Crossing One Off The List: Healthy Junk Food Night

In keeping with my desire to continually improve my cooking, I’ve had a bit of a busy couple of cooking days! A few nights ago, Matt and I made our version of “healthy junk food”. We thought about what our favourite bad-for-you foods were and found ways to make a them a bit more nutritious. I was amazed at how delicious it all turned out, and we didn’t have to feel guilty about imbibing!

We thought about what our best loved guilty pleasures were and came up with nachos, onion rings, burgers, ice cream, and chocolate anything. So we set to work doing some menu planning, and ventured across the border to Trader Joe’s to pick up some groceries. This is what we ended up with:Image

Our appetizer was kale chip nachos, topped with Irish aged cheddar, chicken breast, and sautéed onions and peppers. It was then garnished with cilantro, green onion, and some home-made guacamole. We adapted the recipe from here.

Then Matt grilled up our turkey burgers:

ImageThis recipe we took from Elana’s Pantry (a fantastic resource for people like me who have gluten allergies). We put a bit of guacamole on top when we served them, but they are so flavourful with the green chiles, onion, and cilantro that they could be eaten without anything! Here’s another look at them:

ImageInstead of serving the burger on a typical bread-based bun, we made sweet potato buns. In reality, they were a lot like a sweet potato latke or pancake. So yummy! Crispy on the outside, warm and creamy on the inside. And so much easier than making home-made bread! We took the recipe from here. This is what they looked like before assembling the burgers:

ImageAs an accompaniment, we made onion rings. They were actually the inspiration for the entire meal as they started off the entire discussion as to how we could make “healthy junk food”. These were simply coated in an egg wash, then almond meal with a bit of fresh thyme, paprika, and garlic powder. They are baked in the oven (on a baking sheet is best as it crisps up the bottom too) and voila! Here’s the recipe we used. We served it with a home-made version of McDonald’s hot mustard. Astonishingly delectable!

ImageOf course, we had to have wine. Picked a bottle of Sancerre down in the States, and it was fantastic!

A view of the finished product:

Image

And what would a junk food meal be without dessert? We made chocolate mousse (adapted from this recipe for chocolate lava cakes, but omit the eggs and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving). It tasted like the richest, most luxurious chocolate mousse that should be loaded with butter and sugar. And it was basically just chocolate, orange zest, sweet potato, and banana! We topped it off with some banana “ice cream” to which we added almond butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some almond milk to help thin it out when blending. This was Matt’s favourite item on the entire menu!

Image

Overall, everything was mouthwatering, finger-licking, lip-smacking good! If I had to name my one favourite item, it would probably be the kale nachos, but I would make absolutely any of these things again in a heartbeat! It just goes to prove that you can eat healthy AND still not miss out on your favourites. What are your favourite junk food items? Have you tried any healthy versions of them?

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One thought on “Crossing One Off The List: Healthy Junk Food Night

  1. I’m proud of your first Portuguese dish! It tasted great too… I look forward to teaching you more great recipes in the future (so I can take a break from the kitchen too!).
    Congratulations on officially becoming ‘Portuguese’ in the kitchen!

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