Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nonburger Burgers

The only time I remember having a veggie burger is from when I was a kid. It was one of those crappy, frozen patties that tastes like cardboard. And this was likely before 2002. Since I've been trying to eat more healthy and try new foods, I've seen a lot of great recipes for kale burgers, black bean burgers, and many others! I (obviously) haven't gotten around to making any of these, but now I can say I have!

The flavor of these burgers was absolutely amazing! I think they were a bit dry, but I'm guessing that comes with the territory. Adding just a bit of ranch (or buffalo ranch) added some great moisture and even more flavor to it. I'd definitely make this again!

Nonbuger Burgers-adapted from Food Network
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 ounces cooked black beans
  • 4 ounces cooked chickpeas
  • 4 ounces cooked white beans
  • 6 ounces rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 slices cheese
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute all vegetables except beans until translucent.

In a large bowl, mix beans with vegetables and mix thoroughly. Add in all other dry ingredients and egg and mix well. Then pulse the mixture in a food processor until you can form into patties. Form into patties and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Saute in a skillet over medium heat with 1 teaspoon oil until darkened on both sides. Serve with cheese, bun and burger fixings.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sausage and Chicken Cassoulet

I can safely say I've never  made a cassoulet before. And I can also say I was greatly surprised by this dish! It was flavorful, yet relatively easy to make! The only down fall is that it takes about an hour to fully cook everything, but for a Sunday night dish it would be perfect! There's plenty to feed the family and it's definitely hearty!

Sausage and Chicken Cassoulet-adapted from Best One Dish Meals by Pillsbury
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces Polish sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from heat and set aside, leaving grease in pan to cook chicken.

Add chicken to skillet and cook about 4 minutes, turning once, until it starts to brown. Add spices and vegetables to skill and cook another 3 minutes, until vegetables start to brown.

In an ungreased 13x9 inch baking dish, mix sausage, beans, tomatoes, bacon, carrots and onion. Top with chicken thighs.

Cover pan with foil and bake about 45 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Little Smokies

I made these for watching football and the fights last week. It's pretty much your standard recipe, but still tasty!

Little Smokies-adapted from More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea
Total Time: 4 hours
Serves 8

  • 28 ounces little smokies sausages
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
Grease the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours, until sausages are warm throughout.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Artichoke, Edamame and Asparagus Salad

I made a mistake when I bought the ingredients for this recipe. For some reason, I didn't think to grab the shelled edamame from the freezer section. This made it a bit harder to eat as you can't really eat the shells, but you could still tell the flavors that were there and I'd definitely make this again.

Artichoke, Edamame, and Asparagus Salad-adapted from Health Magazine
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can artichokes, quartered and drained
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into pieces
In a salad bowl, combine garlic, oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper; whisk well. Add artichokes and toss gently. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the edamame and cook for 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until asparagus and edamame are crisp-tender, another 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Add asparagus and edamame to artichoke mixture and toss to coat.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salsa Quesadillas

This is a very simple, quick recipe to make when you just don't feel like cooking. We have a quesadilla maker, so just put the ingredients together in there, however, I did put the recipe from the book that discusses how to make this in a skillet.

I do have to admit the absolute fail I did while making Scott's quesadilla. I definitely forgot to put the additional tortilla on top and closed the quesadilla maker. Let's just say, it was a mess to clean up. You could add additional ingredients or meats to this as you choose-really make it your own!

Salsa Quesadillas-adapted from Meals Made Easy by Real Simple
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 2

  • 4 8-inch tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded taco cheese
  • 8 ounce jar chunky store-bought salsa
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, per quesadilla
Lay one tortilla on a flat surface and place half the salsa, cheese and onion in the middle, leaving a 1-inch border. Place in quesadilla maker with second tortilla on top and cook for recommended cooking time.

If using a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Place tortilla with ingredients on the skillet, with second tortilla covering. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden and crisp.

Cut tortillas into slices and serve with sour cream, guacamole, or additional salsa.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shrimp Dumplings

I was so nervous to try this recipe. The last time I made something with wonton wrappers, it did not turn out well. I'm so glad I gave these a try though! They were absolutely amazing! Getting used to the wonton wrappers and getting them to stick was a little bit tricky, but in the end, they were relatively easy once you got the hang of it.

Shrimp Dumplings-adapted from Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 12 store bought wonton wrappers
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 dashes white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil 
Dice 2/3 the portion of shrimp into small pieces. With the other 1/3 of shrimp, place in a food processor to mince.

Combine the shrimp and all other ingredients except wonton wrappers in a large bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Assemble wontons by placing about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Fold wrapper into a triangle and then squeeze both sides together with your thumb and forefinger. Use a bit of water to seal, if necessary.

Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a stock pot until warm for frying. Drop in wontons in batches. Deep fry until they turn golden brown, and set on a plate lined with paper towel while you cook the remaining wontons.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Raspberry Glazed Chicken

I don't know if I did something wrong, but I did not like this recipe. The sauce was just too sweet, and I don't think I'd make this again. If anyone gives it a try, let me know.

Raspberry Glazed Chicken-adapted from Fast & Healthy Cookbook by Pillsbury
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs
Heat your grill. In a small bowl, beat raspberry jam, ginger, vinegar and soy sauce with wire whisk until well blended. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat about 1 minute. Add onion; cook and stir about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, continuing to cook and stir until onion is tender and dark brown. Reduce heat to low and stir in raspberry mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place chicken on grill over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 15-17 minutes, until juice of chicken is clear. Serve chicken  with onion-berry spread.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Asian Chicken Salad

Making hearty salads for dinner is one of my new favorite things. They're light but filling all at the same time. Thanks to this recipe, I now have a new favorite dressing-sesame ginger dressing! It's tangy but sweet at the same time! If you have left over chicken, this recipe will only take a few minutes to throw together and can be eaten with your favorite choice of dressing.

Asian Chicken Salad-adapted from Five Ingredient, 15 Minute Recipes by Weight Watchers
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3 cups dice cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1/2 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/3 cup sesame-ginger dressing
Mix all ingredients, except dressing, in a large salad bowl. Serve with dressing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Citrus Green Beans

I don't make fresh green beans often, but I really need to more! They are so delicious and crunchy! This is one of the simplest ways to make green beans with a lot of flavor and little time. I'll definitely make this again!

If you've never made green beans before, here are three great ways to do it!

Citrus Green Beans-adapted from Health Cooking Recipes Cards by Taste of Home
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring a pot of water to boil and place green beans in them. Bring to a boil again, and then simmer for about 4 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.

Transfer beans to a serving bow. Add the oil, peel, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Add more salt and pepper if desired, to taste.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Cookies

I'm not going to lie, I've never really gotten on the whole "It's fall, let's make everything with pumpkin!!" train. I don't mind pumpkin, but I don't HAVE to have it. That being said, I'm so glad that I tried this recipe!

My new favorite way to make cookies is to aerate the flour through a metal strainer. It just makes them so fluffy and cake like! The first time I tried it was on these cookies and I don't know that I'm ever going to not do that again!

The frosting on this was super easy, and ended up more like a glaze. The flavors were fantastic!

Pumpkin Cookies-adapted from The General Store of Minnetonka Cookbook
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes 4 dozen cookies
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking sode
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, more if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients, except sugar, in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream shortening, sugar, eggs and pumpkin. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Drop from rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Meanwhile, bring the first three icing ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, set aside and cool for at least an hour. Add powdered sugar until thick or desired consistency. Frost cookies to taste once cookies are cool.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Chex Mix

After my first Chex Mix try over two years ago, I've never made it again until now. I am so glad that I gave this recipe a try! It is sweet and the perfect treat for Halloween! It is so easy to make, the hardest part is just making sure that you mix the chocolate coating well! This is a quick and easy snack to make for a Halloween party or just a random get together! To speed this up, I put the cooling final product into the freezer. That got it hardened quickly enough to eat!

Halloween Chex Mix-adapted from
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 18

  • 8 ounces white chocolate baking bars, chopped or broken up
  • 4 cups rice chex cereal
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles
In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the chocolate bars uncovered on high 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

Gently stir in cereal and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and sprinkles. Spread on waxed paper until cooled and chocolate is set. Break into chunks. Store in a covered container.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

BBQ Beef Melts

I was very nervous making this recipe. The thought of bisquick with barbecue sauce just was...well...interesting sounding. In the end, this was a great recipe! I'm not a huge barbecue sauce fan, but Scott loved it. He even commented that he doesn't think BBQ pancakes are out of the question anymore! Give it a try for a simple, but interesting dinner.

BBQ Beef Melts-adapted from Easy Back to School Meals by Betty Crocker
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 2 cups bisquick (or pancake mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 pound cooked roast beef (from the deli), chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, stir bisquick mix, mustard, milk and egg until mixed. Pour and spread in pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. NOTE: Top will not brown.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute pepper and onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in barbecue sauce and beef. Stir until hot.

Spread beef mixture over bread and top with cheese. Bake in oven 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thai Chicken with Basil and Pineapple

I've said it many times before, but I love stir frys. Of pretty much any flavor and protein. They're just so tasty! This had a lot of flavor to it and will definitely be added to my list of stir frys! I only used a small serrano pepper and it added just enough kick to not make it too spicy for me! Serve with some rice and egg rolls and you have yourself a meal!

Thai Chicken with Basil and Pineapple-adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless opp breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can diced pineapple
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger root, grated
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken about 6 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a plate.

Add additional 1/2 tablespoon to skillet and stir fry pineapple, peppers, ginger and garlic until crisp tender. Stir fry about 3 minutes, and then add in soy sauce and fish sauce. Mix in chicken and toss to coat. Top stir fry mixture with basil leaves.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mango Chicken Quinoa Salad

If you haven't tired quinoa yet, give it a try! It's so good! This salad had a lot of flavor and was so filling! Although, I still don't think I know how to properly cut of a mango. What can I say, some things are hard!

The sweetness of the mango, citrus of the lemon dressing and tangyness of the blue cheese just worked so well. You could use this as a main dish (as we did) or a great side to share!

Mango Chicken Quinoa Salad-adapted from Picky Palate
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Simple Lemon Dressing
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions, and let cool for 30 minutes.

Add chicken, mango, kalamata olives, and cheeses to a large bowl with the quinoa. Mix well.

To make the dressing, whisk the dressing ingredients until well combined. Toss with quinoa mixture until well coated.


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