May 2015 Archive

Cinnamon Paprika Sweet Potato Fries
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Call me crazy, but I’ve never really been a huge fan of white potatoes.

To me they seem dry, pasty and chalky.

What??!!

I know that’s what you’re saying right now.

But I could easily pass on a plate of potatoes, even if you doused them in butter or sour cream.

Just not my thing.

Not to say that I wouldn’t eat them if you invited me to your house, but they’re just not my favourite side dish of all times.

Sweet potatoes on the other hand?

Absolutely delish!

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Unlike normal white potatoes, I could live on sweet potatoes.

It always boggles my mind when people say that they don’t like sweet potatoes.

Naturally sweet, oozing with flavour and super healthy!

How can you pass up on all that goodness?

One of my favourite ways to do sweet potatoes is in the form of baked sweet potato fries.

It’s such a quick and easy side dish. And always one of my go-to’s if I’m not quite sure what to make for dinner.

I don’t even look at a recipe anymore. It’s sooo easy!

Put a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika and cinnamon and a dash of sea salt.

Baking the fries in the oven just has this way of bringing out this amazing natural sweetness.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Cinnamon Paprika Sweet Potato Fries

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Wash the potatoes and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes into ½ inch wide strips. Place potato strips into large bowl.
  3. Drizzle the potato strips with olive oil and sprinkle in the cinnamon, paprika and salt (optional). Toss the potatoes until well coated with the mixture.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned.

Nutrients per serving: (includes salt):

• Calories: 197 • Fat: 10.7 g • Carbohydrates: 25.3 g • Fibre: 3.9 g • Protein: 1.4 g  • Sodium: 299 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Elysia, XOXO
Boyfriend Jeans

Boyfriend jeans have quickly become my latest fashion obsession.

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I never really realized how good guys had it until I tried on a pair of these pants.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good pair of skinnies for the shapeliness they provide (especially around the booty).

But sometimes it’s nice to just slip on a pair of jeans that don’t stick to every single inch of my leg. And then I get that whole pulling, tugging dance thing going on. I might as well just rock out to some tunes while I do my pants dance.

And it’s not just in the morning when I’m getting dressed that I have the battle with the jeans.

It’s every single time that I need to take my pants off and then put them right back on again.

Getting changed.

Going to the washroom.

Going to the gym.

By the end of a long day of battling my pants, I am seriously exhausted.  

I dream of baggy sweatpants.

That’s really what I like about the boyfriend jeans.

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The looser fit.

The fact that I don’t have to do my little hip dance to wiggle into them.

AND the fact that they look super cute paired with sooo many tops, and shoes!

Once again, I fell victim to the Joe Fresh attack, and picked up these jeans one Saturday several weeks ago after mentally assessing every single pair of shoes and tops that I could pair with them.

I love pairing boyfriend jeans with flowy or lacy tops. It just helps to balance that masculine, unkept look with something a little more feminine and pretty.

Which is what I’m ALL about.

Have I mentioned that they also look amazing with heels?!

But then again, they would also look great if you went with more of a sporty look.

Sporty shoes. A baseball cap. Cute tee.

You get my gist.

I’d totally do it both ways, depending on my mood.

I had fun pairing my boyfriend jeans  with a nude flowy top that I had from Costa Blanca (which is now closed, tear), and a pair of nude heels from Forever 21. Then of course, my Betsey Johnson purse, which I am completely in LOVE with.

Does it get any cuter than that?!

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It just completely makes the boyfriend look a whole lot more girly. Good ol’ Betsey!

How do you like to wear your boyfriend jeans?

Elysia, XOXO
Lean Chicken Meat Loaf Muffins
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I’ve gotta tell you something.

I’m not much of a morning person.

It’s not that I necessarily have huge issues getting up…

Well, I take that back.

Some mornings my bed is just soooo comfy that I want to lie there and never get up. Especially in the winter.

When it’s freezing. But let’s not go there…

My point is, I’m not one to hit snooze over and over again. Usually five minutes after my alarm clock goes off, I can pull myself out of bed. But for some reason, I just can’t seem to move very fast.

I’ve assessed this many many times and I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m just slow in the morning.

I like to putz around.

Unfortunately, when trying to fit in a full-time job, a work out 4-5 times per week, driving 3 hours every other weekend to see my boyfriend, running a blog (among the 50 million other things I have to do), I just can’t afford to putz.

That’s where my famous Meatloaf muffins come in.

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Meatloaf muffins are my lifesaver when it comes to prepping quick and healthy meals.

Plain and simple.

I’ve eaten them for lunch, dinner, snacks and even breakfast sometimes.

It’s just that quick source of get-in-my-belly type of protein. You know what I mean, right?

Believe me, if it wasn’t for my precious meatloaf muffins, I’d be scrambling around like a madwoman every morning (more than I already do).

And let me tell ya. You’re not the first one to receive this recipe. This recipe has been around.

I’ve given it to athletes, clients, my mom, my dad, my boyfriend, friends, AND I make it for road trips. You name it. I’ve done it. And It’s MY personal secret for getting a quick dose of protein when I don’t have time to cook big elaborate meals.

Plus, they’re perfectly portion-controlled!

Aren’t they cute?

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I’m going to be honest here. Sometimes, I find that just plain old chicken breasts can be rather tasteless and choke-it-down DRY. These little meatloaf muffins are a tasty alternative to those dry-as-the-desert chicken breasts, while still being a lean protein option.

Usually I make a batch of these muffins and freeze them and it pretty much lasts all week! Well only if you don’t eat them all at once. Which is tempting, but not recommended.

Lean Meat Loaf Muffins

Yield: 12 Meat Loaf Muffins

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. hot sauce, plus more to sprinkle on top
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine oats and milk in a medium size mixing bowl. Mix well. Let stand for 3 minutes or until oats are softened.
  3. Stir in hot sauce until well mixed. Add chicken, carrots, onion, eggs, and salt. With fork, mix ingredients well.
  4. Divide chicken mixture into muffin cups filling 2/3 way full.Top each muffin with marinara sauce. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.

Notes

Freezing Directions:

Bake as directed above. Remove from muffin pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place on a baking sheet and flash freeze. Place in a freezer bag, label and freeze. To serve: reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes or allow to thaw in the fridge.

Nutrition per serving (for 2 meatloaf muffins):

• Calories: 164 • Fat: 6.6 g • Carbohydrates: 9.2 g • Fibre: 1.4 g • Protein: 17.3 g • Sugar: 2.5 g • Sodium: 354 mg • Cholesterol: 100 mg

Elysia, XOXO
Slimmed Down Chicken & Spinach Pizza
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So let’s talk about pizza.

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? Especially a good pizza that’s good for you?

Unfortunately, many pizzas are loaded with heaps of cheese. Think three cheese deluxe.

Or wrapped with bacon and smothered with a choice of three more meats.

And loaded with so much greasiness that you need to blot it with a paper towel.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of slippery pizza.

And then of course, there’s maybe one mushroom or green pepper to add a bit of colour.

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I like to customize my pizza so that there’s a bit of crispiness, some protein to fill me up, and of course some veggies for the extra bulk and fibre so that I’m not starving after two slices.

And did I mention ricotta cheese? Adding ricotta cheese is my little secret for adding some creamy decadence to my pizza without all of the fat associated with dousing the pizza in loads of greasy cheese.

I also love a quick easy meal.

Enter the pita pizza.

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It’s super balanced because it can be made in less than 20 minutes.

I call this the no-excuses pizza because you can make it in just as much time, if not less, than it takes to call the pizza delivery guy.

If the pizza guy is on speed dial, you seriously need to check out this pizza.

Slimmed Down Chicken & Spinach Pizza

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 100% whole wheat pita
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp. light ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. shredded fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place pita on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over pita. Spread oil evenly over the surface. Top the pita with marinara sauce and spread over the surface, leaving about half an inch around the edge.
  3. Evenly distribute spinach and ricotta cheese on top of the marinara sauce.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over chopped chicken breast and toss to coat. Distribute chunks of chicken evenly over the pizza.
  5. Top with a light sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned and crispy. Enjoy!

Nutrition per serving (for half of a pizza):

Calories: 218 • Fat: 6 g • Carbohydrates: 22 g • Fibre: 3 g • Protein: 19 g • Sugar: 3 g • Sodium: 339 mg • Cholesterol: 38 mg

Elysia, XOXO