Spinach & Feta Naked Turkey Burgers

Happy New Year!!

Personally, I don’t usually make new years resolutions. I think things like eating healthy and exercising should be a part of our lifestyle all year round. However, I do like the fresh start the new year gives us. If you’re starting a new workout program or exercising more often right now to achieve a goal you’ve set, these turkey burgers are a great thing for you to be eating. The protein (20+ grams per burger!) will rebuild your muscles for workouts and fill you up. Plus they’re actually really yummy!

Spinach and Feta Naked Turkey Burgers with a runny egg are high protein and low carb lunch! Easy and yummy. Repin to save for later  I call these “naked burgers” because they’re bun-less; you eat them with a fork. Buuuuut, in place of the bun you can add some tasty toppings! My favorites are avocado and an egg with a runny yolk. The yolk adds flavor and creates a sauce that makes it even better.

These turkey burgers are one of my FAVORITE things to bring to work for lunch or to have around the house. Just add a salad or vegetable side and it’s the perfect combo of veggies and protein.

The other thing I love about these is that you can freeze them! I’m all about convenient meals, especially when a good chunk of the day’s time is spent working out. I put individual ones in little plastic ziplocks to grab and bring to work. Microwave for about a minute and add the toppings. (Also, you don’t even really need toppings – they are so good by themselves).

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Spinach & Feta Naked Turkey Burgers
 
Recipe type: Burger
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach or kale
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried thyme and/or parsley
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toppings: poached or sunny side-up egg, avocado slices or guacamole, fresh spinach. Other ideas to try: hummus, tahini sauce, greek yogurt and avocado sauce, laughing cow cheese.
Instructions
  1. Chop spinach or kale into small pieces.
  2. Crack the egg into a large bowl and whisk. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix together with your hands. Form into patties. Makes 4 large ones or 6 smaller ones.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and grill the patties. Make sure the heat isn’t too high so they cook all the way through. I only turn mine once. Covering the pan helps keep them moist and cook more evenly.
  4. Cool and store in tupperware or freeze in small baggies so you can grab one for work!

 

Warm Fall Quinoa Salad

Helloooooo fall!!

Let’s just take a moment to talk about how it’s November and the high is 70 degrees. Umm what?? I don’t know how I landed in this dream but, MinneSNOWta – please don’t wake me up yet!

Fall is my favorite season. I just love the crisp cool air, big cozy sweaters and warm colors. The flavors of fall turn everything into a feel-good comfort food – sweet and savory squashes, creamy soups and warm spices. You might as well leave a crock-pot out on the counter at all times, it’s that time of year!

This recipe is not a crock-pot recipe, but doesn’t take long to throw together. Especially if you make the quinoa and/or squash ahead of time. This is the kind of meal you just throw together one day with the ingredients you have on hand. I love that about quinoa. It goes with anything. Try out this recipe and then play around with what you could add or substitute for a different flavor or texture. Maybe add crumbled goat cheese or a different kind of dressing.

Warm Quinoa Salad
 
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry quinoa (you’ll have some leftover)
  • 1 bunch green kale (get rid of the hard stems)
  • 1 small butternut squash or delicata squash
  • Handful of pecans
  • Handful of dried cranberries
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Cook the squash first since it will take the longest. If using Delicata Squash: Cut in half the long way and scrape out the seeds and guts and discard. Place in a pan face down with a little olive oil on the bottom to prevent sticking. Roast in 350 degree oven for about 20 min. Use a knife to get it out of the skin once it’s cooked and cut into cubes.
  2. If using Butternut Squash: Peel and cut in half. Cut into small cubes. Discard the seeds. Toss in olive oil and roast in 350 degree oven for about 30 min.
  3. While Squash is cooking, place 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. When done, all the broth should be absorbed and the quinoa will turn fluffy. Save the extra as an already prepared base for meals the rest of the week!
  4. Sautee kale in a pan with olive oil and salt.
  5. Toss all ingredients together and top with balsamic vinegar and more olive oil if needed. S & P to taste.

Now, in true fall fashion, pour yourself a mug of hot cider and light your cinnamon scented candle while you put together this healthy and comforting fall meal!

Fresh Corn & Purple Cabbage Steak Tacos with Avocado Dressing

Whenever I order tacos somewhere, I tend to think of chicken or ground beef. Pretty basic. But what if you upgraded to Steak tacos?? Yes please!

This recipe I threw together one gloomy afternoon and it totally brightened the day. Literally, it’s full of color and it will perk up each of your tiny little taste buds! It takes a traditional taco to the next level. 

It’s low-carb, high protein and flavorful – the perfect healthy combo. Each bite tastes like a warm summer day on a rooftop patio. Which is perfect if you’re stuck indoors in the dead of winter with inches of snow on the ground (or outside on a rooftop patio). Enjoy wherever you may be!

Fresh corn and Purple Cabbage Steak Tacos with Avocado Dressing! Yummy in my tummy. Upgrade standard tacos to steak tacos! Repin to save the recipe.

Fresh Corn & Purple Cabbage Steak Tacos with Avocado Dressing
 
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 8-12 oz of steak of your choice (sirloin, skirt steak etc)
  • 1 cup of chopped red cabbage
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn (I used frozen roasted mexican corn from Trader Joes)
  • 1-2 avocadoes
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • Corn tortillas, the small ones
  • 2 teaspoons of my homemade taco seasoning
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with the taco seasoning on both sides. Add some olive oil to the pan, it should be sizzling. Place the steak into the pan for about 5 min on each side (I like my steak cooked medium - add more or less time depending on your preference). When it’s done, transfer it to a cutting board and slice into thin strips. While that’s cooking, chop your red cabbage, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Combine the tomatoes, onions, ½ of the cilantro, lime juice (use half of the lime) and a pinch of salt to make a salsa. Microwave the corn in a bowl with just a little water.
  2. Avocado dressing: In a food processor, combine greek yogurt, one avocado, cilantro, the rest of the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Blend together until smooth. If you want it to be more runny, add more lime juice or water. Otherwise, it’ll be the consistency of sour cream. If you need some spicy flavor, add sriracha or hot sauce of your choosing.
  3. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds. Fill them with corn, cabbage and salsa. Use a couple strips of steak per tortilla and top with the avocado dressing. If you need more avocado (who doesn’t need more avocado),, slice the other one and add to your tacos :) Garnish with cilantro! Nom nom nom.

 

 

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pesto

If you haven’t cooked with spaghetti squash before, you need to. Like right now.

Pasta is a rare treat around our house, but with spaghetti squash you can make the same “pasta” dish a healthy treat! Seriously an awesome substitute. If you’ve never prepared it before, don’t worry. It’s very simple to make.

I love me some homemade pesto. It’s actually very simple to make your own and it’s so worth it. It’s WAY better than store-bought and equally important: it won’t have sneaky additives or preservatives.

This dish is comfort food without the guilt. Warm. Fresh. Tasty. Healthy. All of the above.

See my recipe for homemade pesto HERE. The link is also included in the recipe box below.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Pesto
 
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted in the oven
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half the long way and scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil on the pan and put the halves face down. Bake for about 30 min (depending on the size). I find it’s better to undercook it. You can always throw it in a pan and sautee it with your other ingredients if you need to, but you don’t want it to get soggy by baking it too long.

  2. Spread out your pine nuts on a cookie sheet or piece of tin foil and throw that in the oven for a few minutes until they turn a golden brown. Careful, it happens quickly!! TIP: you can buy already toasted pine nuts at Trader Joe's!

  3. While the spaghetti squash is still cooking, you can make your chicken breast and pesto. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and garlic powder. Cook the chicken breast is in a sautee pan with a little olive oil on medium-low heat. Add a little water to the pan and cover. Let it cook for about 7 min on one side. Then flip them and cover for another 5 min or so. It’s so easy and they turn out perfect! Slice them into strips.

  4. See my recipe for homemade pesto HERE
  5. The last thing is to cut the cherry tomatoes in half and put them in a pan in the oven set to BROIL. I set mine to high and it only takes about 5 min. The tomatoes will be charred a little and bursting with flavor.

  6. Toss everything together until it’s well coated in the pesto. Serve with bread and/or salad as a side. I find that spaghetti squash dishes don’t look very pretty...so for a nicer presentation lay a bed of spaghetti squash to your plate. Then add chicken strips. Top with pesto and broiled tomatoes with basil for garnish as seen in my photo. Enjoy your tasty and healthy meal!

 

Asian Lettuce Wraps

What a good idea lettuce wraps are, right? A yummy mixture of meat, veggies, seasonings and garnishes wrapped up in lettuce…I wish I’d thought of it.

The warm ginger-y flavor of the filling + the CRUNCH you get from the lettuce + the fresh cilantro on top = delightful. 

Lettuce wraps are typically an appetizer, but with a side or two I think they can be the main course. I made these when I was doing the Whole30 (no grains, no dairy, no added sugar) so I had them as the main course. Eat as many as you want when they’re this healthy, right? Nom nom nom.

My “sauce boss” aka Travis came up with the dressing for this one. Click here for the recipe. The link is also in the recipe box below.

Asian Lettuce Wraps
 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 10 wraps
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lettuce for wraps (I used whole romaine)
  • Trav’s Asian Dressing
  • Toppings: fresh cilantro, crushed cashews, chives, avocado
Instructions
  1. Heat a little coconut oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic and sautee 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Add the rest of the veggies and seasonings and continue to sautee 10 minutes more. Peel apart the lettuce pieces, rinse and dry. Give yourself a hefty scoop for each lettuce piece and serve 2-3 on each plate. Drizzle some dressing on each one and add the toppings of your choice. Crunch away!