Classic Veggie-Loaded Turkey Meat Sauce

A big, beautiful mess of noodles.

The start of summer has flown by, and I cannot believe how much has happened since I last shared a recipe!  Alex and I moved to Queen Anne in the beginning of May, and it took me a little while to adjust to our new, smaller kitchen.  Mise en place, the practice of preparing ingredients ahead of time in separate bowls, comes in handy in all cooking, but especially in a tiny prep area.  I was inspired to make this recipe today, so that I could have gluten-free noodles ready when my Mom arrives for her Seattle visit!  I set aside two zucchinis to make a fresh bowl of “zoodles” for her dinner.

We have been cooking and enjoying local Seattle foods, but our new place does not have a grill.  I am really looking forward to late-summer grilling with my family when we gather at the beach!  In honor of mid-summer, here is one of my favorite recipes to showcase what’s in season.


Classic Veggie-Loaded Turkey Meat Sauce – Serves 6

Turkey meat sauce is one of my go-to make ahead meals, and the addition of seasonal vegetables makes this dinner all the more enticing.  I use fresh vegetables when I can, but this recipe could also work well with frozen mixed vegetables.  Try different vegetables until you find your favorite!  When asparagus is not in season, I tend to use broccoli in this recipe.  Marinara sauce clings to broccoli’s texture, for a pleasing mouth-feel.  This hearty sauce is the perfect addition to linguine or other noodles, and adding zucchini noodles makes for an especially bright dish.

I love the flavor of purple garlic, so give that a try if you can find it.  Purple garlic is naturally sweet, and can be added later on in the cooking process.  When using white garlic, add garlic, onions and peppers at the same time to soften the bite of the garlic flavor.

You will need:



  1. 1-2 T olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 pound ground turkey
  5. about 20 asparagus spears, snapped into 2-3 inch pieces
  6. mushrooms (we used sliced crimini)
  7. 24 ounces tomato marinara sauce
  8. 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  9. fresh basil
  10. dried oregano
  11. black pepper

Optional: hot red pepper flakes.  Serve topped with fresh parmesan.


  1. Heat two large saucepans over medium heat, and add olive oil or cooking spray (I like La Tourangelle Expeller-Pressed Grapeseed Oil for cooking).  When your oil has warmed, add onion and peppers to one pan and turkey meat to the other.  Break up turkey with a spoon as it cooks, to reach desired bite-size.
  2. Stir onion and peppers and allow to soften for 3-4 minutes.  Keep breaking up turkey and make sure it browns evenly.
  3. Add asparagus and allow to cook for a few minutes more.  Then, stir in a handful of mushrooms.
  4. As soon as your turkey has browned, remove that pan from the heat.
  5. Add tomato sauce to your veggie pan and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Add cooked turkey to your sauce, and stir to coat.
  6. Prepare pasta water or another pan for pasta or zucchini noodles.  For this meal, we used a combination of the two.
  7. At the final stage of sauce preparation, turn the heat to low and add your garlic, fresh basil and spices.  Adding spices at the end showcases their bright flavors.

One-Pan Lemon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts


One pan chicken and Brussels sprouts, with a side of roasted butternut squash.

A big thank you to Sara Wallace for inspiring this meal!  Sara and I met as freshmen on the Williams College rowing team, and became fast friends during our first Winter Study together.  She has a thirst for adventure and has the energy for any fun, new diversion!  Somehow, we have yet to cook together, but in a recent email she told me she regularly makes one-pan chicken and Brussels sprouts.  I found a recipe online on a lovely gluten-free cooking blog called “So… Let’s Hang Out“, and made minor modifications to the ingredients.  I added butternut squash to my meal because I have been loving the roasted squash flavor lately.  Chili powder adds another layer of flavor to the naturally sweet butternut squash – the combination is so good that I find myself “taste-testing” straight from the baking sheet!  The chili powder/squash concept comes from “The Whole30 Cookbook”, by Melissa Hartwig.

Alex and I shared this one-pan wonder for an easy weeknight meal.  He had his chicken over leftover brown rice, which soaked up the lemon juice and chicken broth.  I am still following Whole30 most days, so I just increased my Brussels sprouts pile for extra carbohydrates.  The great thing about this meal is that you will have 30 minutes of down-time while the chicken and Brussels sprouts finish in the oven, and cleanup is a breeze.  I used pre-cut butternut squash and Brussels sprouts to speed up the process, and thanks to that shortcut, this dinner took about 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish.


One-Pan Lemon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts – serves 2 to 4

We experimented with using both chicken breasts and thighs in our first pan.  You can also use skin on, bone-in chicken, but if you have large pieces, use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is fully cooked.  Cast-iron works especially well for this meal, because it makes your chicken nice and crispy.

You will need:


  1. 1 large butternut squash, or one container of pre-cut squash (thank you, Whole Foods!)
  2. 1-2 T olive oil
  3. 2 t chili powder
  4. 2 t salt, 1 t pepper
  5. 1 T coconut oil
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs, or both
  8. 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  9. 1 T olive oil
  10. juice of one lemon
  11. 1/4 C chicken stock

Optional: serve over brown rice.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine butternut squash pieces with olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring at least once to make sure pieces are not sticking to the baking sheet.
  4. While butternut squash is roasting, prepare your Brussels sprouts.  Wash and halve sprouts, and combine with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly to coat, set aside.
  5. Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (the butternut squash can handle the heat for a little while!).
  6. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper to taste, on both sides.
  7. Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium to medium-high heat, and add coconut oil.
  8. When oil is hot, add chicken to your pan in a single layer, and do not move for 6-8 minutes.  You want the chicken nice and browned on the bottom before flipping.
  9. When the first side has browned, flip chicken and continue cooking.
  10. Next, add Brussels sprouts, lemon juice and chicken stock, stirring to combine.  Scrape the bottom of your pan to loosen any browned bits.
  11. Carefully place your pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Your butternut squash should be done around the same time, but if it is starting to get too browned, you can remove the sheet pan so the pieces do not burn.  Simply return the pan to the oven when the chicken and sprouts have just a few minutes left to cook.


Gina Marie. “One-Pan Crispy Chicken Legs & Brussels Sprouts {Gluten-Free & Paleo}.” So…Let’s Hang Out. N.p., 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

Hartwig, Melissa. The Whole30 cookbook: 150 delicious and totally compliant recipes to help you succeed with the Whole30 and beyond. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. Print, page 65.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Bacon Pasta

The cooked egg coated the pasta and other ingredients nicely, and I was happy to have the extra protein.

I pulled this recipe together after a long morning of rowing workouts.  I dreamt up this recipe when I found leftover turkey bacon, lemon and Brussels sprouts that needed to be used, and combined those ingredients with the bowtie pasta I was craving!  I have cooked a similar recipe from “How to Cook Everything: The Basics,” called “Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage,” and that experience informed my steps for this recipe.

The first time I had shaved Brussels sprouts was at my mother-in-law Betsy’s house, so I consulted her to find out which food processor blade to use.  I have used the chopping blade before for Brussels sprouts, and that produced confetti-sized pieces.  With the slicing disc, you get larger pieces, and I prefer that texture for a hearty meal like this.  The turkey bacon added a rich, savory flavor to the Brussels sprouts.  We have a really nice brick of parmesan cheese that we have been grating, so I added plenty of cheese for more flavor.  Lemon juice added a bright note to the combination, and I finished the dish with more grated parmesan and fresh ground black pepper.  As soon as I sat down to eat this dish, I realized I wanted to add some more protein.  I poured my serving into a small pot and cracked an egg on top, and scrambled the combination until the egg was fully cooked.


Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Turkey Bacon Pasta – serves 6 – 8

Betsy and I chatted after I made this dish, and she suggested that Canadian bacon could also be used.  She also mentioned using liquid hickory smoke and edamame for a no-meat version of the dish.  Toasted walnuts, slivered almonds or pine nuts might make a nice topping.

You will need:img_0025

  1. 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  2. one pound of bowtie pasta
  3. about 1 T olive oil
  4. 2 slices of turkey bacon, chopped or torn into small pieces
  5. 1 T lemon juice
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2-3 T grated parmesan cheese
  8. one egg per serving


  1. Set up your food processor with the slicing disc.  Wash Brussels sprouts and chop off rough ends.  Feed Brussels sprouts into your food processor be shredded.
  2. Add water to a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil for your pasta.  Add pasta when water is ready, and follow cooking directions according to package.  Do not dump out your pasta water – you will want some later on.
  3. In a large, stainless steel skillet heat about 1 T olive oil over medium heat.  Add turkey bacon and cook, stirring so bacon does not stick to your pan.  When bacon has browned a bit, add shaved Brussels sprouts to the pan.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of water and cover your skillet with a lid to steam.
  5. When Brussels sprouts are just beginning to become tender, squeeze lemon juice over the pan and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the skillet using a slotted spoon.  Remove pasta pot from heat and reserve pasta water.
  7. Stir pasta and Brussels sprouts to incorporate, and grate a generous pile of parmesan cheese on top.  Add up to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water as needed to keep moisture in the dish and to create a creamy sauce to coat the pasta.
  8. If desired, scoop one serving of shaved Brussels sprouts and turkey bacon pasta into a separate small pot or pan over medium heat and add one egg.  Scramble ingredients until egg is fully cooked and egg whites go from clear to white.

Source: Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food–with 1,000 Photos. N.p.: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2012. Print.

Cod and Halibut Poached in Thai Coconut Curry

The final product: poached cod over a bed of quinoa and wilted spinach, topped with green onions, baby mushrooms and lime.

I am back in Seattle and taking full advantage of the seafood options! When I look for new ingredients, I consider the nutrition, sustainability and cost of my options. Lately, my local grocery store, PCC, has featured wild-caught halibut and cod.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is my go-to source for recommendations on sustainable fish options and based on their findings, cod is the way to go. However, I bought both filets from the local PCC, which was just voted Whole Foods Magazine’s 2016 Retailer of the Year.  The article announcing PCC’s accomplishment highlights that my grocer was the “founding partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, selling only seafood that has been fished or farmed in ways that protect sea life and habitats,” and that led me to conclude that the wild halibut at my store was sustainably caught. Finally, cod is typically less expensive than halibut in my area, but for the sake of trying out this recipe, I bought filets of both types of fish.  In the end, I prefer cod for a recipe like this, where you want the fish to take on some of the broth’s flavor.

This dish is all about marrying flavors for a satisfying broth that unites the veggies, protein and carb ingredients. I visited the cooking blog “Alaska from Scratch” for a poached halibut recipe, which was adapted from another blog post from “Simply Scratch.” The main difference between the recipes is our fish preference (barramundi –> halibut –> cod). I also tweaked my broth to add a little depth to the flavor, threw in some local, small mushrooms and substituted quinoa for jasmine rice.


Poached Fish in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce – serves 2

I love a rich curry broth, and you can achieve that depth of flavor with a little soy sauce or fish sauce. You can always use more spinach, but this ratio of ingredients worked out well for us.
You will need:IMG_6751

  1. 2 T olive oil
  2. 10 oz fresh spinach
  3. salt and pepper, to taste
  4. 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  5. 1 T Thai red curry paste
  6. 2 t soy sauce or fish sauce
  7. 1 1/2 C chicken broth (I used low sodium)
  8. 14 oz coconut milk
  9. ½ t sugar
  10. 1 lb halibut or cod
  11. ¼ C green onions, sliced
  12. 1 lime

 Optional: serve over quinoa or rice. I cooked my quinoa in equal parts water and chicken broth.


  1. If you are serving your fish with quinoa, get that started first. For best results, rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve under running water until water runs clear. Next, toast quinoa in a medium saucepan over low heat until excess rinsing water has evaporated and quinoa starts to smell a little nutty. Then, add liquids and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover to cook for 15 minutes.  When your cooking liquid has been completely absorbed, cover pot and remove from heat to let quinoa sit for 5-10 minutes, fluff with fork before serving.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 T olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until just wilted.  Set aside cooked spinach and wipe liquid out of pan.
  3. Add 1 T olive oil to your large saucepan and warm over medium heat.  Add chopped garlic, stirring constantly so garlic does not burn.  Add curry paste, soy sauce, chicken broth, coconut milk and sugar.  Raise heat and bring to a simmer (until the surface just bubbles) and then turn heat to low.
  4. When curry liquid has reduced to about half, add your fish, scooping some poaching liquid over the filets.  Cover the saucepan and poach fish for about 5 minutes, adding an extra minute or two for thicker filets.  When fish is done, it should flake easily when tested with a fork.
  5. Remove fish from poaching liquid and add green onions, mushrooms and juice from half the lime to your broth.  Stir to combine and let the flavors combine for about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve fish filets on a bed of spinach and quinoa or rice.  Pour at least half a cup of the broth over each filet.  Slice the remaining lime into wedges for serving.

Family Dinner in Hillegersberg: Stunning Melon Gazpacho with White Fish and Mixed Vegetables

FullSizeRender (17)
I love their soup serving dishes!

After a full weekend of racing at the Holland-Beker, Jess and I enjoyed a Monday off from rowing training.  I dedicated my off-day to exploring the countryside around Hillegersberg, where Uncle Bob and Cathinka live, by running with Cathinka and biking the dikes in nearby Delft with Bob.  At the end of a day spent exploring outside, Bob and Cathinka treated me to a family dinner at home with the three of us and their grown foster-daughter, Michelle, who was visiting from nearby Utrecht.  In the photo gallery, you can see photos from my morning run with Cathinka, where we ran past a working windmill, as well as photos from my bike adventure with Bob, and photos from a visit to the Markthal (market hall) in Rotterdam.

For dinner, we first enjoyed a chilled gazpacho course that Cathinka learned to make during a trip to France.  The gazpacho was made with traditional tomatoes and herbs, with the refreshing addition of honeydew melon.  Next, Cathinka stir-fried mixed vegetables in a large wok while Bob pan-fried fresh white-fish.  The mixed vegetables were pre-chopped, seasonal vegetables available at the nearby grocery store, which had an incredibly varied and colorful produce section!  My Uncle Bob is an avid cook, and attends a monthly gathering of enthusiastic cooks who meet to learn new recipes and prepare a four or five course meal for each other, with wine pairings.   Next time I am in the Netherlands, I will have to see if we can coordinate a visit to that dinner, too!



Gazpacho with melon – serves 4

A melon baller would be useful for this recipe, but if you do not have one, simply cut your melon into bite-sized cubes.


You will need: FullSizeRender (18)

  1. 1 small honeydew melon, balled
  2. 2 pounds whole large ripe tomatoes
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 2 large garlic cloves
  5. 2 T chopped chervil (or French parsley)
  6. 2 T chopped basil
  7. 1 t thyme
  8. salt, pepper to taste
  9. 1 T bouillon paste



  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and immerse tomatoes for one minute.
  2. Drain and cool tomatoes under cold water.
  3. Peel off tomato skin and cut tomatoes into quarters, remove and discard the seeds. You can save the tomato water for later if it separates easily.
  4. In a food processor, chop the tomatoes along with sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion.
  5. Pour the food processor mixture into a saucepan with about 3 cups of water and the bouillon paste.
  6. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  7. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  8. Once cool, stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Chill soup in the refrigerator.
  10. Halve your honeydew melon and scoop out at least 2 cups of melon balls. Add to soup and continue to chill until serving.


White fish and mixed vegetables – serves 4

Use any fresh, thin filet of white fish for this recipe.

You will need: FullSizeRender (19)

  1. 1 T sunflower oil
  2. 2 T soy sauce
  3. packaged chopped mixed vegetables
  4. 1 T butter
  5. 2 T olive oil
  6. 1.5 – 2 lbs of fish
  7. salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sunflower oil and packaged vegetables, and stir to keep the vegetables moving.
  3. Add half of your soy sauce and stir to coat, adding more if desired.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add butter and olive oil.
  5. Cook two filets of white-fish at a time, flipping after about 3 minutes on each side.  When filet is fully cooked, the edges will crisp and the fish will flake easily with a fork.  The filet will become more opaque while cooking.
  6. Season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper before serving.


Salmon Series Part Four: Grilled Salmon and Steamed Artichokes

Patrick picked up this beautiful salmon filet at Whole Foods before driving to Delaware.

As our Chicago chapter came to a close, Alex and I found ourselves traveling all over the city to see friends.  We calculated recently that we have been in 15 states over the past 5 weeks!  We have spent this exciting transition time staying with many wonderful host friends, and saying goodbye-for-now to our Chicago family.  I wrapped up my time as a rehab aide at Athletico, had one last sweep team practice with Lincoln Park Boat Club and witnessed Alex’s graduation from medical school.  Looking back on the month of May, I can see that we filled our schedules to the brim, but I would not have it any other way!  It was a treat to be reunited with the Taylor family for a week of adventures in Michigan and Chicago.  Next, we spent a week on the East Coast with my family, and met my brother’s baby for the first time.

During all of our moving about, we sampled new restaurants and made a variety of recipes in countless kitchens.  Most recently, Patrick shared his family recipe for steamed artichokes, and I requested grilled salmon as a pairing.  My niece, Kayden, and I tried out a recipe for zucchini boats to round out the family feast menu.  Kayden is a skilled baker and loves trying out new recipes in the kitchen.  We will definitely be cooking together again soon.

Now I am off on another racing adventure in the double with Jess.  I will be cooking and learning new recipes and flavors, but may not be blogging while I am away.  Until next time!




Grilled Salmon – serves 6 to 8

I have not tried grilling salmon on my own yet, but I collected the below tips from Patrick.  Remember not to move the fish around on the grill until you are ready to flip!  If you move the fish, it can break apart on the grill and lose its grill lines.

You will need:IMG_4990

  1. 2 lb salmon
  2. 1 t salt
  3. 1 t pepper
  4. 1 t garlic powder
  5. about 1 T olive oil


  1. Sprinkle salmon on both sides with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  Rub in with a little olive oil.
  2. Heat your grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit (close to high heat on our grill).
  3. Grill the meat side of salmon first for 3 to 4 minutes with the grill lid closed.  The fish should start to become opaque on the meat side where it is starting to cook.
  4. Flip salmon once to grill the skin side using a grill spatula or tongs.  Close the lid again and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until the whole filet is just opaque.
  5. When salmon is ready, the skin should easily fall off.


Steamed Artichokes – serves 8

IMG_4987You will need:

  1. 8 whole artichokes, including stems
  2. 6 large garlic cloves
  3. ½ C fresh parsley, chopped
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. 3-4 T olive oil to drizzle


  1. Cut off the bottom of the stems and slice off the dry end of the stem.  Dice the remaining stem.
  2. Chop garlic and parsley and combine with stem pieces, salt and pepper.
  3. Bang the bottom of the artichoke against the tabletop to open up the flower.  If you need to, you can pull apart the leaves by hand instead.
  4. Stuff diced items between artichoke leaves.
  5. Stand artichokes up in a large pot and fill with about 2″ of water.
  6. Pour oil over artichokes.  Bring water to steam and cover for 45-60 minutes.  Your artichokes are ready when their leaves pull off easily.


Zucchini Boats and Caprese Salad – serves 8

We followed a recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad” from Cooking Light and (see below).  Kayden and I opted to leave out the bread from the original recipe, because we wanted to share the zucchini boats with my mother, who eats gluten-free.  Our zucchini were exceptionally fresh, and we did not miss the bread at all!  The caprese salad from cherry tomatoes was also a big hit, and we keep making that dish as a side for dinner.
You will need:IMG_4985

  1. 4 large zucchini
  2. 4 chicken sausage
  3. 1 small yellow onion
  4. 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  5. 2 C cherry tomatoes
  6. 1 T balsamic vinegar
  7. 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  8. 1 t olive oil


  1. Wash the outside of your zucchini thoroughly before halving.
  2. Scoop out and save the insides of the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch intact beyond the skin.
  3. Cover and microwave the zucchini halves in an oven safe container for four minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, dice the zucchini insides and save about 2 cups of material.
  5. Remove casings from chicken sausage and break sausage into small pieces.
  6. Dice onion.
  7. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add spray with cooking spray.  Add onion and sausage and stir to combine for about 4 minutes.
  8. Combine zucchini insides with your cooked sausage and onion in a mixing bowl.  Spoon this mixture into each zucchini boat.
  9. Chop up about 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese and layer on top of your boats.
  10. Halve the cherry tomatoes and combine with remaining mozzarella, balsamic, basil and olive oil.  Set aside in fridge to chill, if desired.
  11. Place zucchini boats on the top rack of your oven and broil for two to three minutes, checking to see if mozzarella melts and browns.

Source: Wise, Deb. “Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad Recipe.” Cooking Light, June 2015. Web. 29 May 2016.


Salmon Series Part One: Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto

Posing with the final product!

After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!

This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?

For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.


Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6

We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount.  Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed.  White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto.  If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.

You will need:13100965_10206263031229973_6779215179086965754_n

  1. 1 lb of salmon
  2. ½ T dried basil
  3. ½ T garlic salt
  4. ½ T black pepper
  5. ½ stick of butter
  6. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  9. 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  10. 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  11. 32 oz chicken broth
  12. ½ T cayenne pepper
  13. 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
  14. 1 can artichoke hearts
  15. 1 C frozen peas
  16. 12 cherry tomatoes
  17. 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
  18. ¼ C shredded parmesan



  1. Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
  2. Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
  4. Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
  5. When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
  6. Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
  7. After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
  8. When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.

The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook.  Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.”  I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.

Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.


Daikon Noodle Pad Thai


When I visited San Diego to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic and train in the double with Jess, I had the pleasure of staying with my sister, Liz, for a few nights. On Saturday evening, on the eve of my race, Liz invited Shelly, her new San Diego friend, over for dinner. I arrived home with groceries and a plan, and put Liz and Shelly to work. I was in a spiralizing mood, and decided to try out daikon radish noodles for the first time. I had seen a recipe for daikon noodle pad thai in the Williams Sonoma spiralizing cookbook called The Spiralizer Cookbook (thanks Morgan!) but decided I did not want to strictly follow that pad thai recipe. In the spirit of pad thai, I paired our noodles with colorful vegetable ingredients, a flavorful peanut sauce with fresh chopped garlic and ginger, and tender bites of chicken and a single scrambled egg. We topped our noodle dish with a wedge of lime and a generous helping of Sriracha sauce. Everyone went back for seconds!

We noted that the daikon radishes were much harder to spiralize than zucchinis; we also were using a handheld spiralizer called a “vegetti” rather than the “iPerfect Kitchen” standing spiralizer that I have at home (thanks again Georgie Fear)! Be prepared to take turns or take rest breaks if you are spiralizing daikon radishes by hand! Daikon noodles are worth the effort; the daikon radish has a bite to it, and the noodle texture holds peanut sauce well. Thanks to Liz for hosting this meal, and for inviting Shelly over to cook and enjoy dinner with us. As usual, Liz’s puppy Gracie kept a watchful eye over our cooking just in case any morsels fell to the floor. Liz, Shelly and I had enough energy to listen to music and clean up our dishes to have a fresh kitchen for the next morning. We ate early and got drowsy watching Modern Family and sipping tea. That’s my idea of a perfect pre-race evening!


Daikon Noodle Pad Thai – serves 3

Plan ahead so you are not hungry while you are spiralizing. Once prepared these ingredients cook quickly, but the spiralizing step can take a while. Liz, Shelly and I made a double batch of sauce, and ended up having leftover sauce, so I adjusted my previous peanut sauce recipe quantities for you for this meal.  The Racing Weight Cookbook authors Matt Fitzgerald and Georgie Fear deserve credit for inspiring this peanut sauce, which I adapted and have used over and over!

You will need: IMG_3271

  1. 4 or 5 daikon radishes – to yield 4 or 5 cups of spiralized noodles
  2. large crown of broccoli
  3. about 1 C baby carrots
  4. about 1 C sugar snap peas
  5. 1½ pounds chicken breast
  6. ½ C peanuts
  7. 1 lime cut into wedges

For your sauce:

  1. 2 C veggie broth
  2. 1/3 C peanut flour – we used PB2
  3. ½ C raw cashews
  4. 1½       T fresh ginger, chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 1½ T sriracha sauce
  7. 1½ T honey
  8. 1½ T soy sauce
  9. 1 t hot red pepper flakes if you like spicy sauce


  1. Peel and spiralize your radishes. Set aside.
  2. Chop all of your vegetable ingredients.
  3. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  4. Prepare peanut sauce and leave on the stovetop at a low simmer: bring vegetable broth to a simmer, adding liquid ingredients. Add peanut flour, stirring until combined. Add garlic, ginger and cashews. For extra heat, add 1t or more hot red pepper flakes.
  5. Begin by cooking chicken pieces over medium heat with salt and pepper in a large pot or pan (you will add your daikon noodles to this pan – make sure you have room!). Add about one third of your peanut sauce to flavor the chicken while it cooks. Stir to coat with sauce, and keep stirring occasionally until chicken pieces are cooked through.
  6. Next, set a medium or large pan over medium heat and add your veggies. Add one cup of water and cover with a lid to steam veggies. Once veggies begin to feel tender, add a third of your sauce and stir to coat. Continue cooking and checking vegetables until they have reached desired tenderness.
  7. At this point, combine noodles with chicken pieces and add the rest of your peanut sauce. Stir to coat and cook noodles for about five minutes or until tender. Noodles should take on the color of the peanut sauce.
  8. Meanwhile, crush peanuts in a Ziploc bag with a mallet or the side of a can.
  9. Serve noodles and chicken in bowls topped with plenty of veggies. Add a lime wedge, crushed peanuts and Sriracha sauce.

Sauce inspiration: Fitzgerald, Matt, and Georgie Fear. “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce.” Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes. Boulder: Velopress, 2013. 230-231. Print.

The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Spiralizer Cookbook. Weldon Owen, 2015. Print.

Over-Easy Egg Nest: Zucchini Noodle Breakfast with Sweet Potato Hash and Over-Easy Egg

Digging in to a hot bowl of zucchini noodles, sweet potato hash, over-easy egg and parmesan.

My friend Elise and I used her new spiralizer to make this veggie-based breakfast treat: zucchini noodles, sweet potato hash and an over-easy egg.  I got my first spiralizer this year from my good friend and nutrition coach Georgie Fear of One-By-One Nutrition, a habit-based nutrition course.  Georgie encouraged me to add vegetables to every meal, and the spiralizer helped me take on that challenge!

I usually make eggs with green onion and plenty of kale for breakfast, but when I do not have eggs in the morning, I often crave them by dinner-time.  You can try this Easter-inspired egg nest recipe for any time of the day.  This recipe idea came to me while I was enjoying dinner with my husband, Alex, on Easter Sunday.  The following Monday, Elise and I got together for a quick dinner.  We added sweet potato to give this meal more staying power.  Sweet potato has about three times as many carbohydrates per serving as zucchini, and almost twice as many carbs as a 2 oz serving of pasta.  Pesto sauce is very rich and satisfying, and complements the nutty, sweet flavor of the potato.  We used store-bought pesto to save time after rowing practice, but if you have the time, try making your own pesto using the KitchenAid Classic Pesto recipe.


Over-Easy Egg Nest – serves 2

If you do not have a spiralizer, you can make noodles by peeling the skin off of the zucchini, and then continuing to peel until you reach the seed center. With the peeler, you will get pappardelle-like noodles.  We also successfully spiralized a sweet potato, but for this dish I like the contrasting textures of spirals and shredded pieces.

You will need:

  1. 6 medium zucchini IMG_0807
  2. 1 sweet potato
  3. 1 T olive oil
  4. salt and pepper to taste
  5. 1 T pesto (homemade or jarred), plus more to taste
  6. 3 eggs
  7. parmesan cheese
  8. 1 1/2 t hot red pepper flakes


  1. Wash zucchini and chop off ends. Halve the zucchinis to make it easier to spiralize them.  Spiralize zucchinis according to your device instructions.
  2. Peel sweet potato and chop in half.  Shred both halves using a cheese grater, set aside.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium and add half of the olive oil.  Add your pile of zucchini noodles, with salt and pepper to taste.  Add ½ cup water and cover to steam the zucchini, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a small pan over medium heat and add remaining oil.  Toss in your shredded sweet potato with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir constantly to keep potato from sticking, until shredded potato pieces begin to soften and brown.
  5. Check on your zucchini noodles after about 5 minutes, they should be turning translucent and softening.
  6. Remove sweet potato hash from heat and set aside.
  7. Prepare your egg in the sweet potato pan.  We used just one egg per serving and cooked it for just 2-3 minutes per side so that the yolk would still run.
  8. Add 1 T pesto to zucchini noodles and stir.
  9. Remove zucchini noodles from heat and transfer about ¼ of the noodles to a serving dish.  Add another small dollop of pesto and then top with one third of your shredded sweet potatoes.  Add your egg to the top of the pile, and sprinkle with shredded parmesan and about 1/3 of your hot red pepper flakes per serving.


Lancashire Hotpot with Extra Vegetables

The crispy top layer of vegetables, fresh out of the oven.

When Alex and I visited his grandparents in Half Moon Bay, CA, Grandpa Norman Taylor prepared a Lancashire hotpot for dinner.  Grandpa Norman was born in Lancashire in the 1920s, and met Grandma Nelly while strawberry picking in Finland.  Over a dinner of Lancashire Hotpot, we were regaled with stories from when the two met, and where they lived around California and in New England.

The beauty of the Hotpot is that it is a simple, one pot meal.  “My mother, being a true Lancastrian, cooked hotpot every other week, particularly in winter time when we had a fire in the kitchen/ living room, which heated our oven,” wrote Grandpa Norman.  I wanted my adaptation of the traditional recipe to reflect the simplicity of the hotpot preparation, with a couple of my favorite vegetables thrown in.  In the most traditional Lancashire Hotpot, you would have potatoes at the bottom, then mutton, then onion, followed by more potatoes in a crispy top-layer.  When I made the Hotpot, I followed the same guidelines that Grandpa Norman used: a recipe from the bottom of The Guardian article entitled “How to cook the perfect Lancashire hotpot.”  For variety, I used thick carrot slices with my onion layer, and tried celery root, rutabaga and red potatoes instead of just a couple of plain gold potatoes.  Next time, I’ll use just rutabaga and celery root.

I recreated the Lancashire Hotpot recipe one winter weekend at my friend and teammate Rick’s home in Wrigleyville, while his rescue greyhounds, Rudy and Stella, kept us company.  Alex joined us for fresh sourdough bread and a salad of local greens, beets and Rick’s homemade vinaigrette.  Then the three of us dove into the piping hot Lancashire Hotpot.



Lancashire Hotpot – serves 4-6

Rick selected the meat for this dish at Whole Foods, and went with 1 1/2 pounds of lamb cut for stew.  We also used beef stock instead of lamb stock, because of what was available to us at the lovely Plum Market in Old Town.  For my root veggies, I selected potatoes, celery root and rutabaga; I included the potatoes in my recipe just to have a point of comparison for the other root vegetables, and can attest that the celery root and rutabaga cooked just as well in the hotpot.  If you would prefer, you can skip the potatoes entirely and just double up on the rutabaga.  We used Rick’s 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven.

We enjoyed our Lancashire Hotpot with a simple salad and hunks of fresh sourdough bread.  You’ll want bread on hand to soak up the juices!

You will need:


  1. 2 T butter, plus extra to grease Dutch oven
  2. 2 small red potatoes
  3. 1 celery root
  4. 1 rutabaga
  5. 3 thick carrots
  6. 2 large yellow onions
  7. 1 1/2 pounds of meat
  8. a pinch of flour, to dust meat
  9. a pinch of sugar
  10. 1 T black pepper
  11. 1 T salt
  12. 2 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems
  13. bay leaf
  14. 16 oz lamb stock



  1. Preheat your oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel potatoes, rutabaga and carrots. Cut the outside layer of skin from your celery root. Slice potatoes, rutabaga and celery root into thin, circular slices. Chop onion into large, bite-sized pieces and cut carrots into ¼ inch rounds; set aside together.
  3. Grease your Dutch oven generously with butter.
  4. Arrange about one third of the potatoes, rutabaga and celery root around the bottom of your Dutch oven.
  5. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
  6. In a separate bowl, dust lamb pieces with flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Add lamb to Dutch oven, topped with a single bay leaf and a sprinkle of thyme.
  7. Add onion and carrot layer, season with salt, pepper and thyme.
  8. Top with a final layer of potatoes, rutabaga and celery root slices, arranged in an overlapping pattern. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour stock over your Dutch oven contents.
  10. Melt butter and spread generously over the top layer of vegetables.
  11. Bake covered for 2 hours, then remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.


Recipe source from Grandpa Norman: Cloake, Felicity. “How to Cook the Perfect Lancashire Hotpot.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 2013. Web. 24 Feb. 2016. <>.