Monday, March 28, 2011

Turkey Burgers with Guacamole and Bacon

These burgers were so delicious. Bacon, pepper jack cheese and guacamole. What's not to like?

canola oil
1 package ground turkey
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1-2 Tbsp grill seasoning (like McCormicks)
1 scallion, sliced
4 slices of cooked bacon
4 slices of pepperjack cheese guacamole, see this recipe to make your own
mixed greens
4 whole grain hamburger buns

In a medium mixing bowl, add a little canola oil and the ground turkey. To the turkey, add the poultry seasoning, grill seasoning and scallions. Mix together and form into four patties.

Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the burger patties and cook on both sides for about 6 minutes per side. Once cooked through, add the sliced cheese, put a lid on the skillet so the cheese melts. Turn off the heat.

Add a slice of bacon to the bottom hamburger bun (I broke the bacon in two). Place the burger patty on top of the bacon. Then add a spoonful or two of guacamole to the patty, add some mixed greens and the top hamburger bun.

Quinoa Salad

You might be asking, "What the H is quinoa?" No worries, until about 6 months ago, I had no idea what it was either. Quinoa is a grain. You cook it like rice, but to me, it has the texture more like couscous. Some people even compare it to a cereal like oatmeal. It's a great alternative if you are gluten intolerant or trying to avoid other grains like wheat, barley or pasta.

This was actually my first time making quinoa, but I loved it. Even my skeptical husband enjoyed it. Look for more quinoa recipes in the near future. This recipe has been altered from an Ellie Krieger recipe. I prefer craisins to the raisins she calls for, but use whichever one you prefer.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 and 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (water is fine, but I like the added flavor of using a broth)
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup craisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the garlic to the plate, reserving the oil.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the pine nuts, garlic, reserved oil, parsley, craisins and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Blueberry Crumble

With blueberries being on sale every week, I have stocked up, but I needed to make something that would use them all. So, I decided to make a blueberry crumble. This recipe is a mix of two. The filling is from one recipe I found on and the crumble topping is Ina Garten's from her Barefoot Contessa cookbook because I love hers and have made it before.

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
2 pints blueberries, or any other berry
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumble Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 quick cooking oats
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

For the filling: In a bowl, add the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cider, and vanilla, Carefully mix the ingredients together with a spatula, leaving the blueberries whole. Set aside while you assemble the topping.

For the topping: Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oats, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is crumbly. (See the pictures below.)

Pour the filling into an 8-inch square baking dish and evenly distribute the topping over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool slightly and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tilapia with Tomato Cream Sauce

Here is another great recipe I received from one of my iVillage daily emails. The recipe is from Eating Well magazine and actually calls for cod, but tilapia is nice swap out. What I really like about this dish is that it's healthy and has only 227 calories. This would be a great meal to serve for a small dinner party. Serve this over farro, rice or barley and make a simple mixed green salad to accompany it.

1 lb tilapia or cod fillets, cut into four pieces
3 tsps chopped fresh thyme, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup white wine
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half
1/2 tsp cornstarch

Season fish with 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and 1 teaspoon thyme; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes and the fish to the pan; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the fish to a large plate; keep warm.

Whisk cream and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan, along with the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Divide the fish and sauce among 4 shallow bowls.

(This obviously isn't my picture; it is from the magazine, but mine turned out just like this.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maple-Mustard Pork Chops

Here's a recipe that I tweaked from one of my iVillage daily food emails. The original recipe called for a whole loin that you marinate and wrap in bacon before cooking, which don't get me wrong, sounds delicious. My grocery had pork chops on sale this week, so I decided to go with those and just improvise. The result was pretty damn good.

What You'll Need:
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 Tbsps. pure maple syrup
3/4 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled, sliced
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 pork chops, about 1/2 an inch thick

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the mustard, maple syrup, hot sauce, chopped rosemary, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the pork and turn to coat; refrigerate overnight.
When ready to cook, heat a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the pork chops from the bag, wiping off excess marinade and the garlic slices.

Place the pork in the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.