Posts in Main Dishes
PERFECT Sweet Potato Fries
Kat Marris

A crunchy sweet potato fry is like a unicorn, you know they exist, but you can’t seem to find one!!

Most of the time, I see sweet potato fries that are soggy, wimpy or mushy…ewww. It felt gross just typing that!

What we want is a fry that you bite into and it goes CRUNCH on the outside with a light fluffy inside. Perfect for dunking into a big ole bowl of ketchup or BBQ sauce!

I’m here today to tell you that crunchy sweet potato fries DO EXIST!!! They just take a bit of time and care! Use my tips below to make yourself a batch of the crispiest, crunchiest and tastiest fries you’ve ever eaten!

Here’s how to do it!!

Fresh and Balanced

Tip 1. Cut the fries as close to the same size as possible. Soak fries in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to one hour

Tip 2. Drain and dry the fries well. Toss with 2 tablespoons cornstarch per four sweet potatoes.

Tip 3. Use parchment paper on your sheet tray and don’t crowd the sheet pan. Leave lots of space or your fries will steam and not get crisp!

Tip 4. Flip the fries halfway through and switch the pans top to bottom in the oven.

And there you have it! Follow those tips with your next batch of sweet potato fries and glory in the crispy goodness!!

Caprese Pesto Salad
Fresh and Balanced Kat Marris

I love any recipe that can act as a two for one! This recipe fits that requirement in the most delicious way possible!

This recipe is both the perfect cookout or pitch in side dish AND a lovely meal prep lunch! WINNER!!!

Make the recipe as is and bring to your next cookout or BBQ for a show stopping side dish. Then save some leftover grilled chicken, ribs or whatever you have on hand and add it to the salad for a delicious lunch to take to work!!

The salty olives, mellow mozzarella and tangy tomatoes all work together so well on a bed of crisp zucchini noodles. The final addition of bright and herby pesto really takes it over the edge!

Have fun with the olives as well! I kept it simple with Kalamata, but feel free to go crazy at the olive bar and add green, black, stuffed or any other olive that catches your eye!!!

ENJOY!

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Caprese Pesto Salad

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 cups mozzarella pearls

3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons homemade or store bought pesto

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

5-6 medium zucchini, spiralized

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a large bowl, gently stir together olives, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Add in zucchini noodles and gently toss to combine. Top with chopped basil.

Cheesy Sausage and Cauliflower Casserole
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Today is a cold rainy day where I live! It’s a perfect day to make this super easy and filling cheesy sausage casserole. It’s warm, comforting and exactly what I crave on cold rainy days!

Don’t be fooled by the title and picture, while this casserole looks like a cheat meal it’s actually low carb and on the light side due to using low fat cheese!

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I used a spicy chicken sausage to add depth of flavor and contrast the creamy cheese and cauliflower. You could also use chicken or bulk spicy pork sausage, just make sure to fully cook it before using it!

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You can also play with the type of cheese. Cheddar cheese, cream cheese or Swiss could all be fun flavors to try, jut note that those will increase the calories in this dish.

This is a great meal prep recipe or weekend dinner, enjoy!

Cheesy Sausage and Cauliflower Casserole

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

  • 4 Spicy turkey sausages, pre-cooked and sliced 

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

  • 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese, plus 1/2 cup more for topping  

  • 1-2 cups baby spinach

  • Olive oil for greasing pan

  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions 

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a deep casserole dish and set aside. 

In a large bowl, add onion powder, garlic powder, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and spinach. Stir well to combine. Add cauliflower florets and sausage and stir. 

Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with reserved mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese on top is brown and cauliflower is crisp tender. 



Top Three Meal Prep Marinades
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Who doesn't love a good marinade? It's one of those fun cooking tricks that infuses a huge amount of flavor into your dish with minimal work! Marinades are especially helpful when cooking for meal prep as you want that dish to still have maximum flavor days after it's made. In addition to adding flavor, marinades help tenderize your protein. This is especially helpful if you purchase cheaper cuts of meat!

These are my top three marinades that I use all the time! And fun tip, reduce the amount of oil in the recipe and turn these marinades into delicious sauces. 

I typically marinate my protein for 30 minutes, bonus points if you marinate overnight before your meal prep! 

Enjoy these flavor packed, super simple marinades! 

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1) Lemon Caper Marinade

Ooo this one is so bright and flavorful! Chicken and fish are perfect for this marinade. Bright lemon, fragrant parsley, garlic and salty capers make this marinade something special. 

Lemon Caper Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. 

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2) Jerk Chicken Marinade

If you are looking for flavor, here is where you will find it! So many aromatic spices go into this marinade that my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I use this mostly on chicken, but this marinade is amazing on everything! 

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein 

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight. 

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3) Spicy Chipotle Marinade

If you want something spicy, look no further! This powerful marinade packs a big punch. Use it on chicken, pork, beef and fish!! 

Spicy Chipotle Marinade

Enough for 1 pound of protein

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped 

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add protein and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes or place in a plastic sealable bag and refrigerate overnight.