Avocado Bacon Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Avocado Turkey BurgerThe temps are slowly rising, the yard is getting cleaned up and we picked up a new propane tank, so that means grill season is coming!

My love for Pinterest is still strong so I’ve been collecting recipes to try and I’m happy to report that this one was a winner! I looked at quit a few of the avocado turkey burger recipes on there and decided to create my own by taking a little from each and the results were moist and delish!

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I mixed everything except the avocado together first to ensure that the garlic and onion was distributed evenly, without working the avocado too much.

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Be sure the spray your grill with some nonstick spray or wipe down the grill grates with some oil so there is no risk of sticking.

Avocado Bacon Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound lean ground turkey
  2. 1 large ripe avocado - cut into chunks
  3. 6 slices nitrate-free bacon, chopped
  4. 1 chopped clove of garlic
  5. 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  6. 1 minced Jalapeño pepper (optional but recommended, remove seeds & membrane for milder flavor)
  7. ½ teaspoon salt
  8. ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl (except for the avocado) and toss gently. Once incorporated, add in the avocado and toss gently to incorporate.
  2. Shape into 4 patties and grill. (You can use an indoor grill if you prefer)
Notes
  1. Use slightly firmer avocados so they don't get too mushy when mixing.
Get Fit With Nikki http://www.getfitwithnikki.com/
 These burgers were super moist and full of flavor! They are also paleo friendly and Whole 30 friendly (if you use Whole 30 approved bacon).

We served these up with some sweet potato fries and I served mine over some baby spinach and topped it sriracha ketchup.

For those of you who follow the 21 Day Fix, these could be counted as 1 Red and 1 Blue container. (Counts are for 1 burger only without a bun)

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Sausage and Vegetable Casserole

Sausage and Vegetable Casserole

I apparently have two speeds when it comes to this blog, over productive and complete slacker. I truly apologize for that.

It’s been a crazy few weeks. Between snow storms, everyday tasks and studying for my certification, I’ve been highly overwhelmed and stressed. When I get that way, I try to remove things from plate that aren’t essential to day to day living, so blogging tends to take a back burner, which I hate, because I enjoy doing it.

With that, I’ve still been in the kitchen and sticking with clean eating (with the exception of the Papa John’s Pizza and the burger I had while at Super Bowl Boulevard the other day – more on that soon) and I have a new recipe to share with you!

I found the inspiration for it on Pinterest of course. It’s more like a crustless quiche than a casserole but I’ve never made a quiche so I can’t say for sure, therefore we shall call it a casserole.

Sausage and Vegetable Casserole

Sausage and Vegetable CasseroleIngredients:
1lb Italian sweet sausage (you can use hot if you prefer)
¾ lb broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
2 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 small pepper (any color), chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
A pinch of red pepper flakes
3 free-range organic eggs
½ cup milk (you can use non dairy)
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
A pinch ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place sausage on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 mins (Turn them halfway through cooking. Slice into 1/4 round pieces, like the zucchini)
3. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add broccoli florets, zucchini, pepper, black pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt, red pepper flakes and about ¼ cup of water.
5. Cover with a lid and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring often. The vegetables should brown a bit and must be thoroughly cooked, but still retain some of their crunchiness. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
6. In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, ¼ tsp of salt and nutmeg for a couple of minutes until fluffy. Add chopped basil and stir to combine.
7. Add the sausage and vegetables to baking dish and spread them on an even layer. With the back of a spoon press them down gently.
8. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if desired).
9. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

This was a quick a simple recipe to make. You could add any vegetables you have on hand to it and you could even use chicken if you prefer. I was craving sausage and peppers but I didn’t want to have bread or pasta, so this worked out perfect.

I haven’t tried too many new recipes lately. Since I’ve been so pressed for time, I’ve been sticking with what I know and keeping meals very simple.

If you have tried any new recipes that you loved, please send me a link to them! I’m always looking to try new things.

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{Slow Cooker Recipe} Asian Five-Spice Pulled Pork

{Slow Cooker Recipe} Asian Five-Spice Pulled Pork

There are days that I don’t know what I would do without my slow cooker. Those days are usually Mondays. I don’t know what it is about Monday that usually leaves me running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Maybe it’s getting back into that weekday routine after being relaxed all weekend, or maybe it’s because I tend to cram everything humanly possible into the few short hours that the kids are in school. My guess is a combination of the two, but thankfully, the invention of the slow cooker makes one Monday task an easy one.

As I mentioned in my Eating Healthy On A Budget post, I like to purchase meat in bulk. I have staple meats that are always on hand in my freezer, ground beef, pork loin, chicken thighs and chuck roasts. These are staples for me because they can be prepared using different cooking methods, and are perfect for tossing into the slow cooker while still frozen!

Sometimes I plan my week with grand intentions of trying tons of new recipes, but then I wake up with a headache, end up having to go out somewhere or just flat out don’t feel like cooking (I know, that last one is crazy, but it happens from time to time). Those are the times I thankfully for my supply of frozen meat options, my slow cooker and my collection of recipes on Pinterest!

This recipe is actually intended for pork ribs, but I didn’t have pork ribs…I had a pork loin roast, so I figured why not?!

Asian Five-Spice Pulled Pork
Recipe Inspired by The Clothes Make The Girl

Asian Five-Spice Pulled PorkIngredients:
2-3lb pork loin roast
2 tsps Chinese five-spice powder
1 tsp garlic powder (I used a garlic pepper combo)
2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsps coconut aminos
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
1 sliced jalapeno (optional – I used some jalapeno hot sauce because I didn’t have a fresh jalapeno on hand)

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, Chinese five-spice, and garlic powder, then massage the mixture onto the pork.
2. If using the jalapeno, toss the sliced piece into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the vinegar, coconut aminos and tomato paste. Stir well to combine the tomato paste with the liquids.
3. Add the pork roast and cook on low for about 8-10 hours.
4. When the pork is done, shred and mix with the juices in the slow cooker. Serve.

This pork had a wonderful, sweet flavor with just a hint of spice from the jalapeno. I served this with sweet potato mash and sauteed spinach, but this is yet another dish that would work perfect as a lettuce wrap. There are really very few meats that wouldn’t work well as a lettuce wrap, right?!

I’ve clearly been on a Asian kick with my meals this week. I think it might just be an excuse to eat lettuce wraps and Sriracha, because that is exactly how I used the left overs from this meal today.

Do you own a slow cooker? If so, do you use it a lot or does it just sit on a shelf in the pantry?

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Easy Korean Style Beef

Easy Korean Style Beef

Yesterday was one of those days where time just got away from me. I meant to do my meal planning and some meal prepping, but I ended up taking down the Christmas tree and cleaning up the living-room. Before I knew it, the Broncos vs. Chargers game was on and I still didn’t know what I was cooking for dinner. These are the times I am thankful for Pinterest!

I opened up my laptop, plugged in the words healthy, ground beef and recipes and I had plenty of options to choose from. I knew right off the bat that chili was not an option since Mike is not a fan of it. I was not in the mood for red sauce so meatballs were out. Thankfully I stumbled on this recipe inspired by Korean Bulgogi, which is traditionally made using thin slices of marinated beef.

Easy Korean Style Beef
Recipe adapted from Kim Kim Cooking
Serves 4

easy korean style beefIngredients:
1 pound lean grounded beef
1 tsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Directions:
1. In a pan or wok, add oil and heat over medium heat.
2. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add beef, stir well.
4. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, and water. Stir will to mix with the beef.
5. Cook for 7 minutes over medium-high heat, until cooked through.

This meal was super quick to prepare and cook. I made some jasmine rice to serve this over, and I added snap peas to the pan as I cooked the beef. Of course I topped everything with Sriracha, because…..Sriracha! The Sriracha actually balanced out the sweetness of this dish really well. Today I had the left over beef and snap peas as lettuce wraps for lunch, and that was a really yummy too!

Meals like this just show that you don’t have to spend a ton of money or time in the kitchen to have a healthy meal. What is your favorite quick, healthy meal?

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{Slow Cooker Meal} Jerk Chicken

{Slow Cooker Meal} Jerk Chicken

Yesterday afternoon, I was doing my workout and began debating what to make for dinner. I remembered I had a recipe for Jerk Chicken that I wanted to try. So as soon as I was done, I ran downstairs, mixed some recovery drink and began prepping my spices and chicken for cooking.

Now the recipe I found wasn’t a true Caribbean style jerk chicken, but it has spice and looked really tasty, so I had to give it a try.

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken
Recipe from Ancestral Chef
Serves 6

jerk chickenIngredients:
12 chicken legs
4 teaspoons of salt
4 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (add more or less depending on how spicy you like your chicken)
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoons of black pepper

Directions:
1. Mix all of your spices together in a bowl to make a rub for the chicken.
2. Rinse your chicken legs in cold water, then place into a bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with the spices and rub them into the meat thoroughly. Make sure you try to get it under the chicken skin, too.
3. Place your rubbed chicken into your slow cooker (no liquid is necessary to cook this dish)
4. Set the slow cooker on low heat and cook for 6 hours or until the chicken meat falls off the bone (slow cooker times and setting vary so adjust accordingly).
5. You can serve the chicken on the bone, or remove them since the meat falls off so easily.

This recipe made my kitchen smell amazing and was very moist and flavorful. I used the full teaspoon of cayenne pepper and didn’t find it to be very spicy, but feel free to use less if you are sensitive to spicy food. You could even substitute with other spices that are more traditional to the Caribbean style if that’s what you prefer. Play with it. Have fun! That’s what cooking should be about!

I served the chicken with some mashed cauliflower, and steamed snap peas. Everything was simple, quick and healthy, which is so important to me.

What kind of recipes do you tend to gravitate to? Do you like to try new things or do you tend to stick to what you know?

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{Healthy Comfort Food} Pot Roast & Mashed Cauliflower

{Healthy Comfort Food} Pot Roast & Mashed Cauliflower

Thanks to the polar vortex nonsense, it’s been super frigid across the country and what is better on a cold day, than watching movies, cuddling under warm blankets and eating some yummy comfort food?!

One of my favorites is pot roast & mashed cauliflower. Comfort food doesn’t have to be fattening! By using mashed cauliflower instead of decadent mashed potatoes, you’ll get that comforting feeling without needing the bulky sweater to hide the weight gain.

 

Garlic Studded Pot Roast
Serves 6

pot roastIngredients:
1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 3 pounds)
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2/3 beef stock or red wine

Directions:
1. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, make 10 small slits deep all over the pot roast. Insert the garlic cloves as deep into the slits as possible.
2. Season the roast on all sides with the salt and pepper.
3. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Carefully add the meat and sear on all sides until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
4. Add the vegetables, carefully add the stock or wine and cover the pot.
5. Reduce the heat to low to medium-low and cook until the roast is very tender, about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Turning 2 or 3 times during the cooking process. (Add a little more water, stock or wine as needed so that a little liquid always is on the bottom of the pan.)
6. Allow the meat to rest 10 minutes. Slice or pull the meat apart into serving pieces and serve with the vegetables over the mashed cauliflower (recipe below).

Mashed Cauliflower
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 large head of cauliflower
2-4 Tablespoons pastured butter ( I used coconut oil because that’s what I had – you won’t need as much)
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cut the cauliflower into large pieces.
2. Place cauliflower in a pot of water. Make sure it is fully immersed.
3. Bring water to a boil. Let cauliflower cook for about 15 minutes. (It should be very easy to pierce it with a fork.)
4. Drain the water from pot. Leave cauliflower on low heat, and mash with a potato masher.
5. Add butter and seasonings.
6. Mix well. Serve hot.

I was a little unsure if Mike would like the mashed cauliflower, instead of traditional mashed potatoes, but he really enjoyed them and said he didn’t feel overstuffed like usual after eating dinner. That’s a big win to me…now if only I could get the kids to eat them…sigh!

Have you tried making your favorite comfort foods healthier? If so, what have you substituted?

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Baked Chicken Fajitas

Baked Chicken Fajitas

Everyone has those nights when they need something quick and easy to make for dinner. You may not be into meal prepping yet (which is a life saver) or maybe you just don’t feel like eating what you prepped again, but you also don’t want to sabotage your healthy eating. This recipe is perfect for those nights!

Baked Chicken Fajitas
Serves 4

baked fajitasIngredients:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp mexican oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 jalapeno, sliced (you can remove the seeds if you prefer less heat. I used a small can of fire roasted green chilies because I didn’t have a jalapeno on hand)
1 large onion, cut into thin strips
2 medium peppers, cut into thin strips (use any color you have on hand)

Directions:
1. Place the chicken strips in a gallon sized zippered bag.
2. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Sprinkle over chicken; toss to coat.
3. Put in the refrigerator to marinate 30 min. to overnight.
4. When ready to bake, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then coat a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and place the marinated chicken strips in.
5. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, onion and peppers to the dish and stir to combine.
6. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.

This recipe came in handy yesterday! I was busy studying for my midterm most of the day and didn’t think about dinner until late. Mike and I started working out together at night, so I was able to prep this, toss it in the oven and by the time we were done with our P90X3 workout, our post workout meal was ready and waiting! How perfect is that?!

If you are following a paleo or gluten-free lifestyle, serve these as lettuce wraps and top with a little guacamole, a squeeze of lime and hot sauce, if you desire. If you are non-paleo, but gluten-free, you can use white corn tortillas and if you are just eating clean, serve these with whole-grain tortillas and top as you wish. This is really a great recipe for entertaining too, since it is easy and healthy, but can fit different nutritional lifestyles with ease.

Do you have any healthy, easy, go-to recipes that you rely on when you’re short on time?

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