‘Dinner’ Category

  1. Turkey Oatmeal Veggie Balls

    February 24, 2015 by Melanie Faris

    Turkey Oatmeal Veggie Balls

    When I was doing the Jamie Eason Livefit Program, I was always in search of clean meals that had lean meats & healthy carbs. I ate a lot of turkey, chicken, fish and eggs. Many of the recipes I used were actually from Jamie’s program, and they helped me to stay on track with my diet. Now that cooking is part of my job as a personal chef, I love using my favourite clean eating recipes as a base and build on them to make new recipes & flavours.

    This recipe was one that I  adapted from Jamie Eason’s Meatloaf Muffin recipe. It has always been one of my favourite’s, because it is SO easy to make, So delicious, and it FREEZES GREAT. With my due date being only 6 weeks away, it’s time to start stocking up the freezer with quick meals for when baby arrives. I changed up some of the measurements and added my own spices so that it has the texture and taste that I like best. I like to eat these with Franks red hot & a side of steamed veggies. Yum! Clean eating can be really easy & super fast. I hope you love these as much as I do. 

    Turkey Oatmeal Veggie Balls
    Yields 6
    A quick main dish that freezes great! Steam up some veggies on the side and you're all set. This will feed a family of 4 or 5, but I usually make a double batch so I have extra to freeze. It takes almost the same amount of time to make, so why not?!
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    35 min
    Total Time
    45 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    35 min
    Total Time
    45 min
    1. 1 package ground turkey, or chicken (450g)
    2. 3/4 cup large flake oats
    3. 2 eggs
    4. 1 bell pepper, chopped finely
    5. 1 small onion, chopped finely
    6. 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
    7. 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
    8. 1 tsp cumin
    9. 1 tsp oregano
    10. *optional spices - pinch of cayenne & red pepper flakes
    11. Salt & pepper, to taste
    12. 2 tsp olive oil
    1. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees.
    2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up) and drizzle a small amount of oil on the bottom.
    3. Chop the vegetables into small pieces & mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Form the mixture with your hands into 6 balls (approx. the size of a tennis ball).
    5. Place the turkey balls onto the baking sheet and drizzle them with a bit more oil.
    6. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes (or until cooked through at 165 degrees fahrenheit).
    1. Optional - turn the turkey balls half way through. This isn't necessary, but will give it a nice crust on both sides.
    2. You can add other vegetables to this recipe that you have in the fridge. Carrots, mushrooms, zucchini...etc.
    3. If you have leftovers, I like to put them in a bowl with chicken broth in the fridge. This way they are super moist when you reheat them again.
    Adapted from Jamie Eason's Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
    Melanie Faris' Blog http://melaniefaris.com/

  2. Chicken and Vegetable Curry

    January 9, 2015 by Melanie Faris

    Chicken Vegetable Curry

    It’s been a while since I have posted a new recipe. Today is the day! I’m excited to bring you an amazing chicken curry that I made last night for dinner. Indian curry? Thai curry? I don’t know what kind of curry it is, all I know is I used a bunch of curry spices and my house still smells like curry this morning. Must be pretty flavorful, right? Oh yes. If you like curry, this dish will be a new household staple meal. A word of advice – don’t skip out on marinating the chicken. It’s an important step! I was able to open my cupboard and pull most items I usually have on hand. Score! No drive to the grocery store. Plus, it’s super cheap to make if you are on a budget after Christmas. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
    xo Mel.

    Chicken and Vegetable Curry
    Serves 4
    A delicious healthy chicken curry that uses traditional curry spices with a touch of heat.
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    30 min
    1. 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
    2. 1 can of coconut milk (I used full fat, but you can also use light)
    3. 1 cup tomato sauce
    4. 1/2 cup vegetable broth (I cook my rice in the rest)
    5. 2 T. tomato paste
    6. 2 T. of coconut oil
    7. 3 garlic cloves, minced (plus extra for marinade)
    8. 1 inch piece of ginger, minced (plus extra for marinade)
    9. 1 orange, juice only (one half is used for marinade)
    10. 1 onion, chopped into wedges
    11. 1 bell pepper, chopped
    12. 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
    13. 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    14. 2 T. yellow curry powder
    15. 2 tsp cumin
    16. 1 tsp turmeric
    17. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    18. pinch of red pepper flakes (if you like a bit of spice)
    19. salt and pepper, to taste
    1. 1/4 cup olive oil
    2. 1/4 cup of coconut milk (use the rest in the sauce)
    3. 1/2 orange, juice only
    4. 2 small garlic cloves (or one medium), chopped finely or minced
    5. 1 small piece of ginger (approx 1 tsp chopped finely or minced)
    1. Rinse and chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl and set aside.
    2. Prepare and mix all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover and put in the fridge overnight, or a minimum of 1 hour. Save the rest of the coconut milk in the fridge for later.
    3. If serving with brown rice, start cooking this first so it is ready in time
    4. Heat a large pan with coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan once it is hot. Let the chicken sizzle and brown on the outside. The goal is not to fully cook the chicken. Remove from the pan once browned and cover with foil to keep warm.
    5. Turn the heat down to medium and add the vegetables, garlic and ginger to the pan. Add more oil if needed. Stir in all of the spices and let it cook until onions are translucent.
    6. Add all remaining liquid, tomato paste and orange juice into the pan. Let simmer covered on low for around 10 minutes, or until sweet potato is soft. Add chicken and simmer gently until it is cooked through (5 minutes or so).
    1. Tastes great served over rice!
    Melanie Faris' Blog http://melaniefaris.com/

  3. Warming Beef and Barley Stew

    October 27, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    warming beef and barley stew

    The other day I was stuck for what to make for dinner. Usually our dinners are not anything too extravagant. My go-to meals consist of cod (our favourite fish), or chicken, rice & veggies. We eat this often and it’s easy to make. I think people get the idea that I am always cooking incredible meals for Thomas and I. Sure there are days where I feel inspired, but to be honest, after a day full of cooking for others, I often just want to come home and throw a quick meal together, or order takeout if I’m really lazy lol.

    So as I was driving home from a day of cooking, a craving suddenly hit this pregnant lady. Stew. I wanted a big bowl of beef and barley stew (inspired by my Dad who made this occasionally for us growing up, even though he doesn’t like stew as much as Mom and I). I headed straight for the grocery store to get some key ingredients.

    Beef and Barley Stew Grocery List

    Fresh Produce Meat Packaged Goods
    Carrots Stewing Beef (0.5kg) Flour (Quinoa or W.Wheat)
    Celery   Package of Pearl Barley
    Small Package White Mushrooms   Olive Oil
    1 Onion   1 Can Tomato Paste
    Garlic   2 Cartons Beef Stock
    6 Small Potatoes (any)   1 Can Beans in Tomato Sauce
        1 Can Kidney Beans
        14 oz Diced Tomatoes
        Salt + Pepper
        Dry Thyme & Rosemary
        Bay Leaves
        Garlic & Onion Powder

    Most of these items you may already have in stock. Now that we have everything we need, let’s make our stew!


    Warming Beef and Barley Stew
    Serves 8
    A delicious stew that will fill your body with warmth and goodness.
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr 15 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 30 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    Cook Time
    1 hr 15 min
    Total Time
    1 hr 30 min
    1. 3 celery stalks
    2. 2 carrots
    3. 1 small package of white mushrooms
    4. 1 onion
    5. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    6. 6 small potatoes
    7. 0.5 kg of stewing beef
    8. 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons quinoa or whole wheat flour
    9. 3/4 cup pearled barley, rinsed
    10. 2 cartons beef stock (or replace one carton with mushroom broth)
    11. 1 can beans in tomato sauce
    12. 1 can kidney beans (large or small, your choice), rinsed and drained
    13. 1 can (14oz.) diced tomatoes
    14. 1 can tomato paste
    15. splash of olive oil
    16. 1 tsp thyme
    17. 1 tsp rosemary
    18. 1 tsp onion powder
    19. 2 tsp garlic powder
    20. 2 bay leaves
    21. salt and pepper, to taste
    1. Begin by chopping all vegetables.
    2. Wash and peel the potatoes, chopping into bite size pieces.
    3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
    4. Cut the stewing beef into smaller pieces if needed and place in a ziplock bag with 1/4 cup of flour. Seal and shake the beef so all pieces are coated.
    5. Add the beef to the pot with a bit of salt and pepper and brown all sides. Once browned, remove beef and set aside.
    6. Add a bit more oil to the pot and add all vegetables (except potatoes). Add salt + pepper, and remaining spices. Let them cook until soft (approx. 10 minutes).
    7. Add potatoes, barley, broth, beans, diced tomatoes and paste to the pot and turn heat on high. Stir.
    8. Throw in 2 bay leaves and let it come to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
    9. Once stew has cooked, you can whisk in the remaining flour to thicken if needed.
    1. Optional: serve with buttered bread to dip
    2. Hint: freeze leftovers for another day when you don't feel like cooking!
    Melanie Faris' Blog http://melaniefaris.com/

  4. Portobello Pesto Pasta

    November 28, 2013 by Melanie Faris

    Last night was one of those nights I did not feel like cooking. While searching through my fridge for something to make, I remembered the 2 Portobello mushrooms I bought the other day. I grabbed them out of the fridge, along with some Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Sounds perfect! I decided to make stuffed mushroom caps. I then realized we shouldn’t only eat mushrooms for dinner. What kind of wife would I be to serve my husband a mushroom cap? Although I’m sure he would appreciate it, his stomach would probably be grumbling after the last bite. So, I ventured back into the fridge to see what else I could find.

    I opened the fridge doors, and I kid you not, there was a monster in there! It stared at me saying, “I DARE you to eat me.” I’m not one to back down from a challenge. I grabbed that kale out of the fridge and ripped the darn thing apart. I threw all of the leafy pieces into a spinner and spun it till the cows came home (at least that’s how it goes out here in the country. In the city it might be “‘til the light turned green. That sound about right?). Anyways, that nasty kale didn’t stand a chance. But then I remembered my husband again, and realized kale isn’t exactly the best way to impress your husband with your dinner. So back to the fridge I went.

    I open the fridge one last time, and those fluorescent lights suddenly revealed a hidden gem. The time saver of all things, packaged perfectly in a little glass jar, half used and waiting to be finished off. Every chefs nightmare, but every wife who doesn’t feel like cooking and still wants to impress her newlywed husband dinner saver…Are you ready? Drums please! Dun dunuuuuh….It’s pre made pesto! Told you I didn’t feel like cooking anything! So into the cupboard I went next, and pulled out the brown rice pasta noodles.

    I lay everything out in front of me, and stare with satisfaction. This should work! I was a bit nervous that all of these ingredients would not bring the most satisfying dish I have ever made (especially with kale in pasta…that might throw it off). But, to my surprise, this simply was the best place I have ever used kale. I promise you, it really isn’t the monster most people make it out to be. And to be honest, I couldn’t even taste it! By the end of the meal I wanted seconds, but my husband had the rest on his plate. For a night that I didn’t feel like cooking, this sure tasted like a gourmet meal…kale and all!


     Portobello Pesto Pasta


    By: Melanie Faris

    Portobello pesto Pasta


    Serves 2

    Cook Time: Approximately 15 to 20 minutes

    Prep Time: 5 Minutes


    4 oz of 100% Brown rice pasta noodles. I used Spaghetti.

    2 Portobello mushroom caps, insides scraped out and roughly chopped

    4 Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

    3 Garlic cloves, minced

    1 Cup of kale leafs, hard stems removed, rinsed and thinly sliced

    2-3 Tablespoons of pesto sauce. Make your own if you have time. If you buy pre-made, check the ingredients. Make sure it does not have soy or hydrogenated oils added.

    2 + 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (2 at the beginning and 2 for the end)

    Splash of a good white wine

    ¼ Cup of grated parmesan cheese

    1 Teaspoons of sea salt (plus more for boiling water)

    1 Teaspoons of pepper


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    While waiting for the water to boil, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a large skillet on medium/high. Add mushrooms caps and let sauté for a few minutes. Once slightly browned, add kale and sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Sprinkle in the salt and pepper, give it a stir, turn heat down a bit and put a lid on to let everything cook together for around 5 minutes. Don’t forget to add your noodles to the water once it is boiling!

    Once everything in the skillet has cooked down and the kale is soft and bright green (approximately 10 minutes), turn the heat down to low and stir in the remainder olive oil, minced garlic, white wine & pesto sauce. Splash a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water into the skillet for extra flavor. Rinse off the pasta noodles once cooked “al dente” to remove the starch. Add the noodles into the skillet and pour the cheese on top. Mix everything together. Once the noodles are coated and mixed in with the sauce, you are ready to enjoy!