So here’s the thing, guys. I like to multitask way too much. And when I say multitask, I mean I like to make new recipes for the blog while searching Pinterest for beach/destination wedding inspiration. I haven’t figured out colors or even what I want my dress to look like, so that’s what I like to fill my time with. I mean, our wedding is only a year and a half away, I HAVE TO GET IT TOGETHER! Holy balls, wedding stuff is so fun. Anyways, since all I really feel like doing is scouring Pinterest, I’ve had to go to a place that doesn’t have internet and force myself to finish up my third cookbook. No blog, no wedding dresses, so hilarious koozie ideas to keep our friends beers cold during our ceremony, nope. I have to work on my book and get that done before I share my slow cooked short ribs recipe, candied bacon, and candied bacon pecan chocolate treats with you on the blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working on my blog and my cookbook, but hot DAMN is day dreaming of white and sand just so freaking fun. Thankfully, I have the wonderful Alexa on the blog today to share one of her recipes. I want to talk about her real quick. Her blog is absolutely amazing. She has crazy impressive recipes such as Apple Streusel Caramel Flatbread, Blueberry Coffee Cake and Sweet Potato and Apple Hash Browns. She is absolutely SO creative and her photography is on point. I recently was part of an ebook with her and it was an honor with the recipes and pictures she comes up with. You have to check her out. Go now!!


I’m super excited to be guest posting on PaleOMG. I haven’t personally met Juli, but I follow her great work, especially her fashion. Seriously, can we just go shopping together? On another note, I was able to work in the The Best of Paleo 2014 cookbook with her along with many other fabulous bloggers. I do know that you, her readers are an amazing group of people and thus why I am happy to share one of our family favorite recipes with you.

I’m a small town Iowa girl who grew up on meat and potatoes and later developed a passion for all things nutrition which is why I graduated with a degree in it. Deep down I always knew there was some sort of middle ground in the nutrition world. This is why I love the paleo community so much. Growing up watching numerous family and friends try every one of the latest fad diets full of bland, boring and fat-free foods I knew there was a better way and I was determined to find it.

Food was meant to be enjoyed, right? So why are so many people struggling to find the love of food, to truly enjoy every morsel of deliciousness? We weren’t meant to live on rice cakes, let alone thrive on them and so it became my mission and passion to find the answers.

This passion has led me to share the good news about REAL nutrition and how simple it is. Our bodies, they thrive on real, wholesome food and it knows that the quantity doesn’t matter nearly as much as the quality of these foods.

So Simple Roots was formed, where I take “traditional” recipes and healthify them to form the collision of amazing, delicious food with all the nutrients your body needs to live to thrive. I also enjoy busting a nutrition myth or two. The reality, we as a society make nutrition far more difficult than it needs to be, it almost becomes painful. This is my driving force to continue to take the ‘norm’ and flip it on its head, making it work in this paleo lifestyle we live.

This family favorite of ours, Shredded Beef Ragu with Sweet Potato Gnocchi has it all. The savory sauce, hearty shredded beef with the sweet potato gnocchi that leaves me speechless every time I eat it. I’m embarrassed to tell you, but gnocchi making is my latest obsession. It happens weekly and we eat it with just about everything. Nothing beats pillowy balls of dough made from three ingredients, right? It helps a soul through the seventh negative a bazillion degree night we are having in this part of the country.

If I could tell you anything from a Nutritionist standpoint it would be this. Be well fed, worrying more about the quality of the foods you eat rather than the quantity. Nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it is quite simple with your body knowing everything it needs to get the job done. The key is listening to it and learning to work with it. If you are questioning how this can be done in an effective way, without any gimmicks you should check out my real food purification program, The Simple Cleanse. Easy steps, real food, well fed to clean out your system utilizing your bodies natural detoxification pathways. And yes, this gnocchi  is on the meal plan. Say what?!?

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Guest Post: Shredded Beef Ragu

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4 from 3 reviews

  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 16 oz. baby bella mushrooms, halved
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 Tbsp thyme
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs chuck roast
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi


  1. Chop onion and carrots.
  2. Cut any fat from roast.
  3. Place onion, carrots, garlic, mushrooms broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, and roast in slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 4-5. Shred beef and mix within the sauce.
  5. Prepare sweet potato gnocchi.
  6. Pan-fry gnocchi in olive oil until golden and crunchy. Add beef ragu and grated sheep’s cheese (optional).

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Alexa graduated in 2009 from Iowa State University with a bachelors degree in Dietitics. During her last year of college, she opened my own fitness and nutrition studio as a way to offer the people in rural Iowa a chance to live a healthy life. She taught spinning classes, outdoor bootcamps, running and HIIT classes along with monthly nutrition classes. As the gym family got bigger and bigger, it got harder and harder to wake up at 4:30am (after already sleepless nights) to teach classes so she sold the business in 2014. She had no idea what she was going to do at that point so she took what she had been doing previously with a small blog and decided to start developing recipes and writing about health topics as a way to engage her previous clients and customers. The direction this has taken her has been beyond exciting. She is currently expanding her knowledge with a Masters in Health Studies from the University of Alabama and looks forward to continuing to provide readers with valuable content to help you live a healthier and more satisfying life in a simple way!

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  1. Rachel Klein says:

    So… when to the grocery store, decided I was going to make this amazing dish, and then realized I forgot to buy crushed tomatoes! I have a 28 oz can of trader joe’s marinara though… could that work?!

  2. Magda says:

    You had me at ‘3 ingredient gnocchi’.. Really?? Seriously?? Definitely on my list of ‘plan to make in the very near future’. I haven’t had gnocchi in so long…

  3. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out says:

    This looks great! Perfect for these cold days!

  4. Heather Longoria says:

    A fellow Iowan! Thank you for the recipe! I am so grateful to live in Iowa (Quad Cities). We have such a plethora of locally sourced food and meat. And it’s so inexpensive compared to some other places. If only we could transport a mountain or two here…

  5. Kyla says:

    Made this last night (the roast, and I cheated and just baked some cubed sweet potatoes) and it was DELICIOUS. And so easy.

    I’m not sure if it’s just that my crockpot is crapping out, or if my roast was too lean, or what, but I would recommend either cooking it longer, or cutting it up before cooking. The taste was phenomenal, but it definitely could have been more tender. Shredding couldn’t really happen 🙁

    Definitely will make again and actually try to make the gnocchi next time!!

  6. Teddy says:

    Why trim the fat off? Doesn’t it break down during cooking?

  7. Kathy says:

    I made this for dinner last week. Too much liquid, it was more like soup than stew. I made rice for my husband to eat it over. Next time I will try the cauliflower rice, but I think it needs to be on top of something.

  8. Angela says:

    The butcher assured me the meat and the fat would separate after cooking and be easily removed. I trimmed the outside fat off beforehand, and let it cook 9 hours (it does fall apart and easily shredded) but this cut is so marbled, I had try and get as much meat out of it as I could afterward and it was hard. Singed fingers and only about half the roast survived to go back into the stew. Maybe with a different cut, this would work better?

    The flavor is good. But it does need something to be served over.. very liquidy.

  9. Anna says:

    First, I made the sweet potato gnocchi with every intention of using it for this recipe, but noticed someone mentioned rolling the fried pieces in sugar and cinnamon and was SOLD. It is delicious, just like a churro or donut. Best served when they are freshly fried and hot. Yum!

    For the ragu, I sub’d garlic powder and 2 tsp bouquet garni and a few healthy shakes of Watkins Pasta seasoning, and let it cook on low in my Nesco for 8hrs. I had no problems shredding the beef. The sauce looked a little thin, but after letting it cool for a few minutes, it resembled the consistency of regular pasta sauce. I did need to add 1/2tsp of sugar to cut the tartness from the tomato. Tasty and makes a lot.