Awesome At-Home Burgers

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The beginning of the year always has me a bit reflective. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what the new year will bring, and what I want to take into it. One of the things I’m super pumped for this year is the travelling we have planned.

We already have a trip to Austin, Texas booked and ventures to Ocean City, Maryland and Lake George, New York are in the works too. We’re also debating a fall/winter trip and I’m hoping to make it up to Boston too. It should be a great year for travelling!

One of my little traveling traditions is to pick up a cookbook from everywhere we visit. I’ve amassed quite a little collection – and one of my goals for the year is to use them more. I picked up Spike Mehdelsohn’s The Good Stuff after a D.C. trip a few years ago. We had eaten as his restaurant We, The Pizza and loved it. The Good Stuff is pretty much a guidebook to turn your kitchen into a burger joint – never a bad thing!

There’s nothing terribly revolutionary here. No overly fancy ingredients – but the process makes such an awesome burger. Whip up an easy, special sauce, toast your buns, and wrap the burger in wax paper before serving and you’ll never be running for takeout burgers again!

BurgerPress4

Awesome At-Home Burgers
(from The Cook Stuff Cookbook)
Makes 6 Burgers

30 oz. ground sirloin
6 potato buns, cut in half
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
6 slices America cheese
6 leaves iceberg lettuce
6 tomato slices
6 red onion slices
12 pickle slices
Good Stuff Sauce
Wax paper

Make 6 burger patties from the ground sirloin and refrigerate. Prep your toppings and cut 6 sheets of wax paper. to wrap the burgers in.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high with just enough oil to cover the bottom. When the oil starts to smoke, reduce heat to medium and add patties. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, flip, cook for another minute. Add cheese slices to the top, cook for another minute and a half, then cover to melt the cheese.

Toast the buns.

Place each burger patty on a toasted bun and top with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and Good Stuff Sauce. Wrap each burger in wax paper and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie

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Eggplant and Garlic Pizza

You know those recipes you have pinned forever and when you finally make them you’re like, why did I wait so long?! This was one of those.

My kids love pizza of all kinds – and I loved the idea of the eggplant – so this was a win all around for us. It was gobbled up in record time.

It is, admittedly, a bit more time consuming than the pizzas I normally make, but it was totally worth the extra effort. The eggplant and garlic combo on pizza is amazing. I can’t wait to make this with fresh-from-the-garden eggplant this summer!

EggplantGarlicPizza

Eggplant and Garlic Pizza
(slightly adapted from A Family Feast)
Makes 1 12″ pie

1/2 lb. pizza dough at room temp
1/2 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt + additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
Enough vegetable oil to fill a skillet 1/2″
1/3 cup pizza sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
3 cloves minced garlice
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
Olive oil, for drizzle

Lay eggplant slices in a single layer and salt liberally. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. Coat each eggplant slice in the flour, shaking off excess.

Heat the vegetable oil in skillet. Fry the eggplant slices for three minutes, flipping once. Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough out into a 12-14″ circle.

Spread the sauce over the dough and top with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Sprinkle the garlic, basil and oregano over, then lay the eggplant slices on top. Top with remaining cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for about 7 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is browned.

EggplantGarlicPizza

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Creamy Mustard Sauce #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

MustardSaucePasta1.jpgDisclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

My last  Tresomega for the week is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s also healthy! This mustard sauce is a great way to add a lot of flavor without adding a lot of calories. My kids (and us adults) gobbled it up!

Again, I was super impressed with Tresomega’s pasta. It’s gluten free, but we honestly wouldn’t be able to tell if we didn’t already know!

For more recipe inspiration, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Tresomega products at: Tresomega.com. Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

 

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Creamy Mustard Sauce
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 4

1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. chicken apple sausage, coin sliced
2 green peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add in sausage, peppers, and onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in the mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and serve.

MustardSaucePasta2

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza #ThanksgivingLeftovers

Leftover turkey + leftover cranberry sauce = pizza night, of course.

I’ve always preferred to reimagine my turkey leftovers into non-Thanksgiving fare – like Turkey Cranchiladas or Turkey and Chorizo Hash – and this pizza fits right in. The cranberry sauce gives you a slightly sweet, slightly tart edge to your barbecue sauce – and it pairs awesome with the turkey and cheese.

This is a great dish to make at the end of the weekend when your turkey and stuffing sandwiches are getting tired!

CranberryBBQPizza

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza
(slightly adapted from Recipe Runner)
Makes 1 12″ Pizza

1/2 lb. pizza dough
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 cup turkey, shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
2 Tbsp. red onion, thinly sliced
Chopped cilantro, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and spread over the crust. Top with turkey, cheese, and red onion.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Looking for more leftover ideas? I’ve teamed up with a bunch of great bloggers today to share lots of great ways to use up your leftovers:

Cranberry-Orange Brie Bites by Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry-Topped Baked Brie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza by Kate’s Recipe Box

Prosciutto & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Spicy Turkey Quesadillas by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas by The Redhead Baker

Turkey Croquettes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Turkey Gumbo by Palatable Pastime

Turkey Pot Pie by Making Miracles

Lemon Pepper Chicken Kabobs

Despite the leaves starting to change, summer weather has been hanging on around here. We had several days in the 90s this week! I’ve been doing a little scrambling to get in some last-minute summer dishes on our weekly menu, because I know this won’t last.

I’m loving these afternoons where I can let the kids play in the backyard while I get dinner going on the grill. We’ve been eating on the deck a ton. I’m going to miss it terribly when the weather cools down.

LemonPepperKabobs

 

Lemon Pepper Chicken Kabobs
(adapted slightly from The Gunny Sack)
Serves 4

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning, divided
1 bunch of asparagus
1 lb. new potatoes
2 lemons

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp. of lemon pepper seasoning. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the chicken marinades, cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces and add them to another bowl. Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning.

Poke each potato with a fork and add to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. If the potatoes are larger than your chunks of chicken, cut in half once they’re cool enough to handle, then toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon pepper.

Cut the lemon into wedges.

When the chicken is finished marinating, thread all the prepared ingredients onto skewers and grill over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received this product for free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

We are grill-obsessed in the summer, so when the opportunity came up to work with Smokin-Os, I was beyond excited. I tend to slather my grill creations in sauce – usually one that’s loaded with sugar. Barbecue, teriyaki, and sweet and sour sauces end up in heavy rotation. With Smokin-Os, though, that’s not necessary.

Smokin-Os are a ridiculously easy way to get all the flavor of smoking with minimal effort. They pack a huge flavor punch without adding any calories. You can see how to use them here.

SmokinOs

When I started brainstorming what I wanted to try and makeover for #RecipeMakeover week, I kept coming back to Chicken Cordon Bleu. I love it, but it’s usually fried and often comes with a heavy sauce. As soon as I got my hands on the Smokin-Os, I knew they’d be a great way to pack a lot of flavor into my dish, while ditching the frying. I was so excited how these turned out!

To find out more about Smokin-Os, like them on Facebook!

GrilledChickenCordonBleu

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu with Smokin-Os
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original
Serves 4

4 thin-cut, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper, and oregano, to taste
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. olive oil
4 slices deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 Original Smokin-Os

Prepare the grill according to the Smokin-Os package directions.

Season chicken breasts to taste with salt, pepper, and oregano. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil.

When the grill is ready, spray with non-stick spray and add chicken breasts. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip, brushing the top with the honey-mustard mixture. Cook another 3-4 minutes, flip and brush again. Add 1 slice of ham, topped with one slice of Swiss cheese to each chicken breast and cook for another minute, until the cheese melts.

 

Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns

I’m sure none of my long-time blog readers are surprised to see that pizza has made it’s way into the Lenten dinner series. I’m a pizza fan. It was bound to happen.

The beauty of these is – like pizza – you can top them however you want. If it wasn’t Lent, I would have added some pepperoni on top. Ham and pineapple would also be good. These are a great idea if you’re looking for a meal that will please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

QuinaPizzaBurgers

Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns
(adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
Serves 6

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 cup cooked or canned pinto beans, drained and mashed
6 burger buns
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Combine cooked quinoa, tomato paste, spices, and mashed beans. When well  combined, divide into six equal parts and form into patties.
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and cook patties over medium heat until both sides are browned and patties are heated through. Top with 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce each and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover and let cheese melt.
Meanwhile, spread melted butter over the cut side of the buns and sprinkle evenly with garlic powder. Broil until toasted.
Serve burgers on toasted buns immediately.

Cauliflower Nachos

A lot of my Lenten Friday dinners are recreated junk food or takeout fakeout. There’s a reason for that. By the time Friday rolls around, that’s really all I want. And I’m assuming I’m not alone in that since pizza is such a popular Lenten dinner.

So, here’s another option if you’re thinking of ordering pizza tonight.

No, you won’t be fooled into thinking the cauliflower is tortilla chips – but this is delicious in it’s own right. And you’ll feel more virtuous downing a whole plate!

CauliflowerNachos

Cauliflower Nachos
(from Delish)
Serves 2

1 large head cauliflower, chopped
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
Your favorite nacho toppings – we used salsa, black beans, black olives, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil. Sprinkle spices evenly over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, until golden and crispy.

Top with cheese and any other toppings you want warm and bake for 5 minutes more, until the cheese is melted.

Add remaining toppings and serve.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna Soup

The weather is giving me whiplash. We keep going from unseasonably warm to snowstorm and back. Yesterday, we were at the park in light sweatshirts. Today, it’s snowing.

Luckily, that means it’s soup weather – and I just happen to have a great meatless soup to share as part of the Lenten dinner series!

This soup is pretty much veggie lasagna in a bowl. I’ve tried a bunch of lasagna-type soups and they never quite hit the spot because they lack the cheesy goodness that is lasagna. This version features an ingenious dollop of cheese on top. I love it!

VeggieLasagnaSoup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna Soup
(from Foodie Crush)
Serves 10

1 yellow onion, diced
2 zucchinis, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/8  tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. lasagna noodles

 

For the ricotta cheese topping

1 8 oz. container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4  cup basil leaves, chopped
Generous pinch of salt

Add the onion, zucchini, garlic, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaves, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and black pepper to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

While the soup cooks, mix all ingredients for the cheese topping together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When the soup is done, prepare the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, chop them up, and add to the soup.

Serve the soup topped with a dollop of cheese topping.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast

This meal was so easy! Are you sensing a theme around here? If it’s not quick and easy, I pretty much can’t handle it these days. Going forward, let’s just assume everything I post is quick and easy unless I say otherwise.

On top of being easy, this is freezer friendly. I prepped and popped it in the freezer – and then thawed the day before cooking. If you’re someone who likes to prep ahead, this is a fantastic option.

CranberryOnionPorkRoast

Slow Cooker Cranberry Onion Pork Roast
(adapted from New Leaf Wellness)
Serves 4

2 lbs. pork loin
15 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dried minced onion

Place pork in the slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Cook on low for 6 hours.