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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Easy Turkey Sausage Lasagna

Turkey Sausage Lasagna

A slightly lighter option then pork and still adds major flavor to this Lasagna

Turkey Sausage Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my guilty pleasures. It is such a comfort food. As a kid my Grandma made a big platter of lasagna for almost every holiday, and that was always my favorite part. She hasn’t made lasagna in quite a few years because she is not able to cook like she used to, but making this definitely reminded me of al the flavors that I love.

A quick homemade tomato sauce with the turkey sausage, fried onions, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, and herbs is a delicious base for the lasagna. You may think lasagna, why is a healthy kitchen posting this? Well the truth is everything in moderation. You can eat a piece of lasagna if you love it, eat what you love. Just don’t eat the whole platter!

Make this for you friends and family and they will love it, and I doubt there will be a lot of leftovers for you to snack on. You could also make this a veggie lasagna by using zucchini in replace of noodles which would make it very low carb. But for me, my family is Italian and loves the noodles, oh and cheese :0 !

Here's what you will need:

For the sauce: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 small yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, 1 pound of turkey sausage casings removed, 2 cans (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes.

For the filling: 1 – 15 ounces container of low fat ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, 1 large egg lightly beaten, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste.

To assemble: 1 box no boil noodles, 12 ounces shredded low fat mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley.

What to do: 
  1. Begin by making the sauce: Heat oil in a large sauce pan and add onion, garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flake, salt and pepper cook for about 8 minutes until soft.
  2. Add sausage breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until browned and cooked through about 6-8 minutes.
  3.  Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil let simmer for about 30 minutes. Prepare filling and preheat oven to 375 degrees if baking right away.
  4. Make the filling: Combine ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl and put aside until ready to assemble.
    ricotta filling
  5. When sauce is done assemble the lasagna: Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish about 1 ladle full, layer 3 noodles on top, top with more sauce about 1 1/2 cups, dollop ricotta mixture on top spread around evenly, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Repeat steps 2-3 more times depending on your baking dish. Finish with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. (At this point you can either bake the lasagna or refrigerate/freeze until you are ready to eat it) Cover tightly with tin foil.
    turkey sausage lasagna
  6. When ready to bake place lasagna in oven with tin foil at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove tin foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!! Sprinkle with parsley.

This recipe was inspired by Chow.com

 

 

Caprese Salad

caprese salad

Caprese Salad with fresh sliced mozzarella, yellow, red, and green heirloom tomatoes. It’s tomato season so I need to find some way to use all these gorgeous tomatoes. You may have seen an earlier post that is similar to this but a different preparation – my Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad.

In this recipe the tomatoes are different (heirloom as opposed to little orange tomatoes)and the tomatoes are presented as a traditional Caprese Salad.

If you haven’t taken advantage of all the amazing tomatoes that you can find at the farmers market, super market, and in your own garden then now is the time before it’s too late!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 heirloom tomatoes – i used red, yellow, and green
  • basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and coarse black pepper
  • fresh mozzarella ball

What to do:

  1. Prepare tomatoes by slicing heirloom tomatoes to preferred thickness. Also slice mozzarella cheese.
  2. Lay tomatoes on a serving tray and sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes.
  3. Next lay mozzarella slices over the tomatoes followed by torn basil. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and drizzle more olive oil over the top.

That’s it! This is a perfect appetizer for a party or serve as a side to your dinner and enjoy the freshness of summer!

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad

tomato basil mozzarella saladTomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salad – From the Garden!

We have so many tomatoes in the garden right now. Everyday this one tomato plant produces so many delicious orange grape tomatoes. I decided to make a tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad that is super easy to make and tastes so fresh.

I am not a huge fan of tomatoes. But I am trying to change that. Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C as well as beta-carotene and few other vitamins. Tomatoes are also a sweet yet low in calories snack. Perfect for someone who is watching what they eat.

It’s super easy, here’s what you will need:

  • A pint of tomatoes or from your own garden like I did – as many as you have! Cut them all in half.
  • A small piece of a fresh mozzarella ball cut up into small cubes
  • 6 basil leaves (from my garden) – chopped
  • About 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

What to do:

  1. Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on a bowl.
  2. Pour about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a few splashes of balsamic vinegar over the top. Season well with salt and pepper.  Mix.
  3. Enjoy! This was so delicious. I ate this as a side with dinner. It would go great as an appetizer, or served with fish, chicken, or slice of french bread.

 

 

Steak and Vegetable Kabobs with Tzatziki

steak kabob with tazikiTender steak and vegetable kabobs marinated in a blend of olive oil, spices, herbs, and lemon juice. Served with cucumber and mint Tzatziki sauce.

I love to go to Greek Restaurants and have lamb kabob with Tzatziki and lots of hummus. Yum! My favorite Greek Restaurant is on Long Island, NY and called It’s Greek to Me. The restaurant is very small and run by a close Greek Family. The first time I dined at It’s Greek to Me I was a skeptic but you know what they say- Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This small restaurant is known more for takeout but the lamb kabob, gyro, and hummus are all delicious.

Originally this recipe was going to be made with lamb. However, I had the hardest time finding lamb in the supermarket that wasn’t 20 dollars a pound. Lamb cubes are hard to come by I guess. So after visiting like three supermarkets the game plan switched to steak kabobs. The kabobs were inspired by the flavors of my favorite lamb kabob dish and Tzatziki sauce.

Why Tzatziki?

In case you are not sure what Tzatziki sauce is…. Tzatziki sauce is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Usually made with yogurt, garlic, cucumber, salt, pepper, mint, and parsley. The Greek yogurt and cucumber make the Tzatziki a healthy and light sauce that goes perfectly with grilled steak kabobs and vegetables.
Tzatziki sauceHere’s what you will need:

  • About 1.5 pounds of cubed steak or your preferred protein
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber remove the seeds
  • handful of mint and parsley
  • about 1 1/2 cups of plain Greek  Yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Begin  by marinating steak cubes in olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Let sit for up to 3 hours or as little as 30 minutes. If you are using wood sticks make sure to soak them so they do not burn.
  2. While steak is marinating cut vegetables to go on skewers in medium size cubes.
  3. When ready to make kabobs take meat out of refrigerator and take vegetables out. Make kabobs filling them up alternating between meat and vegetable. Once finished sprinkle with olive oil salt and pepper make sure to coat vegetables.
  4. When finished making kabobs you can let them sit for a minute and start to make the Tzatziki or cucumber sauce. Get a food processor out and prepare cucumber by removing seeds. I left the skin on because I do not mind it. Once you remove seeds put into food processor with plain Greek yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper, and a lot of fresh herbs. Process until it is at your desired consistency. Keep cold in refrigerator.
    Tzatziki sauce
  5. Preheat Grill to high and then grill kabobs for about 10  minutes or until vegetables and steak are charred but not over done on the inside.
    grilled kabobs
  6. Remove from heat and serve steak kabobs with Tzatziki sauce.
    grilled steak kabobEnjoy!!!

Chicken Cutlet with Tomato Balsamic Salad

Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Balsamic Salad

tomato balsamic salad

To me it does not get better then this. I grew up eating and loving chicken cutlets whether it was from an Italian restaurant or my grandmas italian kitchen. I always crave chicken parmesan, but in the summer I like something a little lighter and fresher.  If you are growing tomatoes and are looking for a recipe to use them. This is it!

This recipe comes from the time I spent at my Aunts house on Long Island. I remember her crispy chicken cutlets very well. She served it with a tomato and red onion balsamic, it was almost like a sauce. I always thought it was delicious and wondered why more people did not make this fresh take on chicken parmesan – you won’t even miss the cheese.

chickencutlettoamtosalad

Crispy chicken cutlets and a tomato balsamic salad is so easy to make. I made this for my mom, her husband, boyfriend, and grandma. It’s safe to say there weren’t any leftovers. It’s that good!

Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Balsamic Salad

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken cutlet- about 7 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsalted breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 container or 1 1/2 cups of baby heirloom tomatoes or cherry halved
  • 6 basil leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • about 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Steps:

  1. I like to simple so first I made the tomato balsamic salad by combining the halved tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and put in fridge while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Spread breadcrumbs and italian seasoning in a big bowl/dish. Beat 2 eggs in another big bowl/dish. Put aside.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and salt & pepper both sides.
  4. Work 1 cutlet at a time and dip in egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the rest of the chicken cutlets until covered. Add more breadcrumbs if necessary.
  5. Put aside and heat oil in a frying pan. Fry chicken cutlets 2 at a time about 4 minutes on each side or until done depending on thickness. Transfer to plate lined with paper towel and continue frying the rest of the chicken.
    chicken cutlet
  6. Once almost finished take tomatoes out of the fridge and transfer chicken to a separate serving plate. Serve chicken with tomato salad on top.
    chickencutlettoamtosalad
  7. Serve with big green salad.

This recipe was delicious. The chicken was crispy and not too fried and the tomatoes added a fresh and juicy sauce to the chicken.

Enjoy!

Fresh Mango Salsa with Tomato

Mango and Tomato Salsa

mangosalsaYumm! Delicious ripe mangoes are so good! I have been wanting to try and make a mango salsa after seeing it at a restaurant I was eating at. This mango salsa was filled with fresh mango, tomato, lime juice, and parsley.

This salsa is delicious and bursting with lime flavors that could be served with almost any fish. I served it with grilled shrimp. However you could eat this as a substitute to a heavy sauce on salmon, other fishes, and even chicken.

I would have loved to add cucumber and cilantro to this salsa but I used what I had on hand. That’s how it usually goes though.

Sadly, a bird ate my cilantro that was growing in the garden. All of a sudden one day the cilantro was missing from it’s spot- the whole plant. I have yet to replace it, so parsley it is.

Its very simple… here is what you need:

  • 1 ripe mango not too mushy
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of parley or cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper

Recipe takes two seconds!

  1. Cut mango, tomato and green pepper into small chunks and put in mixing bowl with juice of one lime. Add chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve.
  3. Can be made a head of time to sit in juices on same day.

Weeknight Baked Penne with Chicken Sausage and Kale

Kitchen Daily is a great website I use to get inspired on recipes for the week and quick weeknight dinners! They give you options for breakfast, lunch and dinner for any day of the week. Baked Penne with Chicken Sausage and Kale caught my eye when I was looking for a quick yet hearty meal. It’s really delicious and their are tons of leftovers for another night!

Image

I made this recipe for my boyfriend and I on a weeknight when we were in a rush to eat dinner quickly- because we were starving! It took less then a half hour and was full of fresh kale and chicken sausage. The dish was so big that we had it for dinner another night also! Love recipes like that. Here is my take on Kitchen Dailys’ Baked Penne with Chicken Sausage and Kale.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of chicken sausage (12 ounces)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • fresh basil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • mozzarella cheese for topping
  • parmesan cheese for topping
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • box of penne pasta

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and boil pot of water with salt. While oven is pre heating chop the red onion and garlic. Prepare kale by removing the center rib and chopping coarsely.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add red onion and cook until soft. Add garlic
    IMG_5536
  3. Remove sausage casing and add sausage in onion mixture.
    IMG_5537
  4. Begin to break up into pieces and once browned add can of tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and add salt and pepper. Simmer until pasta is done partially cooking.
    IMG_5538
  5. Add pasta to boiling water cook for 8 minutes. Add kale for 1 more minute. Drain.
    IMG_5539
  6. Add sauce and pasta to a baking dish while draining pastas. Pour drained pasta and kale over baking dish and mix until everything is covered.
  7. Sprinkle with both cheeses.
    IMG_5542
  8. Bake for 8 minutes until cheese is melted.
  9. Serve and enjoy with a big salad!

IMG_5546

Usually I try and stay away from dishes that have a large amount of pasta. Once in a while it is okay to splurge and have a dish like this. Although it may seem like a heavy dish it was very light thanks to the can of crushed tomatoes as a sub for a jarred pasta sauce.

I always try to stick to everything in moderation. If you deprive yourself of something like pastas which you may enjoy you are more likely to binge when you have it – and eat a lot more! Enjoy foods that you love. If this is something you would love to have- make it- just remember – moderation. Enjoy!