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Paleo Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

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Thanksgiving would not be Thanksgiving if I did not get to have sweet potatoes.

I am aware that there is this category of people out there who could take or leave sweet potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. And you are the people I just, frankly, do not understand. I love you. No judgement. But, I don’t get you.

My clean eating habits began at an early age for several reasons, of which I will not go into detail except for one – my mother has always been health conscious. I was raised during the “Fat Free Craze” and the “Wheat is better than white craze!” Ha! Funny to even think about now that I understand all of the research that has come out against both of those! So we had a lot of wheat bread and fat free mayo. Unfortunately that meant eating a lot of sugar, which I hope I am mitigating the effects of now. But my mom was always trying to make recipes healthier. Back in the day, she would substitute margarine for butter and would eat bread a million times before she would even look at an avocado! I’m literally laughing to myself as I type this and think through how funny that sounds… I can’t even imagine buying margarine. But 30 years ago, that was considered the healthiest alternative to fat. Crazy.

So I guess this is where I get my experimenting with recipes fetish! But now, thankfully, with different guidelines!

All of that to say – my mom came up with a recipe for sweet potato casserole that was heavy on sugar and she would use a little bit of margarine – never butter, etc. I always loved it growing up but now? No way I could eat it. My taste-buds would FLIP from all of the sugar. I think I’d go into a coma.

You have to remember that sweet potatoes are already sweet. I get that it’s Thanksgiving and it’s a time for some indulging, but no reason to douse something in additional sugar – a little? Sure! But, I suggest balancing it with some healthy fats like coconut oil, ghee butter or a good grass-fed butter. This will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you don’t get a crazy spike and 1- think you’re actually still hungry after eating a whole plate of Thanksgiving goodness and 2- crash in a couple of hours.

Sweet Potato Casserole is typically the sweetest thing on the table at Thanksgiving. I mean, aside from actual desserts. But, if you could stave off that blood sugar spike and make this a well balanced dish, wouldn’t it be nice to be kind to your body today while not feeling like you’ve missed out on ANYthing?

Hope you enjoy this re-make of my mom’s Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole!

Paleo Roasted Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or grass fed butter, melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (sprouted, if possible)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and wrap each sweet potato in foil. Place potatoes in the oven on the top or middle rack and bake for 60-75 minutes. Pull out of the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. They won’t be fully cooked, but that’s okay.
  • While the potatoes are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil or butter, cinnamon, coconut sugar and sea salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • Unwrap the potatoes and discard the foil. With a pairing knife, gently score the skin of the potatoes and then carefully peel the skin off of each one. Once peeled, dice into approx. 2-inch chunks.
  • Spray a large casserole dish with coconut oil cooking spray (or rub down with a little coconut oil or butter) and place the diced sweet potatoes into the dish. Drizzle the coconut sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top and chopped pecans, gently toss to combine and cover with foil.
  • If serving immediately – place back in the oven for 15 minutes, covered and then another 5-10 minutes, uncovered, until slightly browned on top.
  • If making ahead, place in the fridge until ready to serve and increase cook times above by 10 minutes each.

 

Primal White Chicken Chili

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There are so many renditions of chili. Some have beans, some don’t. Some are “red,” some are “white.” Some are pork. Some chicken. Some beef. Some a combination of a few different proteins. Chili is so versatile.

This Primal White Chicken Chili is easy to make and one of my very favorite cold-weather meals! It is Primal, not Paleo because it uses white beans. But you could definitely replace the beans with small diced potatoes, if you’d like and make it Paleo. Mushrooms would work too. Or, nix the beans altogether.

I love to serve this with my Paleo Jalepeno Goat Cheese “Corn” Bread – you’ll have to wait for my cookbook to come out for that one… But, a crusty slice of good sourdough bread or Beanitos or Way Better chips are great, quick and easy pairings.

We love to load ours up with lots of toppings… Fresh Cilantro, Sliced Green Onion or Chives, Avocado or Guacamole, if you like sour cream – how about using a little plain Greek Yogurt so you get the live cultures? And – no shock here: Goat Cheese! Sometimes I’ll do shredded, raw Goat Cheddar or Goat Cheese Crumbles. I mean – it is cold weather, comfort food that you can feel really good about eating!!

It is a staple in the Brossette house during the fall and winter! We hope it becomes one in your home too!

Primal White Chicken Chili

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stem and most seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2, 15oz cans white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1-2 cups chicken bone broth or low sodium chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (less if you prefer it less spicy…)
  • 2, 4oz cans chopped green chilies
  • sea salt to taste

Garnishes and extras

  • fresh cilantro, leaves only
  • chives or scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped (or guacamole)
  • fresh pico or salsa
  • goat cheese

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, place the onion into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until softened – approx. 5 minutes.
  • Place the chopped jalapeno/serrano and garlic in with the onion and cook one more minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add green chilies, salt and seasonings to the skillet and mix thoroughly.
  • Push vegetables to the sides of the skillet and add in the ground chicken. Break up into desired pieces and let brown on one side for 3-4 minutes, toss and cook until almost cooked through – another 3-4 minutes. Combine with the vegetables/seasonings and add another pinch of salt.
  • Add beans into the skillet with stock and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a low boil and turn to heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, up to 1 hour until the chili has thickened.
  • Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with goat cheese, cilantro, fresh pico de gallo or salsa, chopped chives or scallion, and/or avocados.

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Episode 132: How Retired Vietnam Marine Used Snake Venom and Holistic Remedies to Overcome Debilitating Injuries from War

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In this episode I sit down with Vietnam war hero Lou Paradise.  We talk about how Lou overcame debilitating pain and injuries from two tours in Vietnam that left him in severe and constant pain.

Lou used a combination of holistic herbs that he learned from his grandmother, along with micro-dosed venoms to formulate a topical lotion that increased microcirculation and greatly reduces joint & muscle pain. We talk though his product, the uses, and how you, the hard charging endurance athlete, can use it to speed recovery and keep you training hard!

We also discuss how his training on obstacle courses was a key component to his readiness for battle and more!

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher!

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Paleo Classic Deviled Eggs

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I feel like deviled eggs are reminiscent of the summer. Fourth of July, picnics, etc. But, every Thanksgiving my family always has deviled eggs on the table. I have no clue if this is traditional in the American household or not, but it is in ours and I love it! I always look so forward to them.

It seems like everything during the holidays is heavy and typically served hot. Deviled eggs add a really wonderful temperature contrast.

These are made with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil mayo making them so much cleaner than the average deviled egg which is typically made with a canola or vegetable oil-based mayo.

I know that many people try to stay away from the yolk of an egg for various reasons – some of which I agree with and some I do not. If you are one who avoids the yolk, I do hope you will reconsider and enjoy these for at least one day of the year.

Paleo Classic Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 halves…

Ingredients:

  • 6 cage free eggs
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • paprika or smoked paprika
  • 3-4 tbsp chives, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (optional)

Directions:

  • Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that the eggs are completely covered. Heat on high until water begins to boil, let boil 1 minute, then cover and turn the heat completely off. Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes, rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute. Crack eggshells and carefully peel under cool running water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks and placing into a medium bowl. Place the whites on a large cutting board or a few paper towels.
  • Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and mix well with a spatula, getting the mixture to as smooth a consistency as possible.
  • Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika, chives and dill, if using and place onto a serving platter or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Episode 131: Interview with OCR Rising Star Tiffany Palmer

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In this episode Miles and I sit down with one of OCR’s rising stars that has been dominating the Spartan series Tiffany Palmer.

We get to know Tiffany and how her short career as a speed skater at a very young age instilled discipline and a focused mindset.

Tiffany also talks with about:
– Aligning your passion with your purpose

– How she overcame excessive alcohol use to focus on being the best OCR athlete she could be

– OCRWC, Spartan age group, and more!

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher!

Smoky Paleo Bowl

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Believe it or not, we don’t always eat beautifully plated meals that take an hour to prep and an hour to cook. We are so stinkin busy. Good busy. But busy. In my perfect world, I would menu plan daily. But, while some may think it is – that is not my life. I really don’t know how many do it with little ones. It seems that most of my days are swamped minute-to-minute. Not complaining – I’m honestly not sure I would have it any other way.

That said, if I called Mo and told him I couldn’t cook one night or for a whole week – he is the type of man who, while he would much prefer I cook, would kindly understand and offer to pick something up. Ultimately though – we really don’t like to eat out. I mean, we certainly enjoy it from time to time on special occasions, or to try a new restaurant. But on the whole, we just feel better when we eat at home. So, I really try hard to make it a priority.

Not every day is minute-to-minute but man, I definitely had one of those days earlier this week – I had my own workout at 6am, showered and out the door by 8am to start with my one-on-one Personal Training clients – a break at noon for a quick Almond Milk Latte (my favorite!) and some Tuna Salad for lunch, a talk for my dear friends Nutrition class at El Centro, on to a 2:45pm meeting, followed by a 3:45pm appointment and then I still had to figure out what we were going to have for dinner that night. I was tired, it was getting chilly outside (FINALLY!!! I swear, Texas has the most confused weather!) and I wanted something that tasted like I’d been making it all day – you know, comforting and warm but I also didn’t want anything heavy. Welcome to the mind of a woman! So complicated! 😉 But hey! At least we know what we want! So, after all of this discussion in my head, I landed on a bowl and just decided to fill it will all the things that sounded good. And I give you the birth of my Smoky Paleo Bowl.

I put ground bison in ours – if Mo were not going to be home, I probably would have left that out and gone meatless. But, I live with a half-caveman, so bison it was! Feel free to use any protein you’d like or leave it out altogether – it will be just as de-lish!

This bowl comes together in 30 minutes or less and tastes like you’ve been working on it for a few hours. It is light but comforting and definitely filling!

I hope you enjoy!

Smoky Paleo Bowl

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 3 bags pre-riced cauliflower
  • olive or avocado oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric, divided
  • 1 orange bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 7 baby portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • ¾ – 1lb ground protein of choice
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • black pepper
  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh, baby spinach, arugula or baby kale
  • optional garnishes: crumbled goat cheese, cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeno or fresno pepper, scallion or chives…

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, spray with a little cooking spray and pour cauliflower rice onto the pan and spread out as evenly as possible. Drizzle with a little olive or avocado oil, a few pinches of sea salt, smoked paprika, coriander and ½ tsp turmeric. Toss well to combine. Place in the oven to roast for 10 minutes; toss and then turn your oven off and leave the “rice” in the oven until ready to serve.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in bell peppers with a pinch of sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened – approx. 5 minutes. Add in zucchini, squash and mushrooms, stir to combine, cover and steam for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover and push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and add in the ground protein to the center of the pan. Break the protein up and cook, stirring occasionally, until protein is cooked through – approx. 5 minutes. Season mixture with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, black pepper and sea salt to taste. Toss well to combine.
  • Add greens to the skillet and mix to combine. Cook until the spinach has just wilted, approx. 2-3 minutes.
  • To serve, start with some of the cauliflower rice in a bowl and top with protein/vegetable mixture. Garnish with options above, if you’d like. Enjoy!

 

 

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Spelt Flour Pumpkin Bread

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Oh… Are you surprised I’m posting yet another pumpkin recipe? What did I tell you? Pumpkin is my favorite! I smile so big every time I get to use it! Anyway – you know this by now, if you’ve been following along. So I won’t go into all of the details of my love affair with this little vegetable. But suffice to say, I might turn orange because I’ve been eating so much of it! Not really… I mean, can that ACTUALLY happen???

I posted my go-to recipe for Grain Free Pumpkin Muffins a few weeks ago. And that recipe can actually be made into a bread as well. You’ll notice, the two recipes (that one and the one below) are not all that different. If you are not strict gluten free or Paleo – this one is actually my favorite. The spelt flour rises a bit better and just gives the bread more structure – if you will – almost like a typical white all-purpose flour would.

Yes, spelt has gluten in it. But it is a far cry from wheat flour. This article by Dr. Axe illustrates this point very well. I suggest you read it, if interested – at least for the education.

I will definitely be making this for Thanksgiving week and to have on Christmas morning! Slather some ghee butter or coconut oil on top and WHOA! Heaven. And, it will make your house smell like the holidays!

All I need is this bread baking in the oven, a Thymes Frasier Fir Christmas candle burning and a little Michael Buble’ or Andrea Bocelli Christmas playing on Pandora – it doesn’t get more warm and cozy for me than that! You can bet this will be the picture at the Brossette house on Christmas morning! I hope you enjoy and make this a tradition for your home as we have ours!

Spelt Flour Pumpkin Bread …or Muffins

Makes: 10 slices or 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour*
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1, 15oz can organic pumpkin puree
  • 3 large cage free eggs
  • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 5×9 loaf pan (if making bread) or a 12-count muffin tin (if making muffins) with coconut oil cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the almond and spelt flour, sea salt, baking soda, cloves, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and mix well with a whisk.
  • In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar and coconut oil together with a hand mixer.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine with a spatula.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan or divide evenly into 12-count muffin tins.
  • For bread: Bake 50 minutes on convection, 60 minutes if non-convection.
  • For muffins: Bake 35-40 minutes on convection, 45-50 minutes if non-convection.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving or, once cooled, wrap up in foil and place in a Ziploc baggie to keep in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes:

  • If gluten/grain free is desired, replace the spelt flour with 1 cup almond flour.

 

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Crispy Pumpkin Wedges with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Have I told you I love Pumpkin? Has that come up yet? 🙂 Well in case you forgot – I. LOVE. PUMPKIN.

I love all the things about pumpkin! The way the look, the way they taste, the fact that they are so versatile – they can be made sweet or savory. They are a “complex” carbohydrate – meaning that they do not spike blood sugar when consumed as compared to simple carbohydrates (i.e. items high in sugar), but they give the body good, clean fuel to burn. I love that they are the epitome of fall. The summers in Texas can be so “oppressive” sometimes – I always welcome fall with wide open arms! And, let’s face it – they are so fairytale-like right? Who sees a pumpkin and DOESN’T think of Cinderella? Ha! Ok, maybe the other way around for most – but for me? I see a pumpkin and start swooning – I really do.

As you can see, pumpkins bring about much joy for me – for many reasons. And while I have been accustomed to utilizing pumpkin in one predominant way: Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Bread – which I grew up from as early in my childhood as I can recall!

This recipe is far from those and as beautiful as it looks (at least, I think so!) it is so easy to make. I made them as a side to dinner one night – it was a crazy day so I simply made my go-to Tuna Lettuce Tacos and served these beautiful wedges with it. But they would be the most wonderful passed hors d’oeuvres at your holiday party or any party! Or a fun, new addition to your Thanksgiving dinner!

There are MANY varieties of pumpkin. In fact, a pumpkin is actually a squash, if you didn’t already know that. So, you could, in theory use any variety of fall squash you’d like – just be sure to consult the Google 🙂 regarding the skin and if the squash you choose to use has an edible skin. For example, I would peel a butternut squash prior to making this recipe. But the Kabocha a a beautiful skin that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and is perfectly fine and good for you to eat! Just be sure to wash well!

I used Chickpea Breadcrumbs in this recipe! When I came across them at Whole Foods I was SO excited! All packaged breadcrumbs have added oils and stabilizers and use wheat flour. It’s so annoying! And, we’ve officially run out of sourdough bread for the time being. If you can’t find these, no worries – the other two options work perfectly fine!

Due to the dairy used in the “crust” and if you choose to use a dairy-based yogurt for the dipping sauce, these are not Paleo. I do suggest you keep them Primal by using a raw/unpasteurized cheese and a grass fed Greek yogurt. If you want to keep them strict gluten free – definitely use the chickpea breadcrumbs or almond flour. And last but not least – if you want to keep them dairy free and go strict Paleo – feel free to nix the cheese in the topping/crust and double the amount of almond flour you use – in which case I would also double the amount of salt you use. And stick to a coconut milk based yogurt in lieu of dairy. Just be sure whether you use a coconut or dairy based yogurt, that it is PLAIN and not a vanilla flavor or sweetened at all!

Crispy Pumpkin Wedges with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

…for the pumpkin:

  • 1, approx. 2lb kabocha squash/pumpkin, skin on
  • ¾ – 1 cup grated raw parmesan or manchego
  • ¼ cup sourdough or chickpea “bread” crumbs or almond flour
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or cilantro
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 large lemon, zest only
  • dash or two of cayenne pepper
  • olive or avocado oil for brushing the pumpkin
  • sea salt

…for the yogurt dipping sauce:

  • ¾ cup plain Greek dairy or coconut yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, place the yogurt with the dill and a pinch of sea salt and pepper – whish well to combine. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Cut the pumpkin into approx. ½-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on the baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley/cilantro, thyme, half of the lemon zest, a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.
  • Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender – start checking at 20 minutes: stick a small knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
  • Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the yogurt mixture on the side.

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Episode 130: Dallas Ultra-Beast, Beast, & Sprint Review, Preparing for Cold Races, How to take a Recovery Week, Supplements for Recovery

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In this episode Miles and I give our review from the Dallas Spartan Ultra-Beast, Beast, and Sprint races

We discuss our race highs, lows, and what we learned/took away from each event

We talk about ways to keep your hands warm during a cold race to minimize obstacle failure

We discuss the importance of time off and how to take a rest week

We discuss how to incorporate massage, cryotherapy, and chiropractic care into your rest week along with my top 3 “recovery supplements”

 

CLICK HERE to listen or download from iTunes or Stitcher!!!