Sweet Potato Sloppy Joe Sliders (Paleo)

I’m not going to lie, the holidays are crazy, and so is my schedule right now! Instead of boring you with my weekly life-lessons and updates, we’ll just get right to the point. Here is a fun recipe that turns another childhood favorite into a more sophisticated, comforting meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I (and a few taste testers) did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
  • 1 TB. avocado oil
  • 1 TB. coconut oil
  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 TB. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TB. water
  • 1 cup spinach leaves (optional)

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)

-In a large bowl toss the sweet potato rounds in avocado oil, salt and pepper

-Place seasoned sweet potato rounds on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway

-While potatoes are baking, add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat and cook the beef until only a little pink remains

-Add the onion, celery and garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes

-Add tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and paprika to the meat mixture and stir for 1 minute

-Add the honey, apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce and water to the mixture, stir to combine and summer on low for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

-Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking arrange them on a serving plate with toppings of your choice! I like to add spinach leaves for a fun color pop (they also hold on the meat quite well) or you could use larger lettuce leaves as a “boat” for the sliders

Hasselback White Sweet Potatoes (Paleo)

As an athlete it’s important to fuel your body appropriately in order to maximize your performance and recovery. Having an active job along with a dog that requires a long hike or run daily and somewhere between 1-2.5 hours of training each day, the amount of carbohydrates my body needs is sometimes overwhelming. Being on the go so often my sources of carbs are often the quick and easy varieties such as rice and gluten-free oatmeal, but when I have the opportunity to be in the kitchen for a period of time, my all-time favorite source of carbs are white or japanese sweet potatoes (Japanese have red skin and domestic have golden skin). These tend to get crispier than yams and orange sweet potatoes as they are higher in carbohydrates but still contain a vast amount of micro nutrients. This cooking variation is not only delicious but a sure way to raise some eye-brows and get some “fancy” remarks from your friends and family- as a bonus, it’s also super simple! You can also do this with any potato, but if you’ve never tried white sweet potatoes… you definitely should!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large white sweet potatoes
  • 1 TB melted ghee
  • dash sea salt

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Line baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper)

-Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes and with a sharp knife start making vertical cuts from end to end leaving about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the potato all the way across


-Place potatoes on baking sheet and brush with melted ghee then sprinkle with sea salt


-Bake for about 60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft

-Remove from oven and top them with something tasty! Some options are crumbled bacon (you can add this before cooking, simply cook bacon most of the way in a pan, chop finely and sprinkle over potatoes), grass-fed cheese (if you can handle dairy, this can also be added when there is about 5 minutes of cooking time remaining), or something a little more complex like garlic and herb butter (2 TB ghee or grass-fed butter, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, 1 tsp fresh thyme and 2 tsp fresh scallions.. add to a small bowl and stir together!)

Enjoy! 


Photo by Billy Wilbanks. DSMP marketing. Instagram @wbanks85

 

 

 

 

two thousand sixteen

Wondering why I took such a long hiatus from blogging? Well… sometimes life happens. While I don’t believe in excuses, I do believe that at different times different things must become a priority.

The last few months of 2015 I ended up buying a house (yayyyy adulting!) For anyone who has been through this process you know how time consuming and stressful it is! Then you add the move, furnishing a new home, trying to grow your list of handy friends to help you when stuff goes wrong, etc. I’ll tell you its even more complicated when you do it without the help of someone else. While I bought this home with someone, that person didn’t put an ounce of effort into any part of it (red flag, if you are in a similar situation). This not only added daily workload stress, but also emotional stress. Long story short- I ended up finding out this person who I was with for 3 years had also been cheating on me. See that curb? It’s now your best friend- bye!! Silly me for not trusting my gut and realizing that anyone who isn’t putting in the same amount of time and effort as you are clearly isn’t worth having in your life. Lesson learned.

I have since refinanced MY house and have some amazing friends living with me. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and though I never wish hard times upon anyone, they often teach us things about ourselves that we likely wouldn’t have realized before. For instance, this was the first time in my life that I had gone through a pretty “devastating” event, and instead of feeling like my world was collapsing on top of me, I used it as fuel to propel myself forward. Let me reiterate: every panick-attack-inducing event in my life has been a huge trigger for me to revert to unhealthy ways of coping. This was the FIRST time I didn’t have ONE minuscule thought about breaking down in that way. A huge mental accomplishment for anyone who’s had a past of behavioral issues! I am thankful that I had the support of many, MANY, amazing people. I was almost overwhelmed with how easy it was for me to move forward initially, though my positive mindset started to fade after about a month or two when more changes occurred and I started to feel a bit lost.

At this time I was working a full time sales job which I enjoyed but it proved to be too inconsistent and at times very costly with the amount of traveling I was doing. My parents reached out for me for help at their store (and of course they wanted me to be around them to ensure I was OK) so i quit my sales job and started commuting back to eastern mass every week to work for them. At first this seemed fine- but then the combination of living in two places, not having any friends around my parents house, and being in a place where I had struggled in the past, seemed to get the best of me. I felt lost, confused, and like I wasn’t moving forward in my life. These things along with trying to “date” again and being let down over and over broke me down emotionally and I ended up relapsing(if you’re new to my blog you can refer to My Story for the background info).

If anyone knows me well, the standards I hold myself to are above and beyond, and to disappoint myself after the years of hard work I’ve put in only made things worse at the time. After some rocky weeks and a lot of friend-therapy I was able to finally forgive myself and start a new chapter. I’ve realized that the only person I can hold accountable for anything is myself, and well, I’m pretty fun and pretty great to spend time with. So this new chapter is pretty selfish- but in a good way. I’ve decided to devote my free time to the things that fulfill me. I have goals and things I want to accomplish in weightlifting. I have this passion for helping others- mentally, physically and emotionally. I love traveling and exploring. And last but not least I obviously enjoy cooking, baking, and making my personal journey accessible to others. I hope that you guys can forgive me for the inconsistency this past year- but it’s a goal of mine to keep sharing my story, recipes, accomplishments, downfalls, etc. in hopes that it resonates with some of you and may help to know that no matter what direction life brings you in, you are in control and you can change it for the better.

Now-stay tuned. Fall is the BEST time for baking and you don’t want to miss all the apple and pumpkin deliciousness that will be coming your way! 🙂

Photo by EricGovePhotography