Quick & Easy Turkey Joes

Quick & Easy Turkey Joes | My Real Life Kitchen I have a confession…when it comes to cooking during the week, I’m pretty damn lazy. I don’t get home until 6:30, I’ve been out of the house since 8:30am, so the last thing I want to do is make dinner. If Jon gets home before me, he’s pretty good about making dinner, but that doesn’t always happen.

Due to my laziness, I’m always on the lookout for quick, easy and mostly healthy options. This is one of the first ones I cam across, and I believe I got it off of the Weight Watchers website (back when I was doing WW a couple years ago). Ever since, It’s been in my weekly meal arsenal.

Here’s what’s great about it – you can add virtually any vegetable you like, beans, rice. Whatever you like, add it in. It’s so freaking easy. It’s also fairly lean (since you use ground turkey or chicken) and you can customize it to your heart’s desire.

OH – and it makes enough so you can take it for lunch the next day. Making this is a Win-Win.

Quick & Easy Turkey Joes | My Real Life Kitchen

Quick & Easy Turkey Joes

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
500g lean ground turkey (or chicken)1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 diced onion
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce of your choice
1 tsp garlic powder
6 whole grain buns (burger buns work well too!)
Optional: Cooked Brown Rice, Cooked Kidney Beans, Cooked Quinoa, Chopped Broccoli, Other Chopped Vegetables.

Instructions:

  1. In a frying pan, add the meat, peppers, mushrooms & onion and cook until meat is completely cooked throughNote: I’m not 100% sure this is the best way to good vegetables with meat. So, you can also cook the vegetables in one frying pan and the vegetables in another. Whatever you’re comfortable with. I try and use as few pans as possible, so I cook them all in one.
  2. Once meat is cooked, add the BBQ Sauce (I really like Honey Garlic & Hickory) and cook for about two minutes. Don’t be afraid to add more BBQ sauce. These are supposed to be sloppy!
  3. Scoop meat from pan onto the buns and serve hot!
  4. These are REALLY good the next day (since they soak overnight in the BBQ sauce). All you have to do is heat up the meat the next day.

That’s it. FOR REAL. So easy, so good.

Enjoy 🙂

Lisa

Recipe Source: Weight Watchers Canada

Flourless Avocado Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Flourless Avocado Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies | My Real Life KitchenOh haaaaay. It’s been awhile since I’ve been around, and I’m VERY sorry for that! There has been about 1 million, thousand things going on and every time I go to bake or create food, something else gets thrown my way.

HOWEVER, a couple weekends ago, I went away with my Mom and my sister for our annual Mother/Daughter weekend to the beautiful town of Elora, ON. It was everything my tired soul needed. Whenever my sister, mom & I get together, it’s nothing by giggles, sarcasm and of course, wine. I’m so lucky to have these two in my life.

Me, Ange & Mom | My Real Life KitchenThis year, instead of going OUT to do an activity, we stayed in and were each responsible for bringing a “craft” that we could all do together. Of course, mine was of a baked variety (because, let’s face it, I’m not exactly the crafty type). I looked for a recipe that my gluten free sister could enjoy and that didn’t require a lot of appliances. I also had a bunch of avocados laying around and VOILA, I found this recipe.

Now, don’t let the name fool you because I know the thought of avocados in cookies can sound kinda yucky. I was actually quite skeptical as well, by holy hot damn, these are fricking good. Like, fudgey, gooey, dark chocolate amazingness. They lasted all of 10 minutes. FUN FACT: They go perfectly with a glass of red wine.

We had to improvise a bit, so I’m going to tell you about the method that I used, but I’ve added notes so you can try them the way the original recipe instructed.

Please just try them once. After that, you’ll be making them again and again! Besides – have I EVER led you astray?

Flourless Avocado Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies | My Real Life KitchenFlourless Avocado Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Makes: about 14 cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Very Ripe Avocado Flesh (About 2 medium Avocados)1/2 cup brown sugar (substitute coconut sugar if desired)
1 Egg
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (use more if desired)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper
  2. Using a masher, fork or hand mixer, mix together the sugar and the avocados – we used a fork, so they were PRETTY chunky, but still worked just fine.
  3. Add in the egg – I would suggest using a hand mixer for this step, but again, we didn’t have one, so I just whisked it together by hand. My arm got tired, but it got the job done.
  4. Add in the cocoa powder and baking soda until just combined.
  5. Add in the chocolate chunks and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Use two spoons to scoop and drop onto the baking sheet. Note – these don’t spread like regular cookies, so press them down a bit with you fingers or a spoon.
  7. Bake for 8-12 minutes (really depends on your oven) or until the cookies no longer stick to the cookie sheet.
  8. Allow to cool (if you can!)

Another pro tip – these are quite yummy when fresh out of the oven, but are even better the next day. Either way, they’re frigging amazing and even a die-hard avocado hater will love them (just don’t tell them!)

Enjoy my loves!

Lisa

Original Recipe by: The Smoothie Lover

The Hexcam Birdhouse

I’m not going to lie. I’m not really a “nature” type person. I don’t really like being outdoors (I burn easily), I don’t like bugs, and I’m really not into flowers and fauna. Camping is pretty much my worst nightmare.

Where am I going with this? My sisters boyfriend has a birdhouse business. He’s also really into plants. Like…REALLY into plants. Usually when we starting talking about them I roll my eyes and tune out (it’s okay, he knows it’s true).

Anyway, Travis makes these crazy birdhouses from a design passed down from his grandfather. There is not a single detail in them that goes unnoticed. Not only that, he makes EACH ONE by hand in his garage and sells them for a VERY reasonable price $40 (for the basic version). He’s been selling them for years and does really well with them.

Hexagonal Birdhouse |Cranmer Earth Design The reason why I’m telling you all of this is because I’ve become OBSESSED with the Live Camera he has installed in one of his birdhouses. Right now, 6 little baby birds have hatched and you can WATCH LIVE as the mother comes in and out to feed them. It’s absolutely memorizing.

Here is a 2 minute vid of them hatching. You seriously have to watch:

Anyway, it’s super amazing and I highly suggest you go and check it out. Watching the momma feed the babies is so heartwarming and magical, I can’t really describe it any other way.

THEN – go buy one of these birdhouses so you can watch this miracle happen in your own back yard! I promise you, it’s worth every penny.

– Lisa

Tomato Basil Soup + Glad Food Fresh Challenge

Tomato Basil Soup | My Real Life KitchenGuys…this soup is off the hook. For real. Like, it takes no time to make, it’s Gluten Free and can be made dairy free. My Dad has been making this soup for quite some time now as an appetizer and every time I eat it I tell myself I HAVE to go make a batch to freeze for lunches. I finally stopped slacking off and made a batch. Gaaaaaaaaah, so good.

Now, the best part of the soup (in my opinion) is the dill flavour. In my family, we are addicted to our homemade Dill Pickles & the pickle jice. Whenever we can, we add the dill juice in & this recipe is no exception. It’s totally optional so if you don’t like the taste of dill, don’t include, the soup will still be fabulous.

As if they knew I was about to make a bunch of freezer food, Glad sent me a bunch of their awesome stuff to try out (and to help keep my food from going bad). Among the products I was sent I got these AWESOME containers:

Glad Food Fresh Challenge | My Real Life Kitchen Glad Food Fresh Challenge | My Real Life Kitchen

Not only do the lids stack together (Good bye lost lids & HELLO AMAZING) but when closed, the containers stack perfectly on top of one another in the freezer. I’m obsessed with them.

When I was done making the soup, they held the perfect lunch size portion and kept the soup fresh until I was ready to eat. They also clean up like a dream, which is essential when freezing tomato soup in them.

Now, without further ado – here is your new favourite Tomato Basil Soup:

Tomato Basil Soup | My Real Life KitchenTomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes(28 oz)
  • 1 can of chicken or vegetable broth (14.5 oz)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup of pickle juice(optional)
  • 1 cup of milk (or coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp of butter or margarine
  • 14-18 basil leaves, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Mix together tomatoes, broth, garlic and pickle juice and bring to boil.
  2. Turn it down and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. After the ten minutes add the basil leaves & stir in the milk.
  4. Finally, stir in the butter and let it cook until the butter melts.
  5. Serve immediately

Source: Family Recipe

This is why I can’t try new things…

So I thought that joining an Ice Hockey league was really going to push me out of my comfort zone and help me overcome my anxieties of trying new things. I’m a creature of comfort and trying new things does not work well with my mental state. However, this year is all about pushing through those barriers down and challenging myself.

Boy, have I learned my lesson. After only 2 games of hockey I have managed to mess up my rotator cuff and I’ve been benched for 4-6 weeks. I am to rest it as much as possible (which means typing this post is a real treat) and pretty much not do anything physical. This is why I can't try new things | My Real Life KitchenAt first I was like “No biggie – I’ll just rest it up, take it easy & it will be no problem.”

HA! Do you have any idea how much you use that muscle on a daily basis? Let me count the ways =

1. Sleeping – I’m a restless sleeper at the best of times, but if I’m really tired, I can usually sleep through the night. Not anymore! Every time I roll over my shoulder is all “OH HEY THERE DON’T LIE ON ME” and I’m awake in a panic. I roll back to my other side and fall asleep until that arm falls asleep and I wake up to pins and needles in my arm. So I try laying on my back – haha no way jose. So back on the tingly arm we go…then, it’s 8:30am and I’m late.

2. Getting Dressed – lifting my arm above my head is not the most comfortable thing to do right now, so instead I try to gingerly place my shirt over my sore arm first, then put over my head. HAHA nope. Not unless my shirt is made of 1980’s spandex. Did you want to wear pants? HAHA nope. Good luck pulling up a tight pair of pants with one arm. Every time you pull up one side, the other falls down. It’s like unfun pants teeter – totter. Don’t EVEN get me started on putting on a bra…

3. Peeing – In a rush to pee? TOO BAD – trying to pull down my already tight skirt while hopping on the spot trying not to pee…it’s a real spectacle. Not to mention trying to…well you know. Goodbye Dignity.

4. Driving – I basically have to contort myself into a spinal downward dog twist (that’s a yoga pose, right?) to get my key into the ignition & get myself into gear. Forget about trying to use the wipers, let’s just hope it doesn’t rain.

5. Working – I just can’t. My back is all effed up (it’s only been one day people!) I feel lopsided and I still can’t work my damn mouse properly with my left hand.

6. Eating – have you ever tried to eat soup with your non-dominant hand? Let me paint you a picture – the piping hot soup sits in front of you. It smells so good & you can’t wait to taste it. You put the spoon (somewhat shakily) into the bowl and ever so slightly try to lift it to your mouth. It’s almost there when “SPLUNK” all the chicken and pepper goodness falls into the bowl and creates a tidal wave of coconut soup onto the desk, keyboard, shirt & skirt. Oh, and your eye. Hope you weren’t planning on seeing ever again.

And now my left arm/hand is tired because let’s face it, during your typical work day it get’s used every now and then but now that it has to pick up the slack it’s all “Nah, this is tiring and I’m sore” at which point I’m like “Well imagine how my right side feel, always picking up the slack” and then it’s like “whatever, I’m important” and then I realize I’m talking to my arms because I’m tired and I can’t sleep.

Moral of the story? I’m not meant to play sports because I’m not meant to be injured. I clearly can’t handle it.

Lisa

#MyBixMix Challenge!

#mybixmix | My Real Life Kitchen

Weetabix – when you see that brand, what the first thing that comes to mind?

Weetabix Review |My Real Life KitchenFor me, it was “old people food” For some reason or another, that’s what I naturally associated it with. However, when I was asked to do a Weetabix challenge I thought “Why not, it’s been around for a long time, there must be something to this cereal” Plus, the lovely folks at Weetabix wanted me to come up with great mixes with the Weetabix that were both healthy & delicious. I like being creative, so I accepted the challenge.

Another thing that enticed me? Weetabix is made with four simple Non-GMO ingredients. Each two biscuit serving contains just 2g of sugar and is packed with whole grains. Weetabix is also low in fat and and high in fibre, helping to keep me full before lunch (and I ALWAYS get hungry an hour before lunch).

When I got the cereal, I have to say, I was surprised. It kind of looks like a hashbrown, but crunchy throughout. I thought to myself – what would I put on something like this to add flavour and make it really stand out? Once I brainstormed, I headed to the grocery store.

Here is what my list looked like:

  • Almond Milk
  • Almond &/or Peanut Butter
  • Raw Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Raspberries
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Slivered Almonds (& other assorted nuts)

The first morning, I placed the two patties at the bottom of a bowl, poured almond milk over it then added shredded coconut and mango. It was really good. The patties got a little soggy near the end, but otherwise, it tasted great.

#mybixmix | My Real Life KitchenAt this point, Jon came over and was all “Whatcha got there?” and suggested that we turn it into a parfait instead. For some reason, I never considered crumbling up the Weetabix and layering the mixin’s. He’s a brilliant man, that Jonny.

So the next morning, that’s what we did. Layers of Yogurt, berries, chocolate chips & Weetabix.

Hot. Damn. Yum.

Crunchy, creamy, sweet. It was the most amazing breakfast & I was full all the way up to my regular lunch time. I also felt good about eating it and was surprised how satisfied I felt when I headed out to work.

Then, a funny thing happened. Jon started requesting it for breakfast. Every. Day. He would get up, make himself a coffee and start pulling things out of the fridge to come up with a new concoction. Here are some of our favourites:

#mybixmix | My Real Life KitchenHe is now completely obsessed and Weetabix is a staple on our grocery list along with the required mixin’s. Typically we don’t buy cereal & Jon NEVER eats breakfast, but now, every morning, he’s making a Weetabix. It’s kind of awesome.

So – by the end of this challenge, I have to say, my perception of Weetabix has completely changed. It’s a nutritious addition to your morning & I highly recommend you giving it a shot. If Jon loves it, you will too!

What would/do you put in your ‘Bix Mix?

– Lisa

Disclaimer: I received product to sample as part of this review but my opinions are 100% my own and honest. I actually loved the cereal (and my husband & I STILL eat it every morning & he is completely obsessed).

OURS by Cheryl Hickey {Review & Giveaway}

OURS Mothers Day Pamper Mom ProductsI  am SO excited – I have a couple of really cool things to share with you over the next week or so. The first one is the answer to my LONG time search for a fabulous, cost effective, environmentally friendly skin care product. I know there are others out there, but they either didn’t agree with my skin or they were too expensive or I just didn’t like them. I also just don’t like washing my face. I know that’s weird, but it’s the truth.

**PSSSST: Make sure you enter the giveaway by leaving a comment telling us why you LOVE your mom!**

OURS by CH Review | My Real Life KitchenAll that changed when I was send a selection of product from “OURS” by Cheryl Hickey. Many of you will be family with Cheryl who is the face of ET Canada but this skincare line is totally separate from her day job. The skincare line is made of all natural ingredients and are silicone, gluten, paraben & phthalate free. There is no over powering odor & there is NO alcohol in any of the products. Along with the OURS Face & Body Exfoliator, EveryBody Lotion and my personal favourite, 3 in 1 Hydrating Oil, I also received a Konjac Sponge from washbeautyco, tea from Lemon Lily and a facemask from MaskerAide. Needless to say, I was PRETTY pumped to wash my face.

As a bonus I had a sneaking suspicion that this would make an awesome Mother’s Day Gift. I’m always SO BEHIND on my shopping for Mother’s/Father’s Day and I never know what to get. I also know that my mom is always running around helping other people, working & just generally trying to do everything all the time. So, I knew this would be an amazing gift for her to pamper herself and take some much needed “Me” time.

Here’s how it all went down. I applied the Face & Body Exfoliator to the Konjac Sponge (which is SO COOL btw) and applied to my face and neck. There is a lovely, natural scent and is very smooth and creamy on the skin. I rinsed it off and patted my face with a clean towel.

Next, I applied the Hydrating Oil. I have to say, I was VERY skeptical of putting oil on my face. I have quite greasy skin at the best of times, but I figured if it didn’t work, I could at least use it for its other purposes (hair treatment and/or massage oil) I applied it and I was instantly in love. My skin looked fresh & revived. It went on like a dream and the very light scent it has is AMAZING. When I woke up the next day, it still felt fantastic. I’m 100% sold.

Finally, the body lotion. I always put lotion on before bed so I wasn’t expecting anything special but again, I was amazed. Soft, clean, light. It’s perfect. It’s the perfect, all over, lotion.

GUYS – if you’re still looking for a Mother’s Day Gift…THIS IS IT! I felt like a million bucks. Add in the face mask and a hot cup of tea? Pure Bliss.

Have I sold you yet?

Good because you can enter to win the OURS by Cheryl Hickey products! That’s the Face & Body Exfoliator, EveryBody Lotion and my personal favourite, 3 in 1 Hydrating Oil!

TO ENTER: In the spirit of Mother’s Day coming up, I want to know what you love about your Mom.

GOOD LUCK!

Disclaimer – I was sent product to review and post on my blog. However, all of these opinions are my own. I truly love this product & will continue to use it for many years to come.