A Peek Inside a Busy Woman’s Fit Kitchen

by Fitness Editor Paula Jager, CSCS Owner of Crossfit Jaguar November 3, 2013

Fit kitchen

By Fitness Editor Paula Jager CSCS

Fall is here, no doubt about it even here in sunny Florida, and I am getting into the swing of the seasonal shift in culinary pleasures in my personal fit kitchen.  It was an enjoyable but extremely busy summer.  If you follow the fitness posts on this blog, you may know we moved our CrossFit box to a new location and have experienced some serious growing pains along with the trials and tribulations of the construction process.  All good.

Whether you’ve experienced something similar or have 12 children we are ALL busy in our lives and everyday frenzied pace.  So what do we do — buy Swanson fake chicken broth, use processed vegetable oil and hit the drive-thru? Of course not but how does one keep up with or maintain the healthy traditional diet for ourselves and families in these light of these busy times along with keeping up our fitness?  It ain’t easy but I’d like to share my tips and recipes for what’s going on in my fit kitchen and hear about yours. . .

Fit Kitchen: The Larder

We have got to keep this stocked; that is key.  After moving into our new location July 1 and barely having time to breathe let alone make bone broth come the beginning of September mine was empty–it was time to restock.  Over the course of three weekends (only time I have) I made beef stock on the first one, rendered tallow and pureed fresh pumpkins the next and finally made turkey stock out of the carcass in my freezer from the August bird we cooked on the third.  The larder was filling up and looking much better.

You need to pick a day/time that works for you.  Choosing the weekend allowed me to let the stock simmer or the fat slowly melt while I could also throw in a load of laundry or catch up on work tasks on the computer.  I only chose one or two tasks per weekend.  I penciled them in ahead of time thus planning out the month. If my platter gets overloaded, I find that nothing gets completed or completed well.

Fit Kitchen: The Workouts

It’s not important what you do just so that you get in some type of exercise or movement.  Pick an activity that works best for you–be it the gym, videos, chasing/playing with your children, walking etc. . . Just Do It!  Yes, I am quoting Nike.  Pencil it in, make the time–it will save your sanity, health and well being.  No excuses period.  Make it work.

With the larder stocked and the Wods scheduled I then took to recreating my recipes.  Some of my seasonal favorites are. . .

Stew & Biscuits

Yes, you read that right, “we eat biscuits”.  As much as Sarah & I love and respect each other’s beliefs she knows I won’t touch today’s wheat– traditionally prepared or not (I have an intolerance to gluten), but I do love my biscuits.  These are pretty tasty if you are grain free too.

Basic Beef Stew (4-6 servings)

Beef StewIngredients

1 lb beef chuck, cubed
2 Tbl beef tallow or duck fat
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1  Tbl tomato paste
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 heaping cup green beans, snipped and cut into pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
2 cups homemade beef stock
1 Tbl arrowroot powder (grain free thickener)
2 tsp cold water
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat tallow in a large cast iron dutch oven over medium heat.  Add beef; sauté until browned.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.  Add onions and sauté for about 4 minutes; add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Return beef and any juices to pot; stir in tomato paste, then add broth and enough water to just cover.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 ½ hours.

Add carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and green beans.  Cover partially; simmer about 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove the lid and allow to thicken slightly.

In a small bowl, mix arrowroot and water and stir into stew.  Increase heat and bring to a slight boil for 1 minute.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Plantain Biscuits (makes 7 hearty biscuits)

Grain Free Plantain Biscuits

Ingredients

2 TBL lard or duck fat
2 very ripe plantains (black)
¼ grassfed butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tbs raw cream
3 tbs coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Peel plantains, cut in half lengthwise and crosswise.  In a large cast iron skillet melt the lard over medium heat and fry the plantains until they are just golden — about 3-4 mins per side.

After cooked, add them to a food processor and puree until they begin to clump together.  Add the melted butter, eggs and cream and puree until smooth.  Add the flour and baking powder and pulse one last time to combine everything well.

Drop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a cast iron biscuit pan.  I made 7 good sized biscuits.  Bake for 25-30 min or until slightly brown and cooked through.  Let cool and settle some before eating.

We served with grass fed butter alongside the stew.  The slight sweetness of the biscuits was an excellent complement.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Grain Free Pancakes (kids & husbands love these!)

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Pancakes

Ingredients

6 eggs
1 cup of fresh pumpkin**
2 tsp of vanilla
3 Tbl Grade B maple syrup
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup chopped pecans
3 tbs of melted butter or coconut oil (your choice)
Coconut oil for cooking
**I prepare this ahead of time and freeze in pre-measured bags to make easier.

Directions

In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs; add pumpkin, vanilla and maple syrup and mix well.  Add in the spices and the butter or coconut oil.  Again mix well.  Stir in chopped pecans.

I used a cast iron griddle to cook these which worked very well.  Place coconut oil on griddle over medium heat.  Using a “gravy” ladle drop the pancake batter onto your ready griddle.  As they thin they will be about 3-4” in diameter.  When bubbles begin to surface it’s time to flip.  Cook until lightly browned.

Be creative when serving:  I liked them plain, hubby liked them with maple syrup and more butter.  Another idea is fresh whipped raw cream or yogurt.   And of course serve with a side of sausage or bacon!

Enjoy the flavors of Fall in your Fit Kitchen!

About the Author

 

paula jagerPaula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar.  Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results.

You can connect with her on Facebook by clicking here.

www.crossfitjaguar.com

paula@jaguarfit.com

 

Comments (27)

  1. Hello, when you write 1 cup of fresh pumpkin is it grated fine or processed to mush like from the can? Not sure about this step. Please explain this more to me, thanks.

    Reply
  2. I want to add that you can make bone broth and render fat on work days too by using the crock pot. I leave bone broth on for a few days at times when I am busy, it always turns out great. Rendering fat takes a long time in the crock pot, but it is hands-off time. I bake pumpkin in the oven until it is soft, then puree it with water in the blender. Then I put it in the crock pot overnight to reduce and concentrate. I am thinking of buying a second crock pot as mine is always busy.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Paula for these recipes. Do you have a carb/protein count on them? I wonder if you had already done that homework. I have a diabetic to think about as well.

    Reply
  4. I make my bone broth frequently but don’t have much freezer space. How do i store it in jars as shown in the picture? does it have to be refrigerated, or can it be canned?

    Reply
      • Does canning/pressure canning bone broth not take it beyond the temps it can handle to maintain nutrition? we never bring ours past a simmer. I’d hate to destroy nutrients by canning BUT I too am running low in freezer space in my 3 freezers. (not 12 but 7 children and my freezers are full of grass fed, beef, chicken and pork, a little wild fish plus all the berries we need everyday and bones and broth, only 3 kids at home now but when you buy whole and 1/2 animals you never have an empty freezer!!) I would love to can my bone broth if I could maintain nutrition.

        Reply
  5. Thank you for the recipe inspiration! We had the pancakes tonight for dinner, using canned pumpkin, as that’s what I had on hand. In fact, i was missing a few ingredients and was cooking for 8 people (only a half-dozen children! hee hee!), so here’s my streamlined recipe in case it helps anyone else with a crowd:

    18 eggs
    2 cans pumpkin
    2T almond extract
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    2t allspice
    1t salt
    2t baking soda
    1 stick butter, melted

    Reply
  6. Thank you! I’m on the GAPS diet and these look like they will pretty much fit the bill!! YUM!! I can’t wait to try them :O)

    Reply
  7. And what if you are allergic to coconut as well as celiac AND ckicken eggs? I can eat duck eggs but chose to limit them. Oh yes, nut allergies too.

    Reply
  8. Paula, thanks so much. I’m a mom and grandma cooking for 3 paleo generations! It’s nice to have a few non-grain goodies in my repertoire.

    Reply
  9. Yum to all ideas! Not intolerant of grains but always looking for new ideas for our 1 1/2 year old, who has not had grains yet. She loves pancakes made with coconut flour. Question: do you think bacon grease would be tasty in the plantain biscuits?

    Reply
  10. lol – 12 kids?!!! Thank you for the suggestions and the recipes; they were all excellent, Paula! I look forward to trying all of the recipes, but I admit I am prob going to try the pancakes first!! I too cooked several pumpkins recently; it is a favorite fall ritual:-)

    Reply

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