Zoodle Bolognese

The Casual Classic | Meat Sauce

Two posts in one week!? I'm on a role lately! Meat sauce is one our go-to recipes because you can throw it on top of so many different things - zucchini noodles (aka zoodles), spaghetti squash, gluten free pasta, grains, or just eat it by itself. Zoodles are another favorite of mine because they're an amazing pasta substitution - they have a great texture, flavor, and I actually like them more than pasta honestly. 

The Casual Classic | Zoodles & Meat Sauce

You will need a spiralizer for this recipe if you plan to make the zoodles, or you could just sub a different type of pasta. This recipe is mainly for the bolognese anyway, so pick whatever base you'd like! This meat sauce is seriously good for you. It has a little health and anti-inflammatory boost with the turmeric, coconut oil, ghee and kale additions (I know, you wouldn't even know it was in there, and you can't taste it!). It's definitely a recipe you won't feel guilty eating! The recipe is really pretty large, so you can throw the leftovers in the freezer and enjoy at a later time.

The Casual Classic | Zoodles & Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 24oz jar or 2 12oz jars of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (1 lb) of organic beef, turkey, or bison (whatever you prefer)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 bunches of curly kale
  • 1 red onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (or half and half)
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 12oz can of tomato sauce (optional. I add this sometimes because I like mine a little "saucier" - the recipe is decently chunky without)
  • Touch of parmesan (optional to sprinkle on top if desired)

Directions:

  1. Chop the carrots, onion, and kale, or even blend in a food processor (you want them to be chopped very fine). Mince all the garlic cloves too.
  2. Melt the coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee in a larger pot over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped vegetables and garlic to the pot and cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top.
  4. Add the meat, break it up a bit so there are no large chunks, and cook until it is brown/cooked through.
  5. Top with the crushed tomatoes, turmeric, salt and pepper, and stir well so everything is mixed.
  6. Simmer for about a half hour (and by simmer, I mean that the sauce will have little tiny bubbles coming up through it, so that could be low/medium heat actually).
  7. Top the zoodles, noodles, spaghetti squash or whatever you choose as a base with the meat sauce, and you're good to go! 

Sweet Potato Risotto (vegan & gluten-free)

The Casual Classic | Sweet Potato Risotto

I made this twice last week, and got so many requests for the recipe, that I bumped this post up so I could get it to you guys immediately! It's a wonderful side dish to steak, chicken, or pretty much any protein that you desire really. It also works well next to a salad, as a base for bowl, or just all by itself.  Everyone that has tried this has loved it. It's super easy to make, and it's much healthier than your normal, run of the mill risotto.

My secret is that I use organic sprouted brown rice or wild rice (always choose organic!), instead of the white rice usually used in risotto that has no nutritional benefits. I also sub out butter and/or cream for ghee or coconut oil, depending on what you prefer. Instead of parmesan you can also use nutritional yeast, but this time around, I decided to go the cheese route. There is no replacement for good old, regular cheese people!

The Casual Classic | Sweet Potato Risotto

Feel free to add, subtract, sub, and do whatever you want to this recipe. It's a great one to experiment with! We actually doubled it (2 cups of rice instead of 1 cup serving that the rice package suggests) because we love having left overs (meal prep anyone!?). The recipe below is just an estimate of what I threw in the pot, but you really can't screw this one up. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes/yams
  • Organic brown rice (or whatever rice you'd like to use)
  • 1 small red onion (or half a large onion), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • Chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegan)
  • Parmesan cheese (nutritional yeast for vegan)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Put in a bowl, pour melted coconut oil over, and dust with paprika, cinnamon, and salt & pepper (I used a generous amount of spices since I like a lot of flavor). Toss in the bowl until the potatoes are evenly covered with the oil and spices.
  3. Place the sweet potato cubes on a baking sheet and put in the over for about 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned and soft.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, you can start on the rice! In a medium sized pot, heat the ghee (or olive oil) over medium heat.
  5. Once it is melted and bubbling slightly, add the chopped onion and minced garlic cloves. Cook for a couple minutes until translucent/slightly browned.
  6. Add the rice to the pot (all of it). Stir and coat the rice fully with the butter/onion/garlic mixture. Cook for a minute or two. Cover the rice with the white wine and again, cook for a couple more minutes.
  7. Begin to add the broth to the rice about 1/2 cup at a time. Each time, you'll probably cook the rice for about 5-10 minutes in between pours. You're going to do this until the rice is fully cooked. I cooked about 2 cups of rice, so I used about 6 half cups of water total by the time I was finished.
  8. While the rice is cooking, we're going to mash the potatoes! I used a food processor, but if you don't have one, you could just use a potato masher or a fork. You want to get it as pureed and smooth as possible. I'll add a little bit of broth to them before pureeing just to help the process a bit.
  9. Finally, once the rice is cooked, add some parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast), and stir well. Last step is to add the sweet potato puree.
  10. Mix everything together well and serve! You can also sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top to make it look nice. Let me know what you guys think below!

Snapshots From Telluride

As you probably saw via Instagram, I was in Colorado most of last week. My family plans a ski trip every year where we usually pick a new destination that we've never visited before. This year, we revisited Telluride. The first time we were there was 12 years ago or more, so it was time to pay that adorable town another visit. We spent the week skiing, soaking in the hot tub, eating way too much, wandering about town, and just enjoying time with family. It was absolutely heavenly and I cannot wait to go back. 

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

I felt like I was transported into an old western movie when visiting "downtown" Telluride. It was your typical ski town, with great shops, some fun pubs/bars, and some cozy restaurants. One of our favorite dinner spots was 221 South Oak.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Getting some mid-day ski selfies in at the very top of the mountain (the back bowl had the best skiing on the mountain!).

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

I am not lying when I say this, but this is the BEST smelling candle I have ever found. I don't know how I never heard of Paddywax before this trip, but I now know where I'll be buying future candles from. We also picked up this flavor. I somehow got away with my checked bag being exactly 50 lbs, even with all the candles and heavy crap we bought.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

On our day off (our legs we're KILLING us), we bought a day pass at The Peaks Spa and relaxed in the sauna, steam room, hot tub, and pools. I'd definitely pay this place a visit if you're ever in the area - it was 4 stories of a spa and fitness center and the amenities we're perfect. 

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

After a day at the spa, we relaxed outside by the fire with a cocktail and this incredible view in the background.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Another shot from The Peaks. They had yoga, pilates, and barre rooms, all of which we're empty and available to play in. Obviously I took full advantage to work on my inversions. Not every day you get an empty gym!

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

This was our backyard view (insert heart eye emoji here). You can guess where I spent every evening.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

You find the perfect mirrored window, you have to take a selfie. It's a given.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Aprรจs ski heaven at Alpine Vino, the highest restaurant you can find on the mountain. It's the highest elevation fine dining restaurant in North America actually, so you can bet you're really up there. The grilled cheese/tomato soup combo topped off with a glass of wine was incredible.

The Casual CLassic | Telluride Colorado

Another favorite local Telluride eatery was The Butcher & The Baker. Gluten free blueberry pancakes, eggs and bacon, and a huge almond milk homemade, all made with local, organic ingredients.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Found the CUTEST shoes in a little t-shirt shop in Telluride, but they were sold out in my size. Luckily, I was able to snag them on eBay yesterday! You can also find them here & here.

The Casual Classic | Aspen Colorado

Nick and I have been dying to check out Aspen, and we coincidentally had a few friends there during the same time we were out west, so we decided to spend a night there. We skied Snowmass, which quickly became a new favorite of mine. Need to plan a trip here ASAP!

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Lived in cozy athleisure the entire week as always. Outfit details: scarf, sneakers, leggings & top.

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

I always love a good kombucha, especially a local one. I was obsessed with the fact that groceries stores and restaurants sourced goods from local companies. This kombucha was made in Colorado and sold in the largest grocery store chain in the state!

The Casual Classic | Telluride Colorado

Telluride is certainly one of my favorite ski towns to date. It's set up like no other, with gondolas that take you from the middle of the mountain (Mountain Village), to town and more. There was nothing cooler than riding the gondola down into town in the pitch dark, snuggled under a blanket. You don't need a car there at all - everything is accessible and easy to get to. The skiing is great, the food and restaurants are wonderful, and the town itself is a blast. I'd highly recommend booking a trip here!