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Vitamin A Bisque

vitamin a bisque
We’ve started training for the CrossFit Games Open and things have been rushed, hurried and brief lately. I’m not expecting to qualify individually–team is my bag. My primary training partner (who was on our team last year) up and moved herself out to California to coach at CrossFit PB in Pacific Beach, CA. I’m happy for her, but I miss her. A lot. I sucked at what she was good at (endurance & long WODs) and vis versa. Well…she didn’t really suck at anything, but we were always chasing each other…and it was super motivating. And then, 2 other girls I worked out with, have now left the gym too. Just sucks. It’s one of the things where I see them do something amazing and it makes me say, “Dang. I have to try it too.” And without that, I’m afraid I won’t stay motivated.

Good news is that we’ve got a new girl coming in who’s strong and f#$%. Her husband is Don McCauley. So, I’m excited to learn a lot from her and hoping I can rope her in to working out with me. 😉

Now, Brandon and I workout together. We try to do our first workout around 1 or 2, coach at 3 and 4, then workout again at 5, to coach again at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30. So yeah…not complaining, just trying to figure out how to make sure we have enough food prepped so we can eat while we’re at the gym and have stuff ready to re-heat when we get home kinda late.

All of which makes taking pictures of food (and making food) kind of tough. No one needs to see another picture of chicken or beef on top of a bunch of vegetables. Hence the lack of recipes and posts for like the last…3 weeks.


  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 quart chicken stock (+ more for a thinner soup)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • balsamic vinegar or plum vinegar (< I’m obsessed)
  • salt


Toss butternut squash, carrot and chicken stock into a large soup pot. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until all the veggies are soft.

Transfer to a blender (or use a stick blender), along with the pumpkin puree, butter and cream. Blend until smooth. Add more stock if you’d like a thinner soup. Salt to taste. Add vinegar, one tablespoon at a time, until a desired tanginess is reached (I used 3 tablespoons).

Beef Eggs Pork Soups

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Chili

Adding bacon and eggs to a chili is a really great way to stretch a pound of ground meat. I originally set out to make this in the crock pot, as I’m trying to broaden my crockery cookery horizons, but then promptly realized that cooking this over an open flame would actually allow it to enter my mouth much sooner. Make this the night before, reheat & eat in the a.m. and breakfast (+ lunch) is done.


  • 1 lb ground beef (or breakfast sausage)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & diced small
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • eggs (one egg for each serving)
  • 1/4 avocado (per serving), or if you’re avo-greedy like me, 1/2 avocado per serving


In a large soup pot, brown the meat and and saute the onions until cooked through (I cooked the meat & onions at the same time). Add in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes and stock, followed by all the spices. Let simmer until the sweet potatoes have cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up and saute the bacon until crispy. Reserve until ready to serve. Then, fry or scramble one egg for each person you plan on serving.

Serve by scooping the chili in a bowl, top with the fried/scrambled egg, some crispy bacon & some avocado slices.


Onion Soup with Cheesy Cauliflower

Not like  it’s cold here in South Carolina (I am not complaining), but this soup sure does warm up your insides.

Yield: 4 very generous servings


For the Soup

  • 2 T f.o.c. (fat of choice), we used duck fat
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced (A mix of onions is great. We used 1 red onion, 1 Vidalia (sweet) and 2 yellow)
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • couple sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • s&p

For the Topping

  • 1 c cooked and pureed/smashed cauliflower*
  • 1 c Swiss, Emmentaler or Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg


For the Soup

In a large soup pot, melt your f.o.c. over medium-low heat. Add the onions, thyme and bay leaves and place a lid on the pot, slightly ajar. We’re trying to “melt” the onions by the steam we create from keeping the lid on, but ajar.

Now the magic ingredient is time. You’ll want to check on the onions, every 10 minutes or so, giving them a nice swirl around the pan, until they’ve deflated in volume by about half. If you see any brown color on the onions, you need to reduce the heat.

From this point, you want to place the lid even more ajar than before. We want less steam and more evaporation. The onions cooked through via steam, so now we want to brown the natural sugars and create some flavor.

Once the onions are the color of “coffee with some cream in it”…and you’ve got some brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot…

Add the beef stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, getting up any browned/burned onion pieces. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. You can remove the bay leaves and thyme twigs at this point.

For the Topping

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Use your hands to evenly spread the topping mixture over the soup. Place the topped soup in the oven for about 10 minutes, until everything looks bubbly, yummy. Stick the oven on broil for a few minutes, if you’d like.

*You can either buy the frozen stuff, thaw it out and smash or boil some fresh florets in water, drain and smash.

Pork Soups

Stewed Collard Greens with Chorizo

Paleo Collard Greens Stew with Chorizo

The cheap, leafy green veggie that is often overcooked into slimy, tasteless mush. Did you guess collard greens or did the title give it away? Hmmm. We only eat them once a year (shame on us), New Year’s Day (some silly ‘good luck’ tradition), well…maybe with BBQ every once in a while too. So I imagine the aforementioned description is most people’s idea of collard greens and is likely the reason why it’s a low-level, bottom of the totem pole kind of vegetable. It bothers me that kale is the new “vogue” vegetable–while collards are closely related and much, much cheaper. They are the underdog. So, collard greens, this is our ode to you and a peek into their un-slimy, un-mushy, un-tasteless (tasteful?) side.


  • 1 bunch of collard greens, roughly 8-10 cups of leaves
  • 1 lb fresh chorizo, casing removed by slitting with a knife and un-peeling from the meat
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar, we use Bragg
  • 1 T coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 T hot sauce
  • s & p


In a medium-sized soup pot (you’ll need a lid, so choose accordingly), brown the chorizo (you may need a bit of fat to help get things going).

While the chorizo is browning, prepare the collard greens by removing the leaves from the thick, fibrous stems. You can do that by cutting away the leaf with a knife or just tear the leaf with your hands. Make sure the collards are in bite size pieces though, no one wants to have what looks like seaweed dribbling down their face while they eat.

Add the stock, vinegar, soy sauce and hot sauce. Place the lid, slightly ajar, over the soup pot and let everything cook together, about 20 minutes, until the collards have wilted down and softened. Taste and adjust seasonings, you may want more vinegar or hot sauce.

Collard Greens

Eggs Soups

Egg (Not) Drop Soup

Cheap and easy. Sounds like a pay-per-view movie title. I’m talking about a five minute meal that costs less than five dollars to make. The best of both worlds, ya? This is a simple riff on the classic egg drop soup, which is an equally cheap and easy soup to make. My version really just mixes up the method, so the soup consistency is smooth, velvety and slightly more elegant, but not in a snobby way.


  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of ½ to 1 lemon, depending on how tangy you like stuff, I used a whole lemon
  • salt


In a small sauce pot, heat the stock over medium heat.

While the stock is heating…

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and lemon juice with a pinch of salt.

Once the stock is simmering, slowly pour about ¼ of the stock (while whisking) into the eggs.

Place the sauce pot back over the heat and pour the egg mixture into the stock (again, while whisking).

Turn the heat down to low. Whisk the soup on and off, for about 2 minutes, letting the soup thicken slightly.

If the whisking and pouring part sounds confusing, follow along with the pictures…


Shirt Update

We’re about to head to the printer, but need some help choosing the color(s).

Buy one here.


Seafood Soups

Curry Fish Chowder with Crou-tains (Paleo Croutons)

I know this looks like a long ass list of ingredients, but bear with me. I’ve tried my hardest to simplify the process of adding a ton of flavor without having to be a slave to the method or the list of ingredients. What I mean is…I am lazy. I really dislike recipes that make you constantly look back and forth at the dizzying lineup of spice quantities. 1/8 teaspoon and 1/2 teaspoon and 1/2 tablespoon. That’s recipe whiplash and I’m suing. So, for the recipe below, almost everything is measured by ones. Not hard to remember, and easy to customize if you’d like more or less of any particular flavor.


For the Chowder

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 t cumin seeds
  • 1 t brown mustard seeds
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t curry powder (sweet or hot)
  • 1 t garam masala
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 lbs white, flaky fish (we used cod)
  • salt
  • juice from 1 lime

For the Crou-tains

  • 2-3 green plantains, diced small
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • salt


For the Chowder

In a medium sized soup pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Let them dance around the pot for a minute or two and then add the ginger, garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is cooked through. Add the curry and garam masala powders. Dump in the can of the coconut milk. Stir everything around to combine.

Now add the fish. Just toss the whole fillets in there. Stir them around in the pot, every so often, until they’re cooked through. Take 2 forks and pull the fish into flakes (just like if you were pulling apart a chicken breast or beef brisket). Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

For the Crou-tains (Paleo Croutons)

In a large saute pan, melt the coconut oil. Add the diced plantains. As always, the smaller the dice, the faster they’ll cook. Let the plantains fry until they’re cooked through and have a nice crust on the outside. Shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Just like regular croutons, the crou-tains taste better the day they’re made. Not that they’re inedible the next day, they’re just not as crispy.


Seafood Soups

Fennel & Fish Chowder

Super quick fish chowder. I used cod because it’s a firm, meaty, flaky fish that’s pretty easy on the budget and difficult to overcook. I even found it wild-caught in the freezer section of the grocery store. Besides using my new favorite soup base of the cream-like, non-coconut tasting coconut creamer, I took out the normal chowder base of starchy potatoes and used fennel in its place, for texture and the nice anise flavor it adds.


  • 2 fennel bulbs, fronds and core removed, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • F.O.C. (fat of choice)
  • 1 pint original coconut creamer
  • 1 qt stock (I’d use chicken or veg, as beef may be too strong and tinge the color of the soup)
  • 1-1½ lb cod (not salt cod), cut into chunks
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • s&p
  • 5 slices bacon, crisped up & crumbled (optional)
  • green onions or chives, chopped (optional)


In a large soup pot, saute the fennel and onion in a few tablespoons of your F.O.C. (I’d recommend bacon renderings!) until soft. Add the creamer & stock. Let it come to a simmer. Add the fish pieces and let them poach until they’re cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve topped with crumbled bacon & chives.


Caramelized Three Onion, Cauliflower Soup with Basil Oil

“Mistake Gone Right” should be the title of this recipe. It happens all the time, let’s be honest. We set out to make some glorious meal for our loved ones (or ourselves), and somewhere down the line, it all goes down the pooper. So what can you do to salvage? Just add stock and blend. Soup disguises all mistakes!

Disclaimer: You definitely have to start out with something that, at least, tastes o k a y. I mean, I can’t imagine something like celery, chocolate and adobo peppers tasting good. Period. Soup or not. But…hey,what do I know?


  • 2 heads cauliflower, stems & core removed, chopped small
  • F.O.C. (fat of choice)
  • 3 leeks, sliced & washed (see pics)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 quart stock
  • 1 pint  original flavored coconut milk creamer*
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • s&p


How to clean your leeks:

In a large soup pot, saute the onions, leeks, shallots in your F.O.C., over medium-low heat until they’ve turned a nice golden, brown color. Add the cauliflower and stock. Bring to a simmer and let the cauliflower soften. Use an immersion/hand blender, or a regular blender, to puree the soup. Add the coconut creamer and the soup is done.

For the Basil Oil

If you use a blender to puree the soup, make sure you make the basil oil first…just saves a step– you don’t have to clean out the blender twice. I would rather have basil flavored soup puree than cauliflower flavored basil oil.

Place the basil, olive oil and some s&p in the blender and puree on high. This makes a lot of basil oil. It adds a lot of brightness and goes great on almost any soup (maybe not chili),  eggs, and is a great base for salad dressing.

*This stuff is awesome. No real detectable coconut flavor, just tastes like 1/2 & 1/2.

Beef Poultry Soups

Green Chile Chili

Chili made from chilies made to be eaten while it’s chilly, perhaps before you travel to Chile? No?


  • 1 lb ground meat (we used chicken, but any meat will work)
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and finely diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, chopped
  • 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1/4 c pickled jalapenos, finely diced
  • 1/4 c green olives (the kind with the pimento inside)
  • 2 1/2 c chicken stock
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • s&p


In a large soup pot, brown the turkey. Add the onion & garlic, and let it sweat for a while, then add the rest of the ingredients. Let the chili simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, until everything has softened and come together. Serve with additional lime wedges and some avocado slices on top.

Beef Soups

Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream

paleo pumpkin chili

“Oh dear Lord, not another Paleo chili recipe!” I know. You’ve seen tens if not hundreds of chili recipes and you’ve probably eaten it that many times too. You’re probably sick of it. But, please, let us explain…

Making this spice mixture yourself is the key to the unique flavor of this chili. No chili seasoning packets allowed beyond this point! We took our chili “base” and pumped it up with some fresh pumpkin (canned would work beautifully, as well). Then for le pièce de résistance, we conjured up the avocado cream–it’s like guacamole, but not, all at the same time. It’s an unexpected, quirky, refreshing boost of flavor that kicks the chili up a level.


For the Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 sugar pumpkin, diced (about 3 cups) or a 14 oz can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie)
1 (28 oz) can diced, fire roasted tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (7 oz) can diced, roasted green chilies
1 c chicken or beef stock
FOC (fat of choice)

Chili Spice Mixture

2 T chili powder
2 T cumin
1 T paprika
2 t salt
2 t coriander
2 t cinnamon
2 t cocoa powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne

Orange, Coriander Avocado Cream

2 avocados
zest of 1 orange
juice of 2 oranges
1 t coriander
1/2 t salt


For the Chili

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat with a tablespoon of your F.O.C. Add the beef and let it brown. Try not to stir it too much until you get some color on one side but make sure you break up the pieces. This should take 5-8 minutes.

While you’re browning your beef make your spice mixture. In a medium bowl, mix up all the spices.

We like to brown the beef first so we can use the fat that renders out to cook the vegetables. So, using a slotted spoon remove the beef and place in the spice mixture bowl…leaving the fat in the pot. Add your diced onion and garlic. Let those two saute for a few minutes (3-4) stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened. Add your diced or canned pumpkin.

Cover and cook about another 8-10  minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin begins to get tender (check with a fork). Add the rest of ingredients and the beef/spice mixture. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer to let all the flavors “meld”.  When you’re happy with the texture, you’re done.

For the Cream

Add all ingredients to a bowl or a food processor and blend until smooth.