turkey burgers.

once upon a time i was a vegetarian.

whether this was a good idea or a bad idea is still up for debate.  i love the idea of being vegetarian, mostly for the humanitarian reasons, but it can be a pretty tricky regime to stick to and definitely not for everyone.  unfortunately for me, i just wasn’t getting enough (or any for that matter) protein in my diet and was always feeling tired and sluggish.  so, i slowly started incorporating some meat back into my diet a couple years ago to get my energy up.

since un-vegetarianizing, i’ve pretty much stuck to chicken or turkey and stayed away from red meats.  but, now that the weather is warming up and barbecue season is upon us, it’s getting harder and harder to resist sinking my teeth into a juicy, homemade, grilled burger.

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after contemplating giving in to eating ground beef, i decided that i can probably make homemade turkey burgers that are equally as delicious. so, that’s indeed what i did.  last night for dinner, i made these yummy (and healthy) burgers:

ingredients (serves 4):

-1/4 cup minced garlic
-1/3 cup red onion
-1/3 cup pepper
-1/3 cup chopped spinach
-1 tbsp cajun spices
-450 g ground turkey
-4 hamburger buns
-salt & pepper to taste

directions:

  1. in a bowl, combine all ingredients.  stir until evenly mixed.
  2. shape the mixture into 4 patties.
  3. grill the burgers on a barbecue (or non-stick skillet) under cooked through.
  4. remove from heat, add bun, and serve with your choice of toppings.  ENJOY!

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^^combine all ingredients.

IMG_2683^^stir until thoroughly combined.

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^
^shape into patties.

IMG_2688^^grill ’em up!

IMG_2692^^serve! (i added caramelized onions + chipotle mayo).

IMG_2691^^bbq’d potatoes (tossed in olive oil + chipotle) made for the perfect side.

we added a light salad and baked potatoes to our meal and voila!  could that have been any easier??  you bet i’ll be making these again throughout the summer!

happy monday all!!

banana cinnamon muffins.

since i’m on the go so often, i’m always looking for new snack recipes.  this weekend i was looking to make something that i could take with me as i run out the door, that will fill me up, but won’t weigh me down.

i realized that my batch of bananas had over-ripened, so naturally i wanted to bake something with them…in comes banana cinnamon muffins.

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these muffins only took 10 minutes to prepare and taste even better than i thought they would.  coming in at under 150 calories, they are both delicious and healthy since they are low on butter and sugar, with the sweetness coming from the bananas.  don’t be afraid to make your own variation of this muffin by adding extras like chocolate chips, raisins, or walnuts.

i took a couple with me to work yesterday and they filled me right up for a long day of running around.  yum!

happy monday everyone!!

 ingredients (serves 12 muffins):

-1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup applesauce
-1/3 cup sugar
-3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.  line muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. in a large bowl, mix together butter, apple sauce, and sugar.  add the egg and continue to beat.  mix in mashed bananas.  stir in milk and vanilla extract.
  3. in a seperate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended.
  5. spoon batter evenly between the muffin cups.  bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. cool & enjoy!!

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^^wet ingredients.


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^^mashed up bananas.

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^^add the milk to the wet ingredients.

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^^dry ingredients.

IMG_2640^^gently fold the ingredients together.

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^^all mixture to muffin cups.

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^
^and enjoy!!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter & instagram:  @thefitpalette.
 
“i’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” -maya angelou

spring cookies.

in the spirit of easter and the beautiful spring weather, i decided to whip up some sugar cookies this weekend.

as i mentioned here, i had some work commitments this weekend in the city, which meant i had limited time to spend with my family.  luckily i had friday free, so i took a short road trip out of the city to spend the day with my nearest and dearest.

IMG_2616^^feeling a lot like easter at my grandparents house.

since i didn’t want to show up at my grandparents empty handed, i decided these sugar cookies would be the perfect treat to bring.  the night before i left, i quickly made the dough and refrigerated it overnight.  when i woke up in the morning, i took the dough out of the fridge and baked the cookies.  once the cookies were baked and cooled, i packed myself up and headed out of town for the day.  since i would be hanging out with my sister and cousin for the day, i decided to wait to decorate the cookies with them.

these cookies are super easy to make, don’t take too long, and decorating them is a hilariously fun activity to do with friends.

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dough ingredients (makes 3 dozen):

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg, beaten
-1 tablespoon milk
-powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

directions:

  1. sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  set aside.
  2. place butter and sugar in large bowl and beat with electric mixer until light in colour.  add egg and beat to combine.
  3. on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from side of bowl.
  4. wrap dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. preheat oven to 375.
  6. sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar.  remove dough from fridge and sprinkle pin with powdered sugar.  roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.
  7. cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet.  bake for 7-9 minutes.
  8. remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and move to complete cooling on wire rack.

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^^getting the surface ready to roll out the dough.

IMG_2531^^rolled out to 1/4 inch thick.

IMG_2532^^cutting out the cookies.

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^
^cut out and ready to be baked.

IMG_2539^^awaiting for the cookie to cool.

icing ingredients:

-4 cups powdered sugar
-3 tbsp meringue powder
-5 tbsp of warm water

directions:

  1. sift together powdered sugar and meringue powder.
  2. add water as you stir to create a mixture with the consistency similar to toothpaste.
  3. divide mixture into 4 and add one drop of food colouring to each and stir.
  4. place coloured icing into pastry bags, squirt bottles, or ziploc bags (depending on your personal preference).
  5. outline each cookie with icing, then fill in the rest.
  6. let dry and ENJOY!

IMG_2564^^icing pre food colouring.

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^^one drop of food colouring and mix.

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^^fill ziploc bag with icing sugar and cut a teeny hole in the corner.

IMG_2565^^getting out the decorations.

IMG_2589 ^^start by piping the edges, then fill in the inside.

IMG_2597^^the final product! yum!!

even though i wish i could have spent more time with my family this weekend, i’m grateful for all the fun memories and laughs i snuck in with my family and friends this weekend!

happy monday everyone!!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette.

“the only real stumbling block is fear of failure. in cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” -julia child

healthy oatmeal raisin cookies.

oatmeal raisin cookies are like the ugly stepchild of cookies; always taking the back seat to the beloved chocolate chip cookie.

i never thought i would see the day when i admit to loving oatmeal raisin cookies, but ever since having one from tim horton’s a couple years ago, i’ve been hooked.

as good as the tim’s cookies are, i know they are loaded with a ton of sugar.  since i’m always looking for a healthier way to make the foods i love, yesterday i decided to try out a sugar-free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe and was more than happy with the result.

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not only are these cookies filling, they are the perfect thing to grab when you are craving something sweet, without putting yourself in a sugar coma.  like i mentioned in this post, i’ve given up chocolate, chips, and cupcakes for lent, so a batch of these are exactly what i need right about now.


ingredients (serves 2 dozen):

1 cup raisins
1 peeled & grated apple
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1&1/2 cup cooking oats
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
**1 tablespoon maple syrup (if desired)

**(i decided not to add any sugar or sugar substitutes, but if you feel like you need to add a little sugar kick to these cookies, try adding 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to sweeten them up).
directions:

  1. in a medium saucepan, combine raisins, apples, and water.  bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.  remove from heat and stir in butter and applecause.  set aside to cool.
  2. in a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda.  stir in vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple mixture.  fold in the oats.
  3. cover bowl with lid/aluminum foil and leave in freezer while preheating over.
  4. preheat oven to 350 degrees.  grease cookie sheet.
  5. once oven is preheated, remove bowl from freezer and drop rounded spoonfuls of mixture onto prepared cookie sheet.
  6. bake for 8 to 10 minutes.  allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. ENJOY!
step 1. combine apples, water and raisins.

step 1. combine apples, water, raisins, butter & applesauce.

step 2.

step 2. mix flour, backing soda, eggs, vanilla & apple mixture.

add nutmeg and cinnamon for flavour.

add nutmeg and cinnamon for flavour.

step 3.

fold in oats.

step

step 4.  spoonfuls of mixture, ready for the oven.

cool and enjoy!

cool and enjoy!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter & facebook: @thefitpalette

“no one is born a great cook.  one learns by doing.”

lemon raspberry muffins.

i’m the first one to admit that i am a picky eater.  and i’m ok with that.

delicious lemon raspberry muffins.

delicious lemon raspberry muffins.

until a couple years ago, i refused to eat potatoes or rice.  i didn’t like steamed vegetables.  i hated when my food touched.  seafood was a definite no-no. i ordered subs that consisted of lettuce, cheese, mayo, and sub sauce.  the list could go on and on, but you get the point –we’re talking real plain and picky here.

i’m happy to report, that although it’s still a work in progress, i’ve begun trying new foods, and have even grown to love potatoes…(i know, baby steps).

in my attempt to diversify my food portfolio (but, don’t be fooled, i’ll never abandon my love for crackers and cheese), i’ve started to become more comfortable in the kitchen and actually enjoy preparing my own meals.

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yesterday i made these lemon raspberry muffins (both delicious and easy to make), which were based off of this recipe i found on pinterest.

ingredients:
1/8 cup butter, room temperature (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup butter, but i substituted half of that with greek yogurt)
1/8 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (skim if possible)
1.5 tablespoon lemon zest
1.5 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups raspberries (frozen or fresh)

for the crumb topping:
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons brown sugar

step 1.  wet ingredients.

step 1. wet ingredients.

step 2.  dry ingredients.

step 2. dry ingredients.

step 2.  mix wet and dry ingredients.  fold in raspberries.

step 2. mix wet and dry ingredients. fold in raspberries.

step 3.  pour mixture into muffin tin.

step 3. pour mixture into muffin tin.

step 4.  add crumbs.

step 4. add crumbs.

directions:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. line a muffin tin with liners and set aside. combine butter, unsweetened applesauce, greek yogurt and sugar in a large mixing bowl then beat for 1 minute (mixture will look curdled). add eggs then beat to combine. add milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla then beat to combine.
  2. in a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. add to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing until just combined before adding the next batch. add raspberries then gently fold into batter.
  3. fill prepared muffin tin cups 3/4 of the way full with batter.
  4. in a separate bowl mix crumb topping ingredients together with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffins then bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. serve with butter, a cup of fruit, or nothing at all because they are just that good by themselves. enjoy!
enjoy!

enjoy!

don’t forget to follow me on twitter and instagram: @thefitpalette

“people who love to eat are always the best people.” -julia child