Turkey Feta Burgers.

Ah.  Aaaaaaaah.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

 

This was really good.  For real.  I am so sad that I didn’t make a flippin quadruple batch.  What.  Was I thinking?  Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Dramatic?  Perhaps.  But if you try this, I think you will agree that this recipe is worth the drama.  If you have followed me for very long, you probably know of my love for cheeseburgers.  My Achilles heel when it comes to healthy eating.  This was a very healthy way to satisfy that ravenous hunger.  And you know what’s crazy?  I made these for dinner, then took the one remaining patty to work the next day and warmed it up for lunch.  It was even BETTER the next day!  Crazy sauce.  No more talk.  Let’s get to the recipe.

Adapted from womenshealthmag.com.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 4 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 4 oz Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 tsp Greek Seasoning
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • Your favorite tzatziki sauce, optional (the original said just to mix plain Greek yogurt with lemon juice.  I already have a hard time with the tartness of plain yogurt, so I omitted a sauce all together.  My husband tried it with the lemon/yogurt combo and wasn’t impressed with the sauce.  It really didn’t need it.  But I bet it would be great with a proper tzatziki!)
  • Whole grain hamburger buns or a Portabella for gluten free folks, optional.  We ate it with no bun, and were completely satisfied!

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a bowl.  Get down and get dirty, mix it up with your hands!!!  Doesn’t it smell sooooooo good?  Note…the texture may seem concerning…I thought it was too thin, but it worked perfectly!  Don’t fear!
  2. Form into four even patties, don’t forget to put a small well in the middle to help them to cook flat!
  3. Toss them into the freezer for a couple minutes while you clean your counters, slice your cucumbers, and rinse your spinach.  My husband gave me this tip.  Apparently that is what Bobby Flay does when he makes burgers.  It helps them not fall apart!
  4. Heat a pan over medium heat, with a Tablespoon of butter in the bottom.
  5. Place the patties in your warm pan, cover, and cook for seven minutes.
  6. Flip, and cook another 5 minutes uncovered.
  7. Place on a plate, spread some of your sauce on if you went that route, top with cucumber slices and spinach.  Eat.  Be amazed.

SO.  GOOD.

 

Chop your roasted red pepper, and mince your garlic.  Prep prep prep.

Turkey Feta Burger 1Put the first seven ingredients together in a bowl.

Turkey Feta Burger 2Don’t forget the egg!  I forgot it until after I had taken the pictures 😉  Mix it all together with your hands!  I recommend taking your rings off first 😉  It’s amazing how good it smells already at this stage.

Turkey Feta Burger 3Form into four patties, not forgetting to put a small well in the middle to help them cook flat!

Turkey Feta Burger 4Place them in the freezer for a couple of minutes.  This will help them bind together and keep a good shape.  Now you can make sure your spinach is rinsed, your cucumbers are sliced, your sauce is prepped (if you decided to make a tzatziki style sauce), and your counters are clear.

Turkey Feta Burger 5Heat a pan over medium heat, with a tablespoon of butter in the bottom.  Place the patties in the pan, cover, and cook for seven minutes.  Remove lid, flip, and cook five more minutes.

Turkey Feta Burger 6Remove and place on a whole grain bun, a portabella, or straight on your plate like we did 🙂  Top with your sauce (optional), cucumber slices, and spinach leaves.  You’re ready to enjoy!

Turkey Feta Burger 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

CocoGinger Chicken Soup!

So, my husband has been reading this book called Perfect Weight America by Jordan Rubin.  I’m learning so much just from the little things he has shared with me! And it has just confirmed my feelings that health is not based on a number, but instead what you are putting in your body and how you are taking care of yourself!!

So, feeling much inspired, we have gotten a free membership on http://perfectweightamerica.com (you should check out the website!) and as of yesterday started a 16 week detox diet plan. At first I was devastated that my blogging career would end so quickly, since I would have to be eating gross pre-planned food.  Then last night I ate this meal.  And changed my mind.  SO YUM!! And perfect to eat after trudging through piles of snow to get in our car and gather groceries! Mmmm.  Let me share this gem with you!

CocoGinger Soup 2

These flavor combinations are stinking fantastic! It hits you in waves of warm coconut, lime, ginger, and rich green onion!! Ah! I’m getting too excited, so I’ll just tell you how to make it so you can share my enthusiasm!

Just one note before you move on: the Perfect Weight America plan has you eating organic, seeing as everything else ends up with chemicals in it.  Because of this I labeled everything organic, but if you are an average Joe like us Rodgers’, organic may be out of the price range.  Just do what you can and get as much organic as possible, that’s what we did!!

What you need:

  • 3-4 free range chicken breasts, depending on size or just how “meaty” you like your soups, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, organic, sliced
  • 1 T ginger, organic, paste or peeled and chopped (I used the paste that you can get in the produce section by the herbs…its easier to deal with and is made with organic ginger!)
  • 3 jalapenos, or 2 serranos, organic, seeded and chopped real small
  • 6 Cups Organic, Free Range Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 C coconut milk, organic
  • 4 T lime juice, organic
  • 1 C cilantro, organic, chopped

Here’s what to do:

  1. Get your big soup pot, and put it over medium heat! Melt your coconut oil.
  2. Add in your onions and saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  It should start smelling real good before too long!
  3. Toss in your chicken and brown it slightly.  This isn’t 100% necessary but I usually brown my meat before letting it simmer and cook in soups!
  4. Add the ginger and jalapenos/serranos and give it a good stir to get everything evenly coated.
  5. Add lime juice, coconut milk, and chicken broth.  Stir it up and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and let it simmer for an hour or so, letting the chicken cook and the flavors meld together!
  7. Top with cilantro! Yummy! Enjoy a guilt free evening knowing that you satisfied your taste buds and your body isn’t in distress cause of your meal 🙂

Personal “Protein” Pizzas (Gluten Free!)

Aka…pizza chicken!!

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This makes my aspiring gluten free self VERY HAPPY! And the great thing about this is that you can make so many different variations…as many as your brain can come up with!!  I love that I’m getting all the taste of pizza…none of the starch, carbs, and gluten…and so much more protein than a normal serving of pizza!

Have I mentioned that it tastes just like pizza?! It’s SOOOO GOOD!!!! And nearly guilt-free! But enough talking about it! Let me put down the directions so you can experience it!!!

One last note: This is what I did with what I wanted/had in the fridge…but please don’t be tied down to it.  Imagine, dream, create!!! And let me know what you try and how it turns out, I’d love more combos to try!!

Adapted from http://www.genaw.com

Here’s what you need:

  • 6-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning (Or “pizza seasoning)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pizza Sauce (About half a jar of store bought, or if you want to make your own there is a fantastic recipe on http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/06/copy-cat-recipe-pizza-hut-pizza-sauce/)
  • Pepperonis, at least 24
  • 1/2 Roll of Pork Sausage, browned (I used Sage)
  • 1 Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (to taste)
  • Olive Oil (or butter) for sauteing

How it’s done:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take your chicken breasts, and beat them with a mallet…OR if you are real fancy like me, put them in a gallon ziploc two at a time, squeeze the air out, zip it up, take a heavy pot and beat the crap outta those suckers!! You really do want them to be as thin as possible, seeing as this is the “crust” of your pizza.
  2. Season the breasts very generously with the salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning (or Pizza Seasoning) on both sides.  For best results, cook the chicken through on a grill or grill pan…since they are pounded so thin it should just take a few minutes per side.  You could always bake them too.  But the grill lines and flavor add a nice smoky pizza-y touch 🙂 Set aside.
  3. Heat oil (or butter) in a pan, and saute your vegetables until just starting to get soft, but not mushy.  This adds a real nice flavor! You could probably add seasonings here if you wanted, but it really didn’t seem to need it 🙂  Also, you can saute them together, but I wanted to prepare this meal as a fun DIY buffet-style meal, so I kept everything separate!
  4. This is where I put everything in bowls and set it out with a pan so everybody could build their own “personal pizzas” and place them on the pan.  But however you wanna do it, the idea is to take your flat chicken breast, spread pizza sauce on it, top with veggies, meat, and cheese, then pop into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melty and everything is warm 🙂
  5. Enjoy! Soooooooo good!

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This is ours prior to being baked…notice how I put my cheese on top, and Jason put his under the veggies? Every person is different! 😉

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I can’t wait to try it with Canadian bacon and pineapple!! :O  What combinations do you think would be good?

Gluten Free Kielbasa and Cheese Pasta!

Gluten Free Kielbasa Pagodas

Comfort food!! My favorite! This is a quick and easy dish that I often make at work, it gives me my protein and the satisfaction of a cheesy pasta…without the gluten that, unfortunately, I have discovered my insides are not fond of.  Sad day…  Oh wait…over it!! Cause you know what?! I declare that gluten-free does not have to mean delicious-free!

If you or someone you know is attempting a gluten-free lifestyle…and if you love macaroni and cheese and all that yummy comforting childhood food but want to avoid the wheat and that mysterious orange death powder…give this one a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂

What you’ll need:

  • 6-8 ounces of your favorite uncooked gluten-free pasta.  (Pictured is corn/quinoa blend pagodas. I’ve also made this recipe with gf macaroni…that was my favorite.  Be creative, you could certainly use spaghetti or even spaghetti squash!)
  • 1 lb fully cooked turkey kielbasa (or smoked sausage of choice), cut into slices.  Double check your package to make sure its gluten-free! According to Google it looks like Hillshire Farms is a safe brand.
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (I am a “more is better” girl when it comes to garlic.  Can I get a witness?!)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 C milk
  • 1 C fresh or frozen peas, or half a bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 C (4 oz, or more to taste) cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
  • A few good cracks of fresh black pepper

The process:

  1. Read the package on your pasta, and get it cooking.  I would follow the instructions closely on this one…gluten free pasta can be finicky and you don’t want to end up with mush 🙂 Note: if your pasta gets done before your sauce…make sure to toss it with some olive oil so you don’t end up with a pasta brick 🙂
  2. While you wait for your pasta, melt your butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Toss in your kielbasa slices and garlic cloves. Cook until your kielbasa is starting to brown, but be careful! You don’t want your garlic to burn!!
  3. Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth.  Gradually add it to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Add peas or broccoli.  Cook and stir until it reaches desired thickness…probably 2-5 minutes.
  4. Add in pasta and cheese, and stir until it is all combined, melty, cheesy, thickened goodness!!
  5. Eat.  Be pain-free.  Enjoy!

Verdict: This meal makes me happy because I love pasta, cheese, AND kielbasa.  I thought I was giving up pasta when I decided I should give up gluten.  NOT SO!  I have made this twice with minor differences between the two…and definitely recommend the use of gluten-free macaroni, and cheddar cheese! If I do pagodas again I will cook less so the sauce covers the noodles better…which is why I changed it to “6-8 oz uncooked pasta” from the original “8 oz pasta.” Feel free to try adding your favorite herbs and spices and let me know how it goes!!

Here’s some more pictures of the process!! I put the recipe first cause I always scroll through to the recipe at the end when I am using recipes from other blogs, and I get annoyed having to pass all the pictures! But for you visual learners, here ya go!!

Cook your gluten-free pasta according to package instructions, drain when ready and toss with olive oil if sauce is not done.

While waiting for your pasta to finish cooking, brown your kielbasa and garlic in the butter!

Combine your milk and cornstarch and gradually stir into the pan.  Bring to a boil and add veggie of choice.  Stir, letting thicken for 2-5 minutes.

Add in pasta and cheese and stir until well combined and melty!!! Serve hot and enjoy peace of taste buds and peace of digestive system!