Friday, January 30, 2015

Salisbury Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy

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Man oh man, was this good. I think if I was stuck on a deserted island and I could only have one condiment for whatever I could scrounge up on the island, I would pick caramelized onions. Are they a condiment? Well, regardless--I'd pick 'em.
Despite the long list of ingredients and the lengthy instructions, this recipe really is pretty simple to make. It's just a little time consuming since caramelizing onions is a long and slow cooking process, but the result is totally worth it. The onion gravy is delicious on the moist meat patties. They are perfectly seasoned on their own, but taste even more delicious with the thick gravy on top. This is a perfect winter meal that would be really good over egg noodles (if you're not worried about your carb intake)! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Onion Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Meat Patties:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
To make gravy: Heat butter in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn light brown and are softened, about 15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the broth and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and continue cooking until onions are tender, about 10-15 more minutes. Add more broth as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, to make sure onions do not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once onions are tender, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in remaining beef broth and tomato paste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

To make patties: Mix ground beef, panko, salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and parsley in a bowl. Divide the beef mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into oval patties, about 3/4" thick. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until a crust forms. Add patties to the pan with the gravy and spoon gravy over top. Serve warm with mashed potatoes or egg noodles, if desired.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Healthy Chocolate Banana Quinoa Muffins (and an Alter Eco GIVEAWAY!)

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Healthy or not, these are the best muffins I've made in a long, long time. They're moist. They're packed with flavor. They're rich. They can be eaten for breakfast, a snack or dessert. They're absolutely amazing.
Alter Eco sent over some products for me to sample, and I was excited to whip something up using them. They always have the best globally crafted, organic products, so after all of the holiday indulgences I was roaring to get to the kitchen and use them. I was determined to use both the Organic Royal Black Quinoa and the Organic Mascobado Cane Sugar in one masterpiece, so that's what I did. I filled the rest of the gaps with delicious ingredients such as bananas, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The result was nothing short of amazing.
The bananas made these muffins extremely moist. The muffins themselves had a subtle chocolate flavor because of the cocoa powder, but in every bite you also get a smooth chocolate chip to send your taste buds soaring. The cane sugar gave them the perfect amount of sweetness, and you honestly could barely tell the quinoa was even in there. It added a little texture, but it didn't make the muffins taste any different; it only made them a little healthier! My boys and I loved (like loooooved) these muffins and I'm planning on making them again this weekend!
Now on to the GIVEAWAY!! Alter Eco is generously providing 1 (one) bag of Organic Royal Black Quinoa and 1 (one) bag of Organic Mascobado Cane Sugar to 1 (one) lucky reader of The Savvy Kitchen!! Enter below for a chance to win and make these delicious muffins on your own! Contest is open until February 4th at 11:59pm. Good luck :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open until Wednesday, February 4th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced February 5th. Contest open to US residents only. Winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Good luck!!

Note: Alter Eco graciously provided me with personal samples and the products for this giveaway. All comments and opinions are my own.

Printable Recipe

Makes 15 muffins
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic black quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with baking cups (you can also use mini muffin tins if desired). Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the bananas, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa power, salt, baking soda and baking powder. 

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (10-12 minutes for mini muffins). Remove muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Source: SK Original

Monday, January 26, 2015

Individual Beef Bourguignon Pot Pies

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I've always been a big fan of Julia Child and her recipes, and Beef Bourguignon is one of her most famous dishes that I've always wanted to try but have been intimidated by. I don't know if it's because I saw the movie Julie and Julia and witnessed what a disaster her Beef Bourguignon turned out to be; or if it's because I know how intense the recipe is and how long it takes; of if it's just because Beef Bourguignon is such an extravagant dish and I'm just destined to mess it up. But whatever it is, I haven't taken on the challenge yet.
So in an effort to save myself some of the stress from making Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, I made this copycat version and it highly exceeded my expectations. There are only a few steps and the directions are very straightforward! The recipe uses packaged beef tips for the protein, and that beef and gravy added a lot of complex flavors to the rest of the dish. It's also packed with tons of vegetables, which is always a bonus in my book. The wine gives it a rich, deep flavor, but the Dijon, thyme and rosemary brighten it up. My whole family loved these cute individual pot pies and I hope you do as well. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes 6 servings
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen small whole onions, thawed and halved
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Burgundy (you can use Merlot if you cannot find Burgundy)
  • 1 tbsp. stone-ground Dijon-style mustard
  • 4 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 (15 oz.) packages refrigerated cooked beef tips with gravy
  • 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 packaged refrigerated layered buttermilk biscuits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 6 ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add carrots, celery, onions, and pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes or just until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat. Add mushrooms, Burgundy, mustard, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Return skillet to heat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in beef with gravy and broth; heat through. 

Divide beef mixture evenly among the ramekins. Flatten biscuits so they are about the size of the ramekins and place one biscuit on top of each ramekin.

Bake for 7-10 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Garden

Friday, January 23, 2015

Healthy Protein-Packed Breakfast Cookies

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Chris is still on the hunt for something low-calorie, substantial and portable, yet flavorful, that he can take to work for breakfast in the morning. He's gone through the typical smoothie, oatmeal, fruit and yogurt, but none of those peak his interest anymore. That's where these cookies came from.
I know cookies are probably the last thing you think of when thinking of breakfast items. Until now. These are jam-packed with tons of protein and good-for-you fillers that will fuel you and curb your appetite. Feel free to switch up the nuts, seeds and dried fruit to suit your preference. The recipe below is mainly a guide, but these can be transformed into anything you want! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 3/4 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, oil and agave. Stir in banana. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Drop the dough in 2 tbsp. rounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Flatten with wet fingers and shape into circles. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Sesame-Ginger Chicken

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My new chicken obsession is chicken thighs. Dark meat is so tender no matter what you do to it, so if you often find yourself overcooking chicken so that it becomes dry and chalky, you should give thighs a try. You could seriously cook the crap out of them and they will still be moist. I dare you to try to mess up chicken thighs! It's practically impossible. 
My other obsession is the slow-cooker, so obviously this recipe was a game changer for me. The chicken became even more moist than slow-cooked chicken breasts usually become (I didn't know that was possible) and the meat was falling apart with a touch of my fork. The fresh Asian flavors in this dish make for a great sauce, so thickening up the cooking liquid at the end makes a perfect glaze. Feel free to go the chicken breast route if that's what you prefer, but I honestly think you should give thighs a try. Plus they're so much cheaper! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 5 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for serving
  • 2 tbsp. scallions, sliced, for serving
Add chicken to a slow cooker. Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender. Transfer chicken to a platter; keep warm.

Pour cooking liquid through a sieve into a small saucepan. Discard solids. Skim extra oil off the top of the reserved liquids with a spoon and discard.

Bring cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring with a whisk until blended. Return to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Gluten-Free)

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This month's Secret Recipe Club post is from Chelsy at Mangia. She really opened my eyes to a new way of eating. I like to dabble in some gluten-free recipes every chance I get, but everything on her blog is gluten-free and/or vegan. It's just incredible to me and I loved seeing how she transformed some of my favorite types of recipes to meet these diet restrictions!
Bradley loves eating Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins for breakfast, so I decided to narrow down my search and look for something similar. Luckily this recipes was staring me straight in the face, so I went for it. I don't think I have ever cooked a gluten-free dessert using almond flour and coconut oil (mostly because I thought it would drastically change the flavor and turn out dry), but this bread instantly changed my viewpoint on that. You could hardly tell the bread was gluten-free and both my husband and son enjoyed it. Chris even took a slice to work every day for breakfast! I ate this warmed up with some butter melted on top, and it was delightful. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup raisins
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, agave, vanilla and eggs. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined.

Fold in the raisins. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes (times will vary depending on oven), until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let the bread cool completely in the pan.

Using a serrated knife, run the knife around the edges of the pan and gently turn the pan upside down. The bread should fall out very easily. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted from Mangia Blog

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mixed Vegetable Frittata (Gluten-Free)

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Bradley isn't a fussy eater at all, but there are a handful of things that he just refuses to eat. Bananas (unless they're made this way) and carrots top that list. So if I can find a way to sneak these foods into something he does like...well, then we're getting somewhere.
Bradley and I sometimes meet my mom and her friend Jocelyn for lunch at La Madeline during the week. Bradley is a big fan of the Quiche Lorraine there, so I knew he would love frittatas since they're basically the same as a quiche but without the crust. I threw peas, broccoli and corn into the frittata since I know he loves those, but then I also snuck in some carrots. He had no idea and pleasantly ate an entire piece. Chris and I were huge fans of this easy dish as well. This is one to keep in your recipe binder since the veggies are interchangeable and it's an instant hit. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup baby carrots, sliced thin vertically
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a 9-inch ovenproof skillet, add oil over medium heat. Add peas, broccoli, corn and carrots and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk the milk, eggs, salt and pepper together. Stir in the scallions and cheese.

Once vegetable mixture is done, add the egg mixture to the skillet. Let cook for 1 minute or until edges begin to set.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until completely set. Cut into wedges and serve.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lighter Crispy Hunan Chicken

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Not eating rice (or eating a very limited amount of rice) is a huge adjustment for Chris and me. I'd say we make rice at least twice a week to accompany our meals since we usually eat Mexican or Asian dishes that just beg to be eaten over or with rice. But now that we're vowing to eat a little healthier, rice was the first thing to go from our dinners.
Luckily this Lighter Crispy Hunan Chicken was so flavorful and filling that it didn't scream to be served with rice. I mean, obviously it would have been better if it were sitting on a bed of rice to sop up all the juices, but we easily did without it. The chicken in this dish is extremely crispy, but I didn't need a ton of oil to get it that way. Just a little egg, a little cornstarch and a tad of oil were all I needed to get a rich crust. This is a great weeknight dinner dish that will have everyone going back for more. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Chicken marinade:
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes
Remaining ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups frozen cut broccoli
  • Cooked white or brown rice, for serving (optional)
For the chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce, egg, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Let sit for 15 minutes.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients together. Combine the chicken broth/water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper and crushed red pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken in an even layer and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until crispy and cooked through. Repeat in batches if all the chicken will not fit in the pan in an even layer, adding a little more oil if necessary. Once the chicken is cooked, put it in a bowl and set aside.

Add the onions to the skillet with the remaining oil, adding another tablespoon of oil if necessary. Cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the broccoli and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Lower the heat to low and stir until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.

Source: SK Original

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lighter Baked Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

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Chris and I don't typically make New Year's resolutions because they're often broken or not fulfilled and then it just makes us feel bad about ourselves. The whole stereotype behind a "resolution" just sounds intimidating. So instead of making a resolution this year, we both made "vows." We vowed to eat healthier and to try to work out more often. This way, we'll try our hardest to keep each other on track, but we aren't going to beat ourselves up over it if we fall short of our goals. It's basically the same thing as a resolution, but without all the New Year hype!
I had an eggplant leftover from when I made Eggplant Parmigiana for Christmas, so I decided to transform that dish into a lighter version to keep up with our New Year's vow. Not only was this healthier, but it was SO much easier to make than the traditional way. I didn't have to spend hours in front of the stove frying the eggplant. I just popped it on a baking sheet and let it bake! The eggplant turned out extremely tender and it was full of flavor. I didn't put as much cheese on each stack as I normally put in regular Eggplant Parmigiana, so that saved us some calories, too. Chris and I weren't the only ones who were diggin' this meal: 

Printable Recipe

  • 1 large eggplant
  • Salt
  • 3 large egg whites plus 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups warm marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 (8 oz.) ball Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4" slices
  • Fresh parsley or basil, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking rack on a baking sheet and set aside.

Cut the eggplant into 1/4" slices. Sprinkle lightly with salt and place on a paper towel for 15 minutes to allow the excess water to drain out.

Meanwhile, prepare your dredging station. Whisk the egg whites and water in a shallow bowl. Add the breadcrumbs to a separate bowl. 

Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg white mixture and then into the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Lightly drizzle the tops of the eggplant pieces with olive oil.

Bake eggplant for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and top with a thin layer of marinara sauce and a slice of Mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Stack two eggplant slices on top of each other and garnish with parsley or basil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Source: SK Original

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sloppy Joe Dip

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I've said it before and I'll say it again: Chris loves Sloppy Joe mix from a can. I proclaim myself to be a pretty good cook, so you would think I would be offended. But I'm far from it. If I'm in a rut for what to make for dinner, I know I can always defrost some meat from the freezer, brown it up with some Sloppy Joe sauce (since I now keep it on hand) and my dear husband will be thrilled. It's a win-win for the whole family.
With football season coming to a close, it's only suitable to prepare fun dips to eat while watching the big games. Throwing Sloppy Joe mix in with some Velveeta created the most flavorful, creamy dip. The ground beef added some substance to the dish and made it very comparable to Chris' favorite sandwich. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Sloppy Joe sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) box cream cheese
  • 4 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • Chips or crackers, for serving

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onions, and bell peppers until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the beef mixture and add it back to the pan.

Add the Sloppy Joe sauce, cream cheese and cheese to the pan with the beef mixture. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately or transfer to a slow cooker set to low to keep warm.

Serve with chips or crackers.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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Bradley was sick on New Year's Eve, so instead of my parents babysitting so that Chris and I could go to dinner with friends like we originally planned, Chris and I decided to spend the night at home with our baby. After putting Bradley to bed at 8:00, we went down to the kitchen and cooked ourselves a feast that included ribeye steaks, sautéed mushrooms, macaroni and cheese and roasted brussels sprouts. I also whipped up some strawberry bellinis and this chocolate cake, since you can't ring in the New Year without something sweet :) It was a perfect evening.
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake reminds me of Molten Lava Cakes. Have you seen those? They're individual mini cakes that look like a fully cooked solid cake, but then you stick your spoon in the middle and a gush of gooey warm chocolate oozes out. It's pure decadence. This cake was almost the same thing, but served in one big dish instead of individual portions. The warm, fudgy pudding part is my favorite since it makes the cake extra moist and rich. Everyone will love this cake. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • Vanilla ice cream, if desired for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a pot of water on the stove to very hot (just under a simmer) or microwave water for 2 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup of the cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into an lightly greased 2-quart ceramic dish or a 9-inch square baking pan (if it's a non-stick pan, you don't have to grease it) and spread evenly.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup cocoa and mix well. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter in your dish or pan. Pour the hot water over the top – but do not stir!

Bake 35-40 minutes if using a 2-quart dish (or 30-35 minutes if using the 9x9 pan) – or until the center is almost set. Remove your dish from the oven and allow it to stand for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, spoon the cake into individual serving bowls – making sure to spoon the fudgy sauce from the bottom of the pan over the top of the cake. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired and serve immediately.

Source: A Family Feast

Monday, January 5, 2015

Open Face Meatball Sub on Garlic Toast

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I've been wanting a new photography board to take all of my food pictures on for some time now, and Chris was thoughtful enough to surprise me with a board he made me for Christmas. So it was only suitable that my first picture on my new board was a concoction Chris came up with!
I had both of our families over for Christmas dinner and made a typical Italian feast. Eggplant Parmesan, Lasagna and meatballs in homemade marinara sauce (both with and without meat) were on the menu. We had tons of leftovers, so Chris made these Open Face Meatballs Subs for dinner the next evening. He spruced up the bread with a garlic butter mixture and then topped it off with some Mozzarella cheese. They make you feel less guilty since less bread is involved, but they are still extremely filling and delicious. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Makes 2 servings
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 8 meatballs, cut in half
  • 4 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • Italian or French bread, cut into four 1/2" slices
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Make marinara sauce as directed, or use store-bought sauce and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. Add meatballs to the sauce and allow to heat through.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler to medium heat. Mix hot melted butter and garlic together. Spread butter mixture on both sides of each slice of bread. Place under the broiler for 1 minute per side, or until the bread is toasted and begins to turn light brown. Remove from the broiler.

Place bread on a baking sheet. Top each slice of bread with four meatball halves and a little sauce. Sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese evenly over top of each slice.

Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese beings to bubble. Serve immediately.
Source: Chris Original

Friday, January 2, 2015

Avocado and White Bean Dip

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I used to be an avid runner before Bradley was born, but I don't think I ran more than three times in 2014. I just always came up with excuses. We live in a townhouse and our treadmill is in our bedroom, which is right above Bradley's room, so it's impossible to run while he's napping because he'll wake up. And I don't like running outside too much, so that's usually out of the question. I could go to the gym when Chris gets home from work, but by then I just want to hang out with my family. See? Excuses.
I'm starting off the year with a healthy recipe in an attempt to jump-start my healthy lifestyle again. I want to get back into running and eating better, and this is the time to do it! This dip is delicious and a easy mid-day snack to prepare. I usually find myself noshing on granola bars, chips or something else that is not figure-friendly, so I'm adding this to my new repertoire of snack recipes. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 (15 oz.) can white (cannellini) beans
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Vegetables, crackers or chips, for serving
In a food processor, blend the white beans, avocado, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and cayenne. Blend until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add more oil if you want to thin out the consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve with vegetables, crackers or chips.

Source: SK Original