Purple Paleo Meatloaf

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are on your way with your resolutions. The last three weeks in the Rakowski/Caravella household consisted of 7 Christmas/Hanukkah celebrations, a trip to Vermont, a wedding, moving into our first house, and a week straight of 14-hour days full of manual labor (special shout-out to Mom and Ron for their help!). The before and after of the house is really remarkable, and I will be sharing some of our DIY projects on the blog. In the meantime I am doing everything possible to stay warm as the temperature is very quickly dropping from 18 to 1 degree. Multiple layers, lots of heat, a fire in the fireplace, and soup (of course) are all playing their part. The one good piece about the cold weather is that it makes people crave soup! As you know, I published my first paleo soup cookbook, and the response has been fantastic! Bowls of Love will hit the stands at Whole Foods in Darien, CT next Friday, January 16th, and I will be there from 10am-2pm for a book signing. The book is perfect for anyone trying out the paleo diet, on a Whole30, experimenting with the 21DSD, following a gluten or dairy-free diet, or is just FREEZING and really wants some healthy, delicious soup that is easy to prepare. Try it out and enjoy the warmth of the recipes and the stories!

Tonight's recipe is a strange one according to my mom, but I always love experimenting with color in the kitchen, so I figured I could try out a purple paleo meatloaf using my purple carrots and red onion. The result was a colorful masterpiece that tasted great too! This can easily be made with regular carrots as well, and you can turn them into meatloaf "muffins" if you are looking for quick grab-and-go snacks and meals to help you keep those resolutions in check! 




  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 purple carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2.5 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup almond flour (optional)
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • Additional veggies for roasting (I used rainbow carrots, red onion, and shaved brussel sprouts - the more the merrier!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat
  3. Saute red onion and garlic for 5 minutes
  4. Add carrots and cook for another 5-10 minutes until soft
  5. Meanwhile, add turkey, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, almond flour, and eggs to a bowl and mix well. (NOTE: If you have nut or egg allergies, you can absolutely omit either/both)
  6. Add the veggie saute to the bowl and mix well to combine.
  7. Create 3 small meatloaves with the mixture in a pan and then sprinkle veggies around it. 
  8. Bake meatloaves for 1 hour, stirring veggies every 15 minutes.

Parsnip Soup w/ Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Great news, followers! My blog is not dead. It was simply hibernating for a bit while I figured out some pretty monumental life decisions. I wasn't feeling as creative with my cooking (and time was limited), so I remade a ton of my old recipes to make things quicker and easier. In the midst of the craziness, I quit my job at McLagan and accepted a new position at PepsiCo! It is going to be a huge change, and I am thrilled to start this next chapter. I have this week off before I start to get things organized, so I am hoping to share some great new recipes with all of you.

I was feeling very jealous of Grace and my other Boston friends who visited the Sunday SOWA market today because the farmers market here in Stamford just doesn't even compare. I go and support them every week, but I am pretty convinced that a lot of the fruits and veggies are not local. There wasn't a parsnip to be found yesterday, so I went to the grocery store to pick some up so I could experiment with a new soup. I try to make a new soup every (or every other) week in the Fall/Winter to have ready-made meals handy. This recipe is incredibly flavorful with amazing fall tastes, and the spiced pumpkin seeds add the perfect crunch.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Parsnip Soup w/ Spiced Pumpkin Seeds:

 Serves 4-5, Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 75 min


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped,
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 XL carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 3 XL parsnips, peeled & chopped
  • 4 cups organic chicken or veggie stock (no sugar added!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup raw organic pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin


  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add onion, garlic, and scallions and saute about 10 minutes until fragrant
  3. Add celery, carrots, and parsnips. Stir well to combine and cook another 5 minutes
  4. Add stock and bring to a boil
  5. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for 1 hour
  6. Meanwhile, heat 1tsp. olive oil in a small pan over medium heat
  7. Add pumpkin seeds and toss to combine
  8. After 1-2 minutes, add cinnamon, paprika, and cumin
  9. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant and then let cool
  10. When soup is done, let cool slightly and blend with immersion blender or food processor
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I just added some pepper)
  12. Serve piping hot with ~1Tbsp. of spiced pumpkin seeds on top! Happy Fall :)

Vermont Balsamic Maple Turkey Meatloaf

Well hello there. Today was a big day with my blog hitting over 100,000 hits and my health coaching certificate and card coming in the mail. I am now officially a board certified health coach, and I am thrilled! It has been an interesting journey of self-reflection throughout my studies, and my life is completely different (in so many wonderful ways) than when I started. 

I have been a bit MIA from blogging over the past few weeks with some major things going on. Luckily in the midst of the craziness Ry came home from Dubai and we had an amazing getaway in Vermont. We celebrated Heather and Kenny's wedding and had tons of adventures along the way. I wanted a souvenir from the trip, and I ended up with some special Vermont-made food products to experiment with. One of the treasures was maple flakes which basically looks like brown rice krispies. The only ingredient is dried maple syrup, and they are crispy and sweet. I figured I could sprinkle a few of them on tonight's recipe instead of covering my meatloaf with the more traditional sugary ketchup concoction. It was just a hint of sweet mixed with the tangy balsamic, and it came out great. Enjoy!

Vermont Balsamic Maple Turkey Meatloaf:

 Serves 4-5, Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 40 min


  • 1.25lbs ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1+ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Vermont maple flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat
  3. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft
  4. Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, garlic powder (more is better!), basil, and thyme and cook for another 10-15 minutes until soft
  5. Mix turkey, egg, almond flour, and veggie mixture in a bowl
  6. Form into a loaf on a foil-lined pan
  7. Brush with balsamic vinegar
  8. Sprinkle meatloaf with Vermont maple flakes (if you don't have these you can use a mixture of balsamic and maple syrup for the topping)
  9. Bake for 20 minutes
  10. Brush the meatloaf with the leftover balsamic
  11. Bake another 15 until cooked through (no pink in the turkey)
  12. Cover the meatloaf and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving