscribing and sharing on social media is very appreciated! 

STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.