Posts Tagged ‘Oatmeal’

  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

  2. Breakfast Baked Oatmeal

    May 7, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Breakfast Baked Oatmeal

    I love Wednesdays! Sure, it may seem like a regular mid-day, half way to the weekend kind of day to most, but not for me. Wednesday is Thomas’s day off, and my favourite day of the week for this reason. Every Wednesday we get to hang out for the entire day! Or most of it at least…

    Our day today started off on a really good note…

    Breakfast. Get your head out of the gutter.

    I hopped out of bed at 7:30 AM. My taste buds were craving oatmeal this morning. Both Thomas and I love to have oatmeal for breakfast, and we have it on a regular basis. Since today was a special day of the week, I was making special oatmeal. I have wanted to experiment with baked oatmeal for a while, and today just happened to be the day for it!

    I slaved away in the kitchen for hours putting this recipe together. Not. (Don’t tell Thomas, but this extravagant breakfast only cost me 5 minutes in the kitchen. The rest of my time was spent on the couch sipping on my Dandy Blend watching the rest of “Saving Mr Banks” that I was too tired to finish last night.) PS. I still didn’t manage to finish it since the oatmeal was done baking in only 30 minutes.

    The aroma in my house was incredible. I think I’m going to chuck my candles in the trash and start making this breakfast daily instead. Thomas just so happened to hop out of bed when the baked oatmeal came out of the oven. It even brings the dead back to life…no promises, but it worked for Thomas so it’s worth a try ;).

    The rest of our day was filled with raking, weed picking, stick gather and garden creating. There are still piles all around our house, but at least we got a good start on it all. Now I’m going to pour myself a hot tea and go back to the couch and attempt to finish this movie for the 3rd time. The movie is great, but I love food more. Nothing can keep me on the couch when food about to be served! Hehe.


    Breakfast Baked Oatmeal


    Breakfast Baked Oatmeal

    Click here for the printable version of the recipe

    Serves 2

    If you need to make this oatmeal for more than 2 people, just simply double the recipe. It may take a bit more time in the oven, but it’s well worth the wait.

    Prep Time: 5 Minutes

    Bake Time: 30 Minutes



    1 cup of large flake oats

    1 cup of almond milk (fresh is best)

    1 apple, grated

    ¼ of dried cranberries

    ¼ cup of raw walnuts

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    ½ tsp cinnamon

    coconut oil (for greasing)

    maple syrup (*optional)



    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil.

    Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour the mixture in the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

    Scoop the oatmeal in your favourite breakfast bowls and enjoy with a splash of cold almond milk and maple syrup if desired.



  3. The Beginning of Food Wars. Battle # 1.

    January 15, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    It is January 2014 – a brand new year! With the new year brings new ideas and a fresh start. I am sure many of you reading this have set new health and personal goals for this year. I am with you on that! In fact, Thomas and I sat down just before January 1st and wrote down our goals. I bought one of those dry erase marker boards (not that I plan on erasing our goals when they get tough), so we could write them out and look at them daily. It is something I highly recommend doing. It is important to remind yourself daily of what you want to achieve. You won’t believe how fast you reach your goals when they are staring you in the face every day. You can do it!

    Sometimes setting new goals are quite the challenge (or rather reaching them). I was staring at my goals the other day, excited to begin, but a bit nervous. I know that everything is achievable, but I also know it won’t always be easy. One of my goals is to focus on developing new healthy recipes for my blog and cookbook. I really want to help you (and me) reach your diet related and fitness goals! I am aware that many of you find food and diet a bit of a struggle in your daily life. What do I eat? How can I lose those extra pounds? What is a healthy alternative for my favourite unhealthy food?! Well, fear not – Melanie is here to your rescue! I am equipped with my apron, spatula, spoon & clean ingredients and I am ready for a challenge. I think I have discovered a fun way to help you make better choices each day with the food you eat.

    Welcome to Food Wars.


    Melanie Faris Food Wars

    The is a new challenge beginning with a New Year (especially great for all you healthy resolutioners!). I hope to continue Food Wars throughout the year with many battles, especially if you enjoy battle #1. This isn’t your typical game, and it is a bit risky. I am asking you to try a popular food product and compare it to my own healthy recipe; Let’s face it, the food industry does a darn good job making their products look and taste amazing! I only wish the ingredients were as enticing…It may take a little effort on your part, but I hope you see the benefit of entering the battle grounds (especially if you are serious about eating healthy). Book your “battle time” on your calendar and make a commitment to yourself to try this.

    If you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is visit my Food Wars Page to read the rules of the battle. If you are up for the challenge, that page will lead you right back to here: The Beginning of Food Wars. Battle #1. Ps. You get a delicious recipe out of it AND a chance to win a prize! How awesome is that?! You also get to help me with my recipe for my future cookbook by letting me know what you think of it. I NEED your help with this. All advice from you is greatly appreciated and encouraged. I know you all like a little “healthy competition” once in a while too…right? Quick – go read the rules then come back. *If you are ready to begin after reading the rules and details, scroll down below for all the information you need on the Battle #1.

    Food War. Battle # 1 Details


    Okay, so you are ready to begin the challenge. You have committed to enter the battle grounds and be the Judge of both competitors. Are you ready to do this? Let’s go!

    You have until January 31st to complete this battle if you want to be entered to win the prize. The winner will be announced February 1st on Facebook or by email. *Make sure you like my Facebook Page or subscribed to my blog by email if you don’t have Facebook!

    The Prize: A $25.00 gift certificate  to Alcona Beach Health Shoppe to help you with your healthy resolutions for the New Year! You can buy many ingredients that I like to use including: Goji Berries & Coconut Sugar (and many other healthy ingredients and products).

    Like their Facebook page too for healthy tips!

    I know for you busy folks, Food Wars may sound like a lot of work, but why don’t you think of it this way – you will have 6 healthy snacks ready to go for the week! And if you have kids, they have something super healthy to snack on too. Skip the drive-thru and think about how happy your body will be with you. One step closer to your healthy goals with quick grab-and-go nutritious food. Preparing healthy food is one of the most important things to do so you don’t set yourself up for “failure in the food court” or “failure at the drive-thru.” If that isn’t worth the 30 minutes this will take you, I don’t know what is!

    Let’s learn about our challengers:

    Challenger 1: Melanie Faris’ Goji Oatmeal Muffin


    For all that struggle with finding healthy snacks or being tempted by the drive-thru, I have created a  brand new recipe (Goji Oatmeal Muffins) to help you with your 2014 “eat healthy” resolutions. These muffins are the perfect snack to bring with you to work, school or to enjoy at home. You’d never know it by their size, but goji berries are huge in terms of nutrition and health benefits. Think of a problem, and these little guys probably can help with it; Low iron? Goji berries can help. Low metabolism? Goji berries. Need energy? Goji berries. Gojo berries are so powerful that they can even prevent and help diminish cancer. Wow – why are we just hearing about these things now?! They are full of antioxidants, tons of vitamins, minerals and health benefits. No wonder these little berries are called superfruits.

    I think it is pretty obvious why I went with goji berries as an ingredient in the first battle of Food Wars. They are powerful little guys! Not only do they taste good, but they sure know how to fight against the bad guys and defeat sickness. Hopefully they will win you over too after trying a bite of my Goji Oatmeal Muffin.

    These muffins are Gluten Free, Packed with Nutrients, and…“Fit-Chick” Certified (okay, I made that one up, but hey, I eat them! Does that count?) Hehe.

    To see a list of ingredients, please refer to the recipe below. But first, let’s meet Challenger #2.

    Challenger 2: Tim Horton’s Whole Grain Raspberry Muffin


    We have all been there – sitting at the drive-thru screen, trying to decide what the healthiest thing to order is. I know I have done this many times, and a muffin just sounds like the right thing to order. Plus –  if it is a whole grain muffin, that sounds even better…right? Well after digging a little deeper and researching the ingredients, I wasn’t happy with Tim Horton’s so-called “healthy choice” they recommend.

    Challenger #2 comes from Tim Hortons. This is no jab at Timmies, in fact I LOVE my Timmies. What can I say?! I AM Canadian. With that being said, I was sad to see a list of “Healthy Options” they advertise that really aren’t healthy at all. I fell for it many times, and I am tired of these health marketing traps. After calling Tim Horton’s and speaking with someone directly, I was able to have access to their ingredient list (since they don’t advertise it online). I decided on the Whole Grain Raspberry Muffin as my competitor since it seems like the closest comparable to my muffins. It sounds healthy, but I am going to let you be the judge of that. To be fair to my competitor, I will not highlight the ingredients I found that were disturbing to me. Hopefully you can see for yourself the amount of unnecessary additives, sugars, artificial dyes/colourings, flavours, GMO ingredients, additives and preservatives they contain.

    Ingredients (list provided by Tim Hortons)

    Enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, sugar, soybean oil, raspberries, raspberry flavoured pieces [sugar, vegetable oils (palm, palm kernel), enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), malic acid, tricalcium phosphate, sodium citrate, artificial flavour, soy lecithin, red cabbage juice, colour (FD&C red 40, FD&C blue 2)], liquid whole eggs, wheat bran, wheat germ, leavening (sodium bicarbonate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), salt, modified cornstarch, monoglycerides, guar gum, artificial flavour, xanthan gum, corn syrup solids, amylase.

    Streusel topping: Brown sugar, rolled oats, canola and modified palm and modified palm kernel oil shortening, wheat bran, enriched wheat flour (contains malted barley flour), water.



    Food War - Battle #1

    food war 1 - nutrition comparison


    Pull out your apron, measuring cups and mixing bowls, it’s time to get baking!

    Goji Oatmeal Muffin Recipe


    Goji Oatmeal Muffins


    Goji Oatmeal Muffin Recipe – Click Here for the Printable Version

    Recipe By: Melanie Faris

    Makes 6 muffins

    Prep time – 15 minutes

    Cook time – 30 minutes


    *Use organic when possible 

    Dry Ingredients

    1) 1 Cup of large flake oats

    2) ½ Cup of oat flour (ground-up large flake oats into flour)

    3) 1/2 Cup + 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (or non gmo xylitol for less sugar)

    4) 2 + 1 Teaspoons of cinnamon

    5) ¼ Teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice *optional. (Or combine equally: allspice, cloves, nutmeg & ginger)

    6) ½ Teaspoon of baking soda

    7) ¼ Teaspoon of sea salt

    8) 6 Tablespoons of goji berries (you can try half cranberries as well!)

    9) 2 Tablespoons of sliced or slivered almonds

    Wet Ingredients

    10) ½ Of a ripe banana, mashed

    11) 3/4 Cup of unsweetened apple sauce

    12) 1/3 Cup of 0% plain greek yogurt

    13) 1 Egg + 1 egg white (*or mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water until thickened)

    14) 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract

    *Use muffin liners or grease a muffin pan with organic butter


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • In a small bowl, mix together the 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (or xylitol) and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set it aside.
    • In a large bowl, using a whisk, mix together the first 7 dry ingredients and then stir in the last 2 dry ingredients.
    • In a separate medium bowl, mash half of a banana with a fork until it is smooth without lumps. Mix in the applesauce and greek yogurt until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla to the wet ingredients and whisk together gently.
    • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Gently stir everything together until just combined.
    • Pour the mixture into your muffin tin (approximately 1/3 cup portions) and sprinkle on-top of each muffin the sugar and cinnamon mixture you made first.
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the muffins sit for 15 minutes after cooking before removing them from the tin so they settle and don’t fall apart from how moist they are!
    • Feel free to top your muffin with a few goji berries if you wish.


    After you have baked the recipe above, you are all set to be the judge of the battle. Try one bite of each muffin and look over the nutritional comparison. Which one wins you over? Remember to follow all the rules and steps listed on the Food War Page. I hope you enjoy this first battle and find it helpful with your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t forget to take your pictures and post it on Facebook! You have until January 31, 2013 to be entered to win the prize. Please let me know your feedback in the comments below or on Facebook. I hope we can continue these battles in the future and learn together how to make healthier choices than our favourite “not so healthy” foods.

    Happy Food Wars! I mean, Happy New Year :).

    Melanie Faris.







  4. Winter Oatmeal

    November 25, 2013 by Melanie Faris



    Well it is official. Winter has arrived and is here to stay. The snow has taken rest upon the branches of the trees and a winter wonderland surrounds us. Beautiful to look at, but BRRRR, Cold! My teeth chatter as I make my way to my car and attempt to reef open the door. Yep, it’s frozen. With one or two good pulls, the ice breaks off and the door flies open. I put my key in the ignition and turn…and turn….and turn again. Nothing. One more time. The car coughs a little and finally decides to wake up. Looks like I am not the only one who doesn’t want to go out in the cold.

    Sitting in my car, I ponder the idea of scraping off the ice formed on the windows, or sitting and waiting for the heat to blast. I opt for sitting. It’s too cold to move. I turn the heat on high and crank up the power. I think we can all agree that it only seems to make the car colder, but for some reason, turning it on high makes me think there is hot air hiding somewhere and it just needs an extra push. I sit in my car, hugging myself, shivering, wondering why God invented the cold, and why the defrost is not working yet. I can start to see through a little hole that defrosted on the windshield. I do what any other smart person would do and pull out of the driveway. I squint my eyes and lean closer to the windshield, peering through that tiny hole. Okay, maybe not so smart.

    I make it about 3 metres, and pull over. Nope, can’t see. I then remember the wonderful windshield spray. The clouds part, and God’s voice booms from the Heavens. “I now give thee windshield fluid. I shall make thou fluid…Blue!” *Singing angel sounds*. I pull the little lever conveniently located behind the wheel and blue liquid covers the windshield. What a beautiful thing that liquid is. I sit there staring with admiration. And I stare some more. Okay, I should not still see blue liquid on the windshield. My stupid wipers are frozen stuck to the icy windshield. Crap. Who’s idea was it to make this stuff blue anyway?! Now I look like I ploughed through a convenient store and took out the slushy machine. Even worse, now I need to get out of the car. I sit there. Nope, not moving. I try my wipers again. Nothing. I really don’t want to get out of the car. Okay, I finally muster up enough energy to get out and give my wipers a good whack off of the windshield. That should do it.

    I get back into the car and try the washer fluid again. Suddenly, they fiercely come to life and wipe the blue liquid away. I can see! I can see! I silently cheer inside and put the car back in drive. I press on the gas and accelerate another few metres. I drive a little and realize the blue liquid only last so long before freezing. Now it is freezing to the windshield and the wipers are doing nothing. Why me?! Whyyyyyyy. I keep pulling the liquid lever but I can’t keep up with this cold! Ice begins to form and the heat still isn’t coming out of my vents. I pull over again and sit in silence.I grab my phone and opt for a quick morning Facebook check. 7:30 am and hardly any updates. Everyone else must be still trying to start their car. I read the last update posted,

    “Sitting, drinking a hot chocolate and watching the snow fall.Beautiful Sunday!”

    Today. Is. Sunday.

    I sit there in silence. I put the car in park and turn off the engine. I fling open the door and stomp my feet through the snow up my driveway. I shake off my soaked boots and throw my jacket on the floor. I grab the blanket sitting on my couch and wrap my body in it like a little cocoon. I grab the remote and turn on the tv hoping to hear some good news.

    “Good morning world. Time to start your day with an update on the weather. Well, this morning is certainly a chilly one, but we can expect even colder weather tomorrow. We have some school buses that are a bit behind today….” The sound of the newscast man begins to fade away as I realize what he said. School buses. School buses…SCHOOL BUSES?!

    I grab my phone and look down at facebook. Then the circle appears on the facebook page…and it spins. Why wasn’t it spinning before? All of a sudden the page opens and updates fill the screen. It refreshed. Turns out my windshield wasn’t the only thing frozen.

    I look out the front window and stare dreadfully at my car. I put on my wet boots again and venture back out into the cold. I walk to the car and open the door. I turn the ignition, crank up the heat, and  reach behind the seat for the scraper. I begin the task that would have solved all of my cold Monday morning problems from the start. I give the frozen blue washer fluid a stare down, and say under my breath, “prepare. to. die.” Still clinging for it’s life on the front windshield, I visciously scrape it off, not showing any mercy.

    I get back in the car, feeling victorious and ready to conquer the day. I take one last look out the window and stare at the beautiful snow still resting on the branches of the trees. I admire my window scraping job and give myself a wink in the mirror. “Oh you are good.” I look at my side mirror before pulling out on the road to make sure no cars are coming. Then I see it. The lights. Those blue flickering lights blinding my eyes. Then the noise. The dreadful noise. Scraping and pushing and loud, oh so loud. Too loud. I close my eyes, plug my ears and brace for impact. My cars rocks slightly and I squint open my eyes, afraid of what I am about to see. I hear the plough continue down the road and I cry a little inside. I crank up the heat, sit, and wait for the snow to melt away.

    Yep, winter has definitely arrived.

    Winter Oatmeal

    By: Melanie Faris


    With the frosty cold days ahead, we all need a little something to warm us up and give us energy to start the day off right. Why not a delicious winter oatmeal? Instead of waiting with the car while it warms up, you can enjoy a hot bowl of porridge and let the car do its job. Packed with superfoods, this oatmeal is sure to give you the energy and warmth you need to kick start your bbbrrrrrisk winter day.



    Serves: 2

    Cook time: 25 Minutes

    Prep time: 5 Minutes



    1 Cup of steel cut oats

    2 1/2 Cups of water

    1/2 Teaspoon of sea salt

    1/2 Cup of unsweetened almond milk

    Handful of walnuts

    2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds

    2 Tablespoons of chia seeds

    2 Tablespoons of goji berries

    2 Tablespoons of unsweetened dried cranberries

    Spoonful of o% plain greek yogurt

    Drizzle of maple syrup

    Sprinkle of cinnamon



    Easy Peasy

    Combine water, salt and oats in a pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Stir occasionally and let cook for approximately 25 minutes. Once cooked, top with remaining ingredients and enjoy. *I love greek yogurt in mine, plus it adds extra protein. Feel free to omit any ingredients you don’t like!