Cilantro Chicken Burgers

Healthy Cilantro Chicken Burgers that are anything but boring! These are packed with flavor from the cilantro, red onion, bell pepper and cumin. Cilantro Chicken Burgers are also great on the grill and high in protein to keep you going all day long.

Cilantro Chicken Burgers

Memorial Day is around the corner and I wanted to give some BBQ inspiration to you guys instead of your traditional beef patty or hot dog. If you missed it earlier this week I posted a Quinoa Tabouleh Salad, Spicy Chipotle Ketchup and today these Chicken and Cilantro Burgers.

Chicken Burgers are relatively easy to make. You start with your protein it could be ground turkey or chicken if you want a more lean protein, then you pick your add ins! I decided to go with a Mexican inspired burger with the cumin and cilantro. For extra veggies I threw in a small green bell pepper and half a red onion as well. You do not really need a binder for these they form really easily. The mixture may be a little wet and sticky, but don’t worry about it! Let them set in the refrigerator or freezer before you grill them.  They do, however, have the tendency to stick to the grill. Spray with non-stick and you should be fine.

The picture above also has a yellow heirloom tomato, sliced avocado, my spicy chipotle ketchup and cheese on a bakery made bun! Wow so many amazing flavors… you can pick your favorite toppings!

Cilantro Chicken Burgers 

Ingredients: (Makes about 6 depending on preferred size)

  • 1 pound of ground chicken OR turkey
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced very small
  • half a red onion or 1 small red onion
  • a large handful of cilantro, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • food processor to make things easier
  • toppings of choice (heirloom tomato, avocado, guacamole, lettuce, cheese, spicy chipotle ketchup)

What to do:

  1. To make things easier and to get the veggies cut small I used a food processor. Take the bell pepper and remove the seeds and the stem cut it in half and put it in food processor. Pulse until you have small pieces (not mush) remove into a bowl. Take the red onion and remove the skip cut in half and do the same, into the same bowl. Finally take the cilantro leaves and run through the food processor to get cut evenly and small, put into the mixing bowl with other ingredients. (You can do this by hand it just may take longer and not be as even). **You only need to pulse the veggies otherwise they will be mushy**
  2. To the chopped cilantro, bell pepper, and onion add the ground chicken, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix by hand until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Form about 6 patties or less if you want larger ones. The ingredients may seem a little wet but it is okay. I wrapped each patty individually in plastic wrap to I could use them as needed. You can leave them on a baking tray if desired. Place in refrigerator or freezer or until ready to cook.
    Cilantro Chicken Burgers
  4. Cook on the grill or in a saute pan (I tried both) until the chicken is cooked through and the burgers are slightly browned. (About 4-5 minutes on each side).
    Cilantro Chicken Burgers
  5. Assemble your cilantro chicken burgers, you can always make this bunless by serving on a bed of greens as well!
    Cilantro Chicken Burgers

ENJOY! Have a nice Memorial Day Weekend. Happy Grilling!

Don’t forget to follow Hunter’s Healthy Kitchen on:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

Advertisements

Simple Grilled Shrimp with Vegetables

I am so excited to start grilling this summer and one of my favorite things has to be the simplicity of these perfectly grilled shrimp with vegetables. All you need is some lemon juice, dried or fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and good quality shrimp! Skewering the shrimp helps keep the shrimp in together and also cook evenly. Memorial Day is coming up and here is some inspiration for your backyard BBQ’s!

How to Perfectly Grill Shrimp
How to Perfectly Grill Shrimp

I’m starting the season off slow with grilled shrimp and I have to say I missed the amazing flavor that grilling adds to food!

My family loves to eat shrimp but  I was never sure the best way to grill it. I have a grill basket which works wonderfully for vegetables on the grill – not so much shrimp. You could put the shrimp directly on the grill but they may fall through – or if you have a lot of shrimp it can be difficult to manage. You could use a tinfoil pouch but you may not get those grill marks I crave…

The best way to cook Simple Grilled Shrimp with Vegetables is to skewer your shrimp then rub them with seasoned olive oil and cook them on the grill. The skewer keeps all the shrimp in place, they cook evenly, and makes it so easy to cook for a large crowd. If you are just starting your grilling season try these super easy grilled shrimp with lemon juice, it will be perfect.

Summertime Grillling
Grilling Shrimp

Serve your simple grilled shrimp with a grill basket stir-fry of green beans and mushrooms as well as some quartered bell peppers seasoned with salt and pepper. This meal could not be any easier, and that’s why I love it.

How to Grill Shrimp Perfectly

What you need:

  • 1 pound of cleaned and deveined large shrimp (tails on)
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flake
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • half a juice of a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of trimmed green beans
  • a couple mushrooms sliced
  • 2 bell peppers cut into fourths

What to do:

  1. Wash and pat dry your shrimp and begin to skewer them by placing 4 shrimp per skewer in the same direction. (I did not soak my skewers because the shrimp only cook for a few minutes on each side – if you cook them longer they will be black and burn).  Makes about 6 skewers.
  2.  Season shrimp with salt and pepper both sides. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flake and garlic powder. Use a basting brush and baste both sides of the shrimp liberally with olive oil mixture. If preparing a head of time then you can cover these and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

    Summertime Grilling
    Grilled Shrimp
  3. Preheat grill to 400 degrees and prepare your vegetables. Toss the green beans and mushrooms with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. (I like to keep it simple)
  4. Quarter your bell peppers and brush with the remaining olive oil mixture that was on the shrimp.
  5. Leave the grill basket on the grill while it’s preheating and once hot place the green beans and mushrooms in the basket. Next place the bell peppers skin side down to get charred.  Put the other half of the lemon on the grill flesh side down.
  6. After about 5 minutes put the shrimp on the hot grill. Grill shrimp about 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  7. Remove the shrimp on to a serving platter and place the bell peppers and green bean mixture on the same plate. Squeeze grilled lemon on top of the shrimp and serve.
Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Platter
Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Platter

Happy Grilling!

~Hunter

Don’t forget to follow Hunter’s Healthy Kitchen on:

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest

Pork Carnitas Tacos with Salsa Verde and Pico De Gallo

Pork Carnitas

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Celebrate May 5th with Pork Carnitas, Salsa Verde and Pico De Gallo that is perfect for your Healthy Mexican Fiesta.

This Pork Carnitas recipe works perfectly in tacos. Let the pork cook for a few hours in the oven with yummy aromatics like oranges, bay leaves, lime juice, cumin, and oregano. The result is pork that absorbs all that flavor and then is browned under the broiler for that crispy texture.

Pork CarnitasPork Carnitas

I also served this pork with a Salsa Verde that was inspired by a Mexican Restaurant that I frequently visit. They serve this green salsa on the table so you can add it to your dishes as you please. Salsa Verde is green and just uses tomatillo tomatoes to give it the green color along with fresh cilantro and jalapeno to adds some heat! I grilled the ingredients to add a nice smoky flavor.

Healthy Salsa Verde Salsa Verde

Pico De GalloTo add some freshness you can make my Pico De Gallo which helps brighten up your Pork Carnitas Taco! This Pico De Gallo is basically just roma tomates, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno which can be added to any of your favorite proteins.

You can also use this pork recipe for a Mexican Salad Bowl by putting the Pork Carnitas on top of a greens and adding the Salsa Verde, Pico De Gallo, Avocado, and whatever add-ins you like!

Pico De Gallo

Here’s How to Make the Photos Above:

Ingredients:

Corn Tortillas

For the Pork Carnitas:

1 4-5 pound bone in or boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 orange juice and peel
juice of 1 lime (throwout the peel)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups of water

For the Salsa Verde:
4-5 tomatillos (outer layer removed and rinsed)
1 jalapeno (this adds heat unless you remove the seeds)
1 medium onion peeled and sliced in half
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup of packed cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Pico De Gallo
4-5 Roma Tomates
1 Small Red Onion
1/2 a Jalapeno, seeds removed
2 cups of chopped cilantro
1 lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a dutch oven or large pot that can go in the oven place the cubed pork, and all the other ingredients in the pot. Heat on burner over medium-high heat until the pork mixture begins to simmer. Cover and move to oven for 2 hours or until pork is tender enough to be pulled with fork. *If you bought a bone in pork butt and cut it off the bone put the bone in the pot also to add flavor*
  2. While pork is cooking heat grill over high heat and place the tomatillos, jalapeno, and onion on the grill. Let grill until they become blistered and slightly blackened. Put right into a blender with cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 cup of water. Move to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Next make the Pico De Gallo by dicing the roma tomatoes into small uniform pieces (remove some of the tomato seeds if it has a lot), the red onion the same size, half a seeded jalapeno, and finally fold in the chopped cilantro. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper. Put to the side.
  4. Remove pork from oven and use a slotted spoon to move pork to a cutting board. Remove the orange peel, onion and bay leaf into garbage. When just the cooking broth is left heat over high heat to a rapid boil until the liquid has reduced by half and become syrupy (20-30 minutes).
  5. While sauce is reducing shred meat if the pieces are still big and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Heat broiler to high and place rack in the middle of the oven. Spoon the reduced sauce evenly over the meat and toss to evenly coat. Flatten the meat out.
  6. Put under broiler for 5-7 minutes until the meat becomes browned. Remove from oven and flip the pork carnitas over, broil for another 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Warm taco shells in the oven while the meat is broiling and assemble taco with the salsa verde and Pico De Gallo!

It may seem like a lot of steps for the pork but it is so worth it! Do not skip boiling the liquid that the pork cooked in to pour over before you broil it. And definitely do not skip broiling the meat to get the crispy texture.

Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo with Pork Carnitas Tacos 

The Pork Carnitas recipe is from Pinterest and was originally posted on MyKitchenEsapades.com 

Asian Pasta Salad with Very Teriyaki

An Asian Pasta Salad with edamame, red cabbage, shredded carrots, and very teriyaki dressing!

Asian Pasta Salad - Very Teriyaki

It’s Spring and that means finding cold salad dishes that can be made in advance that are healthy and so easy to make.

I first had this pasta salad last summer and have been literally been thinking about it ever since. I really do not like pasta salads that are based with mayo – I find them so heavy! This can be a problem when all summer long you go to BBQ’s and people serve pasta salad that is made with mayonnaise! You are much better off making your own pasta salads as you can control what ingredients go into it.
Asian-Pasta-Salad-Very-Teriyaki

I love anything that is teriyaki and asian inspired. One of my favorite marinades is Soy Vay’s Very Teriyaki Marinade and Dressing. It is great to marinate your proteins in over the summer before you throw it on the grill. Of course making your own fresh marinade is always a great option, but sometimes we need easy meals, and this sauce does just that.

This asian pasta salad would be great with whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, traditional bow ties pasta, and possibly even zoodles. You can also pick your favorite “add-ins” to customize this pasta salad. I went with edamame, red cabbage, and shredded carrots. But green peas, bell peppers, and peanuts would make a great addition as well.

Edamame, Carrots, Shredded Red Cabbage
Edamame, Carrots, Shredded Red Cabbage

I hate having half a box of pasta that just sits in the pantry so I used the whole thing. It makes a lot, which is great for leftover night!

Serves 4-6

Asian Pasta Salad with Very Teriyaki 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 box of bow tie pasta (12 ounces)
  • 1 bag of frozen shelled edamame cooked according to package
  • half a head of red cabbage shredded thin (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup of Soy Vay Very Teriyaki Marinade and Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

What to do: 

  1. Cook the pasta according to package, al dente, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. While pasta is cooking whisk together the Soy Vay Very Teriyaki Dressing, rice wine vinegar, and chili oil in a large bowl. Put to the side.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage, carrots, and edamame to the dressing mixture. Toss in the cooked pasta until well mixed. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  4. Eat at room temperature or put in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat!
    Asian Pasta Salad

It’s that easy.

This asian pasta salad would also make a great lunch, picnic item, side dish at dinner, or to have at at BBQ.

Let me know what your favorite pasta salad recipe is!

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

~Hunter

 

Zucchini Noodles “Zoodles” and Meatballs

 Zucchini Noodles – Zoodles – with Marinara and Meatballs!

Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs

I am a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs but I try not to eat pasta too often and save it for special occasions. But the problem is there are so many great dishes that pair with pasta because it is a nice base to soak up whatever sauce you put on top.

Today I decided to go with tomato sauce and meatballs but you could also do a nice pesto, garlic and oil, or anything you would put on traditional pasta.

So I have had my spiralizer since January now and I have been experimenting with different ways of cooking the noodles as well as the best way to use my new gadget. I found that as I used it more the noodles did get better.

Here are a few things I noticed:
-You should try and use large zucchinis when spiralizing I find they work better (about 1 per person)
-I also found that zucchini has a lot of water in it! You can avoid some of this water and the soggy aspect of the noodles by: Making the zoodles and then letting them sit with paper towel to squeeze some of the water content out. Some recipes say to let the zucchini sit with salt on them because it draws the water out but personally I did not find this extra step necessary.

-There are also two different types of spiralizers I have tried.

Zucchini Noodles
Zoodles using the hand held spiralizer.

1) Vegetable Spiralizer Maker – It is hand held and only comes with two different size spirals. I found this one easier to clean and a little quicker. The noodles, come out a little flatter and less round but it is super easy and very little clean up. Inexpensive. $13.00 Amazon
2) Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: This is more of a machine and involves a little more set up time but also gives you more options. I like the texture and shape of the noodles better with this machine then the hand held because it is a continuous spiral. The noodles are rounder which resembles pasta. You also get multiple blades where you can change the shape and size of the spiral, which is nice. A little more expensive. $26.00

For this recipe I used the first option and it worked rather well. Once you prepare the meatballs this recipe takes very little time at all. I also speed it up by using my favorite jarred tomato sauce – Rao’s Marinara Sauce. A home made sauce would work nicely.

What you need:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • a little less than half a cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite tomato sauce
  • zucchini (1 per person)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine your ground beef, parsley, milk, egg, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined and form meatballs.
    Meatballshome made meatballs
  2. Bake for 12-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Make sure they do not over cook, depends on preferred size.
    Zucchini and meatballs
  3. While meatballs are cooking spiralize zucchini and let sit wrapped in paper towel to draw some of the moisture out.
  4. Once meatballs are cooked remove from oven and heat a medium-large saute pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Take the zucchini and saute for about 2-5 minutes just until warmed through, season with salt and pepper. Move to a bowl.

    Zucchini Noodles -"Zoodles"
    Zucchini Noodles -“Zoodles”
  5. In the same pan take 1 cup of marinara sauce and heat it in the sauce pan. Take 3 or 4 meatballs depending on size and put in marinara sauce, until the sauce begins to simmer.
    Zoodles and Meatballs
  6. Spoon the desired amount of sauce over your zoodles and place meatballs on top. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a little bit of parmesan cheese.

    Zucchini Noodles - Zoodles - and Meatballs
    Zucchini Noodles – Zoodles – and Meatballs

Notes: If you let your zucchini sit with sauce on it for a long time before eating the sauce will become watery as the zucchini releases water. It’s best to eat it right away to avoid this.

Enjoy your low-carb zoodles and meatballs!

Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ Hunters Healthy Kitchen on Facebook!

Biscuit Pot Pie

biscuit pot pie

This Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie uses flaky biscuits as the crust topping and healthier sweet potatoes as well as the traditional vegetables you will find in any good pot pie.

This is comfort food and one of my all time favorites! 🙂

Biscuit Pot Pie is something I have been wanting to try and make for a while now. I did not make my own biscuits for this recipe but next time I will definitely try to! I hear it’s not too difficult. The main reason I did not make my own is because of lack of time. Instead, I used the low-fat biscuits you find in dairy section – and they were still great!
biscuit pot pie

While doing research to prepare for this recipe I thought of using sweet potatoes instead of traditional russet or red. I did not see a lot of recipes using sweet potatoes but I think that it added a great flavor and healthy aspect to the dish! Besides sweet potato I used carrots, celery, peas, onions, and I had half a squash so last minute I threw that in there – yum!
biscuit pot pie

The only downside to the sweet potato is as I’m sure your aware of is that they take a long time to cook. You have to be sure to give time to cook your potatoes at a low simmer with the carrots, onions, and celery – until tender! If you do this your sweet potatoes will be perfect in the Biscuit Pot Pie. I also used chicken that I had leftover from making stock for my Matzo Ball Soup. Half of the chicken went into the soup and the other half in to a container so I could re-purpose it for a new recipe!

If you are a fan of classic Chicken Pot Pie you have to try this Biscuit Pot Pie… you are missing out!

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken (you could use rotisserie chicken if you want)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • about 4 diced carrots
  • 3 or 4 sliced in half and diced into small pieces
  • 2 small sweet potatoes peeled and diced to the same size of the carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • half a green squash diced (optional)
  • about 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of milk (plus a little more if needed)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can (16.3 0z) Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Low-Fat Biscuits

What to do:

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Next add the sweet potato and saute for another minute and add the celery and carrots. Cook for another 10 minutes until sweet potatoes begin to soften.
  2. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and thyme and bring to simmer. Add the green squash and frozen peas, cover and cook until sweet potato are tender (about 10 more minutes).
    biscuit pot pie
  3. While the sweet potato is cooking whisk together the milk and flour. It should be a little thick.
  4. When sweet potato is tender stir in the shredded chicken. Next mix in the milk-flour mixture and the filling should begin to thicken. (If it looks like it needs to be a little thicker add a little more milk and a little more flour).
    biscuit pot pie
  5. If making a head stop here and pour into a 9×13 baking dish cover and refrigerate. If you are going to bake it now preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place the biscuits over the top of the filling mixture should be enough to cover the top of the pot pie.
    biscuit pot pie
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Check biscuits at 12 and make sure they are not over cooking. Take out and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
    biscuit pot pie
  8. This makes nice leftovers the biscuits soften nicely in the microwave – if you are lucky enough to have leftovers!

Serving Size: 1 Biscuit Per Person

Enjoy!!!

~Hunter

What’s you favorite way to eat Chicken Pot Pie?

Healthier Baja Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa, Cabbage Greek Yogurt Cilantro-Lime Slaw, and Cilantro. 

Fish Tacos with Yogurt Slaw, Corn Salsa, and Cilantro
Fish Tacos with Yogurt Slaw, Corn Salsa, and Cilantro

I love tacos. I used to want to eat tacos all the time when I was younger. Nothing fancy just ground beef with some taco seasoning and some fresh toppings. Since then I have been trying all different types of tacos – but truly found love with fish tacos.

These Baja Fish Tacos are so easy to make and make a great Spring/Summer meal. They are light and are packed with flavor and protein. The lime juice adds a fresh bright flavor to these tacos. I also use red cabbage which gives great color, helps detoxify the body, helps keep blood pressure from getting high, and is also a brain food. In the cabbage slaw I used greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to help keep this recipe light- plus I don’t really care for mayo. I also love to use red cabbage in my salads because this recipe does not use the whole head of cabbage – so you will have leftovers.

I lightly fry the cod fish fillets to provide a light crispy exterior and perfectly tender inside. You do have to be careful though because cod is very delicate and the filets were starting to fall apart if you touch them too much while they are cooking. Handle with care!

Another reason I am obsessed with these Baja Fish Tacos is the fact that this is my first time making homemade tortilla chips with corn tortillas. It’s so easy and they are so fresh, perfect to scoop up the fish and corn that falls out of your tortilla at the end! All you have to do is stack and cut the soft corn tortillas into wedges, toss with a light coating of vegetable oil and spices, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes rotating trays half way through – or until crispy. Make sure each chip lays flat on the tray or they won’t be crispy.

Home-made Tortilla Chips
Home-made Tortilla Chips

Here’s what you will need:

For the Taco:
1 pound of cod fillets cut into cut into 2-by-1/2 inch pieces (or preferred white fish)
1 cup all purpose flour
a little paprika, chili powder, and cumin (just a pinch of each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package of corn tortillas

Corn Topping:
1 can of corn – rinsed and drained (fresh is best when it is in season)
1 green bell pepper chopped to the same size as the corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
dash of chili powder

For the Cabbage Slaw: 
4 cups of shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 head)
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime & zest
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
about 3/4 cup of low-fat plain greek yogurt
1 tsp agave nectar

What to do: 

1. Make the Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Slaw by whisking together greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, vegetable oil, agave, salt and pepper. Then mix in the shredded cabbage. Let sit while you prepare the tacos.

Greek Yogurt Slaw with Cilantro-Lime and Agave
Greek Yogurt Slaw with Cilantro-Lime and Agave

cabbage slaw
2. Make the Corn Topping in a small bowl by mixing together juice of 1 lime, cilantro, vegetable oil, dash of chili powder, salt and pepper. Then stir in the corn and green bell pepper.

3. Prepare the fish filets: Cut the fish into taco size pieces and put aside. Make the seasoned flour dredge by combining 1 cup all purpose flour, a little paprika, chili powder, and cumin (just a pinch of each), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. As you are making the dredge heat a large skillet up with a little bit of vegetable oil (enough to coat the bottom)- you do not need to completely submerge the fish.

4. Once the oil is very hot take a few fish fillets and dredge in flour mixture evenly covering the fish and carefully place in the skillet. Fry in batches about 2 minutes on each side (maybe less if your fish is thin – or until golden brown). Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Season with salt and continue until finished.

Cod cooking
Cod cooking

5. Warm the tortillas up in a 275 degree oven until warm and slightly crisp as the fish is cooking. Now it’s time to assemble your taco!

6. Take 2 taco shells and place a little cabbage slaw on the bottom, then place a piece of fish, the corn topping, a little more slaw, cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Baja Fish Tacos
Baja Fish Tacos

Happy Taco Tuesday! Enjoy this delicious recipe!

~Hunter

Healthy Easter Sunday Dinner Ideas

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 10.41.53 AMEaster is right around the corner and I thought it would be fun to give some of my favorite entertaining recipes that would make a great Easter dinner.

My last blog post was my 100th post! I am so happy that I have been able to keep up with blogging, going to school full time, and working. I am also about to reach my 200th blog follower so I am very thankful for all you guys taking the time to love what I do. These are some of my favorite recipes that I have made over the past year.

All of these recipes are so easy and most of them can be prepared a head of time if you are worried about having time to prep all your food! More importantly I try to make substitutions on all the recipes that I make to give them a healthy twist. But it’s important to remember that it is a holiday so if you want to indulge a little bit, you can and that’s as simple as using cream instead of a substitute like greek yogurt.

Here is a look back at my favorite recipes that would make the most delicious:

Easter Sunday Menu! 

Appetizers:

1. Cream of Asparagus Soup:
Spring Time Cream of Asparagus Soup
Spring Time Cream of Asparagus Soup

In my last blog post I gave you guys a recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup and this would make a perfect appetizer to your Easter dinner. Asparagus is in season during the spring so use it as much as you can! This recipe can also be made a head, just add the cream before you serve!

2. Party Friendly White Bean Dip:
Party-Friendly White Bean Dip
Party-Friendly White Bean Dip

I love this dip! It uses cannenelli beans, fresh herbs like parsley, and lemon juice. The result is a healthy yet delicious dip that everyone will love. This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis. All you need is a food processor and this recipe could easily be doubled for a larger crowed. You could also serve this with home made pita chips or carrot and pepper sticks!

3. Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms:
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Doesn’t every holiday have to include stuffed mushrooms? Especially this recipe. I honestly really don’t even like mushrooms but lately I have been forcing myself to eat them and the taste has been growing on me. Regardless, I will eat these mushrooms whether I like the taste or not because they are that good! Stuffed with spicy sausage, marscapone, breadcrumbs, and herbs. Amazing!

Main Course:

1. Easy Turkey Lasagna:
Turkey Sausage Lasagna
Turkey Sausage Lasagna

Lasagna was always a staple in my house on Easter. Always made by my Grandma and we always had one with meat and one without. Now that she has stopped making it I always fantasize about her Lasagna when Easter rolls around. You could use ground turkey or do without the meat and it would still be the best lasagna ever.

2. Herb Crusted Pork Loin:
Herb Crusted Pork Loin
Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Not a ham fan? Make this herb crusted pork loin for those who do not wish to eat ham and they will love it! Pork loin doesn’t really have any flavor on it’s own so you need to load it with herbs and spices to make the pork stand out. Create a dry rub and cook the pork at a high temperature – the most important thing – let it rest. While it’s resting you can work on something else!

3. Rack of Lamb with Mint Basil Pesto:
Rack of Lamb
Rack of Lamb

 Lamb is very traditional on Easter. Some use leg of lamb and some rack of lamb. I am obsessed with this rack of lamb recipe especially the mint basil pesto that brings it to life. Rack of lamb can be expensive so if you are going to make it what better time then a special occasion like Easter.

Side Dishes:

1. Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes:
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes

A skinny version of mashed potato that uses greek yogurt instead of cream or butter milk.

2. Oven Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan Breadcrumbs:
Oven-Roasted Broccoli
Oven-Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli is always a crowed pleaser and this would go deliciously with the lamb or the roasted pork loin. More importantly it’s easy.

Dessert:

Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
Butterscotch Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

To get some inspiration for dessert you can always check out my Healthier Sweet Treats page or just have your family bring dessert. After all, you’re doing all the cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great Easter everybody! And if you don’t celebrate all of these recipes would be great any night of the week!

~Hunter

Springtime Asparagus Soup

Springtime Cream of Asparagus Soup with Herbs and Lemon Juice 

Spring Time Cream of Asparagus Soup
Spring Time Cream of Asparagus Soup

Since in New York it snowed the first day of spring the only sign of spring is all the nice asparagus that has been in the market the past few weeks. Although its still early asparagus is in season April through late May. I love when this time of year rolls around and we begin to see a transition in the fruits and vegetables that are available in the super markets.

Asparagus can be very expensive when it is not in season so during the seasonal months I like to use it more frequently. This is the perfect time to try Cream of Asparagus Soup, especially if you are frequently making roasted asparagus and want to try something new. It’s nice to change it up and make something different and tasty like a creamy soup.

This Cream of Asparagus soup is also a good transition from winter soups into spring time meals. The weather is not quite warm enough but also still a little chilly in the evening and morning. Finishing the soup with fresh lemon juice really helps brighten up this soup for a warm spring day.

You can also make Cream of Asparagus soup for Easter this Sunday. It would make a great appetizer or entree for your family as it is light and bright. You can make this soup a head of time and add the cream right before you serve it so you can be sure the soup will not turn from re-heating the cream. If you don’t celebrate Easter just serve this at any dinner party or family gathering and everyone will love it!

I had some extra parsley and spinach in my refrigerator and figured hey they are green and might add some brightness to the dish! If you want to omit spinach and parsley you could.

Perfect Easter Cream of Asparagus Soup

What you need:
  • 2 pounds of fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 3 small shallots, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons butter (coconut oil if vegan)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (vegetable if you want to make it vegan)
  • 1 cup water if needed to thin out soup
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream (OTHER OPTIONS: half and half OR Coconut Milk OR Sour Cream OR Greek Yogurt – change amount to match ingredient)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • chives for garnish
  • juice of half a lemon for garnish
What to do:
  1. Wash and cut off asparagus ends that are tough. Cut asparagus into small 1 inch or so pieces. Reserve some of the tips if desired for garnish (if not ignore).
  2. In a large heavy pot melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft. Add asparagus pieces, pinch of salt and pepper and stir occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
    spring asparagus soup
  3. Add 4 or 5 (more broth equals thinner soup) cups of broth and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the fresh spinach and parsley, simmer for another 5-10 minutes until asparagus is very tender.
  4. Next, puree the soup in batches with a food processor or blender. If you have an immersion blender keep it in the pot and use that until smooth, caution blending hot liquids.
  5. Return soup back to pot and stir in 1/2 cup of cream or substitute season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
  6. Serve soup hot with chopped chives for garnish and squeeze of half a lemon.
    spring time asparagus soup

The lemon really adds a lot of depth of flavor and brightens the soup! If you do not like lemon you can omit but I think it really made the soup great.

 

Enjoy!!

~Hunter

Date Night: Steak with Mushroom and Red Wine Sauce

Hanger Steak with Mushrooms in a Pan Red Wine Sauce

Date Night Steak
Date Night Steak

This  steak recipe is great for a special occasion and so easy to make! The flank steak cooks perfectly with earthy mushrooms and is really delicious!

The great thing about this recipe is you can literally throw everything into the pan and the result is a decadent sauce that tastes like it came out of a restaurant. I made this recipe with my boyfriend over the weekend and it felt like such a treat. This Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce recipe is not for an average night, it is a treat! Since the recipe has butter and wine it’s great to make this on a special occasion.

Mushroom Sauce
Mushroom Sauce

I tried to cut down the butter to the least amount possible as well as the wine. But 1 cup of wine won’t hurt! If I were to make this again I would love to get a really fresh assortment of mushrooms from a local farmers market, but for this recipe we just used button mushrooms sliced thin.

For an extra special treat serve this steak with Hasselback Potatoes. If you are wondering how to make a hasselback potato which is like a cross between a baked potato and a french fry check out my previous post here. If I were to make this again I think I would serve it with cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice, something that would soak up the yummy sauce that the pan and the wine creates.

Date Night: Flank Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce
Date Night: Flank Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

You can also use pretty much use any cut of steak for this recipe just make sure you change the cooking time accordingly. I used a flank steak because it was cheaper in the super market, however, the recipe calls for hanger. I think skirt steak or filet mignon would be great as well! Use what you have available.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped small
  • 8-12 ounces of mushrooms (button or assorted) sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons of butter unsalted
  • 1 1/2 pound flank steak (let steak come to room temperature for about 1/2 hour)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

What to do:

  1. Heat a medium skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion; cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl on the side.
  2. Keep pan hot and melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Season steak with salt and pepper liberally. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness of steak with rosemary.  Remove from pan on to a cutting board and let rest with tin foil tent while you make the sauce.
    steak with mushrooms and wine sauce
    *
    Don’t worry about the pan looking burned and brown once you put the wine all the bits lift from the pan and create a yummy sauce.
  3. Pour off extra fat if necessary. Keep pan on heat and add wine; cook stirring up bits on the pan until the wine reduces to 3/4 cup about 3 minutes. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer until reduces to about 1/2 a cup about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in mushrooms and fresh chopped parsley
    mushroom sauce
    Mushroom Sauce with Parsley

    Thinly slice steak on cutting board against the grain. If desired bring meat back to pan to cover in sauce or put steak in a serving dish and pour mushroom sauce directly over steak.

Enjoy with cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice and a nice green vegetable.

Flank Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce
Flank Steak with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

When I made this recipe I had a hasselback potato and steamed spinach!

Enjoy!!

~Hunter