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!

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Homemade Spicy Chipotle Ketchup

Spicy Chipotle Ketchup

Spice up your traditional ketchup this summer with a semi home made spicy chipotle ketchup. You can put this on anything you would use with ketchup: french fries, veggie fries, hamburgers, chicken burgers, vegetable burgers, or even meatloaf!

This recipe for Spicy Chipotle Ketchup uses adobe chili peppers and some spices to kick up the flavor and heat. Although this uses some store bought ketchup to only enhance the flavors you could also go the one step further and make your own bottled ketchup.

Spicy Chipotle Ketchup

Either way you will have a spicy ketchup that will elevate any outdoor barbecue burger. Home-made chipotle ketchup is another one of my recipes I am sharing with you for Memorial Day Weekend.  You could also continue to use this all summer as BBQ’s often happen every weekend in my house. If you missed my first recipe for Memorial Day Weekend – Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad don’t forget to check it out.

What’s great is the fact you can store this for up to one month in the refrigerator in cute little mason jars or even give it away as a house warming gift as you enter someone’s house! Make sure they like spicy foods first. 🙂 It’s funny though because I really don’t like spicy foods that much but I really liked the flavor this spicy ketchup added to my chicken burgers!

Spicy Chipotle Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 3-4 canned chipotle chiles in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • half a red onion chopped, or 1 small red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar or 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

What to do:

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat warm the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and jalapeno, cook 2 minutes. Next add the garlic and roughly chopped canned chipotle chiles. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
    Spicy Chipotle Ketchup
  2. Reduce heat to low and stir in the ketchup, cumin, chili powder, and agave nectar – let simmer 15 minutes, until it is deep in color.
    Spicy Chipotle Ketchup
  3. Let cool slightly and pour into a food processor, blend until smooth. Store in a mason jar in refrigerator until ready to use.

Recipe adapted from William Sonoma Home.

Enjoy your Chipotle Ketchup at your Summer BBQ’s.

Also coming this week is Cilantro Chicken Burgers as the final Memorial Day Celebration Recipe!

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

A lemony Middle Eastern salad that uses quinoa instead of traditional bulgur to put a twist on a classic. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad is a great picnic or BBQ side dish that gives you a boost of protein with the quinoa and a bite of freshness with the mint and parsley.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Over the next week I am going to put out some Memorial Day weekend inspiration! Many of us will be barbecuing over the weekend and you shouldn’t neglect your side dishes people. Especially when they are this easy.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa is a grain that is very rich in protein and one of the healthier options when it comes to grains. It makes great cold salads like this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad or could be used in place of white rice in a hot dish. If you think quinoa is bitter than you probably aren’t rinsing it well enough before you cook it. You have to rinse your quinoa and then cook it to get that taste away. Also quinoa will take on any flavor you give it! In this case a lemony herb dressing covers the quinoa to make this healthy side dish or even lunch.

Here is the first of my Memorial Day Weekend Party Ideas!

What makes this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad even better is the fact that you can make it a head of time. Either put the dressing on before you serve it or you can dress it up to one day in advance, any longer and it will loose it’s texture.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad 

What you need (Serves 6-8):

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rinsed and cooked quinoa according to package, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 hot house or Persian cucumber, seeded, unpeeled, and diced small
  • 2 scallions (aka green onions), white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

What to do:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package, don’t forget to rinse. *If the quinoa is cooked and there is excess water in the pot drain it. Once the quinoa is cooked and slightly cooled add the lemon juice, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. While quinoa is cooking prepare your vegetables into small uniform cuts: tomatoes and cucumber. Next, chop your herbs.
  3. In a large bowl combine scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the quinoa into the large bowl and mix well. Can be made up to one day in advance. You can also leave the oil and lemon juice off until right before serving if making a few days in advance. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Enjoy your Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad!

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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

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The Best Pulled Pork Recipe Ever

Tasty and Tender Pulled Pork 

dry rub pulled pork

Pulled Pork can be used in many different recipes. I made pulled pork sliders with greek yogurt coleslaw, pulled pork quesidlla, salad, and even grilled cheese! I love the versatility of the leftovers. This was so good that after waiting all day all I wanted to do was eat it – and neglected to take good pictures :0

Finding proteins like this that can be cooked in a slow cooker and left alone all day and then used for several different meals is the best thing ever. I love having leftovers and being able to transform them into other meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner! I did my research on pulled pork and how to make it and combined a few things I saw online to create the ultimate BEST EVER pulled pork recipe.

pulled pork

What makes this the best ever pulled pork recipe? Well, for one the pork shoulder gets a dry rub the night before it gets cooked and is left to absorb all those delicious flavors from the homemade rub. This recipe also uses a slow cooker which keeps it cooking all day long, about 8 hours. Leaving you with a moist no fuss pulled pork that everybody will love! My Best Ever pulled pork sits and cooks on a bed of onions and garlic and absorbs the flavors of chicken broth and it’s dry rub that you can serve with your favorite bbq sauce.

What you need for Best Ever Pulled Pork:

1 (4 to 5 pound) bone in or boneless pork shoulder ( I used bone in)

  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups favorite bbq sauce

What to do:

  1. Begin the night before you are going to cook the pork. Make the dry rub by combining: 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towel and place the pork in a large mixing bowl. Pat the dry rub all over the pork until it is completely covered. Wrap the pork in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
    dry rub pulled pork
  2. The next morning take the pork out of the refrigerator and prepare the slow cooker by placing the sliced onions at the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Sprinkle in the garlic and pour stock on top. Take the pork out of the plastic wrap and place on top of the onion mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high 6 to 8 hours.
    dry rub pulled pork
  3. Let the pork do it’s thing it probably won’t start to looked cook until like the 5th or 6th hour. Once its tender and falling off the bone remove the pork carefully from the slow cooker and shred with 2 forks on a cutting board (watch out if there is a bone). Pour out some of the fat that is still in the slow cooker leaving a little layer and put the pork back in the slow cooker with the onions to keep it warm.
  4. Use your favorite BBQ sauce or doctor up a bottled BBQ sauce by pouring 1 bottle into a sauce pan with a tablespoon of brown sugar, half a cup of ketchup, half a cup of apple wine vinegar, and some orange juice. Let it simmer and the flavors come together.
  5. Serve your pulled pork on sliders with your favorite coleslaw. Make your own lighter version by whisking together greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and fresh chopped cilantro. Pour over your favorite bag of cabbage and serve on top of pulled pork slider.You can even do with out the bun – because it is that good and just serve it with a salad or the coleslaw.

Herb and Lemon Grilled Chicken Wings

herblemonchickenwings

Chicken Wings with Fresh Herbs, Lemon, and Olive Oil.

This is a lighter take on a traditional fried chicken wing that is smothered with sauce. In my house we usually make an asian chicken wing when grilling but today I decided to go for more of an italian marinated chicken wing.

This herb chicken wing is a great change to a traditional chicken wing and are great as an appetizer, a for dinner, or an outside BBQ. Herbed chicken wings are great when you have a lot of herbs laying around that don’t get used frequently enough. These were crispy, herby, and delicious!

Here’s What You Need: 

  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken wings and legs about 24
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 rosemary sprigs chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 of olive oil enough to marinade
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

What to do:

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Then prepare marinade by combining chicken, leaves on thyme sprigs, parsley, rosemary, zest of lemon, juice, garlic, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix until coated and let marinade for at least 1 hour or over night.
  2. When ready to make chicken wings prepare grill to medium high heat. Remove wings from marinade and cook on one side crispy and brown flip occasionally until both sides are cooked about 15-25 minutes. If cooking other sides keep wings warm in a tin foil tray while other food is cooking.
    herbchickenwingsServe as an appetizer with carrots and celery or for dinner with grilled vegetables.

Summer Couscous Salad

 

couscoussaladI love it when I find new salads or new summer side dishes besides the typical potato salad. This summer cous cous salad can be made in advance and sit in the fridge for the day or eaten right away. Filled with fresh grape tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, and mint.

Fresh is best in the summer. That’s why I love to make cold salads that are perfect for a warm day. This heat in NY is really killing me. I don’t even want to turn on the oven because it heats up our whole apartment. The only cooking in this recipe is making the pearl couscous on the stove. I can deal with that for all the flavor that this salad has.

If your garden or farmers market is filled with local vegetables this is a great recipe to use for fresh farm stand ingredients. My vegetable garden is still growing and not quite ready to pick. But when it is I will defintiely make this again.

choppedvegetablesThis is a perfect thing to bring to an outside summer BBQ, serve your family, and girlfriends, even boyfriend approved. Plus the box of pearl couscous makes a lot, so perfect leftovers.

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The Recipe:

Serves 6

You will need:

  • 1 box of pearl couscous or whatever couscous you like
  • half a cucumber peeled , seeded, and chopped small
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • half a red pepper chopped small
  • about 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • juice of a lemon
  • chopped parley
  • chopped mint
  • salt and pepper

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Start by preparing israli or pearl couscous by preparing according to directions. Watch as it comes close to end to make sure it does not get over cooked. Strain and rinse it with cold water until the couscous becomes room tempeture. May need to use mesh strainer.
  2. Perpare your vegetables: peel and seed half of the cucumber then chop small, chop half of the red bell pepper, and halve the tomatoes.
    choppedvegetables
  3. Make the dressing to go on the salad by pouring 1/2 cup of olive into a bowl with the juice of a lemon, salt, and pepper. Whisk together
  4. Combine chopped vegetables with vinaigrette in a big mixing bowl and add the room temperature couscous.
  5. Stir. Fold in the fresh parsley and mint. If preparing a head of time mix in the herbs right before serving so they stay fresh.

Enjoy on a warm day as a side dish at a BBQ or for lunch the next day.

This recipe was inspired from Bon Appetit.

Grilled Swordfish with Asparagus Pepper Sauté and Fingerling Potatoes

Now that grilling season has officially begun I have been loving the simplicity and easiness of grilling almost anything!  Fish is one of my favorite things to grill in the Summer because it is easy and very healthy. Grilled Swordfish with vegetables and fingerling potatoes is so quick and perfect for any summer BBQ!

grilledswordfish(Basil Grilled Swordfish with Asparagus Pepper Sauté and Fingerling Potatoes)

There are many benefits to grilling seafood. Fish are low in calories and fat, yet provide a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, is another fish i love to grill. Today, I decided to go with Swordfish. Having fresh fish is important in any summer BBQ. Make sure to pick whatever looks freshest at your local market.

Yellow and orange peppers sautéed with asparagus go deliciously with this grilled Swordfish. One of my favorite ways to serve vegetables are mixing different colors and textures. Today I grilled fresh asparagus with yellow and orange peppers. Bell Peppers are a good source of vitamin C and also contain fiber, protein and iron. Yum! Asparagus are also packed with loads of healthy nutrients and a good source of fiber.

I will definitely make this again, here’s what i did:

Steps:

1. Prepare fish and marinade for at least 1 hour

Salt and pepper both sides of fish and then place in ziplock bag. Add half the juice of a lemon, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or fresh garlic to bag. Slice other half of lemon and place on top of fish.

marinatingfish

 

2. While fish is marinating cut up 1 orange pepper, 1 yellow pepper, and 1 bunch of asparagus add to mixing bowl. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.

 

3. Prepare potatoes in tin foil pouch with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh rosemary.

DSCN0452

4. Prepare grill to 400 degrees and begin to cook potato pouch first, add grilled vegetables to grill sauté, cook for about 10 minutes.

DSCN0453

5. While vegetable and potatoes are cooking and almost done prepare grill for fish about 3-4 minutes on each side.

DSCN0457

 

6. Remove fish, vegetable, and potato from grill and enjoy!

DSCN0463

Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

Personally I am not  a huge fan of mayonnaise. Especially in potato salad! But a summer BBQ is not complete without a classic potato salad. So this summer I am trying something different and remixing a classic with my Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette.

IMG_5426

Store bought tomato salad can be rather unappetizing. You might find a long list of strange ingredients listed on the back as well as added oils. Who wants that in their potato salad? Potato salad is an obvious american tradition but so many of the potato salads available have harmful preservatives and could sit on the shelf for weeks before you purchase it.

Instead of loading up on a potato salad that can have hundreds of calories  and dangerous ingredients why not mix it up and make your own. This is a simple and fresh take on potato salad that is perfect for any summer BBQ.

Try this mayonnaise free version of potato salad and your body will thank you!

You will need:

Roasted Potatoes

About a 1.5 pounds of baby potatoes or whatever potato is your favorite(I had purple, red and white), 1 Tablespoon chopped Fresh Rosemary, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, pinch Salt/Pepper

Vinaigrette:

Juice of half a lemon , Lemon skin grated, Minced or grated garlic about 3 cloves, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley chopped, Olive Oil, Fresh cracked pepper

Steps:

1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees

2. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces either in halves or chunks.

3. Either use a mixing bowl or mix directly on the baking sheet 2 tablespoons of olive oil, potatoes, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, a pinch of salt, and finally pepper. Make sure each potato is coated.

IMG_5418

4 . Bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are soft and have created a nice outer skin. About 35-45 minute depending on  your potato. While potatoes are baking work on vinaigrette -* see below

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5. Remove from oven and baking sheet and let come to room temperature.

6. *Prepare vinaigrette by combining 5-8 tablespoons of olive oil, half a squeeze of lemon, lemon peel grated, garlic, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley. Mix well

7. Once potatoes are cool before serving combine vinaigrette and roasted potatoes in a serving bowl and top with extra parsley. Either chill or enjoy right away!

IMG_5426

A simple twist on an American classic!