Avocado Stuffed Burgers

These are a few of my favorite thiiiiings!!  Avocadoes…stuffed inside a big beefy burger?!  How is this madness even possible?!  And yet…I have tasted it…and it is good!  SO GOOD!

Now…I know it is fall.  (I can no longer deny it!).  But there are still beautiful avocadoes in the stores, at least where I am!  And in my opinion…burgers are NOT just a summer food, especially for paleo eaters!  They are simple, they are satisfying…and they can be made just as easily inside.  So don’t you give up on burgers just because of the chill in the air!

 

Now if I am being honest, I was a little apprehensive when I made these.  It is just such a different idea.  Then to top it off, I was making them while my “little” brother was here.  (I say “little” because he has been bigger than me since I was in like…5th grade).  That being said…I was even more nervous because I wasn’t just trying this out on Mr. Rodgers!  A funny thing about growing up is that when your family visits…you want them to see how good you are at being domestic.  😉  However, as Jesse and I both took our first bite…we looked at each other with glee and dove in to the rest!  It was creamy, tangy, and had that great satisfying burger essence that everyone loves.

 

This recipe is every so slightly adapted from the wonderful Caveman Feast app, thanks to Abel James!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lb Ground Beef (Preferably grass-fed)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of Mrs. Dash (I am kinda addicted to this stuff)
  • 1 lemon (or lime!) with zest
  • 1 C Sundried Tomatoes, chopped (removed from oil)
  • Bacon fat (optional to drizzle over the top at the end)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Put your beef in a bowl, and season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and Mrs. Dash.  Combine.
  2. Form beef mixture into an even number of very thin patties…you will be using two per burger!
  3. Mash your avocadoes in a bowl with the sundried tomatoes, juice of 1/2 the lemon, and salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Spoon avocado mixture onto half of the burger patties so that you still have an edge that you can seal.  Top with another patty, and seal the edges together with your fingers all the way around.
  5. Grill burgers about 6 minutes per side.  I did this inside with a grill pan and it worked great!!  This is where you have the option to drizzle bacon fat over them…which I totally would have done if I had any bacon fat on me!

 

 

Doesn’t that sounds soooooo good?!

 

Peectures:

Avocado Burger 1

Season your beef…

Avocado Burger 4

And form into an even number of very thin patties!!

Avocado Burger 2

Mix together avocado filling ingredients to make yourself a nice tangy guac!

Avocado Burger 3

Mix mix mix!

Avocado Burger 5

Place avocado mixture in middle of half your burgers, leaving edges to seal…

Avocado Burger 6

And drape the other patties on top, sealing the edges well with your fingers.

Avocado Burger 7

Then grill about 6 minutes per side!  Obviously, I made these super easily inside on a grill pan!

Avocado Burger 8

And they turned out beautifully!

Avocado Burger 9

See that avocado trying to ooze out there?!  Sooo delicious!

Avocado Burger 10

Serve how you desire!  We had it on a nice big romaine leaf with the extra filling on the side.

Avocado Burger 11

Deeeeeeeeeeelicious.

 

I hope you enjoy!  What do you like stuffing in burgers?

 

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Chorizo Butternut Black Bean Soup

How’s that for a title, eh?!  And that isn’t even mentioning the leek, or cabbage, or garlic…this soup is just CRAMMED with good stuff.

 

This soup also makes me laugh.  You want to know why?  Well…it came out of this beautiful book (I don’t think I’ve showed you this one yet, also from my favorite store 5 Below…which means I probably paid $4 for the thing!)

 

100 Best Fresh Soups

(If you are interested in it and don’t have a 5 Below, it’s on Amazon, I just checked!)

Anyways, back to my laughing…you see, I SAY this recipe came out of that book…but it was originally Sausage and Red Cabbage Soup…with potatoes and black eyed peas and cream…

Then one thing led to another…and now it is nothing like the original!  But I must still give credit, because this beautiful soup never would have happened without the inspiration of this lovely little book!

It started with the potatoes… Mr. Rodgers can’t have potatoes!  My first thought was “Well, I can just use sweet potatoes…wait!  Mr. Rodgers can’t have sweet potatoes either…what is kind of like a sweet potato???  Butternut squash!  We’ll try that.”  Step one in the transformation.

Then came the black eyed peas.  They are probably fine…but the husband has a specific list of what beans/legumes he can and cannot have…some are “eat every chance you get,” like black beans.  Some are “in moderation,” like chick peas.  So I just wasn’t sure about the black eyed peas, I’d hate to make something he couldn’t eat, or would be a bit of a compromise.  So I decided what the heck, I have a pantry full of black beans, we’ll use those instead.

Then I went to 3 or 4 stores looking for sausages without sugar or corn syrup or dextrose…NOTHING!  So annoying!!  But I grabbed some chorizo for a meatloaf recipe I will make later…NO SUGAR!  Hmmmm…I’ll use that for my soup too!

Then I went to add my almond milk instead of cream…and it was expired.  I guess this will be a brothy soup.

And there you have it.  Soup transformation.  I was so nervous because of all the changes…but this soup was BEAUTIFUL!  I can’t even describe how great the flavors worked together, and how comforting it was!  And I have to tell you…the day I made this was just the best day ever!!  I will tell you more about it in my pictures!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Grassfed Butter
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Leek, Sliced (I had never used a leek before!  Life changing!  YouTube will show you how to cut them if its your first time!)
  • 6 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash, Cubed (About 1 lb)
  • 1/2 lb Chorizo (or more…it was enough, but I might add more if I make it again to be more “paleo”)
  • 1/4 Large Red Cabbage, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • Salt and Pepper

 

And here’s how you do it!

Note:  I used the chorizo in a way I am sure it was not intended, but I loved the outcome!  If you prefer to use it as a ground meat, feel free to brown it up before hand and add it back in right before the broth!  I wanted larger bites of meat, so I cooked it like you would a dumpling….and it worked!  I was so excited!!

  1. Prep all your veggies!  It’s easiest to have them all ready in bowls so you can dump as you go…but if you prefer to chop as you go that’s up to you!
  2. Melt your oil/butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until starting to get tender
  3. Add the leek and cook another 3 minutes or so.  Doesn’t it smell good?!
  4. Stir in the broth, add the butternut squash.  Now comes my crazy chorizo cooking method.  Since it came in a tubular shape, I cut it into small bite sized pieces and dropped it into the soup like dumplings and let it boil!  And it worked!  I was left with little chorizo bites throughout the soup!  Yay!!  Some oil from the chorizo will rise to the top of the soup…if this bothers you, use a spoon to remove it!  I left it though and it was perfectly fine.
  5. Add salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Stir in your red cabbage and black beans and cook 5-10 more minutes until the cabbage is starting to get tender.  Check your squash and make sure it is tender (but preferably not falling apart).  Spoon into bowls and top with some fresh cracked pepper!!

 

 

Peectures!

 

Chorizo Soup 1

The great gathering of the ingredients!

Chorizo Soup 2

Prepped and ready!

Chorizo Soup 3

Sauté onions and garlic for 3 minutes, add leeks and repeat!

Chorizo Soup 4

Add broth…

Chorizo Soup 5

If you’re curious, this is how I cut my chorizo…just little bite size pieces…

Chorizo Soup 6

Add squash and chorizo and simmer for 20-25 minutes…

Chorizo Soup 7

Look at that beautiful color that comes from the chorizo!  Since I had never used it I did a little research, and that red color is from the peppers they use!

Chorizo Soup 8

Add cabbage and black beans, gently stir in, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is tender but the squash is not falling apart.

Chorizo Soup 9

Bam!  Scoop into bowls and serve!

Chorizo Soup 10

See my little chorizo meat balls?  Delicious!!

Chorizo Soup 11

I was so pleased with how the flavors played off each other…not to mention all the great textures!

Chorizo Soup 12

Yummy.  I’m sad it’s gone now.  Didn’t last long.

 

 

And now you get to see why I had the best day ever.  You know the first part…I adapted a recipe, took lots of risks, and it was successful!!  Great feeling already!!  Not only that, but I had been instructed to sleep in by my fabulous husband so I felt rested (it’s amazing you should try it!).  Then the sun came out and I got to lay in the grass near my flower bed, eat yummy soup, and spend time with my sweet Jesus.  Lately I have really been trying to cut back on the movies and tv shows, and spend more time just “be-ing.”  Having real moments, be they productive moments, thoughtful moments, “connected with others” moments (I’m bad at that one, Lord help me!),  prayerful moments…let me tell you, it’s only been a few days, and already I notice a difference.  My home is full of peace when I focus on abstaining from distractions and instead just “being.”  You guys should try it.  Aim for moments like these:

 

Chorizo Soup 13

I don’t know why I ever forget how good life can be when you stop to enjoy the weather (all kinds,) to enjoy a good hearty meal, and to talk to my Creator!!  Speaking of…wanna see some of the lovely flowers I got to enjoy on this “best day ever”?

 

Chorizo SOup 14

Pink!

Chorizo Soup 15

Stripey!  I love how full the stripey ones get!

Chorizo SOup 16

And my beautiful sunflower, the only one that has bloomed so far…she’s a survivor…broken nearly in half and still grew up from the ground and bloomed!  There’s gotta be a lesson in that!!

 

Okay, forgive me, this blog is getting way too long.  I will bid you goodnight…I hope you love my soup, and feel inspired to enjoy it in quiet, undistracted peace!!

Cheat Treat: TMNT Party Ideas (Great for Halloween!)

Yes.  You read that right.  This post is going to be less recipe…and more inspiration!  I have pictures and ideas for you from a party my husband and I threw…just for ourselves.  For date night!!  We both grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (me occasionally, him religiously! ;)).  I know there are some fellow grown up nerds out there rejoicing.  But…maybe you aren’t crazy about cartoons…but maybe your kids are!  Here are some super fun things you can do either for a party with your friends, a great date night idea, or just a fun way to make a week night seem like the best thing ever to your little ones!  Also…feel free to take my ideas for TMNT and customize them to whatever themed party you want to enjoy!

 

Wanna see what we did?  Now…I am not a pastry chef, so don’t laugh at my efforts.  We just wanted to have fun 😉

 

TMNT 6

Obviously most important is that you get a big ole New York style pizza!!  If you have a Cam’s Pizzeria anywhere near you, GO THERE!  That is where I got this beautiful MONSTER!  Ugh…my mouth is watering…definitely going to have to have pizza again for our next cheat day!

 

TMNT 4

Next?  The ninjas of course!!  Make a batch of your favorite cupcakes and frost with green frosting.  (If you can’t find green, grab a tub of white and some green dye!).  Then grab those tubes or can of colored frosting that come with multiple tips…you can get them in the baking section of any grocery store.  You need AT LEAST red, orange, blue, purple, white…and a tube of black for the little details!  Use the flat, wide tip for the bandanas, and a round tip for the white of the eyes, etc…  Aren’t they fun?!

 

TMNT 2

 

Now, the ninjas need somewhere to hide, so a good idea is to provide…

 

TMNT 3

The sewer!!  I did just a standard sugar cookie.  I used a tub of white frosting, and had the black gel dye (usually they come with instructions on how many drops to use for different shades of gray!)  Feel free to write “sewer” in black to make it look more legit…I just ran out of the black haha!

 

And we can’t forget what started it all…

TMNT 5

 

Toxic ooze!  Yeah baby!!  Super easy…I got small plastic “mason jars” at Wal*Mart and filled them with lime jello…then made construction paper labels!

 

 

And there you have it!  A super fun, super tasty, super cheat-day themed party!

 

TMNT 1

 

Yeah baby…talk about wholesome haha!!

 

TMNT 7

 

What a feast!!  We devoured this while watching the old movies, and ended the night by going to a late showing of the new movie when it was in theater!!  Maybe you can plan to throw one of these parties when it comes out on DVD, and surprise your family and/or friends!!  What’s your favorite theme for parties?!

Chicken Bacon Pesto Spaghetti Squash (Revised)

It was brought to my attention that this blog was missing a couple steps, so here is the revised version!! Much love to all my faithful followers! 🙂

Feeding Mr. Rodgers

Lately I have had SO much fun searching through all my cookbooks (and buying new ones…batting my puppy eyes at Mr. Rodgers when we find them in stores hehe!), adapting the recipes to fit our lifestyle, and sharing the recipes with you wonderful people.  (Seriously, you guys are wonderful.  I love my followers, and that everyone is so encouraging!)  I hope you enjoy seeing all the fun cookbooks I stumble upon!

However, with that being said…I must declare that there is something SO special…so satisfying and confidence-boosting…about successfully creating your own dish.  Your brain child.  Your baby.  And when people you love rave about it…I don’t know about you guys, but that makes me want to cry happy tears!

This is one of those dishes.  MINE!  MY OWN!  MY PRECIOUSSS!  Haha.  (If you understand that reference, you may be a nerd…and I love you for it!)  I sincerely hope that…

View original post 456 more words

Chicken Bacon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Lately I have had SO much fun searching through all my cookbooks (and buying new ones…batting my puppy eyes at Mr. Rodgers when we find them in stores hehe!), adapting the recipes to fit our lifestyle, and sharing the recipes with you wonderful people.  (Seriously, you guys are wonderful.  I love my followers, and that everyone is so encouraging!)  I hope you enjoy seeing all the fun cookbooks I stumble upon!

 

However, with that being said…I must declare that there is something SO special…so satisfying and confidence-boosting…about successfully creating your own dish.  Your brain child.  Your baby.  And when people you love rave about it…I don’t know about you guys, but that makes me want to cry happy tears!

This is one of those dishes.  MINE!  MY OWN!  MY PRECIOUSSS!  Haha.  (If you understand that reference, you may be a nerd…and I love you for it!)  I sincerely hope that some of you understand what I am talking about, and you aren’t sitting there reading this thinking “wow, she’s a freak!”  😉  ANYWHO!  Staying on track…I loved this dish.  Mr. Rodgers loved this dish.  Mr Rodgers’ best friend loved this dish!  (I wish I could communicate to you how big of a deal that is!  He is…particular…about his food.  To this day I can’t believe he ate squash…and loved it!)

 

I mean…just look at these ingredients:

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Lg Chicken Breasts
  • Salt, Pepper, and Mrs. Dash (or your favorite seasoning blend.  I’m addicted to Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 Package Bacon
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces
  • 2 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 C Pesto (I used this quick recipe)

 

And here’s how you do it!  (Though there are a few components, it really is a simple process!)

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash however you desire!  I usually roast whole in the oven at 400* for an hour or so, turning occasionally.  You wanna make sure that you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork before you take it out.  Remove the seeds and use a fork to pull the inside into spaghetti-like strands.  Set aside.
  2. Cook your bacon and reserve the grease!
  3. Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.
  4. Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.  (Don’t let it get mushy!)
  5. Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)
  6. Dump in your spaghetti squash…
  7. Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…
  8. Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

 

 

 

Peectures!

PSS 1

Cook your bacon, reserving the grease

PSS 2

Cut your chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash, and cook in bacon grease until done.  Set aside.

PSS 3

Sauté your zucchini just a few minutes in the bacon grease, until just beginning to get tender.

PSS 4

Crumble in your bacon (or if you’re like me, use kitchen scissors to cut it into little uniform bites hehe.)

PSS 6

Dump in your spaghetti squash…

PSS 7

Stir to evenly distribute all those yummy ingredients…

PSS 8

Dump in your pesto and stir to coat everything, it should be just enough to give you a nice covering without being too overwhelming.

PSS 9

And serve!  Yummy!!

PSS 10

I wish it wasn’t so hard to make spaghetti squash look beautiful!  But I tell you what…even like that I still want to eat it right now!!  I hope this idea inspires you guys, let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Peectures!

 

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE asparagus.  Freakishly.  Last night I was shoving some in my face telling Mr. Rodgers “I could seriously eat this every day of my life!”  Because of said passion…I jump at every new way to prepare it!  This method seemed so simple, I just had to try it!  And I definitely was not disappointed…with taste or appearance!!  It was just so stinking cute!  It made me happy!  Did I mention it was simple?!  Beautiful.  You ready?  Here we go!

 

You may have guessed, but this is adapted from one of my favorites!!

Meditteranean Frittata 1

Yay for this book!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Lemon, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread the asparagus out in a single layer.  Spread the lemon slices over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus.  It should be tender-crisp.

 

 

And there you go!  Bingo zingo…super easy!!  Do you love it?!  I love it!!

 

Asparagus 1

See?  Lay it out nice and pretty…

Asparagus 2

Sprinkle with garlic…

Asparagus 3

Salt and pepper…and cook until tender crisp!

Asparagus 4

Yummy roasty toasty garlicky lemony goodness!

Asparagus 5

Asparagus 6