Easy Jumbo Meatballs (COMFORT FOOD!)

Easy Jumbo Meatballs (COMFORT FOOD!)

Whenever the weather gets chillier around this time of year, I always find myself craving comfort food. Dishes that are hearty, satisfying, and fill my apartment with the yummiest aromas! Today, I wanted to share my recipe for easy-peasy weeknight Jumbo Meatballs.

NOTE: If you’d like to make a tomato sauce to accompany your meatballs, simply blend 10-12 roma tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, and salt (to taste), and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes. OR, just buy a jar from your grocery store. Whatever works!

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The Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 700g – 800g of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, plus 3 – 4 tbsp
  • 5 – 6 cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil, plus 2 – 3 tbsp
  • sea salt, to taste

STEP 1: In a medium-heat pan, add 1/3 cup of olive oil until heated thoroughly. Once heated, add white onion & mushrooms. Stir every couple minutes until translucent, then stir occasionally. Onions and mushrooms should cook for about 40 minutes, so the natural sugars have enough time to release their yummy flavour! Add your cooked onions & mushrooms to your tomato sauce, and place aside for the time being.

Tip: don’t put your cutting board in the sink just yet! You’ll be able to use it as a platform for your raw meatballs in Step 3.

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STEP 2: In a large bowl, add ground beef, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and 1 egg. Mix until all the ingredients have combined sufficiently.

STEP 3: Roll 5 – 6 large meatballs, roughly 3inches in diameter, and place aside on a cutting board.

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STEP 4: Using the same pan that you cooked the onions and mushrooms, add 2 – 3 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat. Your pan will need to be quite hot for the next step, so occasionally add 1 drop of water to test its level of heat. The drop of water should crackle and pop immediately.

STEP 5: Carefully add each raw meatball to your pan, searing each of the 4 sides for about 3 minutes each. Searing meat is 100% about building flavor, as the surface instantly begins caramelizing.

STEP 6: Once all 4 sides have been seared sufficiently, reduce heat to medium-low, add your tomato sauce to the pan, and cook the meatballs covered for 15 minutes. After that, uncover the pan and cook for an additional 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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STEP 7: Once cooked, sprinkle 3 – 4 tbsp of parmesan cheese overtop, and broil for 5 – 8 minutes.

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Pro tip! Grab a few baguettes & turn this meal into meatball sandwiches! YUUUUM.

Until next time, happy eating!

-MR

My Yummy Vegan Chili Recipe!

My Yummy Vegan Chili Recipe!

Over the past couple years, I’ve tried to incorporate plant-based alternatives into my diet for health & sustainability. In fact, one of my favourite recipes to make for a crowd is my vegan chili, because it’s got heavy flavour, a good level of spice, and it’s hearty enough for a crowd.

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This recipe is not fancy by any means. All required ingredients can be found at any grocery store. My recipe is straight-up vegan comfort food, and it’s perfect for the chilly winter.

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 5-6 white or cremona mushrooms
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (seeds optional!)
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes (no added salt!)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1/3 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (this will salt + flavour your veggies!)
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • Other seasonings (your choice!)

Yields: 8 servings

Here’s how to make yummy vegan chili:

  1. In a large pot at medium heat, add 1/3 cup of olive oil and 1 vegetable bouillon cube; stir until the cube has dissolved into the oil. Once oil has heated sufficiently with the dissolved cube, add diced onion, red/green peppers, mushrooms, and jalapeño pepper. Continue to routinely stir vegetables until translucent and soft. Typically, this can be done in 15 minutes, but I like to cook them for about 25 minutes because it releases their natural sweetness.
  2. In a blender, blend 1 can of tomatoes for about 10 seconds. Add blended tomatoes to your pot and continue to stir. Add the other (1) whole can of tomatoes to your pot, and continue to stir until heated.
  3. Drain red kidney beans & corn from their cans, and add these to your pot, continuing to stir until heated.
  4. Add yellow mustard, chili powder, tomato paste, and other seasonings of your choice. The reason I don’t specify on seasonings is that everyone has their preferences! Some people prefer the nutty flavour of cumin, others opt for the aromatics of a bay leaf. When it doubt, just add a bit of salt + pepper 😉
  5. Your mixture should be relatively thick. In order to cook everything down, slowly add 1/2 cup of water. Increase heat to medium-high until it reaches a rolling simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Cook your chili, stirring every 10 minutes, for 90 minutes. The result will be a thick, velvety, and hearty chili that will please any crowd!

 

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2018 TOP PRODUCTS FOR THE FAB HUMAN

2018 TOP PRODUCTS FOR THE FAB HUMAN

Hey humans!

For the last year, I’ve been fine-tuning my morning and nighttime routines, to find a skincare, hair care, and shaving regimen that fits my busy life. I’m so thrilled to share a handful of these products with you, as most of the containers are almost finished! I think a big testament to the quality of any product is reaching the bottom of the package.

SO, here are my top products of 2018 for the ~fab~ human…

 

SKINCARE

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NEUTROGENA DEEP CLEAN MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER

Alright, it’s time to stop what you’re doing, and forget everything you think you know about washing your face. Simply put, micellar cleansing waters removes makeup, cleanses skin, eyes and lips without rubbing or rinsing. By applying micellar water to a cotton pad, the micelles capture and life away dirt like a magnet! It leaves your skin perfectly clean and refreshed without over-drying. I’ve managed to try a few different micellar waters this year, and I can honestly say that Neutrogena’s is the BEST! I usually see it retailing for about $12 – 14 CAD, and one bottle will last you 2 – 3 months. When I stay on a strict regimen of cleansing 2 x per day, I almost never break-out.

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MURAD ACNE CONTROL CLARIFYING MASK, 4.0% SULFUR

Once again, stop what you’re doing. This time, head to the closest Sephora and purchase this mask by MURAD. DISCLAIMER – this mask retails for about $45 CAD, but is the most effective acne-clearing mask I’ve ever used. The mask’s formula is thick and rich, so you don’t need to use a lot, roughly a quarter-sized amount for your whole face. The 4.0% Sulfur treatment perfectly reduces the appearance of redness within a couple hours, and blemishes are cleared within a day or two. I use this as an end-of-week skin treatment, or as a rapid spot treatment for days that I have video or photo shoots.

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ORIGINS CLEAR IMPROVEMENT CHARCOAL HONEY MASK

Let me preface by saying that I’m not big on the whole charcoal craze. I do have a few charcoal products, but by no means do I think this is some magic ingredient that’s going to change your life. HOWEVER! The Origins Charcoal Honey Mask is the perfect addition to your skincare, because it manages to bring out a radiance in my skin that makes me appear more awake and alert. As such, this is not a cleansing mask, as it’s more of a short-term treatment mask. If you apply the mask at night, your skin will look visibly more radiant and even-toned the next day. However, I wouldn’t say that the mask’s effect lasts more than a day or two. If you’ve got a special event or occasion that you want to look radiant for, this is the mask to use! It retails for $42 CAD, which in my opinion is a bit pricey. However, the jar has lasted me 3 months so far, and I’ve got a couple more treatments left in the package. At the very least, you’re getting a lot of product for the price, which is great.

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THE ORGANIC PHARMACY FACE CREAM

Interestingly, this face cream is marketed as a day cream, mean’t to be applied in the morning before you head out the door. I’ve actually been using the product as a nighttime cream, because it’s extremely thick and rich, which helps my skin retain moisture throughout the night. To be honest, I like lighter face creams for the day, especially if I’m on-the-go. However, as a nighttime cream, this stuff is 10/10. It retails for about $85, but will last you at least 8 months. I’ve had this cream for about 5 months now, and I’ve only used about 65% of it.

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OARS + ALPS FACE MOISTURIZER + EYE CREAM

Full disclosure, the brand directly sent me this product. We had planned to work on a partnership together, but it fell through last minute. Since I already had the product, I thought I might as well use it! I’m SO thrilled that I took full advantage of this face cream, because it’s been the perfect day cream! The cream is super light, which keeps my skin moisturized without feeling heavy or greasy. They also claim that this duals as an eye cream, but I’m not totally convinced on that. At best, it’s a superior day cream that dries almost instantaneously (and only costs $22 CAD!)

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PATCHOLOGY FLASHPATCH ILLUMINATING EYE GELS

I’m in LOOOOVE with this product! Interestingly, my partner, Chris, picked up a sample of this product at a recent product preview — so of course, I used it for myself! I had a photoshoot one morning, and wanted to sure that my under eyes we’re bright and awake. The product are these eyedrop-shaped gels that you place under your eyes for about 10 minutes after your morning shower. After 10 minutes, your eyes are visibly brighter, tighter, and more awake! Each eyepatch sells for $3, which makes it a great stocking stuffer for the holidays.

 

HAIRCARE

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VICHY’S DENSI-SOLUTIONS PRODUCT LINE

SO, I’m pretty sure this 3-part product like is marketed towards women, but for some reason the Vichy Canada team decided to mail it over to me to try! Yaaaass, gender is a construct anyway. SO! While my hair isn’t receding or going through any balding process, I am noticing some minor thinning as I move through my 20s. As someone who’s been styling their hair since the 9th grade, my hairstyle is very important to me. The product line consists of a shampoo, 1-minute rinse-off hair cream, and a leave-in spray. After using all three products, I noticed that my hair styled easier, and look visibly thicker. I’d highly recommend it for other guys like me, who are noticing minor thinning, and want to sustain their fuller hairstyle. The product line costs $86CAD, so not cheap! BUT, I can honestly say that the product line delivers what it says it’s going to deliver, so it’s worth the money in my opinion.

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THE PERTH SOAP CO. MOROCCAN ARGAN OIL

I’ve been obsessed with this product since 2017, because of its effectiveness, versatility, and affordability. I primarily use the product as a leave-in hair oil to help replenish some of the lost nutrients from blow drying & styling my hair. I found that it helps to keep my hair moisturized and shiny. However, you can also use argan oil on your face, skin, facial hair, nails, and cuticles as an organic moisturizer. It sells for $30CAD, so once again, makes a great stocking stuffer for the holidays!

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MISTER POMPADOUR BEESWAX PASTE

Mister Pompadour’s Beeswax Paste is a 10/10 hairstyle product for groomed pompadours. The brand uses all natural products, which allows it to rinse out of the hair effortlessly, so you don’t get any waxy residue after your shower. Additionally, the product is very light, but packs a huge hold for all-day style. It retails for $20USD, and consistently sells out online due to its sheer popularity by users. An absolute MUST for men’s hairstyling.

SHAVING

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GILLETTE ON DEMAND

As most of you know, I’ve been exclusively using Gillette for my shaving needs over the past 10 years. While I don’t normally think of including Gillette in my round-up posts, I wanted to highlight their new Gillette On Demand service! Gillette On Demand sends you blades (+handle) to your door over a pre-set time period, depending on how often you shave. You end up saving several dollars each shipment, when compared to buying cartridges individually at the store. It could make for a great gift or stocking stuffer for that bearded family member of yours! Prices range depending on shipment frequency.

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That’s my 2018 round-up of my top skincare, haircare, and shaving products! Happy holidays, everyone.

-MR