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

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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

 

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.