Feed Your Face Friday: Tomato Basil Pizza

You’ve had a long day, and you’re craving junk food. Good old, greasy, cheesy, saucy, crispy, savory junk food. But you’ve been doing soooooo well this week, eating (pretty) healthy, not giving in to your stomachs cravings for burgers and ice cream. And on top of it all you’ve saved lots of money just by eating at home each night! We’ve all been there. Some of us, well, more often than others. I surely have.

That’s why I make sure to keep some pizza crusts, cheese, sauce, and some basic ingredients available in the house to make pizza with on nights when the craving for college-kid-food strikes hard.

Here’s the thing about pizza. It gets a really bad rep for being “junk food”. And in most cases, it is. I mean, how can you say that a deep dish 12″ pie smothered in sauce, cheese, extra pepperoni and grease (amongst some peppers and mushrooms to qualify as your “veggies” for the day…) is remotely healthy? You can’t. But, when using the right items, your pizza craving doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice to your diet/body/wellbeing/wallet.

Introducing one of my favorite pizzas –

tomato basil pizza3

All it takes is some low carb thin pizza crust, a little pizza sauce (who are we kidding, we all know it’s just marinara in a different label), fresh roma tomatoes and freshly cut basil leaves…and of course some mozzarella. Nothing goes with tomatoes and basil like mozzarella. ❤

tomato basil pizza1

Not only is this actually sort of healthy, but it’s way more cost effective than getting a massive pizza delivered. The crusts I use are also small, which means I can cut down the chance of myself overeating (read – eating an entire large thin crust pepperoni & onion pizza by myself).

tomato basil pizza2

psst….sprinkle some fresh ground peppercorn on top before baking to add a little extra flavor!

What’s your junk-food-turned-“healthy” hack?

signature

Advertisements

Feed Your Face Friday: Hello Fresh Review

Happy Friday!!! TGIF amirite?!

It’s been awhile since my last FYFF post, mostly because I honestly haven’t been cooking that often…. >_> whoops. But, luckily for me, there are multiple different subscription-based services that make cooking super easy and simple. Say hello to Hello Fresh! (psst! stick around to see how you can get $40 off your first order!)

Hello Fresh is a subscription-based food delivery service that creates amazing recipes and delivers all of the awesome fresh ingredients right to your door! Every week, you get to choose how many (or how few) meals you’d like to get delivered, and you can choose exactly which ones you want to cook. You can also opt to skip a week of deliveries, which would be great for if you’re planning a vacation, or if you only use Hello Fresh as a “oh my gosh I don’t feel like going grocery shopping this week” option.

I decided to just try out 3 meals for the week, and picked out the ones that looked the most appealing for Zach & I. I chose the Mozzarella Crusted Chicken, Rapid Stir-Fried Beef & Broccoli, and Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos.

img_7324

All of the ingredients arrived on the day that I scheduled them to arrive – yep that’s right you can even decide exactly what day your items arrive! – in a big box that was packed up tight with cold packs to keep all of my ingredients as fresh and chilled as possible. Each of the recipes have their own box containing everything needed to create your handpicked yummy (and healthy) meals.

I opened up each recipe box just to make sure everything was there and looked good – and oh my gosh everything was perfect! All of the ingredients were nice and cold, which was good considering my items included meats like chicken and beef and dairy like sour cream. Even the produce looked nice and fresh, the tomatoes didn’t even look bruised at all!

hf-review-mozzarella-crusted-chicken

The recipes were super easy to follow, and turned out tasting awesome! Just for funsies I took comparison pictures of the recipe in the book vs. the one I made. Surprisingly enough my creations actually looked decent. (obviously I need to work on my plating though 😉 )

The mozzarella crusted chicken was easy and yummy, and I actually loved the roasted tomatoes – which is saying something because I absolutely loathe any tomatoes unless in sauce or ketchup form.

hf-review-rapid-stir-fried-beef

I was excited that I was able to have such a broad range of recipes, it allowed me to get things that both Zach and I love (he’s addicted to Chinese food and I to Mexican). This not only allowed the best of both worlds but brought a great variety to the meals. Say goodbye to boring repetitive meals!

We made the stir-fried beef and broccoli at the end of the week because, well, I couldn’t resist the idea of having my very own Stir-Friday (shout out to Archer fans ❤ ). While I wasn’t a fan of the beef, overall the dish was super yummy. I probably would’ve just seasoned the beef a little bit more.

hf-review-sweet-potato-tacos

Did I mention that all of these amazing recipes were ridiculously easy to make? Like, ohmygosh they look awesome and restaurant-worthy (and again, HEALTHY) but I was able to make them all in about 30 – 45 minutes! Which is great considering I get off work at 7. So normally me getting off late meant not eating until nearly 10 or 11, but with these meals I was sitting down to eat by 8:30 – 9!

It’s kind of amazing how just having everything gathered together and ready to go makes cooking easier.

Have I mentioned that I’m in love with Mexican food? Almost any time, day or night, you can ask if I want a burrito and I will say HELL YES. But typically my burritos are definitely NOT meat free. That being said, I am obsessed with these sweet potato & black bean tacos. ❤ They’re so fresh and spicy but sweet all in one. The sweet potato is a surprisingly great addition to a taco.

img_7330

And of course, a special shout out to the design of the recipe booklet itself. It’s so beautifully set up and designed, just looking at the booklet gets me all excited to get cooking! Included is also a little info about the nutrition per serving, which includes the basics like calorie count and carbs per serving. Great for if you’re trying to watch how many calories/carbs you’re taking in.

Overall, I think Hello Fresh is a great service. While it may seem costly – about $60 per week for 3 meals for 2 people – they provide great, fresh ingredients and awesome recipes to go along. And although you only get enough to really make a serving (maybe 2 in some cases) per person, it means that you’re cutting out leftovers yes. But for people like Zach and I, leftovers often just get forgotten in the back of the fridge. Therefore having fewer servings means wasting less! Plus, if you’re watching your waist, not having a lot of extra food means you won’t even be able to overeat during your meal.

It may seem expensive (again, $60 a week for 3 meals – or $100 for 5) to be subscribed to Hello Fresh, think about how much money you spend at the grocery store per week. On average, a 2 person household spent anywhere between $73 – $143 on groceries every week in 2014. You also have to consider how much you end up spending on items you don’t even actually need every time you go shopping – you can’t say that tub of double fudge brownie ice cream is something you actually planned on getting.

I also look at it as a great way to branch out and try new dishes. These are things that you might come across on Pinterest – and then never try, if you’re like me – or in a cookbook or magazine that you’d buy or never pick up if you actually own it. Plus, once you’ve used the ingredients to make your meals you’re still left with all of the recipes for what you cooked, plus the other options that you had available to choose from for that week. So if you really like something, you can remake it (and use them during a week that you skip on Hello Fresh). I know I’ll definitely be doing the sweet potato tacos again soon!

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for – how to get $40 off of your first order! All you have to do is CLICK HERE FOR YOUR DISCOUNT!

Have you guys tried a food service like Hello Fresh? What did you think? Would you do it again/regularly? Let me know in the comments below!

signature

*I am not affiliated with or being paid by Hello Fresh, nor am I receiving any other form of compensation by the comapnie/s mentioned in the post above. the referral link above is a $40 discount, but will also earn me $20 on my account* 

Feed Your Face Friday: Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins

Happy Friday my Geeks! How about some muffins? I found this recipe on Pinterest for Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins by Jo-Ann over on her blog Food Wanderings, and Zach and I tested them out a couple of weekends ago. It was quite a bit of prep work, but worth it in the end. 🙂

scm fin1

Muffin Batter: 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk (original recipe used 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp beaten egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Streusel:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter, cold

scm before1

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Streusel Topping:

  • Sift the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Whisk together. Add the cold butter and mix with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse wet sand. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Muffin Batter:

  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Whisk together. In another bowl, beat the milk, oil, egg and sugar. Stir the dry ingredients into the milk mixture gently. Do not overmix. The muffin batter will be slightly lumpy.
  • Scoop a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cupcake liner. Sprinkle a few pieces of strawberries. Add a dollop (about a heaping teaspoon) of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle a little of the cinnamon streusel on top of the filling, followed by another layer of the muffin batter. Add a few more pieces of strawberries. Lastly, sprinkle the cinnamon streusel on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

scm after1

Don’t they look amazing? I seriously wish you guys could’ve smelled how amazing my kitchen smelled while these babies were baking!

They do take a little bit of prep work, but honestly it’s totally worth it, and it makes a fun Saturday-morning activity for a couple. Plus, having two people work on all the separate parts makes it go by a lot faster!

Let me know if you try them out! Got a recipe you’d like me to try? Let me know in the comments below or over on my contact page!

till next post, Katie

 

FYFF: Orange Chicken & Fried Rice

Good afternoon and happy Friday everyone! Who’s ready for Chinese food? (beside’s Zach…he’s always ready for Chinese…ha!)

orangechicken

Next to General Tso’s Chicken, I’d have to say that Orange Chicken is my absolute favorite thing to order from any Chinese place. So, I figured I’d try my hand at making some at home! I relied very heavily on this recipe from Pioneer Woman’s website, but made a couple of small changes here and there. And then on the side I made my own yummy fried rice.

While she fries her chicken to get that yummy crispy coating, I used the same method I used on my General Tso’s Chicken. This cuts out having to deal with hot oil (and makes it a tiny bit healthier).

Ingredients:

For the Chicken –

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • Panko (you can use bread crumbs if you want, like I did with the General Tso’s)

For the Sauce –

  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • Dash of Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons minced Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons plain Gelatin
  • Green Onions, sliced

For the Rice –

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Day old Rice
  • Soy Sauce
  • White Vinegar
  • Ground black Pepper, to taste
  • Frozen peas & carrots

…whew! Now that we’ve got all of those down…let’s get started!

How To:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Coat the chicken in flour, dip into the egg, then coat in the panko. Place pieces onto baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes and set aside
  3. Put the orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic and ginger in a small nonstick skillet and whisk together. Heat until bubbling and starting to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the gelatin, let simmer until thick and rice is done cooking
  5. In a separate skillet (or wok if you have one), cook the garlic until fragrant, then add eggs.
  6. Once eggs are done, add in the rice & slowly add soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, peas and carrots until everything is combined and the soy sauce has gone through all the rice (making it brown).
  7. Toss the pre-baked chicken in the sauce, serve immediately with a side of fried rice. Garnish with green onions.
  8. Enjoy!

This was by far the most in-depth thing I’ve cooked so far for you guys, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!

Note: I used gelatin in my version because after going to the store and starting the sauce, I realized that I didn’t get any cornstarch like recommended in Pioneer Woman’s recipe to thicken the sauce. So instead I tossed in a couple of teaspoons of the gelatin to help it thicken up and had to boil it down for a few extra minutes while the rice cooked. However, it worked out well for me because it covered all of the chicken really well, and stuck to it like glue. And, the leftovers were still coated in it the next day!

I would definitely recommend popping over to the Pioneer Woman’s page to get the full and original recipe! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! ❤

till next post, Katie

Feed Your Face Friday: General Tso’s Chicken

Happy Friday guys! We made it! It’s been a while since our last FYFF. And to celebrate, let’s make some yummy Chinese food. General Tso’s Chicken is probably my second favorite thing to order from a Chinese place (the first being Orange Chicken). But, we all know how eating out constantly isn’t healthy – for our bodies or our wallets. Luckily we live in a world where we can find all sorts of recipes online and also find pre-made sauces in our local grocery stores (and also have access to the ingredients to make the sauce from scratch if we want).

generaltsochick

I decided to take the easy road and buy a sauce from the store, but the healthier road by baking the chicken rather than frying it to get that yummy crunch.

Ingredients:

  • Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
  • Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • Bread crumbs or Panko
  • Minced garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Broccoli*, whole or chopped
  • Carrots*, chopped
  • General Tso Pre-made Sauce**
  • Cooked White Rice

How To:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Coat the chicken in flour, dip into the egg, then coat in the bread crumbs/panko. Place pieces onto baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes & set aside
  3. Heat a little bit of Sesame oil in a wok (a large pan will do) & cook the garlic until fragrant
  4. Add Broccoli & Carrots, cook through
  5. Add the baked chicken, pour in enough of the pre-made sauce to coat evenly
  6. Remove from heat and serve over fresh white rice

*I used frozen veggies, simply because it’s cheaper for me to buy them in bulk and be able to keep them in the freezer since I don’t use them very often, but you can definitely use fresh veggies!

**I also used a store-bought pre-made sauce, but there are lots of recipes online so you can make your own from scratch (I blame this on my laziness…lol)

This is sooooo easy to make and absolutely delicious! I hope you guys try it, and let me know if you’ve got a good recipe for a General Tso sauce, I’d love to test it out!

Got a recipe you want me to try? Let me know & I’ll give it a go (and give you & your blog – if you have one – a shout out!)

till next post, Katie