Monthly Archives: March 2017

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Rodale News
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Adapted from An American Girl in London

This is my tried-and-true version of the classic family recipe. Though traditionally made with lamb mince, you can substitute beef if you prefer (this is called Cottage Pie). Sweet potato adds a nice vibrant colour and is packed full of natural sweetness and nutrients, perfect for the munchkins.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
(Makes 8 servings)


  • 2 pounds large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean lamb mince
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock

1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and place back into the pan with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Using an electric whisk, blend the potato and butter until smooth and season well with salt and pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and the oil along with the onion. Cook for 15 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, cooking for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened. Stir through the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Increase the heat and add the lamb mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the vegetables back to the pan along with the cinnamon, thyme, and rosemary. Stir to combine, then add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened. Check for seasoning.

4. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch x 7-inch baking dish. Top evenly with the sweet potato mash and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbling and the sweet potato is beginning to darken where it peaks. Serve with a winter greens salad.

Tip: This can be made ahead, frozen, and defrosted overnight in the fridge before it’s baked in the oven.

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Bubble and Squeak

Rodale News
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Adapted from An American Girl in London

Traditionally, Bubble and Squeak is made with leftover vegetables from a Sunday roast dinner, but our kids love this dish so much that I make it even when we haven’t had a big meal the day before. The name comes from the sounds that the potatoes and greens make in the pan while they cook. I like to serve this with roasted sausages and fried eggs for breakfast or a casual weeknight supper. 

Bubble and Squeak
(Makes 4 servings)


  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 sausages
  • 4 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 100°F. In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the pancetta pieces and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the red onion and leek to the same pan and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

3. Add the pancetta back to the pan along with the kale and cook until the kale is slightly wilted. Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice.

4. Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl, then add the onion mixture, stirring well to combine. Stir through the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and place back over a medium heat to melt. Add the sausages and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp. Form the potato mash into 4 patties. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden and crisp. Place in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the rest.

6. In a separate frying pan over medium heat, cook the eggs for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the whites are set and the edges are crispy.

7. Remove the potato patties and sausages from the oven and carefully tip onto a cutting board. Slice the patties into 4 and top with a sausage and a fried egg. Garnish with extra parsley and a good cracking of black pepper. Serve immediately.

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Gym Etiquette 101: 17 Rules You Absolutely Must Follow

Rodale News
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Adapted from The Men’s Health Gym Bible

Looking to reshape your muscles and burn fat faster? Sometimes it’s not how you exercise when you go to the gym, it’s how you act when you get there that can decide how quickly you see results.

More: How to Find the Right Gym for You

If you’re newbie gym goer, the pressure of stepping into a roomful of people who seem like they know what they’re doing can be nerve-wracking. It’s that kind of pressure that can make it easy to give up sooner than you want to. But knowing the right way to behave can leave you feeling more confident and less intimidated, which many experts agree can help motivate you to try new workouts and even exercise longer.

If you’re ready to take your body to the next level, these tried-and-true rules are unspoken—but always appreciated—and work in every gym, no matter what your fitness goals.

people lifting weights gym

Your No-Fail Guide to Using Sage to Clear Your Home

Rodale News
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This article was originally written by Erin Magner for Well+Good.

For thousands of years, cultures around the world have believed that a person’s energy is like perfume—once you come in contact with someone else’s vibes, good or bad, they tend to linger for a while.

And just like a date’s overpowering cologne might require a hot shower to remove, the best way to rid your space of any negativity you’ve inadvertently tracked home is through a cleansing ritual called smudging.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the ancient practice, you’ve probably seen smudge sticks—you know, those fat, leafy bundles of sage that are popping up in just about every cool wellness girl’s Instagram account. Many believe this potent plant has the power to shift energy into a calmer, happier state.

When I’m in a space after it’s been cleansed, I feel at peace, joyful, safe, energized, creative, and able to deeply rest.

One big fan of the practice is Maggie Harrsen, the Peru-based founder of Puakai Healing. “There’s a long history of Native Americans using sage to connect to the spirit world and cleanse the body and space of impurities before a ceremony,” she says. “The life force energy of its smoke penetrates deep into the ether and alters the vibration of a space, or living being, by absorbing any heavy, dense energy.” (From a hard science perspective, sage’s been proven to absorb up to 94 percent of airborne bacteria.)

According to Harrsen, everyone’s home can benefit from regular saging, and spring cleaning season is a great time to give it a try. “After smudging, your space will feel light and balanced,” she says. “When I’m in a space after it’s been cleansed, I feel at peace, joyful, safe, energized, creative, and able to deeply rest.”

In other words, it’s kind of like the metaphysical compliment to your Marie Kondo obsession.

Scroll down for a 3-step guide to performing a proper smudging ritual.

burning sage