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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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 

Healthier Stuffed Peppers

Healthier stuffed peppers with ground turkey, wild brown rice, and kale topped with chunky tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

healthierstuffedpeppers

Yum, is all I have to say. I have been wanting to make stuffed peppers all summer but now that the weather has finally cooled down I figured it was a good time.

On Saturday I went to my local farmers market which happens to be the biggest one I have ever been too, and I love that. This market is filled with a few different farms that provide fresh vegetables, local pickles, cheese, meats, pasta, coffee, prepared foods, and even flowers. I picked up a few things for this recipe there: kale, bell peppers, and onion, I also got some apples and a seedless watermelon.

These healthier stuffed peppers were so filling and will be perfect as leftovers for lunch or dinner another night. They are so tasty and you will love them. On a side note I was going to use one of my preferred jarred tomato sauces to make things easier but when I was walking home from the market the tomato sauce fell through the bag and the jar broke spilling everywhere. I was already home so I decided to make my own chunky tomato sauce with a can of chopped tomatoes.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 6 bell peppers of your choice cleaned and halved
  • 2 cups of cooked brown rice or wild brown rice
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 cups of chopped kale
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite tomato sauce or make your own *see below
  • shredded mozzarella cheese for topping

What to do: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. *If you are making your own tomato sauce begin by heating 2  tablespoons of olive oil, then add 1/4 a chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves and cook until translucent. Season with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flake. Add a bigger can of chopped tomato in juices and let simmer. Add a pinch of sugar and let sauce cook and thicken while preparing the peppers.
  3. Ignore that step if you are using a jarred tomato sauce and begin by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add onion, chopped garlic and cilantro let cook for 4 minutes. Add meat until browned and season with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and italian seasoning.
  4. Once brown add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce * see above if needed* and chopped kale ( a little bit of chicken stock if needed) and cover with a lid. Let simmer on low for about 5-7 minutes until kale is cooked and wilted.
  5. Combine meat mixture with cooked wild brown rice in a mixing bowl.
    pepperestuffing
  6. While meat is cooling prepare bell peppers on a baking tray with non-stick spray, season peppers with salt and pepper. Spoon the meat and rice mixture into the peppers with as much as you can. Top with a little more tomato sauce and cover with tin foil. Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.
    healthier stuffed peppers
  7. After 35 minutes take peppers out of oven and top with mozzarella cheese, broil on high until cheese is melted. (watch oven so they don’t burn) Serve with a green salad and enjoy.
    healthier stuffed peppers