Tag Archives: #dinner

Meatballs for everyone!

And when I say everyone, even those of you who don’t eat meat!!!!

Yesssssss that means these meatballs are meatless, and while that may sound strange, trust me, they are DELICIOUS!!!! Now I need to say this…I don’t typically seek out meatless recipes. I am a hardcore carnivore, and I love meat with every meal. However, I saw a friend post about these eggplant meatballs, and I had to try them, especially since I follow a “veggies most” mentality.

I know what you are thinking….eggplant meatballs, gross! Just try them….because I was prepared to hate them, and I freaking love the things.

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Look at this plate of deliciousness!

Eggplant Meatballs
Ingredients:

-3 cups fresh eggplant, dice into small pieces (you can leave the skin on the eggplant)
-1/4 cup fresh basil
-2 Tbl EVOO
-1/2 cup breadcrumbs
-1 tsp salt and pepper
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese
-1 tbl garlic powder
-1 egg

How to make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan, cook EVOO, eggplant, salt and pepper over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften the eggplant. After eggplant is softened, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to food processor and pulse with the basil until eggplant is in smaller pieces. Combine eggplant with parmesan, bread crumbs, garlic powder, and egg. Stir until well combined. Roll mixture into balls and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes until “meatballs” are golden brown and firm to the touch. Serve over zoodles or pasta with marinara or your homemade sauce!

If you are struggling with veggies, try these. If you love eggplant, try these. Just try them!

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Super easy to prep for the week!

 

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Drop everything and go buy a Sushezi.

After talking about doing it forever, I FINALLY checked something off of my never-ending bucket list: I made homemade sushi.

Honestly, I have no idea what took me so long, but I will tell you this: I have been a sushi making crazy person this entire week!

I think deep down part of me thought that it would be very involved and challenging to make my own sushi. Where I got that from beats me. The truth is…..making your own sushi is really quite simple, especially when you have my sushi secret weapon: the SUSHEZI!

One of my best friends had purchased this for me (I tend to like gadgets), and as I read various Pinterest articles on how to make the sushi without a device like this, I questioned if it would even work. So many of those kitchen gadgets are duds that I thought this might not do what it was supposed to.

The concept behind this kitchen tool is to load each side with the sushi rice (the kind I use is this brand) then push down the middle section where you will then place the ingredients you have chosen for your sushi. Once completed with your ingredients, close the Sushezi, and, using the rod that comes with it, twist several times to pack the rice. After that, you are ready to push the sushi roll out onto your nori sheet.

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The assembly of the Philadelphia roll has begun!

I cannot tell you how easy it was to use this gadget! The sushi roll came out perfect onto the nori sheet, which I then rolled using a damp towel (my bamboo mat was nowhere to be found). I was beyond pleased with the final presentation….they looked legit!

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If you have been holding back from making sushi, do yourself a favor: go buy the Susezi and start creating sushi masterpieces. It really made the process easy and enjoyable, and the sushi tasted delicious after being chilled in the refrigerator for a bit!

Let me know what you think after you get one!

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My sushi handiwork.

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Crack Chicken Soup

You guys know I love my crack chicken…..I shared a recipe awhile back for my easy Instant Pot Crack Chicken (get that recipe HERE), so when I stumbled across a recipe for it in soup form, I figured it was an absolute must to try. The recipe is incredibly easy and one everyone will be begging for over and over.

Disclaimer: This isn’t a soupy soup…it is more of a creamy pasta soup, if that makes sense. If you are looking for something with a lot of liquid, you may want to change up this recipe a bit.

INGREDIENTS:
-2 carrots, diced
-2 stalks celery, diced
-1/2 yellow onions, diced
-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped (no seasoning)
-8 oz spaghetti noodles (I used whole wheat)
-2 tablespoons EVOO
-1 32oz box of low sodium chicken broth
-1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
-1 cup half and half
-1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
-1 package dry ranch seasoning mix
-salt and pepper top taste

TO MAKE:

Heat olive oil in stockpot with carrots, celery and onion. Mix in seasoning packet, then add broth and condensed chicken soup. Add spaghetti noodles, then slowly add the remaining ingredients (with the exception of the cheese and half/half), cooking for about 15 minutes or until spaghetti is cooked and veggies are tender. Finally, add in the half and half and cheese, cooking for about 3 more minutes. The spaghetti will act as a thickener, hence why it isn’t as liquidy as your typical soup. Top with crumbled bacon (if you prefer) and a sprinkle of cheese before serving.

Wasn’t that easy?

ENJOY!

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All prepped and ready for the week….just need to top with bacon and cheese before serving.

 

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It’s an Impasta!

My fellow Italian friends……

Wouldn’t it be so fab if pasta was good for you? One can wish, right?

Since I started making healthier changes and coming to realization that I have a gluten intolerance, I have been on a mission to find as many healthy versions of Italian inspired recipes that I possibly can. There’s one that has been on my radar for awhile, and I FINALLY made it last night: Zucchini Ravioli!

You guys…..these were so delicious! Here’s the recipe!

ZUCCHINI RAVIOLI
Ingredients:
-4 zucchini
-1/4 cup fresh parmesan
-1 cup low fat ricotta
-1 egg
-2 Tbl fresh oregano
-1 clove garlic
-1 1/2 cup marinara (unless you prefer more sauce)
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

To make:

-Preheat oven to 375, greasing 9×13 baking dish. Spread some marinara on the bottom of the dish.

-To make the “pasta”, cut zucchini in half (lengthwise), then use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into thin “noodles”, peeling until you reach the center. It’s okay if they are thin or uneven.

-For the filling, mix the ricotta, egg, oregano, and parmesan in a bowl. You can use other spices if you prefer (many recipes call for basil in place of the oregano).

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-To assemble the ravioli: layer two pieces of zucchini with another two, placed perpendicular. Your zucchini noodles should look like a plus sign. Spoon about a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into center of zucchini, then fold toward the center, starting with the the vertical pieces, then the horizontal. Once folded, place the ravioli seam side down in the baking dish.

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Your ravioli should look like this:

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Once ravioli have been placed in dish, top with marinara and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Top with parmesan if you like and serve!

****A few things to share****

-Don’t go for large zucchini. I made the mistake of trying to use a homegrown one that was ginormous, and because of the size, it was harder to make the noodles. Medium sized work best. Size does matter!

-You can use a mandolin over a vegetable peeler if you want. I personally found the peeler much easier.

-You can change up the filling. Next time I think I will mix in some Italian sausage because I typically do a meat/cheese option in my ravioli. You could also use spinach or veggies.

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This was a fabulous swap, and I highly recommend it. You’ll be seeing this on my meal plan many many times!

Enjoy!

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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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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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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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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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Jack-O-Peppers!

I don’t normally do back to back recipes, but since it’s been awhile AND Halloween is just around the corner, I wanted to share a fun twist to one of my go to recipes: the stuffed pepper!

A few years ago I shared my recipe (you can access it here), and it has remained a constant on my meal plan over and over again. Stuffed peppers are so much fun because you can change up how you make them based on your likes. Sometimes I use rice, other times I use quinoa. Sometimes I use black beans, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I season with taco seasoning, other times I don’t. Be creative with them!

I wanted to turn the pepper into a little jack-o-lantern to be festive, and it was surprisingly easier than I thought. All you need is a sharp paring knife (I use one from Pampered Chef that was the perfect size), and sub in orange peppers in place of the green peppers!

If you are the kind of person who usually tosses the “hat” or top of the pepper, don’t this time. Make sure when you make the cut you do so relatively close to the top so there is plenty of room to fill with your stuffing AND so it resembles the top of a pumpkin. Remove the innards (I call it the pepper brain).

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Using your knife, “carve” your pepper pumpkin.

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Prepare your stuffing mixture, then fill your pepper pumpkin.

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Place pepper pumpkins in a 9×9 pan (or larger if you are making a larger batch). Place top on each pumpkin and bake for about 40 minutes at 300! Your family will love them, and you’ll be hooking them up with a healthy and festive dish! Enjoy!

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Eat Chili when it’s not Chilly….

Anyone else love some chili?

I could take or leave plain old chili….I eat it about once a year, and I’m good with it.

White chicken chili on the other hand….I could eat that for weeks on end without complaint!

My meal plan this week included my delicious 21 Day Fix Approved White Chicken Chili, a favorite not only because of its zesty flavor, but because it involves dumping everything in a crockpot and letting it do all of the work.

Here’s how you make it!

                                                  Katie’s White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

-1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
-1 15oz can of Great Northern Beans
-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-2 cans of canned corn
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-32 oz of chicken broth
-1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
-1 can green chiles (I use Old El Paso)

Throw all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for about 5 hours. Do not drain the corn or chiles. Once it is done cooking, mix in 8oz of cream cheese.

I garnish with a dollop of plain Greek Yogurt (if you don’t care about healthier options you can do sour cream), shredded cheese, green onions, and a few crushed up tortilla chips.

****If you like thicker chili, don’t use as much chicken broth. If you use the 32 oz it will have a more soup-like consistency.

Super easy, guys, and so so so good…plus you can freeze it for a day you are in the mood for it!

Try it and be happy 🙂

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