Herbed Turkey Potato Stew


It’s been chilly, damp and drizzly in Portland lately. With weather like this, I want nothing more than a warm and hearty one-dish meal. To me, this one kind of tastes like a mixture of Thanksgiving and shepherd’s pie, and it’s straight up healthy comfort food. It’s an especially great meal to have after a hard training session since it’s full of good starchy carbohydrates. If you’re not a regular potato eater, add more sweet potato or use butternut squash instead. Make it what you need it to be for you and most importantly, enjoy!

Meanwhile, I recently got my personal training site up and running, which you can check out HERE. If you live in the Portland area and are looking to do personal training in NE (MLK and Alberta) or NW (near Pearl District/Nob Hill), be sure to hit me up. I am currently taking new clients!

And, on another note, I was on live TV last week! I had the opportunity to go on KATU Afternoon Live here in Portland and make my pumpkin caramel bars. It proved to be a lot of fun and looks as if I’ll be a guest again in the near future. Watch the replay HERE.



  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb ground turkey white meat
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup good-quality chicken or turkey broth
  • 5 medium yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces (peel if desired)
  • 1 medium white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen peas


  1. Heat large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil or butter. Once heated, add the onion and garlic, and sauté 1-2 minutes. Next, add the ground turkey and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Continue cooking until the meat is mostly browned (about 5 minutes), breaking up the large pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula as needed.
  2. Next, mix in the yellow potatoes, sweet potato, broth, tarragon and thyme. Add more sea salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot with a lid and allow mixture to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 10-12 minutes, add the fresh green beans and frozen peas. If needed, add a bit more broth. Cover again and cook 5-6 more minutes or until potatoes and beans are tender.
  4. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Serve.

Yields: ~6 servings


Beef and Butternut Squash Stew


October is officially here and it’s truly starting to feel more like fall. With a more noticeable shift in weather this past weekend, it felt like an appropriate time to make a slow cooker stew and eat my first winter squash of the season. I was inspired by this recipe and tweaked it a bit to make it what I wanted. It turned out just right. Hope you enjoy!


  • ~2 lb grass-fed beef stew meat
  • ~1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ~1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium white sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 8-10 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2-3 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp raw honey or coconut sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4-5 kale leaves, de-stemmed and torn into pieces



  1. Place tapioca starch in a large, shallow bowl. Add the stew meat and toss to coat.
  2. Melt ghee or butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté a couple minutes, until soft. Next, add the garlic and stew meat. Continue cooking until beef has browned. Then, add the beef and onion mixture to the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Pour a little bit of the broth into the sauté pan to deglaze it and loosen the brown bits. Once deglazed, add to the slow cooker with the meat mixture.
  4. Add the squash, sweet potato, carrots and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Then, add the sea salt, pepper, paprika, bay leaf, coconut sugar, coconut aminos, broth and red wine. Stir well.
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 7 hours. During the last 30-45 minutes of cooking, add the kale and stir well.
  6. Taste and add more sea salt and pepper, if desired. Remove bay leaf and serve.

Yields: ~6 servings

Pizza Burgers


Holy cow, I’ve been meaning to share this recipe all summer…oops! Summer somehow slipped by me, though we’ve technically got a couple more weeks. As much as I like fall, I enjoy summer more and I’m not ready to move into the next season yet. We kinda had a weird summer here anyway, so it doesn’t feel like it should be over yet. Since we’re down to our last couple weeks of official summer though, it’s not too late to share a burger recipe, right? Really, I’ll eat a burger any time of year, so I think it’s okay.

Anyway, as you may recall, this year has been a huge transition for me, and it continues to be. That’s definitely been the priority, so my poor little blog has been on the back-burner, but it still lives on and so do I!

Cheers and enjoy!


  • 3/4 lb grass-fed ground beef (I used 15%)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 15 oz can no-sugar added pizza sauce (I used this one)
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese, preferably grass-fed
  • 4 slices Applegate pepperoni (large size)
  • Sprinkle of fresh-grated high-quality Parmesan cheese, if desired
  • Mixed greens and veggies of choice, for serving


  1. Preheat grill for burgers. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together ground beef, Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Form into two even sized patties.
  2. Once grill is hot, throw on the burgers. Cook to your preference. We usually do about 3.5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Once done, remove from grill.
  3. Warm up a little bit of the pizza sauce on the stove or in the microwave and spread a layer of sauce on top of each patty. Add the cheese and pepperoni to each. Dollop a little more sauce on top and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if using.
  4. Place burgers on top of a bed of mixed greens or veggies of choice for serving.

Yields: 2 servings


Ark Elements Review


I was recently contacted by Ark Elements to try out their meal service and am excited to share my experience with all of you. Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a week of complimentary meals, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.

What is Ark Elements?

Ark Elements is a Portland-based company that creates locally-sourced, well-crafted paleo foods in small batches. Their foods make evolutionary sense and are minimally processed for maximum progress.

They seek true health and sustainability, and created the Ark Elements as a guide. They believe these Elements are the foundation for optimal health:

  • we feel better when we move, so we practice functional fitness.
  • we feel better when we eat well, so we nourish ourselves through whole eating.
  • we feel better when we’re outside, so we play in our world.
  • we feel better when we’re with people, so we build a like-minded community.

To read more about Ark Elements, visit HERE.


How does Ark Elements work?

Each week, a new menu is posted on the Ark Elements website and you can go in and place an order between Sunday and Friday. You do not need a subscription to order and there are no strings attached. The only requirement is that you order a minimum of $55 worth of food, which is easy to do on your own, but you could also split it with a friend, roommate, family member, etc. After your initial order, you do not need to place reoccurring orders. You can truly order as little or often as you want.

During the checkout process, you select a pick-up location where you’ll retrieve your food the following Tuesday. But, guess what? Starting sometime this month, Ark Elements will do home deliveries, so the process will be even more convenient!

My Experience

I tried the grilled chicken Waldorf kale salad, grass-fed beef meatballs with figs and bacon over yam and zucchini noodles, yam hash with sage apple sausage and a baked egg, red curry chicken over almond and green onion cauliflower rice, and fennel and herb crusted pork tenderloin with roasted seasonal vegetables. I also ordered a batch of almond flour biscuits and grain-free pumpkin seed granola. The online ordering and checkout process was so easy and took me a matter of minutes. Also, all the ingredients were listed online for each menu item and macros too.

Ark Elements hash

When I got my order, all my meals were clearly labeled and in their own individual containers. As I started tackling away at them each day, I was surprised how much food each container actually contained. It looked like a decent amount in the container, but it always amounted to much more when I emptied it into a dish to reheat. It was actually a real serving size and enough food! Often, it seems like these sorts of things can skimp on serving sizes, but Ark Elements does it right. Each meal was satisfying and I didn’t feel like I needed to eat more with it, other than maybe an almond flour biscuit to use as a vehicle to scoop up bites with (those biscuits pair well with everything too).

Ark Elements pork tenderloin

Also, all the food (that needed reheating) reheated very well with no weird taste or texture afterward. I enjoyed all the meals a lot and felt very spoiled with this service! If I had to pick a favorite out of everything I tried though, it’d be the meatballs (pictured below). Those were unbelievable. The pork tenderloin (see photo above) was a close second, but like I said, I liked it all. In case you’re wondering, the granola was nice as a treat and not something I ate as a meal. That stuff is dangerously delicious and pretty darn dense too. I liked sprinkling a couple tablespoons into a small dish of plain whole milk yogurt as a little post-dinner treat.

Ark Elements meatballs

All in all, I would definitely use this service again because the food was incredible. And, really, you can’t beat the convenience. With that said, if you live in Portland, I highly recommend giving Ark Elements a try sometime. You can even buy some of their items directly at New Seasons — the grain-free granola (cereal aisle) and a selection of meals too (in the grab n’ go refrigerated section). So, if you don’t want to commit to placing an order just yet, head to New Seasons and check out the selection.

Ark Elements Curry

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Photo credit: cityfarmhouse.com

It’s been a year of big change, and it’s only April. As I said the last time I posted, things have been crazy. Finally, there’s a bit of relief and the waters are calming down, but I continue to move forward and open the door to new opportunities. Lots of good is flooding in and more lies ahead.

So, what exactly is new with me? Here are the biggies:

  • Recreate Fitness, the gym I’ve worked at for nearly the last 4 years, closed its doors on March 31. It was emotional, stressful and hard. I am grateful for all the time I had there and the relationships, community and opportunities presented to me.

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  • Since closing, I started renting space as an independent contractor at a private training studio not far from where Recreate was located. I am grateful that all my existing clients came with me. This is an opportunity for me to really build my business, which is scary and exciting at the same time.
  • Through a client of mine, I got acquainted with the strength & conditioning coach of the Portland Thorns FC (our professional women’s soccer team) and started helping him with a local gym he’s taking over in Lake Oswego. So, I’m going out there 3x/week and coaching semi-privates, and have been doing so since the end of January. No, I’m not training the soccer players. There is room to grow out here too, if I choose.
  • I’m going to NYC at the end of this month for the Yoga Tune Up® Breath & Bliss immersion. I loved NYC when I was there in the fall and need to keep moving forward with my Yoga Tune Up® studies, so it seemed like a win-win. I need continuing ed credits now that I’m a licensed teacher and wanted to do it regardless. After all the chaos that’s ensued since January, I am greatly looking forward to this getaway + learning experience!

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my life. One door closed and another one opened, but in-between, it was quite hectic. Extra work, networking, planning, looking for a space to go, emotions, etc. As hard as it was, I’m relieved to have the gym stuff behind me. Change is hard, but also good and I am not worried. Everything will be great.

Meanwhile, if any of you live in the Portland area (specifically NW Portland since that’s where I train clients) and are looking for a personal trainer, feel free to give me a shoutout. Now that I’m not teaching 11 strength & conditioning classes/week at Recreate, I have more room in my schedule and am taking new clients. Visit my contact page to get in touch with me.

Cheers and happy weekend!

Cottage Pie

cottage pie 2

Wow, it’s been over a month since I posted, though it feels like it’s been even longer than that. Life has been a bit crazy for me so far this year — changes, growth, opportunity and lots of things to think about. Seriously, the month of January alone felt like it was a year long. In reality, it’s all good — it’s just been a bit exhausting and slightly chaotic. Anyway, onward and upward!

Meanwhile, I never really knew what the difference was between cottage and shepherd’s pie, but apparently, cottage pie is typically made with beef and shepherd’s pie made with lamb (not sure why the whole shepherd and lamb thing never occurred to me). So, I guess I’m naming this one appropriately. I do have other variations of shepherd’s pie/cottage pie/whatever you want to call it in the archives as well. Check those out HERE and HERE. One is made with ground turkey and has a winter squash topping, and the other is made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey and has a cauliflower mash topping. All three versions are a little different, but all delicious!

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Place sweet potato and russet potato pieces in a steam basket and bring to a simmer on the stove. After 5 minutes, add the cauliflower florets and steam for another 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are fork tender.
  2. Add the cooked vegetables, butter, sea salt and black pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1.25 cups chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tube tomato paste (~5 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 12 oz bag frozen green peas
  • Paprika for topping, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. If you’re using leaner ground beef, add a little bit of fat to the pan (i.e. butter, coconut oil, etc.). If you’re using fattier meat (like 85/15 or 80/20), you won’t need any additional fat in the pan, but may want to drain off a little bit of the fat after browning the meat, otherwise the filling can be too runny/greasy. Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up the chunks of meat.
  3. Next, add the carrots, dried thyme, cayenne, sea salt and black pepper. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the broth, vinegar and tomato paste, and stir well again. Once mixed together, add the arrowroot starch and stir until dissolved. Finally, add the green peas and let cook for another minute.
  4. Pour filling evenly into a 9×13 pan. Top evenly with the cauliflower-potato mixture and sprinkle with paprika, if using. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  5. After baking, cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and then serve.

Yields: 6 servings

Sun Basket: Healthy Cooking Made Easy

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I was recently contacted by Sun Basket to try out their meal delivery service and am excited to share my experience with all of you. Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a complimentary Sun Basket box to test out, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.

What is Sun Basket?

Sun Basket is a new healthy meal kit service that delivers organic ingredients and delicious, easy-to-make recipes for cooking at home. Sun Basket makes it easy to cook healthy, with Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus healthy breakfasts. Get 3 recipes per week for 2, 4 or 6 people, delivered to your door in recyclable packaging that can be shipped back – free- for reuse. Recipes are created by Executive Chef Justine Kelly, formerly head chef at James Beard award-winning restaurant The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

My kitty, Frankie, was curious about the Sun Basket box.
My kitty, Frankie, was curious about the Sun Basket box.


Sun Basket food:

  • Organic non-GMO produce from the best West Coast farms
  • Sustainably sourced, hormone-free meats and seafood
  • Easy, healthy 30-minute recipes designed for minimal cleanup
  • Recipes developed by an award-winning San Francisco chef
  • All recipes are approved by our in-house nutritionist


Sun Basket meal plans:

  • Healthy meal plans including: Paleo-friendly, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus breakfast
  • 3 recipes per week, with meal plans for 2, 4 or 6 people
  • Choose any meals you like each week. You can even double or triple up on a recipe. Currently shipping to CA, OR, WA, CO, UT, AZ, NV and ID

Sun Basket packaging:

  • Carefully packaged to stay fresh in the box for 8 hours after delivery
  • 100% recyclable packaging
  • Free delivery and free return shipping so we can recycle and reuse the materials

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My Sun Basket Meal Review:

Naturally, I opted for the paleo meal options, which included kale, butternut squash and Italian sausage soup, braised chicken arrabbiata with celery root mash, and steak with purple sweet potato and roasted red pepper sauce. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a meal delivery service and I must say, it was awesome. Everything was delivered in one organized box and it was all fresh! Ingredients were already measured out for recipes and in individual bags (meat was separate though), so it was easy to keep track of everything.

Kale, butternut squash and Italian sausage soup

All the recipes were delicious, especially the soup and chicken arrabbiata. We were actually surprised how incredible they tasted — even better than we imagined. I’ve actually made the soup again on my own since then. The sweet potato and steak meal was alright, but we both had a lot of grizzle on our sirloin steaks, especially Jesse. I think it would have been better with a different cut of beef. The roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms were great though.

I can totally see myself using this service again. I enjoy cooking and creating on my own, but this is so handy and a nice break from having to think about what I’m making for dinner. It’s also great for getting new and easy recipe ideas. For those of you with extra busy schedules, lack of direction or motivation in the kitchen, not knowing what to eat, poor cooking skills, etc., I highly recommend trying this out. Sun Basket makes it so easy. And, it’s good! The meals actually look like the pictures too!

Interested in trying Sun Basket for yourself? Visit HERE to learn more and sign up now to receive $30 off your first box!

For more information, please visit https://sunbasket.com/home or Facebook, InstagramPinterest or Twitter.

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