Roasted Pepper Turkey Patties

Hi All!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so let me fill you in on EVERYTHING!! On May 13, my PhD was officially conferred by USC. I am done with graduate school. 

I recently accepted a part time position at a local universy where I’ve begun teaching my own courses. I’m still on the hunt for a full time position, but this will give me some experience at the moment. 

Danny and I also went back to Playa del Carmen (where we had our honeymoon a year ago). In order to be in tip-top shape for our trip, we’ve begun weekly meal preps!

At first, these preps were a nightmare. I would spend four hours in the kitchen making all of our meals for the week (meals 2-4 for him, and usually just lunches for me). We still make breakfasts and dinners fresh each day. 

I’ve been doing meal preps for about 16 weeks now, and I’ve gotten much more efficient. I can usually prep everything in about 2 hours now. 
So here are some turkey patties that I prepped this week. Hope you like them!

Roasted Pepper Turkey patties

Yield: 12 patties

Macros per patty: 2g fat, 26g protein, 1g carbs
3lbs ground turkey (I used 93/7)

1 roasted bell pepper (came out to 5.5oz)

3 Mexican green onion stalks (tops and all, came out to 3oz)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1.5 Tbsp Spain’s Spices Lemon Pepper Seasoning (let them know Ali sent you)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. 

I wanted to make 12 patties, which came out to about 4.3oz of mixture per patty. 

Form 12 patties and cook on a preheated grill. 

Cook thoroughly. 

Enjoy! I thought the brightness from the lemon pepper who work great with the roasted pepper and green onion. 

Spain’s Spices are low sodium seasoning blends. Their spicy happens to be my favorite. Be sure to check them out. 

Ample Meal Shake (Review)

Hey All!

I just had the opportunity to try Ample Meal. Ample is a nutrient dense shake that can be a meal replacement. I agreed to try the product because I wanted the opportunity to provide awareness about an up and coming brand that is focused on using naturally derived ingredients. 
(They’re going to be phasing this particular bottle style out).

So at first, I had some trepidation. 

Depending on the day, I either get 45-55 grams of fat in my macros per day. These shakes are not your average 110 calorie protein shakes. At 400 cal, they are a little on the heavy side. I was concerned that I’d drink it, waste 22 of my allotted grams of fat, and then be hungry again in an hour. But alas, I decided to try. 

The directions say to use water or milk. For the first time, I used about 1/2 cup cashew milk, and about 1/2 cup water then shook.

This shake is thick!! Super thick. 

The flavor was interesting. There are no sweeteners. It reminded me of a bran or Special K cereal (if you remember those!) Maybe even a little nutty. It was unique. I liked it though.

So the test was to see how long it would keep me satisfied. Surprisingly, both times I felt satisfied (not quite full, but satisfied and NOT hungry) for over 4 hours. I think the heavy fat content had a lot to do with that. 

The 2nd time I tried the shake, I added about a teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). It imparted a slightly sweet taste to the neutral shake. 

So, in closing, I would definitely drink again. The flavor is NOT super sweet. It will not obliterate a sweet tooth. It is not fully of chocolatey artificial flavors. It will, however, keep you satisfied with quality ingredients on days that you need some convenience in a bottle. 

Ample will be launching an Indiegogo campaign in the next few weeks. Check out their website to stay on top of their campaign, and maybe give their website a browse. If you care about quality ingredients and are like most people and have a hectic schedules, it might be worth a look!

*Full disclosure. I was given four bottles of Ample to try. I did not receive financial compensation for this review.*

Wilted Spinach, Butternut Squash Salad

This tastes amazing. Let me start by saying that. This is a great option for a side dish now that it’s getting colder. It’s not quite a salad, not quite a veggie dish, but I’m still gonna call it a salad. 


1.5lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 medium red onion, diced

1 bag of spinach

2 Tbsp olive oil plus 1/4 c set aside

1 tsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 c walnuts

1/4 c water

1/2 c red wine vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Ready? There are lots of moving parts, so read through before you begin. Ok? Let’s begin. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prep your butternut squash and red onion. 


Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a heavy sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. 

Pour onto a cookie sheet and arrange into a single layer. 
Place in oven. Roast for 40 min (toss around halfway through).

In a skillet, warm your 1 tsp of coconut oil (on low). 

Add walnuts and toast. 

Add coconut sugar and water. Allow to reduce. Stir occasionally and remove from heat once walnuts are “candied.” DONT BURN! 🙂

In your salad bowl, add red wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, and some sea salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in 1/4 c reserved olive oil. 

Add spinach, walnuts, and squash/onion mixture. Toss. 


Adjust seasoning if you wish. I served ours with some simple chicken. 

This salad would be great with a little goat cheese. Speaking from experience here. Either way, Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Chia Pudding

I got the opportunity to try some Wyman’s products this weekend. Wyman’s sells frozen fruit in convenient, resealable pouches with no unnecessary added sugar. 

I threw this recipe together and the result was a delicious, creamy tapioca-like pudding with no added dairy. You could easily sub maple syrup or stevia to make this vegan if you wanted. 
Enjoy! And check out Wyman’s the next time you go to the grocery store. 

Mixed Berry Chia Pudding

1/3 c. Chia seeds

1- 13.5 oz can coconut milk

1/4 c almond or cashew milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. honey

2/3 c. Wyman’s of Maine Fresh Frozen Mixed Berries

In a medium, resealable container, stir coconut and cashew milks into your chia seeds. Eliminating any clusters or lumps. 

Stir in remaining ingredients. 

Cover container and place in refrigerator for at least an hour (ideally overnight). 

Chia seeds will thicken the pudding the longer it is in the fridge. 

When ready to eat, serve in individual containers. 
Serves 2-4. 

Depending on how hungry you are 😉 


Bacon wrapped shrimp 

I’ve been busy. Sorry. Job applications, fellowship applications, postdoc applications, teaching assistantship, dissertation editing…. PLUS staying on track with food and the gym… Yeah. Busy. 

I’m sure many of you are busy, too. Thankfully, this recipe takes less than 20 minutes so you can get right back to being amazing and doing all 50 million things you’re doing too. 


*(I cooked half this recipe)

1 lb large shrimp, peeled & deveined

About 10 strips of bacon, cut in half

1 tsp Italian seasonings 

Sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper


Get organized in your station

Toss your prepped shrimp in the seasonings

Beginning at the thicker part of your shrimp, start wrapping the bacon half around the shrimp. Ending at the narrowest part around the tail. 

Use a toothpick to secure the bacon

Place bacon wrapped shrimp on a grill pan or skillet and turn on heat

Turn over when bacon begins to cook

You may need to do shrimp yoga and cook your shrimp at different angles.

Remove from heat when bacon and shrimp are fully cooked through. 
Don’t forget to take out your toothpick before eating!

Spanish Tortilla

Don’t let the name fool you. There’s no tortilla in this omelet recipe. This is a Spanish style omelet, that’s almost more of a frittata. Tastes amazing, and I think you’ll love it. Don’t forget, traditional Spanish tortillas are served at room temperature, so let this baby cool before you dig in. 

Spanish Tortilla:

1lb yam or sweet potato, cut into thin slices

1 white or yellow onion cut in half then into thin slices

12 eggs or the equivalent in egg whites, beaten

Seasonings: sea salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried parsley

Olive oil or other fat or choice
Heat your fat of choice in a large pan. 

Add potatoes, onions, sea salt, and some pepper. 

Stir around periodically while on low to medium heat. Allowing the onions and potatoes to soften. This should take a few minutes. 

Pour in the beaten egg mixture and add some more seasonings (parsley and red pepper flakes). Stir mixture in pan like you’re scrambling eggs. Eggs should begin to set. 

Preheat broiler

Smooth out the egg/potato/onion mixture in the pan and put under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes. 

Remove from heat, allow to cool, then serve!

Workout Ideas for the Temporally-Challenged, aka How to Have a Great Workout, Fast!

I recently joined with Brick Betty to become one of their FitPro Ambassadors.

Brick Betty offers premium workout gear. The fabrics feel great, and the designs are super cute.

They’re having a grand opening sale right now (through August 7), and you can save 20% with code BBGO20. Go check them out! Don’t forget to select me as your FitPro when you check out (Ali Gutierrez-Romine).

As part of my partnership with them, I wrote a blog post on how to get a workout when you’re short on time.

Check it out HERE.

To check out Brick Betty’s line of workout clothes, click here.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe isn’t 100% paleo because of the peanut butter, but you can definitely substitute another nut butter to make it paleo: like almond, or macadamia. 

This recipe also uses Simply Stacked baking mix. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s an all-purpose gluten-free, paleo, low carb, and low-glycemic baking mix. It’s unsweetened so you can use it to make sweet or savory items. 

To order Simlly Stacked, go to: For 10% off, use code: Ali

They have a bunch of recipes on their site. I think it’s best for pancakes 🙂 


Anyway, here’s the recipe for the cookies!

2/3 cup of Simply Stacked Grain Free Mix 

2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 ripe banana

1/4 nut butter (I used peanut butter)

About 1/4 c jam or jelly (I used Trader Joe’s, it’s sweetened with grape juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Also, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it. 

In a large mixing bowl, smash your banana with the vanilla, melted fat, coconut sugar, nut butter, and eggs. 

Mix in the Simply Stacked mix. 

Use a tablespoon to drop little balls of dough. They don’t spread, but don’t smush them down. We’ll do that later. 

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 min.

As soon as you pull them out, use the back of a small spoon, or your thumb, to create a little crater in the cookie for your jam. 

After you’ve created all the nooks, use a 1/2 teaspoon to scoop your jam into the crater. 

Makes about 12-16 cookies. 

Link to Simply Stacked is also available in my Paleo Resources section 🙂 Don’t forget to use Ali for 10% off at

Horseradish Mustard Chicken

Hi! I’ve been so busy lately. This summer I am working remotely as a contract researcher for the Smithsonian (kind of a big deal…). I’m really enjoying it, but it is forcing me to be much more structured.

Not necessarily a bad thing. 

Here’s a simple marinade for some un-boring chicken. Try it 🙂

Horseradish Mustard Grilled Chicken

2lbs chicken

1/4 c horseradish mustard (or other spicy mustard)

1 tsp coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 c water

2 packets of stevia or about 1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp each: granulated onion, granulated garlic, chile flakes

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients (except chicken, of course) in a large prep bowl. Pour into marinating tray, zip top bag, or leave in prepping bowl. 

Add chicken and make sure it’s thoroughly coated. Let marinade at least 30 min.

Grill or bake when ready.

Asian style steak marinade

Not much to this dish, honestly. It woukd be easy to sub with any meat of choice. Similarly, you could swap out any spices you like. I served this with sauted veggies (cabbage, zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli, and carrots). You could marinade a whole steak or roast in this, just double the recipe if necessary. 

Have fun in the kitchen. It doesn’t bite 🙂


3/4 c balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp coconut aminos (I was out, so I used gluten-free sou sauce)

2 tsp Flavorgod Garlic Lover’s seasoning

1 tsp each: paprika, chile flakes, sesame seeds, black or white pepper

1 whole green onion, minced or chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

5 stevia packets or about 2-3 Tbsp honey

2lbs meat of choice (I used flap meat and cut it into strips)

Combine all ingredients except meat in a large mixing bowl.

It will have a little tang. Adjust to your preferences. It does mellow down a little when cooked. 

Prep your meat as you wish

Add meat to marinade and make sure all your meat is covered or submerged

Depending on how you prepped your meat, you can grill it or cook it on a grill pan (that’s what I did).

Cook until meat is desired doneness and serve with your veggies of choice 🙂