A Peek Inside a Busy Woman's Fit Kitchen

by Paula Jager Breakfast, Fitness, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Main Course, RecipesComments: 28

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


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


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


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


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.


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.



Comments (28)

  • Nancy Elchinger Kempton via Facebook

    Melanie Kempton Zoellner, This reminds me of your kitchen!

    February 23rd, 2014 2:34 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Barber LeDoux via Facebook

    This looks shelf-stable. We freeze all our broth. I should look into canning it. Hmmm.

    February 23rd, 2014 1:29 am Reply
  • Cindy Feroe Leonard via Facebook

    This looks just like my kitchen! Add in there several mason jars of yummy yogurt too. :)

    February 23rd, 2014 12:18 am Reply
  • Nicole

    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.

    December 2nd, 2013 9:09 am Reply
    • Melissa

      Pumpkin Pancakes – I would like to know this too please. Is the pumpkin grated raw, or cooked and mashed? Thanks.

      January 1st, 2014 11:04 am Reply
    • E

      It’s mentioned in the Fit Kitchen: The Larder section of this post.

      “pureed fresh pumpkins…”

      January 9th, 2015 9:15 pm Reply
  • Rebecca C

    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.

    November 27th, 2013 1:57 am Reply
  • Sally

    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.

    November 6th, 2013 10:42 am Reply
  • shawna lange

    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?

    November 5th, 2013 9:34 am Reply
    • Maggie

      I can my broth as my freezers are pretty full. Most are pressure canned at 10 lbs. for 20 min (pints) or 25 min. (quarts).

      November 5th, 2013 10:25 am Reply
      • Sally

        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.

        November 6th, 2013 10:52 am Reply
  • Jeanne

    The recipes look wonderful. Is there not any coconut flour in the pancakes?

    November 4th, 2013 11:08 pm Reply
    • Paula

      No flour at all

      November 5th, 2013 6:32 am Reply
  • Jennifer

    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

    November 4th, 2013 9:40 pm Reply
  • bianca

    Wonderful recipes, Paula ! I love that cream and butter
    do not scare you…. lol

    Hope you will share more in the future..

    November 4th, 2013 4:48 pm Reply
    • Paula

      Raw cream and butter make me happy:)

      November 5th, 2013 6:31 am Reply
  • Magda

    I will definitely be trying the biscuits – they look awesome!!
    Here is another plaintain recipe I love: my favorite way to eat this is with toasted marshmallows and homemade chocolate syrup:

    November 4th, 2013 1:00 pm Reply
  • Parrish Smith

    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)

    November 4th, 2013 11:23 am Reply
  • Dianne

    In the biscuit recipe, you have “1/4 grassfed butter, melted.” 1/4 what? pound? cup? tablespoon?

    November 4th, 2013 11:12 am Reply
    • Paula

      Sorry, typo. 1/4 cup grassfed butter, melted. Busy woman edited too fast:)

      November 4th, 2013 1:28 pm Reply
  • Sandy

    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.

    November 4th, 2013 11:10 am Reply
    • Jodi

      Sounds like some of these recipes may not be for you then.

      November 4th, 2013 11:22 am Reply
  • Joyce

    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.

    November 4th, 2013 10:43 am Reply
  • Fitness Editor Paula Jager, CSCS Owner of Crossfit Jaguar

    Hmmm, I bet it would be–the sweet/salt complement. I don’t think I’ve tried anything that’s not better with bacon grease!

    November 4th, 2013 6:11 am Reply
  • Belinda

    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?

    November 3rd, 2013 11:09 pm Reply
  • Pat in TX

    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:-)

    November 3rd, 2013 10:14 pm Reply
    • Fitness Editor Paula Jager, CSCS Owner of Crossfit Jaguar

      I was thinkig of you Pat:) Hubby ate a double stack of those pancakes yesterday — hope your family enjoys!

      November 4th, 2013 6:09 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Paula, thanks for sharing these recipes which look very tantalizing! Even though we do eat grains in our home, those plantain biscuits are very tempting and I will be trying those out pronto.

    November 3rd, 2013 4:23 pm Reply

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