Category Archives: Eat, Drink, Be Merry!

Every Day is Fry-Day!

I am one to never jump on trends….it doesn’t matter what it is. I like to wait it out to see if something is worth buying, and I am one of those people who love to get the opinions of those I love who have experience with said item, and I also read reviews…..lots of reviews.

I had a few friends buy an air fryer when they first became a phenomenon, but I wasn’t sold on them. I love fried foods, but something that uses the air to help fry a food….could that really taste good? And did I really need another thing to junk up my counter?

So I waited…..I read the reviews….and slowly more and more of my friends were sharing about their love for the air fryer. I was turning to the dark side…..and I finally decided I needed to get one.

I read many reviews on the best air fryers on the market, but most of my friends who were actively using one weren’t using those brands; instead NuWave seemed to be the winning brand. Do I go with what consumers say is best or what my friends say works?
My friends….always! I listen to the people I trust in my life because I know they won’t steer me wrong. I ordered the Nu Wave 3 Quart Air Fryer and patiently awaited its arrival.

Piece of advice: Shop around for the best deal! Right now there are lots of great savings with Memorial Day, and make sure you are using Ebates first to get the most cash back.

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The day my air fryer arrived I was elated and started using it immediately. HOW IN THE WORLD HAD I WAITED SO LONG TO BUY THIS THING????!!!!

The first thing I made: Jojo Potatoes (or wedges for those of you not from Ohio). I cut the raw potatoes into wedges, tossed them with a mix of 1 tablespoon coconut oil, paprika, and garlic, and cooked them for about 16 minutes in the air fryer. The result: perfection!

Reasons why you need to own one: 

1. No oil! Hot air is what is used to cook the food, and unless you are using a little bit to coat the foods like I did with the JoJos, you don’t need it.

2. You can make pretty much anything. Wings, fries, donuts, onion rings…..anything you love that is fried! Don’t believe me, check out pinterest for some ideas!

3. It’s quick and a healthier alternative! I was able to make fresh fries in about 15 minutes in a healthy way. You can’t beat that.

4. It’s easy to clean. All you do is press a button to release the frying tray and boom…..ready to wash.

Im very happy with this NuWave product and think it is very easy to use. There are lots of options out there, so do your research on what will work for you and talk to those you know who have one. Listen to their reviews! I only have one complaint with my air fryer….I should’ve purchased the 6 quart instead of the 3 quart! The 3 quart is fine for two people, but if you have a family of more than two, definitely go for the bigger size!

I’m off to make onion rings now…..but if you grab an air fryer let me know your thoughts!

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Gettin’ Philly With It

One of my meal plan staples has always been the stuffed pepper….there’s something about it that makes it part healthy part comfort food, and with about a million variations, it is something I am always into.

This weekend I was craving a good ol’ cheesesteak, and I’m not talking the fake kind. I’m talking a legit Geno’s Cheesesteak (Sorry if you are Team Pat’s…this girl is Geno’s all the way). Since I wasn’t in the mood for a 6 hour drive to Philly to get one, I opted to put a Philly spin on my stuffed peppers. My Instagram DMs blew up asking for the recipe… so here it is! Although I also received a few messages about my vampire pepper that I shared….

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Philly Cheesesteak Peppers

Ingredients:
-3 peppers (any color), cut in half and seeds removed
-1 yellow onion, diced (optional)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 pound steak (I use sirloin and slice very thin)
-12 slices of provolone cheese
-1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)

Directions:

Place peppers in baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. As peppers bake, heat olive oil in pan and cook steak. Make sure it is sliced thin! Add onions and mushrooms to the pan if you are using them, cooking until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once peppers are done, remove from oven and place one slice of provolone cheese in the bottom of each pepper. Fill with steak mixture, then top with another slice of cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and golden brown. Top with parsley and serve! So easy, and this recipe is always a hit!

Enjoy!

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Ready to eat!

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A slutty cookie?

When it came to St. Patty’s Day this year, I really knocked it out of the park. Besides the corned beef ruebens I made (get that recipe HERE), I made a dessert item that I always love and that is well received, the brookie!

My brookies also go by another alias……the slutty bar…so if you’ve heard me mention them, they are one in the same. The brookie aka brownie-cookie is a layer of brownies, followed by a layer of Oreos, then topped with chocolate chip cookie dough. Yeah, I know what you are thinking….super healthy, right?

Since it was St. Patty’s Day, I put a little spin on my typical brookie and used mint oreos and mint M & Ms as a decorative topping. However, you could change that up depending on your taste buds and the occasion. The recipe is super easy, and again, you can change it up and use your own brownie or chocolate chip cookie recipe if you prefer.

Katie’s Brookie/Slutty Bar Recipe

Ingredients:

-Brownie Mix (I make my own, but if you prefer to buy a mix I recommend Ghiradelli Brownie Mix)….you’ll need any ingredients that the boxed mix you get calls for as well
-Oreos (I use about a dozen)…..you can use regular or mint like I did here
-1 1/4 cup flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup softened butter (unsalted)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
-1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1 egg
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
-M & M’s to garnish (you could use additional Oreo pieces if you prefer)

How to Make: 

Preheat Oven to 350 and Spray 9 x 13 pan. You can also use parchment paper or foil if you prefer. Prepare brownies as directed by box or your personal recipe. Pour into Pan. Smash Oreos so they are in chunks and place on top of brownie layer like below.

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Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, then set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter, both sugars, egg, and vanilla until well blended. Slowly mix in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips by hand, then separate into three parts, flattening each before placing on top of brownie and cookie layer. The dough doesn’t have to cover the entire mix (I like to let brownie pieces show a bit). REMINDER: You can also buy chocolate chip cookie dough or use a different recipe. Press M & Ms or Oreo crumbles on top and bake for about 35 minutes. Allow to sit for about 45 minutes before cutting and serving.

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The finished product!

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I don’t give a kraut if you are Irish or Not…

Because in my world, you can eat like you’re Irish everyday!

St Patty’s Day may be over, but I am still getting requests for my corned beef reuben recipe! That’s okay with me…..you can make these fabulous corned beef reubens anytime you are feeling a little Irish!

I make these every year and have loved this recipe for as long as I can remember. It is simple, the beef is tender, and the flavor work so well together. I hope you love it!

Katie’s Corned Beef Reuben Recipe
Ingredients:
-Prepared Sauerkraut
-Marble Rye Bread
-Sliced Swiss Cheese

For the Corned Beef:
-3 bs corned beef brisket +spices that accompany beef
-1 large white onion, peeled and cut into quarters
-1 Bottle of Apple Cider Beef (I use Angry Orchard)

For the Sauce:
-1 cup mayo
-1 large garlic clover, grated and pressed
-1.4 cup ketchup
-2 Tbl sweet pickle relish
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-Salt and pepper as needed

Preparing the brisket:
Layer onion on bottom of crockpot, laying brisket on top (fat side up). Sprinkle with the pickling spices that accompanied beef. Pour beer over beed and cover, cooking for about 12 hours on low. You want brisket to be able to be shredded by fork when done cooking, so cook until it does. Shred when done to serve.

Preparing the sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and keep refrigerated. Trust me, it tastes so much better than the bottled thousand island dressing.

Putting it all together:
Butter one side of each slice of bread and top with the cheese, sauce, sauerkraut, and beef. I use a panini press, but you could use a regular frying pan. Serve with chips and a pickle and get ready for your family to ask for seconds!

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Leprachaun Trash

I know….that title is so appealing, right? Sometimes you shouldn’t change up a good thing and just need to call it what it is.

I shared earlier in the week on my Instagram that I had made (and eaten) leprechaun trash, and immediately I was bombarded by private messages for the recipe. I don’t blame you…it looks pretty and is super tasty, and both kids and adults alike love it.

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Here’s the easiest recipe in the world:

Katie’s Leprechaun Trash

Ingredients:
-4 tablespoons butter
-5 cups Lucky Charms cereal
-1 10.5oz bag of mini marshmallows + 2 additional cups
-Rainbow Sprinkles

Melt butter on low heat in a large pan, adding in bag of marshmallows until completed melted. Add in remaining marshmallows, allowing them to melt partially, then mix in cereal and stir until completely coated in the marshmallow mixture. Pour into prepared 9×13 pan and press into pan evenly. Sprinkle immediately, then allow trash to sit for about 2 hours before cutting.

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Easy, right? And very similar to a Rice Krispie treat!

I hope the leprechauns in your life love them!

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Let them eat pie.

Sorry Marie Antoinette….you may have wanted everyone to eat cake, but I’m over here pushing pie!

And not just any pie…delicious mini pies that are healthy and fit a vegan meal plan! Say whhhaaaaaaaattt??!!!

Since today was a refeed day (for those not doing the same program as me, this is a specific day where the carbs I eat change a little and I can have some white flour/sugar options that fall into the meal plan). When I knew this day was coming, I started to research what treats I wanted to have. I knew for sure I wanted to make chickpea brownies (they are delicious….I’ll have to share that recipe) and a few other recipes, but I kept coming back to one that sounded really tasty: no bake blueberry pies. Sure, I love pie! Let’s add that to today’s meal plan!

The end result: AMAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZIINNNNGGGGGGGG!

Let me share with you this easy recipe so you can make these delicious (and healthy) pies!

NO BAKE BLUEBERRY PIES

Crust Ingredients:
-2 2/3 cups gluten free graham crackers (I use Smoreables)
-1 Tbl pure maple syrup
-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil

Filling ingredients:
-3 1/2 cups blueberries
-1/2 cup coconut sugar
-3 Tbl cornstarch+3 Tbl water
-1 cup water
-2 Tbl lemon juice
-1 dash sea salt

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Here’s what you need!

Pulse graham crackers in a food processor (or blender if you have one that is higher powered) until ground finely. Add syrup and coconut oil to mixture and pulse to combine.

Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners. Place 2 Tbl into each cup, then press with fingers to mold into a mini pie shell. Place in freezer to set.

In a saucepot, add 2 cups blueberries, coconut sugar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until the blueberries burst (about 7 minutes). Mix cornstarch plus tablespoons of water into a mixture, then mix into the blueberries until mixture thickens. Turn heat off, then stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches room temperature (about an hour). After chilled, fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup of blueberry mixture, then refrigerate for 2 hours to allow pies to set. Enjoy!
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Those on a Fix inspired meal plan, one pie counts as 1/2 purple, 1 tsp, and 1 1/2 yellow.

Enjoy!

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Bidi Bidi Bom Bom

I’m a huge Selena fan, so when I first heard of the dish that I’m about to share with you, I instantly thought of this song and gave it a new name. I’m just weird like that! This song had one of the most iconic looks (fun fact: I’m considering this outfit for Halloween this year), and has such a fun, catchy beat!

Watch the video here!

Now that Selena’s song is stuck in your head (your welcome), here’s the recipe I had to share with you…..Bibimbap! It’s a dish my brother got my hooked on, and this particular recipe was in one of my Hello Fresh boxes awhile back. It fits in great with my current meal plan, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

BIBIMBAP
Ingredients for 4 servings:

-Zucchini
-8 oz Button Mushrooms
-2 large carrots
-4 Scallions
-Ginger (about a 2tsps…I love ginger so I use a bit more)
-4 cloves of garlic
-1 1/2 cups jasmine rice (you can sub cauliflower rice or brown rice if you prefer)
-2 Tbl sesame oil
-4 tsp sriracha
-6 TBL soy sauce (I use half that amount)
-20 oz ground beef

Wash and dry all produce. Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Halve zucchini lengthwise and slice into thin half-moons (I use a vegetable peelers to make zucchini ribbons). Thinly slice mushrooms and scallions, keeping scallion greens and white separate. Peel carrot, then use vegetable peeler to shave into ribbons. Peel and mince ginger and garlic.

Once water is boiling, add rice. Cover and reduce to a gentle simmer, cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, pickle scallions by tossing the scallion whites with vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside and let marinate. In another bowl, stir together sesame oil, 1 1/2 TBL sugar (I skip the sugar), half the sriracha, and 1 1/2 TBL soy sauce.

Heat drizzle of olive oil in a large pan. Add carrots, cooking until tender but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add a little more oil and add zucchini. Once those have been cooked, add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add a little olive oil as well as ginger and garlic, tossing until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add beef, cooking until no longer pink. Pour in remaining soy sauce.

Divide rice between bowls, then arrange beef, zucchini, mushrooms, scallion white mixture, and carrots on top. Garnish with the green scallions and drizzle with the remaining sriracha.

The awesome thing about Bibimbap is that there are several variations. Some have an egg, some have other veggies….it just depends! I love this recipe but encourage you to use the veggies you like so you really enjoy it!

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Recipe courtesy of Hello Fresh

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Sushi for Dessert? Yes, please!

A few weeks ago I ran across an article for an easy dessert sushi recipe that I absolutely had to try. It took all of a minute to make, and was delicious! Try it….especially if you have kids!

Here’s how I made my version of dessert sushi, but you could honestly customize it however you (or your kids) like!

Katie’s Dessert Sushi
Ingredients:

-Banana
-Peanut Butter
-Strawberries
-Graham Cracker
-Dark Chocolate Chips

Roll peeled banana in graham crackers, then slice lengthwise. You can also roll banana in coconut or rice krispies depending on what you like. Drizzle with melted peanut butter, then top with chopped up strawberries and dark chocolate chips. I use the brand Good Life for chocolate chips, which are great if you are looking for a dairy free, nut free, and soy free option, and I also used Smoreables in place of graham crackers!

Serve with chopsticks for a fun dessert experience!

The finished product! I didn’t roll the banana completely in graham crackers, but you can. 

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Katie Carbonara!

When you have Italian heritage in your blood, you tend to be all about that pasta life. This girl…..she sure loves her pasta, lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti…you get the picture.  I love a lllllllllllllll the pasta and don’t discriminate.

However….there’s this little thing called gluten intolerance, and I have it. Several years back I went completely gluten free because I was misdiagnosed as having Celiac disease, only to find out that I didn’t, just the intolerance. Still inconvenient, but whatever. I deal with it. Sometimes I really want something that is full of gluten, and it is worth the suffering and appearance of being 9 months pregnant after consumption to enjoy the carby heaven in that moment.

Besides the fact that gluten hates me, I know it isn’t the best option on my meal plan. As I’ve learned more and more about nutrition and how to fuel my body, I’ve found amazing substitutes that are much friendlier on my stomach. One of those: Banza pasta!

For those that haven’t tried Banza yet, it is a pasta made of chick peas and pea protein….and it also has about 25 grams of protein in a serving. Best part: it tastes like regular pasta. I am obsessed with it.

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Don’t worry…it comes in other pasta forms, not just shells!

It came in handy tonight when I started craving Carbonara like a crazy person! Since I am on a specific meal plan, I knew that legit Carbonara would not work. But…..I could make Katie Carbonara and still enjoy this dish while sticking to my meal plan!

Here’s how you make this easy and tasty dish:

Katie’s Carbonara
Ingredients:

-One box of Banza
-Ghee
-1 egg
-Olive Oil
-Italian Seasoning
-Cherry Tomatoes
_Meat (optional)

To make:

Cook Banza pasta in a salted water until cooked to your desired taste. Drain. In a saucepan, sautee tomatoes in olive oil, then mix in the pasta, a small bit of ghee, an egg, and a little more olive oil if needed. I like to get a little heavy-handed with the Italian seasoning, and sometimes I mix in a meat (cooked, drained lean ground beef or sausage). The egg makes it a little creamier, and it ends up being a satisfying meal. You can even mix in some spinach if you need to sneak some veggies in!

I love this recipe, and I hope you do, too!

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Look at this beauty!

 

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WTF is Mochi????

I heard this question about a billion and five times over the weekend once I shared on my IG story that I was enjoying a few flavors before starting a new workout program and meal plan on Monday. I was shocked how few people knew what it was!!! Let me educate you, my fellow ice cream lovers, because you deserve to have some Mochi in your life.

 

Vanilla Bean, Kona Coffee, and Green Tea Mochi

 

Mochi is a Japanese treat that is basically a sweet rice dough ball with an ice cream center…..sounds delicious yet odd, right? In Japan, mochi is a symbol of good fortune while also representing sustenance for those who may be in need due to the fact it is incredibly filling. While it has become popular around the world and available for purchase year round, mochi has been an integral part of the Japanese New Year celebration, a celebration going on since the late 700s. No one can confirm the exact origin of this treat, but  it is known that mochi was eaten exclusively by emperors and the aristocracy since the beginning of the Japanese New Year celebration, being nicknamed “the food of the gods.”

The main ingredient in mochi is Mochiko or Shiratamako rice (both variations of Japanese sweet short grain rice) that is used to create a dough to wrap around a ball of ice cream. The flavors are endless…..vanilla, coffee, strawberry, peanut butter, sesame, green tea….I could go on and on! And the best part…..each little ball is only about 100 calories! Yahtzeeeeeee!

 

Why are these so tasty?!?!?!

 

I discovered this treat several years back while shopping at a Whole Foods Market and instantly fell in love. There are several ways you can enjoy it; I usually just cut into it with a fork and knife, but I have used a toaster oven to change it up from time to time. If you choose to do this, you only need to put it in the toaster oven for about 8 minutes or so (you want the dough to puff up a bit and turn a golden brown) and can top with a mixture of soy sauce and sugar for a more traditional taste. If all else fails and you find yourself without an eating utensil, you can just eat them whole!

 

The perfect treat for those with a sweet tooth or ice cream addiction!

 

One thing I’ve learned about mochi: many people have never heard of it, but once they try it they can’t imagine how they lived life without it. If you are into ice cream, go get yourself some! They are traditionally about $1-$1.50 per ball and located in the freezer section of stores. Not all stores carry them, so do some research in your area if you are on the hunt. I presently buy mine at a local Whole Foods 365!

Go get some and tell me what you think!

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