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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Barley Spring Salad

Barley Spring Salad
Barley Spring Salad

A barley, mushroom, asparagus, zucchini, and petite white bean salad.

 This cold salad is perfect for a spring time lunch.

In the spring the winter layers start to come off and I want to eat a little lighter. I love this barley spring salad because you can make it in the beginning of the week and bring some for lunch at work! Love being prepared for the week. 🙂 Not to mention this Barley Spring Salad is loaded with protein to keep you going throughout the day.

Barley Salad with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini and White Beans
Barley Salad with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini and White Beans

In the Spring time the vegetables and herbs start to come alive in the markets. I love the asparagus, the fennel, and the mushrooms during this time of year. It makes me excited that in just a few short weeks I will be starting my garden again! Last year, we had such success with all of the plants we are going to make it even bigger this year. I will keep you posted on some gardening tips and the progress of the garden in general later this month.

So when I was going to make this spring salad I went to the super market and I thought I bought farro but it turns out I was in such a rush, like most of the time, and I actually grabbed barley. So, I went with it. Because farro and barley are similar grains in turned out pretty much the same, you can use either also. Whatever your preference.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I have some homework to do!

Enjoy 🙂

Barley Spring Salad

What you need:
  • 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms (you can use white or more exotic assorted mushrooms)
  • about 4 pieces of asparagus cut into small pieces (use what you have). Asparagus – you do not need a whole pack of asparagus – buy the whole thing but use the rest for something else.
  • 1 small zucchini cut into little pieces (see picture)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of petite white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of barley cooked according to package
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
What to do:
  1. Cook the barley or farro according to package and cook until most of the water is absorbed and the grain is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain extra water if necessary and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking tray toss the zucchini, squash, asparagus, and mushrooms to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, tossing half way, until the vegetables are roasted but not burned.
    Barley Spring Salad - Roasted Vegetables
    Barley Spring Salad – Roasted Vegetables

    Barley Spring Salad Roasted Vegetables
    Barley Spring Salad Roasted Vegetables
  3. In a large bowl put a little bit of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, parsley and whisk until well combined. Fold in the roasted vegetables, small white beans, cooked barley, salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon).
    Barley Spring Salad  Ingredients
    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients

    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients
    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients
  4. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds (I had some laying around from another recipe so I thought it might be nice).

You can serve this warm, room temperature, or cold!

You can substitute any of your favorite vegetables to be roasted almost anything will work, this is what I had on hand!

~Hunter

Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato

get yo man chicken

A flavorful dish that slowly cooks the chicken in a tomato and herb sauce leaving you with tender chicken thighs.

The truth is… I was getting sick of chicken. But chicken is always a good option when you need something quick and inexpensive to make. The trick is to find different ways of making it. I found this chicken while searching through Food Network recipe’s and I came across “Get Yo Man Chicken” by Neely. From the picture I could see chicken thighs and a tomato sauce that looked really yummy, so I decided to give it a try.

I’m glad I made this because we really enjoyed it and the braised chicken thighs were not expensive to make. I feel like this is what I think of when I think of comfort food. A warm dish that gives you a hug. Pair it with a little bit of orzo and broccoli rabe and you have an amazing dinner.

This is a great dish to make if you have company  coming over and it also makes really great leftovers. If you wanted to omit the orzo you could do so and have something a little more low-carb. I love how the tomato sauce from the chicken coats the orzo once you plate it up. And the smells….yum!

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine – I used Cupcake
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in thick puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • Orzo for serving underneath
  • Broccoli Rabe blanched for several minutes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

What to do:

  1. Heat a medium to large skillet over medium high.
  2. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken meat-side down first, turning once, 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate for later.
    browned chicken
  3. Pour off some of the extra chicken fat leave about 1 tablespoon. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add stock and wine scraping off brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to high and let it reduce by half, about another 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the can of crushed tomato and dried herbs, salt and pepper. Let it get warm and put the chicken thighs back into the pan in an even layer. Cover and cook on medium-low for 40 minutes.
    get yo man chicken
  5. Serve chicken over warm orzo with a ladle of sauce on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with broccoli rabe.
    get yo man chicken

Enjoy!

Quinoa and Chicken Enchilada Bake

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole:

quinoa enchilada

A healthier version of an Enchilada, skip the tortilla, and packed with the healthy nutrients you need from the quinoa and black bean!!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, occasionally I will search for recipe inspiration when I start to get sick of the same old thing. Although in this recipe I added chicken for extra protein it is far from a boring chicken dish. Every bite is packed with big flavor from the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and cheesy goodness!

The quinoa is a grain that you might not be too familiar with but is packed with fiber and protein. The quinoa takes place of the tortilla from the quinoa enchiladaenchiladas and you don’t have to roll anything simply mix it all in a bowl and then you can bake it in the oven. I also love this recipe because you can make it in advance and leave it in the refrigerator before you finish it off in the oven to bake all the cheese and let the flavors come together.

Here’s What you Need:

  • 2 cups of roasted chicken thighs shredded
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa according to package
  • 1 (10 ounce ) can Mild Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup of canned corn drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican cheese blend plus a little Mozzarella cheese
  • Additional cheese for topping
  • 1 avocado cubed for garnish

What to do:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cup of water, according to package (should yield 2 cups). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast chicken thighs with olive oil, salt and pepper for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside and shred when cool.
  2. If baking the casserole right away Preheat oven to 375, if not wait until your ready to eat. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray
  3. Assemble mixture in a large bowl: chicken, quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and stir in half a cup of shredded cheese.
    quinoa enchilada
  4. quinoa enchilada Spread quinoa mixture into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in oven for 15-25 minutes until cheese has melted and it is slightly browned.
    quinoa enchilada
  5. Serve with a tablespoon of  chopped avocado.

This dish makes great leftovers! Yum! It make a lot and I was eating it all week!

Quinoa and Chicken Enchilada Recipe is courtesy of Damn Delicious. Check this blog out.

Enjoy this hearty dish!

-Hunter

Homemade French Toast with Strawberries

Healthier French Toast with Strawberries

frenchtoast

Another Snow Day in New York. Whenever we get a snow day I love to take the time to make Breakfast. Last week I made French Toast. I love breakfast. French toast is something I hadn’t made in a long time because I just assumed it was one of those things that was better in restaurants. I was wrong! This is really good. It doesn’t taste heavily fried like some french toast. The wholewheat toast is great and you holds up really well if you do it right.

You can put French Toast with just about anything and it will be good. Serve with sliced strawberries (like I did), bananas, blueberries, walnuts, raspberries, the list goes on! It really is easy to make and layer with you favorite add ins. Make this for your family next time you are looking for something yummy to make for your family.

What you need:
Serves 1 Person (Double to serve 2)

  • 2 slices of whole wheat toast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite milk (almond milk works also)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon good vanilla
  • 4 strawberries sliced thin
  • agave nectar in place of maple syrup as topping

What to do:

  1. Preheat a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. In a bowl wide enough to fit a piece of bread mix together: egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan to lightly oil. While oil is heating in the pan dip 1 piece of bread into wet mixture (3 seconds on each side). Move bread to the pan (if pan is wide enough for 2 pieces add second pice of bread). Let cook on both sides until golden.
    *Tips: Do not let bread sit in liquid for too long or it will fall apart when you move it to the pan. Watch so it does not burn.
  4. Remove from heat and place on a plate with sliced strawberries on top. Top with agave nectar to replace maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
    french toast

Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

Home Made Tortellini and Vegetable Soup

tortellini and vegetable soupI am a big fan of soup in the winter especially ones loaded with fresh vegetables. This soup is kind of a play on chicken noodle soup accept I am using tortellini and I did not put chicken. This soup has cheese tortellini, carrots, celery, onion, and spinach! It’s so easy and took 25 minutes to make it.

As it gets chillier we all look for things to comfort us and warm up our houses. Soup does that for me. This is a good warm up into soup season as it gets colder and colder. I think i will make a butternut squash soup next, my favorite!

This is the easiest, most comforting soup ever!

All you need is:

  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1 package of tortellinis
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

What to do:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Once hot sautee the onion, carrots, and celery for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper, oregano, and basil.
  2. Stir in the 6 cups of chicken broth and I added about 2 cups of water as well. Bring to a boil. When ready to serve add the tortellinis to the boiling water and cook for another 3 minutes or according to your package. Lastly add the 3 cups of spinach.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with sprinkled cheese.
    tortellini vegetable soup

This tortellini and vegetables soup was a big hit and gone within 2 days!

Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Roasted Thyme and Lemon Chicken with Root Vegetables

roastchicken
There is something very comforting in roasting a chicken. Everybody has their own ways of doing it, and of course they all think that way is the best. My favorite part of roasting a chicken is the vegetables that soak up all the chickens flavor roasting around the chicken. I also can’t forget the aroma that roasting a chicken puts into the air, love that too.

In my family you can usually find a chicken roasting on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The great thing about roasting a whole chicken is there is many different uses for the meat, and it makes great leftovers. You could make chicken soup with the bones, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie, or any recipe that involves chicken!

Now it’s your turn to roast a whole chicken. Don’t be worrying that there is too much food! You can always find uses for leftover chicken.

This recipe is from Ina Garten and is known as Perfect Roast Chicken. She’s right, it is perfect.

Here’s What You Need:

  • a 3.5 pound chicken (or lager if you prefer)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 onions
  • 1/4 stick of melted butter about 2 tablespoons
  • juice of lemon fro
  • 3 carrots cut into chunks
  • 3 parsnips cut into chunks
  • 2 potatoes cut into cubes
  • olive oil

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter and squeeze juice of lemon into the bowl to go on the chicken.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Salt and pepper the whole chicken and put on a baking sheet. Stuff the cavity with half of the bunch of thyme, the leftover lemon, a head of garlic cut in half, and a whole peeled onion.
  3. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter lemon mixture. Next place the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes around the chicken and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and remaining thyme.
  4. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour (watch for the size of your bird) or until the juices run clear.
  5. Let rest for 20 minutes and serve with green vegetables.
    roast chicken
  6. Yummy! Enjoy.

 

 

Mini Turkey Muffins

Juicy Mini Turkey Muffins with Shredded Carrot and Yellow Bell Pepper

miniturkeymeatloafMeatloaf is a family favorite. We usually just make the traditional meat loafs but I had seen meatloaf muffins floating around the internet. I loved the idea because it is so easy to just grab them for lunch or dinner because it is already pre portioned. These turkey muffins are moist and more importantly very tasty.

For this recipe you could use any other ground meat you prefer, I prefer turkey. I also added shredded carrot to help add moistness, and yellow bell pepper for a pop of color. These little muffins are perfect for kids, my nephew loved them! I also added a bbq ketchup sauce before baking which was delicious!
miniturkeymeatloafTurkey Meatloaf Muffins with sautéed kale brussels sprouts, carrots, and brown rice. 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound of ground turkey meat
  • half a yellow bell pepper chopped
  • little more then 1/2 cup of shredded carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup of bbq sauce plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of paprika

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tin with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground turkey meat, chopped bell pepper, shredded carrot, 1 egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of bbq sauce, and paprika. Use your hands and mix until all ingredients are combined- do not over mix.
  3. Take small handfuls of turkey mixture and place into muffin tins. Divide your meat into 12 muffins.
  4. Mix leftover ketchup and bbq sauce in a bowl and then spread on top of meatloaf muffins.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy as a delicious dinner to grab on the go or even a high protein lunch!
    turkeymuffins

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie loaded with vegetables! A delicious and cozy meal for a fall day.

chicken pot pie Chicken Pot Pie is a meal that always comforted me as a kid. However, when I was younger the only time I would really eat it is at my friends house. And it was always the frozen pies. As I got older, a little wiser, and more health conscious, I started to make my own and realized that it’s easy.

You might think chicken pot pie isn’t healthy. But this recipe only uses a crust on top and is crustless on the bottom, which you won’t miss. I also made this recipe easier using a pre made dough crust. This saved me a lot of valuable time. I suggest you do the same!

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 pound of chicken thighs cooked and chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of peas
  • 2 potatoes boiled until tender and diced small
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • splash of white wine
  • splash of milk
  • italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thyme
  • 1 unbaked pie crust room temperature
  • 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water

What to do:

  1. Begin by cooking your chicken (you can use store bought cooked chicken if you wish). I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and baked chicken thighs for 25 minutes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Cool and chop for pie.
  2. While chicken is cooking preheat large sauté pan with olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in cooked chicken until warm. Sprinkle flour over chicken and onion mixture. Pour in can of peas, corn, and potatoes.
  3. Then add 2 cups of chicken broth and splash of wine. Let cook and thicken about 1 minute. Then add additional seasonings. Add milk and let thicken and remove from heat.
    chicken pot pie
  4. Change temperature to 375 and get a casserole dish out. Pour the chicken and vegetables into the dish. Put pre made crust on top and fold edges over.
    chicken pot pie DSCN0770
  5. Make 3 slots for air while cooking. Make egg wash and put on pot pie. Bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10-15 and enjoy!Enjoy! Makes great leftovers. (:

Weeknight Sausage & Peppers

Sausage & Peppers Served with Wild Brown Rice.
sausage and peppersDuring the week I am always trying to find meals that are quick and easy or can even be made in advance. It seems that if I don’t I find myself going to bad habits such as ordering in unhealthy foods. Like pizza! If I have a healthier option I would rather eat that but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to cook during the week!

This recipe was made for meal prep purposes. On the nights that I work until 8 o’clock I have no desire to cook when I get home. I find that prepping my meals ensures that I will eat the right foods.

Serve this meal with a green salad and you will have a delicious, quick weeknight meal.

This sausage and pepper recipe is so easy and you could add chicken stalk or a can of diced tomatoes to spice this up. I kept it pretty basic and it’s still delicious.

What you need:

  • 1 package of Italian turkey sausage about 6 sausages
  • 4 cups of sliced bell peppers (I used red green and yellow)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup of wild brown rice cooked according to package

What to do:

  1. 1. Preheat one smaller saute pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and one larger with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Once hot add Italian sausage to the small pan and cover. Cook until brown on each side. About 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan and slice on a cutting board. It’s okay if the sausage is still a little pink on the inside because we will add it to the pepper mixture.
  3. While sausage is cooking add bell peppers to larger saute pan with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
    sausage and peppers
  4. Add sliced sausage to the bell peppers and cook for another 5-7 minutes with lid on. You want to cook until the sausage is no longer pink and bell peppers are still a little tender.
    sausage and peppers
  5. Enjoy and split portions into containers with a little bit of brown rice in each one.
    Refrigerate and eat as needed. Can be reheated in microwave.