Turkey Butternut Squash Stew

This stew is the epitome of healthy comfort food. It’s the perfect antidote on a chilly day and full of nutritious ingredients to boot. I’ve made it a couple times already and love that we’re able to get a few night’s worth of meals out of it. It’s been wonderful with the damp, drizzly, and gray weather we’ve been having. It’s definitely going to be on repeat this winter.

On another note, we got our tree over the weekend — on a very rainy, wet day (we ate this stew for dinner that night). We went to a tree farm on Sauvie Island and picked out a little Douglas Fir. When I spotted the tree, I swear it had a beam of light shining down on it. It was so radiant and emitted such a glow. We instantly agreed on it too, even though we had intentions of getting a Grand Fir when we got to the tree farm. Anyway, the tree is perfect and the house smells lovely with its aroma. Lights are on, but we’re waiting to adorn it with ornaments until next week. We’ll be out of town tomorrow through Sunday and know the kitties might be too tempted by the shiny, hanging bulbs while we’re away! We have a friend checking in on them, of course, but they still end up with extra time to themselves. Anyway, if you want to get a glimpse of our little tree thus far and see me hauling it in the wagon, visit my Instagram page HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (I used New Seasons’s country sage turkey breakfast sausage)
  • 1 medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup good-quality chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes, until onion is translucent. Next, add the ground turkey breast and ground turkey sausage. Season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook meat for several minutes, until browned, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage, 1/4 cup of broth, and a bit more sea salt and black pepper. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, carrots, poultry seasoning, dried sage, and bay leaf. Stir well. If need be or desired, add up to 1/4 cup more broth. Cover with lid and let cook for another 10 minutes or until squash and carrots are tender.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Yields: ~6-7 servings

Advertisements

Herbed Turkey Potato Stew

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.

UPDATE: I also went on KATU Afternoon Live and made this recipe on November 23, 2016! Watch the replay HERE!

herbed-turkey-potato-stew-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lb ground turkey white or dark meat, or a combination of both
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (*or 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 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 Yukon gold 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 12 oz bag frozen peas

Directions:

  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 and thyme. *Note: if using dried tarragon, add now. 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. Stir in the fresh tarragon. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if desired. Serve.

Yields: ~6 servings

 

Turkey Sausage Veggie Hash

IMG_3272

Before I rant about this recipe, I want to announce an exciting event coming up in Portland this Saturday. Some of you may have seen it on my Facebook page, but I want to share it again! Anyway, Jason Seib, author of The Paleo Coach, is giving a FREE talk at the Pearl District Whole Foods from 12-1 p.m, this Saturday, May 4th. There will be copies of Jason’s book available for purchase and he will also be available for signing. In addition, there will be some delicious paleo recipes to try made by the lovely, Ashley Kipp, the pearl store’s Healthy Foods Specialist and blogger behind Craving4more. Space is limited and an RSVP is required, so if you want to sign up, please email Ashley at ashley.kipp@wholefoods.com. It’s only two days away, so make sure you reserve your spot now! The presentation will be held upstairs in Salud, the demo kitchen next to The Mezz.

**********

Meanwhile, this simple and tasty dish is versatile and pretty much foolproof — at least in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t have too much to say about it, other than the fact that it’s just plain good. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’d also be great mixed with some scrambled eggs, but a runny egg on top is lovely too. Can you believe that I used to detest runny yolks? Up until a couple years ago, I only ate my yolks cooked through. That’s just blasphemy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch radishes, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, torn into pieces
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp bone broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • Sunny side-up pastured eggs for serving, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and break up with a spatula. Then, add the chopped garlic. Season with a little sea salt and pepper, and continue to cook.
  2. Next, add the radishes, carrots, spices, bone broth, and a bit more sea salt and pepper; stir. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender. Then, add the torn spinach leaves and butter. Cook another couple minutes, until spinach softens a bit. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Optional to serve with a sunny-side up egg on top.

Yields: 3 servings

IMG_3273

Pineapple Turkey Burger Bowl

Baked pineapple burgers with brussel sprouts.

First off, pardon my no-post yesterday. Usually I always post on Tuesdays and take a break on Wednesdays, but I was anxiously studying for a final yesterday and took advantage of every precious minute. The funny thing is, I got to school yesterday all raring and ready to go, only to hear the teacher announce that the test was now optional. She said she was really proud of the hard work we did this term and even though she wrote what she called, “a really great exam,” decided to leave things in our hands. You see, she experimented with a new class structure this term after some changes were made, so we were essentially her guinea pigs. We had some challenging, yet beneficial assignments and discussions, as well as a couple tough quizzes. I guess she felt like it was enough. Anyway, we could take our current grade as is or take the test to try and boost it, if needed. Since I already had an A and didn’t want to risk losing that A (the test could still hurt you if you did poorly) I opted out, but still had my jaw dropped when I left the classroom. All I could think was,”Holy crap, is this real life? This never happens!” I was elated and grateful, but at the same time, could have really used the time I spent preparing to study for my other exams. Whatever though, it’s still better than having to take the test and studying helped me retain the information that much more. Afterward, I used my freed up time to finish a final project and spent three consecutive hours at the library to do so. Two finals down, two to go!

Anyway, onto the food! When I brainstormed this recipe, I never expected it to turn out the way it did. Don’t get me wrong, I figured it’d taste good, but didn’t think it’d taste as wonderful as it did. Jesse and I both raved about it! My intention was to make patties with the burger mixture, but after a few tries, I could see it was not happening. Instead, I added an egg, patted it down into a pan and tossed it in the oven. Problem solved. This way, it gave me a chance to cook the veggies and time things out appropriately. The pan really was the easy way out, but it was for the better.

For the baked pineapple burgers:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped canned pineapple pieces in its own juice (reserve juice)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 Tbsp reserved pineapple juice
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands. Pour mixture into a 9×9 pan and pat down evenly. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until burger mixture is cooked through.

For the veggie mixture:

  • 2 slices US Wellness Meats grass-fed beef bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tsp additional bacon fat, if needed
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • Splash of reserved pineapple juice
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Next, add the brussel sprouts and the additional bacon fat, if needed. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook a few minutes, until brussel sprouts are browned.
  3. Add the green onion, pineapple juice and cayenne, and stir. Continue to cook a few more minutes.
  4. Serve on top of a slice of baked pineapple burger, and top with macadamia nut mayo. Garnish with some leftover pineapple pieces, if desired.

IMG_3122

Simple Supper Friday: Turkey Cabbage Stew with Multicolored Carrots

IMG_2932
Turkey cabbage stew with roasted multicolored carrots.

Another week of school down (hooray!), and I must say, this week went by extremely fast. I’m okay with that too. As much as I’m trying to enjoy the process, I’m really ready for this term to be over. Being busy definitely helps the time fly by though. Full-time school, part-time fitness coaching, part-time freelance writing, blogging, treat making at the food cart, working on a project with Jason Seib, and life. I may even be taking on another project, which will be determined later today. I might be burning the candle at both ends a tad, but it’s awesome to be a busy little bee. I’m learning so much, especially about myself, and I feel ready for the next big thing.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining bright today and it’s a high of 60 degrees. I’ve already had a chance to enjoy the sunshine a little bit, but I’m hoping to get outside later for a walk. I have tons to do, but 60 and sunny is a great excuse to take a break.

Happy Friday all!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fat of choice (I used grass-fed tallow)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2-4 Tbsp chicken broth
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk

Directions:

  1. While your carrots are roasting (see instructions below), get started on the stew. In a large pan over medium heat, melt your fat of choice. Add the garlic and saute about 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant. Next, add the ground turkey and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Be sure to break up the ground meat a bit with a spatula.
  2. After several minutes, when the meat is nearly done browning, add the cabbage, cardamom, chili powder, broth and coconut milk. Mix well and continue to simmer over medium-low heat for several minutes. Adjust seasonings and liquid as needed.
  3. Once done, serve into bowls and top with roasted carrots.

IMG_2920

For the roasted carrots:

  • 1 bunch multicolored carrots (about 5-7 carrots), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp fat of choice, melted (I used a combo of grass-fed tallow and ghee)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375. On a baking sheet, toss carrots with fat of choice, and season with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.
  2. Serve atop of turkey and cabbage mixture.

Yields: 3-4 servings

IMG_2929

Simple Supper Friday: Indian-Style Turkey Stew

Indian-style turkey stew, served over steamed kale.

I don’t know about all of you, but it’s been one heck of a week for me. I honestly felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, and was tempted to give life a call and say that I wasn’t going to show up. It’s funny, because my yoga teacher said this exact same thing yesterday morning, and mentioned that she was tempted to call in and find a sub, because she wanted a break from life. But, she didn’t…she showed up anyway and shared her honesty. She remembered the bigger picture, and the notion that when we show up on the days we feel like throwing in the towel, we often have the richest experiences.

Everything she said was so reminiscent of my week. I was drowning in assignments, studying, writing, work and projects, and wanted so badly to stop everything. I wanted a reprieve. Instead, I moved forward and did the best that I could, knowing that giving up was not an option. What good w0uld it do, and how would it benefit me? I have goals and aspirations, but challenges and struggles are always going to present themselves. It’s part of the process, and how I face these challenges is reminiscent of my character. This journey is not meant to be easy, and this week especially, I needed that reminder from my teacher to embrace it.

What do you do when you are burnt out, under a lot of pressure and feel like giving life a timeout (that worked on Saved by the Bell, but doesn’t work in real life, unfortunately)?

Meanwhile, here’s a quick and tasty recipe for your Friday. It features garam masala, a warm spice blend that I sadly forget about more often than not. Thankfully, my dear friend, Macala has reminded me about it’s loveliness on numerous recent occasions. It’s one of her favorites to add to ground meat, and I can definitely understand why. I even thought of her when using it in this recipe. Miss Macala, I appreciate you, in more ways than one!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter
  • Steamed greens of choice for serving (I used kale)
  • Cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for a couple minutes. Next, add the ground turkey and break up the meat with a spatula.
  2. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and allow meat to brown for several minutes.
  3. Next, add the spices,  diced tomatoes and coconut milk, and mix well. Continue to cook for a few minutes over medium-low heat, until mixture thickens up a bit. Then, mix in the ghee.
  4. Serve over steamed greens of choice (I recommend kale) and garnish with cilantro, if using.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Yes, that is bright, vibrant green grass in the background. Looking at my backyard, you'd almost think it was spring.

Simple Supper Friday: Garlic Butter “Noodles” with Turkey and Broccoli

Garlic butter noodles with turkey and broccoli.

I love when random, unplanned and experimental recipes turn into successes. That’s what happened with this dish. I needed to make a quick dinner because it was getting late, but wasn’t hungry for some of our go-to meals, like spaghetti. I only had ground meat in the fridge and had everything to make sauce, but really wasn’t in the mood for tomato flavors. Alternatively, butter and garlic sounded good, but then again, when does that combination not sound delicious? It’s a classic. Plus, I hadn’t eaten much butter on this particular day, so it was time to change that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey thighs
  • 2-3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • *1 medium cooked spaghetti squash, scraped with a fork to make noodles
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves minced garlic cloves, separated
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

IMG_2801

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the ground turkey. If necessary, add a little fat to the pan. Break up the turkey with a spatula and let cook for a couple minutes.
  2. Next, add three of the minced garlic cloves and the broccoli. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Continue to cook for several minutes, until meat is browned. Once meat is cooked through, pour mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the one remaining clove of minced garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Reduce heat to low, and add the spaghetti squash strands, tossing with the butter and garlic.
  4. Add the meat and broccoli mixture to the pan and toss with the squash. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, if needed. Add red pepper flakes, if using.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

Yields: 4 servings

*If you’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash, it’s simple. I adhere to the following directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place cut side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan, and fill with about 1/4-inch of water.
  4. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes. Be careful not to overcook or your strands will be mushy.
  5. Let cool and then scrape out the squash strands with a fork.

Garnish with a little extra red pepper flakes, if desired.