Healthy Alternatives: Playing With Phyllo

Finding healthy alternatives can be challenging sometimes, especially when you’re a major newbie at paying attention to nutrition OR a picky eater like ME lol! But I’ve been stumbling across some pretty amazing recipes that make it easy to stay on track with my goals and are equally delicious.

My latest obsession started after testing out the arugula & pesto pizza from HelloFresh (enter promo code KYLIE1 to get 40% off your first box). It’s probably one of the quicker meals to make AND was a surprising alternative to pizza which is a huge deal in our family because it’s D’s fav meal.

Not only was it incredibly delicious, but it used phyllo dough instead which made the meal ten times lighter and extra crispy 🙂 PLUS it contains less fat so WEIGHTLOSS WIN!!! With that being said, I am still trying to figure out how to cook with phyllo dough and not get overly frustrated lol (FYI it rips easy because it’s so freakin thin!). As for the toppings, we added pizza sauce, pesto, zucchini, arugula with a homemade dressing and nuts, and feta cheese. YUUUMMMMM….

Honestly, I’m glad I have leftovers so I can have more today… it was THAT good. We’ll be making this soon but have thought of a few other ingredients to add to enhance the flavor so I will post the recipe once we perfect it. In the meantime, head over to the HelloFresh website and check it out. It’s convenient and when we run out of meal ideas, this is who we turn to!!

Happy eating!!

Ps. This is NOT an ad. I’m just a genuine lover of HelloFresh and literally could not NOT share this delicious secret 🙂

Creamy Garlic Chicken Penne

If you know me then you know I LOVE my pasta. And even though D and I try to keep it healthy 80% of the time, every now and then I like to whip up a meal like this without feeling guilty.

I started playing around with making my own sauces mostly so that I have the option to substitute some ingredients with healthier choices, or add more flavour if I have to. This recipe isn’t perfect BUT it’s still super delicious 🙂

What You Need:

  • 1 box of SMART penne by Catelli (375g) – can use whole wheat penne for an even healthier choice
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 broccoli heads
  • 4 garlic cloves minced (or garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter – can use vegan butter as well
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches of basil
  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese

Prepatation:

Start by cutting the chicken breasts into cubes. Drizzle some oil in a frying pan and add the cubed chicken. Cook on medium (for now) and add the salt and pepper. I also add some garlic powder as well.

Next, in a large pot, boil some salted water and add the dry penne. Meanwhile, cut up your broccoli, and once the penne has had time to soften, add it to the water.

When the pasta and broccoli is cooked, drain and return all the contents to the pot and cover to keep warm. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through (I turn up the heat for the last ten minutes to brown it), you can add it to the pot as well.

In the same pan you used for the chicken, add in your butter, heavy cream, garlic cloves, and the flour. If there’s excess oil leftover from the chicken, make sure to wipe it clean before starting the sauce. Cook on low-medium heat and whisk until sauce is smooth. Add flour as needed to thicken the sauce – I recommend doing a tbsp at a time. At this point I’ll also add salt and pepper and the basil. When I do a taste test, if I feel like it’s too bland, I’ll add some more garlic powder too.

Once you’re satisfied with the consistency of your sauce, mix the parmesan cheese into your pot. I like to dish my pasta into a bowl before pouring the sauce over it. That way I can control how much or how little I’m consuming.

You can also garnish your dish with some fresh chopped parsley or thyme.

Enjoy friends 🙂

Protein Packed Peanut Butter Balls

Sunday dinners with my family are always my favourite time of the week. We get to visit with each other, eat good food, and even share some laughs. Last weekend was no different – we got lucky and were spoiled with a delicious dessert that was far from a guilty pleasure, which is a huge bonus! So naturally, I stole the recipe from my uncle and tried it myself!

I love everything about these bite size snacks – they’re quick and easy to make, super healthy for you, and leave your taste buds in a frenzy….LOL in other words they’re DELICIOUS!! Not to mention they’re also a good choice for those busy days when you don’t have time to make a full breakfast. I will definitely keep my freezer stocked at all times with these protein-packed peanut butter balls 🙂 Enjoy!!

What You Need

  • 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (almond butter works too)
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup dried raisins
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup organic raw cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips)
  • 1/3 cup ground almonds

Preparation:

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Really try to blend all the ingredients so that you end up with equal parts in each ball. Cover bowl with saran wrap and chill for about an hour.

When it’s done, line a baking sheet with some wax paper and form tablespoon-sized balls. Place them on the baking sheet and freeze for at least 3 hours. Once they’ve set, you can put them in a plastic bag and store them in your fridge or keep them in the freezer. Remember to take them out for a few minutes before serving as they will be a little on the hard side at first 🙂

Until next time my friends…

 

The Most Delicious Orzo Recipe EVER!

Get ready to try the BEST orzo dish EVER!! My mom used to make this when I was little and she passed her recipe off to me when I moved out. Now I make it when I have to feed a lot of people because it’s QUICK and EASY. Although, it’s more of a guilty pleasure than anything…you’ll know what I’m talking about once you see the ingredients! With that being said, lately I’ve been inspired to take some of my favourite recipes and switch out ingredients to make them healthier so I can stay on track with my fitness goals so stay tuned – you could see a modified version of this soon. 🙂

This recipes feeds about 4-5 people.

What You Need:

  • 500g dry orzo
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of salted or unsalted butter
  • Two 900ml boxes of Campbell’s Chicken Broth – (I use the one with 30% less sodium…makes me feel slightly better about eating this meal)
  • 1-2 heads of broccoli chopped
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • fresh garlic minced (or garlic powder)
  • fresh basil
  • 1-2 cups of parmesan cheese

Preparation:

You’ll need a large/deep frying pan as the orzo will expand quite a bit.

Start by melting your butter on medium heat. I find that 1/2 cup goes a long way, but I add another 1/4 cup if needed. Add the orzo and stir. The goal is to brown the orzo, so make sure to stir every few minutes.

Once the orzo is nice and brown, cover the pasta in chicken broth (start with 450mL). Once it absorbs, add a bit more. Repeat this until the orzo is tender. I usually end up using at least 1 box (900mL) of chicken broth for this. After about 10 minutes, add the chopped broccoli and cook on medium heat until all the broth is gone. You may have to turn the heat up on the stove to speed up this process.

While the orzo is cooking, cut up your chicken. In a seperate frying pan, cook the chicken on medium – high heat. Add some salt and pepper, fresh garlic (or powder), and the fresh basil. I never measure out my spices – I just add as I go – so this part is really all about preference.

Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, and the orzo is to your preferred tenderness, add the chicken into the orzo and stir.

The last step is to add the parmesan cheese. I LOVE cheese so I always say “the more the better”, but again this part is all about preference.

Once you have it all mixed together, it’s time to dig in! Be prepared to fall in love with this dish as much as I did when my mom made it for me 🙂 It’s also a great side dish to pair with steak and a vegetable – just take out the chicken and the broccoli.

Enjoy friends!

 

 

 

Beef Stew – Slow Cooker Recipe

Meal planning in the winter is so hard for me because as soon as the temperatures go below -20, all I want is soup. This beef stew is so delicious, but it is also the perfect meal for a cold winters day. Also, I really love using my slow cooker, and since this is the first meal I learned how to make in it, I figured it was fitting for my first food blog!

Now I’m not going to say this is super quick and easy to make. Maybe I’m just slow, but it takes me almost an hour to prep everything before I even turn the slow cooker on. I usually make this on Sunday’s when I have all day, and I’ll make enough to last us a few days, so I guess you could say it’s convenient in that sense.

What You Need

  • 4 – 5 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 celery sticks chopped
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 3 – 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • stew beef (two packages from the grocery store is enough for us)
  • 900mL of Campbell’s low sodium beef brother
  • 2 tbsp of worcestershire sauce •2 – 3 bay leaves
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 rosemary sprigs chopped

If I’m being honest, I eyeball this recipe now so if you cut up 3 potatoes and think that’s enough, then go with it. The amounts of everything really depends on how much I want to make or rather, how long I want to be eating stew for!

Once all your vegetables are peeled and chopped, mix them up in the slow cooker. I usually add in some vegetable seasoning and some salt and pepper. In the past I have added way too much and it’s turned out really spicy, so don’t go crazy…unless you’re into that sort of stuff lol! I also add in the minced garlic at this point.

Next, I cut the stew beef into smaller pieces. Then I dredge the meat and cook it on high in a frying pan until the outside browns a bit. I also add some steak spice for flavour. Once this is done, I mix it into the slow cooker with the vegetables.

Once you hit this step, the hard part is done. Now all that’s left to do is add the rosemary, beef broth, worcestershire sauce, and your bay leaves. I also mix a bit of flour with some water and add it before I turn the slow cooker on – I watch the thickness and add as needed. Cook on high for four hours, and get ready for your house to smell amazing!

xoxo