Inspired by Turkish Kofta

I was recently introduced to Turkish Kofta and found it is really what I knew to be meatballs, just with a Turkish cuisine spin. Traditionally, they are made with ground lamb or beef and, the recipe I saw, served with a spicy tomato sauce. I opted to go healthier and chose a combination of turkey and pork. I was also pressed for time and used organic ketchup with a splash of hot sauce. 

Honestly, I didn’t know how these were going to turn out because I literally used what I had in the fridge to make them. I don’t have any picture other than one I took when I was packing the leftovers. I never anticipated they would be so delicious.   

These are so easy to make. My prep time was about 15 minutes. 

What you need:

  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • 1lb Ground Pork
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese 
  • 3 Splashes of Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Cup Cubed White Bread, Crust Removed (not prepackaged, fresh bakery bread that is a couple days old)
  • 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Handfuls Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, chopped small
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Olive oil spray 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except the olive oil. Make small patties or balls out of the mixture (I made patties). Spray a sheet pan with olive oil spray lightly and place the patties on it. Bake for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through and slightly browned. It really depends on how big you make them. Serve with ketchup, spicy ketchup, or eat plain. 

If you’d like to see what inspired me, click here.

Enjoy!

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A Healthy(er) Take on Mac n Cheese

Grady will love this. At this point, his favorite thing is sweet potatoes and any type of carbs.

Chattering Meg Pie

Sweet potatoes are the main ingredient in this creamy version of every kids’ favorite meal, macaroni and cheese.  I would  like to state that I see nothing wrong with the real deal.  It’s creamy, delicious, and comfort food in every sense of the word…but this meal is filled with veggies and is dairy free so it’s a double win right now!  Jack has been chowing down on this since he was a year old and he loves it!

mac n cheese

Directions:
Bake 4 medium sized sweet potatoes.  Remove skins and place in blender while potatoes are still hot.  Blend the potato and add plain almond milk (you can use regular too ) until you get the consistency you are looking for. Probably about a cup.  It should look like a thick alfredo.
Then, add 1tsp worchestire, 1T rosemary or Herbs de Provence (i use whatever I have on hand), 1tsp sea salt…

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Start The Day Off Right | Breakfast Sandwich

Farm fresh, organic eggs are simply the best! They’re even better if you mix them with the right stuff. These items are the makings of my favorite Sunday breakfast. 

 
What you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of Fresh Whole Grain Bread
  • Avocado
  • Your choice of greenery, butterhead lettuce is shown
  • 1 Slice of Cooper Cheese
  • 3 Tbls Greek Yogurt
  • 3-5 Dashes Hot Sauce
  • All-Season Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1Tbls Olive Oil
  1. Make the sauce. In a tiny dish, mix the yogurt, hot sauce, garlic powder, all-season salt, and pepper. You choose how much hot sauce to use. Deathwish is my absolute favorite and made from habanero peppers and cayenne, so, this is really spicy.  It should like like this…   
  2. Mash the avocado and spread it on one slice of bread. Spread the yogurt sauce on the other slice of bread and top with lettuce.         
  3. In a nonstick pan, coat olive oil and heat the pan on medium high heat. Crack the eggs into the pan. Cook on one side until the whites are almost cooked through.    
  4. Flip the eggs and put 1/2 slice of cheese over each egg. Cover and turn off the heat.    
  5. Put the eggs on the bread, put the top on the bottom and slice in half.       

Enjoy!!

Drink Enough Water

Water doesn’t have to be boring. Add some flavor to it! 

  
Did you know that “…you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day?”* That’s a lot of water so why not make interesting…as much as you can. I promise this is tasty. 

Add a 1/2 of each fruit and some fresh mint to a pitcher of water, whal la. I used a blood orange, lemon, and lime. Put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before drinking it. You can truly use any type of fruit you want but I was in a citrus mood today since it was so hot outside. Not only are you getting closer to your daily water intake goal, you’re getting your vitamins from all that fruit!

To top it off, mint is beneficial to your health. To name a few, it helps with digestion, nausea, headaches, and weight loss. Check this out.

  
If your having people over, it looks even better in a fancy pitcher!

  
Enjoy!

*Source

Bean, Quinoa, and Kale Salad

What a tasty dish for Summer! It’s light, nutritious, and filling at the same time. I decided to make this after reading about switching out one or two meals a week to vegetarian. You will save a few dollars on your grocery bill and you still can get all the vitamins and nutrients if you choose the right products for the meal.  I, of course, want to be sure my family and I are getting enough protein if we were leaving out the meat. So, I loaded it with beans, quinoa and kale. Believe it or not, raw kale has 3g of protein in one cup.* 

Here is an article about all the great benefits of quinoa:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/06/26/7-benefits-of-quinoa-the-supergrain-of-the-future/

This recipe makes A LOT! That’s usually how I roll lol. What’s good about making A LOT is that it saves time for me during the week. I can bring some to work for lunch, have it as a quick dinner at night, and it’s an easy meal for me to send to daycare for my toddler! He loves it by the way 🙂

 
Ingredients:

  • 3 stalks of kale, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Corn on the Cob
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup Uncooked White Quinoa
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • Salt
  1. Prepare the corn. Clean off the husks and boil in a large pot until corn is soft. Remember to salt the water. 
  2. While the corn is cooking, chop the pepper, tomatoes, kale, juice the lime,  and rinse the beans in a strainer with cold water. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. 
  3. Remove the corn, set aside, and let cool. Using 2 cups of the same water, cook the quinoa until all the liquid is absorbed. Put a little more salt in the water. (Tip – Don’t boil the quinoa. Let it simmer on low for 10 minutes while covered. Remove from the heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes until you start to see the rings). Once done, add to the other ingredients. 
  4. Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the other ingredients. 

Once it’s all mixed, I stored portion sizes in snack and sandwich size ziplock bags and then put them all into a freezer bag. Organization is key for me! I also save some for the next day or two. If you do the same, I suggest adding a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. It will be a little dry if you don’t. 

Enjoy!

*Source

10 Food Items You Should Buy Organic

I could not agree more. This is good information on the most effective ways to start to shift to an organic lifestyle if you are just beginning.

New Inceptions

Buy Organic Food Buy Organic Food

  1. Apples:
  2. Apples happen to be the leader on the fruit list that are contaminated most with pesticides. Thus buying organic apples is a much wiser choice than going for non-organic ones if pesticides bother you. These are not only delicious and juicy but have a certain fragrance also.

  3. Meat:
  4. Organic beef came into prominence because farm owners and ranchers who produce it are strictly prohibited to inject their livestock with antibiotics for making them disease resistant. Organic meat is, therefore, much safer as growth hormones to plump up animals and poultry is never used, Cattle is fed grain that has been grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

  5. Milk:
  6. It is also much more advisable to buy organic milk, especially for the consumption of children as non-organic milk usually contains pesticides even though in small traces. Organic milk is also purer as organic dairies feed their cows grain…

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Healthy, Simple Grilling

Ah, the simple things in life. Summer is the best time to cook on the grill for so many reasons. The weather is perfect (usually), cooking becomes easier and it’s a great way to hang outside with friends and family! Let’s not forget it’s one of my favorite times to enjoy a beer or two while sitting in my lawn chair on the patio. 

This was my latest dinner on the grill: 

 

I have to give some credit to my husband because he did help out with this one. You’re looking at Spiced Grilled Chicken, Corn The Cob, Potatoes with Onions and Sweet Bell Peppers, Broccoli, and Asparagus. Keep in mind that you can use any veggies you like and prepare and cook them the same way as the broccoli and asparagus. 

I like to use chicken thighs instead of breasts simply because they don’t dry out. However, breasts do have better nutritional stats and can be substituted if you really want an even healthier meal. When comparing equal portions, some that are noteworthy…

  1. Protein – 21g in thighs and 25g in breasts*
  2. Fat – 13g in thighs and 7g in breasts *
  3. Calories – 210 in thighs and 170 in breasts*
  4. Cholesterol – 80mg in thighs and 70mg in breasts*

CHICKEN:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Paprika
  • Crushed red pepper, a few pinches or more if you want heat
  • Garlic powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper 
  • Mix all spices together (equal parts except the crushed red pepper), coat the chicken, and put it in a covered pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the sides. 
    CORN:

  • Corn on the Cob
  • Water 
  • Don’t clean the corn, just keep it as is and soak it in water for at least 10 minutes​
    POTATOES:

  • Russet potatoes
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper, slices
  • 1/2 Sweet onion, slices
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Black pepper 
  • Lay out a long piece of tin foil and then double it with the second piece perpendicular to the first. Spray lightly with oil. Place all ingredients on top of the foil, wrap it sealing all sides. Put these on the grill first since they usually take the longest to cook. 
    BROCCOLI:

  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil spray
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper 
  • Same as the potatoes, lay out a long piece of tin foil and then double it with the second piece perpendicular to the first. Spray lightly with oil. Place all ingredients on top of the foil, wrap it sealing all sides.

    ASPARAGUS:

  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil spray
  • Sea Salt
  • Black pepper 
  • And…repeat preparation a third time.
    Cook everything on the grill over medium heat together until steamy and the chicken is cooked through. Don’t worry if one thing is done before the other, just keep it in its foil or cover it until you’re ready. Cooking is suppose to be stress free!

    ENJOY!!

    *Source

    Always With A Twist

    My mom used to make a cheeseburger pie when I was growing up and remember thinking it was delicious!! Every time I make something that has a recipe behind it, I always feel like I need to make it my own. So, here is Vanessa’s orginal Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

    Cheeseburger Pie

    1.5 lbs of lean ground beef
    3 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
    1/2 sweet onion, chopped small
    2 green onions, chopped
    Spinach, a good handful, and chopped (or other super green like kale or chard or a little bit of all three!)
    2 carrots, chopped small
    1 small tomato, sliced
    2 Dill pickles, chopped
    Tomato paste, 1/2 of small can
    1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
    1 egg
    Splash of milk
    Garlic powder, a few dashes
    S & P (sea salt and fresh ground pepper are best)
    Olive oil
    Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup Tempura mix, dry (or bisquick as substitute but this is my twist :))

    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
    • Heat a sauté pan on medium and coat the pan with olive oil
    • Sauté onion, carrots, and spinach/greens until soft and wilted
    • In a bowl, combine ground beef, sauté mixture, green onions, bread crumbs, milk, egg, S & P, garlic powder and tomato paste
    • Put ground beef mix in the same sauté pan over medium heat and cook until the meat is almost all brown.
    • Transfer meat to a square pan, spread out evenly, and cover lightly with shredded cheese
    • Make the tempura mix into a liquid by adding water until there are no lumps and is somewhat runny
    • Pour the tempura on top and add more cheese
    • Add the slices of tomato and pickles on top
    • Bake for about 1/2 hour or until tempura starts to brown
    • Let cool for 10 minutes, add bacon on top, cut and serve!