Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers and Eating More Vegetables

We’re all adults here. We all know we’re supposed to eat vegetables, because they’re good for you.  But the reality is life happens.   We get caught up in things; we forget to eat vegetables…  Not cool, guys.  Eat your vegetables.

I’m a big proponent of vegetables and exercise being the cure for most things.  I’m not a nutrionist or a doctor but I’ve realized that when I eat more vegetables and exercise regularly, I tend to feel better.

Last week, Melissa’s Produce reached out to me asking if I’d like to review one of their boxes and maybe come up with a few recipes from the content.  I said Yes, because 1. I love vegetables and 2. it seemed like a great opportunity to blog about things.

So let me tell your a little bit about the produce box I got.  I got the “Organic Mixed Vegetable Box – Southern California Delivery.” I chose this one because I didn’t want a box with fruit.  I would rather just have vegetables.  It arrived while I was at work.  Since I live in a housing complex, it was delivered to the apartment office, so the box didn’t sit outside all day.  Luckily, I was able to make it home a few minutes before the apartment office closed at 5pm.  If not, I would have had to wait til the next day, which would have sucked.

I got the box and it was jam packed with deliciousness.  I definitely give them props for their packing skillzz.  Everything was in there, the lettuce wasn’t smashed or wilted.  Thumbs up for that! There was also an ice pack in the box  that kept everything cool.

Here is everything my box included:

produce

This is a good amount of produce for two people.  But Jesse and I eat a good amount of vegetables so we’re good to go.   One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about produce delivery services and CSA shares (aside from cost), is that it’s simply too much produce. I agree, it is a good amount, but not really too much.  When I first saw the enormous pile of vegetables, I got concerned and thought, oh goodness how are we going to eat all this?  But really, having this box forces us to eat more vegetables, it’s just about prioritizing and planning. Using this produce, I’ve planned a variety of meals to use up almost all the vegetables, and today I’ll share one of these recipes: Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Creamy Yogurt Sauce, served with Grilled Zucchini. Sounds delish right?  I think it looks pretty great too! turkeylettuceburger2

The most important thing to remember with CSAs and produce delivery is that certain things go bad faster than others.  Lettuce and kale are the most perishable, so they should probably be eaten first.  Then Zucchini, Broccoli, Cucumber and Celery.  Beets, Carrots, Potato, Garlic, Onion, Leeks and Ginger, will all last a pretty long time.

Keeping that in mind, I’ve been having green smoothies with kale for breakfast everyday to make sure to use the kale.  To consume the lettuce as quickly as possible, I decided lettuce wrapped burgers were the way to go.

turkeylettuceburger4

Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Creamy Yogurt Sauce

For Turkey Burgers: 

1 package lean ground turkey (a little more than a pound)
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
garlic salt to taste

For Creamy Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, grated
1 lime
Garlic salt to taste

Extra:

Lettuce
Tomato  

Combine all ingredients for turkey burger.  Work together and form into patties (4-6 depending on how big you want them, I did 6).  Grill on a hot grill, or on a skillet or you can even bake them.  If you’re grilling on a grill or in a pan, it’ll be about 5 mins per side (depending on how thick your patties are).

In the meantime, prep your yogurt sauce by combining yogurt, grated cucumber and lime juice.  Mix together and add garlic salt.  Taste until you get the right saltiness.  Then refrigerate until ready to use. (Note: You can make this sauce is advance.  As long as it’s refrigerated, it’ll be good for a few days)

Next assemble your burger.  I doubled up and used two lettuce leaves per side of the burger “bun” (so 4 lettuce leaves total per burger. Remember, we’re packing in those vegetables!).  Put down two pieces of lettuce, top with burger and tomato, drizzle with yogurt sauce and top with more  lettuce.  Serve with some grilled zucchini and enjoy!  

This recipe will make 4-6 lettuce wrap burgers (I made 6). I was really happy with this recipe.  Confession: I ate 2!  I don’t feel guilty.

If you’re curious about how I grilled the zucchini, I just sliced it into 1/2 inch thick strips then drizzled with olive oil and tossed with some garlic salt.  That’s it.  And seriously delicious. turkeylettuceburger3

This meal was chock full of vegetables, which is always awesome, but also super tasty and satisfying.

turkeylettuceburger1

I can’t wait to make use of the other vegetables.  Here are some of my ideas to make the most of each ingredient…

  • Use Ginger to make awesome peanut sauce to go on zucchini noodles.  Or just drink with hot water, because ginger is great for your immune system!
  • Roast beets to make an amazing kale salad with onion, almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.  Doesn’t that sound amazing? I also intend to saute those beet greens and add those to the salad as well.
  • I cut up the rest of the cucumber that I didn’t use in the yogurt sauce just for snacking.  Because don’t we all need some extra veggies as an afternoon snack?  I think yes.
  • Carrots: Gluten free carrot cake.  Yup. I made it happen.  Recipe soon!
  • Celery: I love filling celery with tuna salad for an awesome and light lunch.  I can seriously go through 10 celery ribs in one sitting with a bowl of tuna salad.
  • Leeks + Potato… Do I even need to say it?  Potato-Leek Soup!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with Melissa’s Produce delivery service.  It’s the most reasonably priced delivery service I’ve seen.  I used to pay about $19/week for my CSA share in Ithaca.  The box I got through Melissa’s Produce costs $25 (although I got it free this time, thanks to Melissa’s Produce!).  For $25 you get 7lbs of organic produce.  Not bad.

Are you a fan of lettuce wrapped burgers or are you a bun purist?

Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce provided me with a free produce box in exchange for this blog post.  Opinions and recipes are my own.

About these ads

Coconut Mint Cooler

I signed up for a half marathon.  Somehow I thought it was a good idea to run 13 miles.  So here it goes.  It’s not til November, but training has commenced (luckily, I run with Allison from Sweet Potato Bites and she keeps me going).

This morning I ran 8.  I’ve noticed I’ve been having some issues with hydration after these longer runs, especially since we’ve been having ridiculous humidity in southern California and I sweat like a whore in church.

I know coconut water is great for hydration, but sometimes, just plain coconut water is boring.  Sometimes you need to get a little bit fancy.  If you’re feeling fancy and dehydrated, I have the perfect drink for you.

Coconut Mint Cooler

Coconut Mint Cooler

4 cups coconut water
Juice of 2-3 limes
12-15 mint leaves

Blend together all ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve over ice (or with a dash of rum).

Coconut Mint Cooler

I’m pretty pretty much convinced that this would also make a great mixer.  I think it’d go great with rum… like a coocnut mojito! Would you say no to that?

Or if you wanted to keep be alcohol-free, mix with some club soda to give it a little fizz.

Coconut Mint Cooler

Either way, you’ll feel fancy drinking this and knowing you’re on your way to full hydration without any added sugars, chemicals or crazy ingredients.

 

What’s your favorite way to hydrate? 

Healthier Pancake Toppings and Options

With my series of overindulgent posts as of recent, I feel the need to balance out the calories and cholesterol with something a little bit healthier: Pancakes.

pancakebreakfast

That’s not a joke.  I totally think pancakes can be healthy.  You just have to know how to do them. As a kid, I hated pancakes.  I always thought they tasted funny.  Then something magical happened, I tried IHOP’s pancakes and I loved them.   That’s when I realized what I hated was Bisquick pancakes.  That’s all my mom ever made.  Sorry mom, but bisquick is just gross. When I discovered my love of pancakes, I wanted to eat them all the time.   While we all know pancakes aren’t always the healthiest breakfast, there are ways to lighted up your pancakes and especially the toppings so they’re still fun and delicious but won’t undo your workout. Here are a few ways to keep your pancakes a little on the healthier side so you can enjoy them guilt-free. peachpureepancakes2text

Choose a Better Pancake Base

Pancakes can basically be a carb fest (nothing wrong with that), but if you’re looking to balance your meal, adding protein powder is a great start.  I’m a big fan of protein pancakes because the extra protein helps keep you full.

Some of my favorites are:

protein pancakes1

Vanilla Coconut Protein Pancakes
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
Banana Protein Pancakes

The fun part of protein pancakes is you can play with different flours and protein powders and find a mix that you love.

If making your own pancakes from scratch isn’t your thing or you’re really not looking to add some extra protein, there are some pancake mixes that are pretty natural and overall healthy.  I love Kodiak Cakes, because they’re super easy to make (just add water) and the ingredients are all natural.

You could also go the Paleo Pancake route.  It’s not exactly a pancake but still pretty darn tasty.

Lighten Up Your Toppings

When I was younger, I ate the regular old pancake syrup you get at the grocery store.  Nowadays, I try to stick with toppings that don’t have any chemicals or artificial sweeteners.  Straight up maple syrup is a little too intense for me, so generally I like to mix it up to create different types of syrups and sauces and toppings.

My latest obsession is fruit purees mixed with maple syrup.

I like to puree some fresh peaches and mixed it with maple syrup… about 2 tbsp peach puree + 1 tbsp of maple syrup for one person.  You can also just puree the fruit and skip the maple syrup.  I tried that with banana (simmered them in water first, but raw works) and it was awesome:

pancakesbananasyrupMy other favorite combo is plain greek yogurt with maple syrup.

vanillacoconutproteinpancakes2

 

But in general, fruit is a great topping.  It helps bulk up the volume without adding as many calories as eating extra pancakes.  Berries are always a great addition…

peachpureepancakes1

But you can also get creative, like topping your pancakes with persimmon!

Pancakes with Persimmon2

 Portion Control

I love a big stack of pancakes.  Mostly because it looks pretty, but also because it’s fun to eat.  But eating 4 or 5 full sized pancakes is a lot.  So what I do is I made them smaller!  That way I feel like I’m eating a lot but really I’m not.

pancakes2
I generally use a tbsp measurer to prepare my pancakes.  Each pancake is composed of 2 tbsp of batter, instead of about 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) which is normal.

In the photo above, the banana slices show how the pancakes are actually pretty small.  Despite the fact that the portion size is smaller, I still feel like I’m getting a good amount of pancakes.

 

I’m all for eating a full stack of pancakes with butter and maple syrup every once a while.  But on a normal day basis, I like to keep it a bit lighter.  Pancakes can still be enjoyed if you’re trying to stay healthy.  It’s just about making sure you make the right choices.

What’s your favorite way to slim down your pancakes?

Why Making Your Own Birthday Cake is Awesome

Yesterday was my birthday, and I made my own birthday cake.   Some seem to think that’s wrong, because on your birthday you should not do the work.  But let me just tell you… making your own birthday cake is actually awesome.

IMG_8461

 

Obviously if you hate making cakes, it’s not awesome. But if you like baking, you should consider making your own birthday cake because…

  1. You can make it as ridiculous as you want.  I wanted a tall cake, so I decided 4 layers was essential. Let’s be honest, 4 layers is really unnecessary, but hey, it’s my birthday.  4 layer cake it is!

  2. It will be exactly what you want.  I love lemon.  8 lemons went into my cake with lemon cream filling and raspberry whipped cream.  I’m not sure who else would take the time to do that if not me.

  3. If you mess it up, it’s ok.  It’s your cake.  No one can hate you because it’s your birthday.  My cake was slightly crooked.  Eh! I’ll survive.

  4. Your birthday is a pretty darn good reason to make a cake, and it’s fun!

  5. It’s basically a gift to yourself.  You’re awesome.  Celebrate you with cake!

  6. You won’t be disappointed, because you know exactly what to expect.

birthdaycake

So if you’re birthday is coming up.  Consider making your own birthday cake.  I promise, it’s more awesome than it seems.

Of course, if you make a cake for yourself, don’t eat the whole thing yourself.  Make sure people sing to you…

photo (2)

then slice it up and share with the world!

Thanks for everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday and Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating their birthday as well!

What’s your ideal birthday cake? 

Breakfast Sliders

One of my favorite things to do is  recreate things I tried in restaurants.  A few weeks ago, I met up with a friend for brunch in Long Beach.  We shared an appetizer and an entree and sipped bellinis.  For our appetizers,  we shared some breakfast sliders.

After one bite, I was in love.  I mean… biscuits, eggs, bacon, sausage gravy.

Everything you want in breakfast in one delicious bite.  I knew I had to recreate them, and so I did.

breakfast slider2

Breakfast Sliders

1 Recipe for Crazy Good Biscuits
1/2 lb breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour 3 cups milk (I used low fat)
garlic salt
12 slices of bacon
8 eggs (I used Eggland’s Best)

First make your sausage gravy.  Crumble and cook your breakfast sausage in a large skillet or pot.  Make sure you buy the kind in the tube, not the links.  Once the sausage is almost cooked through, add flour and toss.  Cook a few minutes.  Stream in milk, slowly, stirring constantly to break up lumps.  Add garlic salt to taste. Remember the breakfast sausage is pretty salty on its own so you won’t need too much.  Set aside, leave on simmer to keep warm.

Next make your biscuits and cook your bacon until crispy and set aside.

The last step is to cook the egg.  Scramble the eggs in a bowl.  Pour eggs into a greased, heated skillet.  Cover and allow to cook a few minutes until almost cooked through.  You’re basically making a big egg pancake that you can slice and fold. Once the eggs have almost set, flip over and cook another few seconds.  Remove from heat and slice in half, then slice each half into 1 1/2 – 2 inch thick strips.  You should have 10-12 pieces.

Now assemble your sliders. Slice the biscuits in half.  On the bottom half, lay some sausage gravy, then take an egg strip and fold in half and place on top of sausage gravy, lay on some bacon and top off with top of biscuit.  Repeat until all your sliders are ready.  This recipe will make about 10-12 sliders.

breakfast slider1

These coincided with the fact that Eggland’s Best send me some egg coupons to throw a Brinner Party.  These were the perfect appetizer.

So if you’re having a Brinner party or if you just want to have an awesome breakfast-inspired treat, this is it.

breakfast sliders

ALSO, this is my entry for the Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” contest.  Cross your fingers for me, then submit your own recipe!

Here are the contest details:

2014 Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Recipe Contest:

  • Visit the Eggland’s Best website to learn about their 2014 Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest
  • Eggland’s Best will be accepting original recipes through their website until July 31st
  • One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a year supply of EB eggs
  • Category winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a six-month supply of EB eggs

Pretty awesome, right?  Who doesn’t want to win eggs and money?

Speaking of which, one more day to enter the Eggland’s Best giveaway to win some Eggland’s Best Eggs and a $25 Visa gift card!  Click here to enter!

 

What’s your favorite brunch/brinner appetizer??

Brinner Party: Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito

Disclaimer: The Eggland’s Best coupons, promo items, information, and two gift cards have been provided by Eggland’s Best.

I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner.   I probably have breakfast for dinner at least twice per week.  The beauty of breakfast is that it’s flexible.  While usually my breakfast for dinner (aka Brinner) is usually pretty simple (i.e. eggs and beans), you can get full on fancy with brinner.  I’m glad to know other people share my affinity for Brinner, especially Eggland’s Best.

egglandsbest

Eggland’s Best is an egg company.  You might have seen them around the grocery store or on Twitter or Facebook.  I had never tried their eggs before but when they offered some up to throw a “Brinner Party,” I was all over it.

I mean who can say no to eggs? They’re a little bit great (don’t forget how awesome Egg Salad on a Hot Dog is!)

Given my love of Eggs, Brinner and Food Parties (Hi, remember Peanut Butter Party and Chicken & Waffles?), a Brinner party was a natural next step.

We all know any good dinner party needs:

  • A drink
  • An Appetizer
  • An Entree
  • Dessert

I hit 3 out of 4 with this party.  You won’t believe this but I actually skipped dessert! (Who am I?!?!)

I had high hopes for dessert, but didn’t follow through because everyone was too full from the menu.  Must have been all those eggs! (PROTEIN! It keeps you full!) <— This is NOT me making a health claim… not that I ever do.

This brinner party also coincided with the World Cup Final.  So of course, any sporting event (and brinner party) needs a good cocktail.  I went with peach bellinis with fresh homemade peach puree:

PeachBellini

Super simple.  Peel some peaches, throw them in the food processor (or vitamix) and mix with your champagne of choice.  Then ta-da! Serve up! No added sugar just peach and alcohol.

With cocktails served, first up were the appetizers.  Since the world cup was going on, I decided to keep it sports friendly.  I don’t know about you, but sliders are one of my favorite sports-watching-foods.  So how about some breakfast sliders?

breakfast slider2

These are all sorts of awesome.  Biscuits. Eggs. Bacon. Sausage Gravy.

jesseappetizer

You’re welcome.  I’ll do a full recipe post on these soon!

After the game and some chatting and hanging around, it was time for dinner.

When it comes to dinner parties, I’m a big fan of interactive meals.  I think my friends are starting to get tired of it, but I love having make-your-own-____ meals.  It takes the pressure off of the host to have everything timed perfectly and it also lets guests pick and choose what they like (in the event your guests are picky or have food allergies).

When I was brainstorming the perfect Brinner party meal that would be tasty, fun and hearty, I couldn’t stop thinking of burritos.  So that’s what she wrote… Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito Brinner Party!

BreakfastBurrito

 

As everyone made their burritos, I snapped a few photos.  I love seeing what everyone decided to add to theirs.

Included in the breakfast burrito bar:

  • Burrito Sized Tortillas (seriously enormous)
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Tater Tots
  • Breakfast Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Chorizo
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Cotija Cheese

I had an awesome time with this Build Your Own Breakfast Burrito Brinner Party.  I hope my guests did too!

In addition to being awesome and providing me with plenty of eggs for this Brinner party, Eggland’s Best is also giving one lucky Foodologie reader an Eggland’s Best Prize Pack!

 

To Enter, Head over to Facebook and Click the Giveaway tab on my page

You can get a new entry every day by tweeting about the giveaway.  You can also enter by liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter or commenting on this post.  No matter what you do, don’t forget to go to the Giveaway Tab on Facebook and use the little module to enter there.  If you don’t use that, your entry won’t count!

So spread the word and tell the world about this Brinner Party!

The Giveaway ends July 24th at 12am and is open to US residents only (sorry, no P.O. Boxes).  Winner will be announced that day.

 

What’s your favorite way to have Breakfast for Dinner (BRINNER!)?

Egg Salad Hot Dog

I’m pretty sure Honey Boo Boo would love this meal.

giphy

I saw her fill a bath tub with mayonnaise once and the play in it.  That tells me she’d be all over this.  It’s really all sorts of classy.

Eggland’s Best sent me some eggs for a party I’m planning soon, so clearly I’ve been thinking about eggs a lot.  I had the idea on a random day that egg salad would be great on a hot dog, because I’m pretty much sure hot dogs go great with most things.

I’m not sure I’ve ever told you this, but I love hot dogs.  No really.  Like a lot.  It’s borderline weird how much I like hot dogs.  So when I thought hmm I bet egg salad would be good on a hot dog (because that’s what I think about in the middle of the day, totally normal), I decided to put it to the test and Jesse was my guinea pig.

Jesse came home to find my creation even though we had plans to do some grilling.  I think we were both pleasantly surprised…

eggsaladhotdog3

I know it sounds like a weird combination, but I promise, it’s really tasty.  Also, since this is clearly the classiest of meals (insert heavy sarcasm), I won’t judge you if you want to eat this in private. But let’s be honest, you should probably own the classiness and tell the world about this awesome combination. eggsaladhotdog

 

Egg Salad Hot Dogs

4 eggs, hard boiled
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon Barn Burner Mustard
dash of garlic salt
1 green onion, chopped
4 hot dogs
4 buns

Dice hard boiled egg.  Mix egg with mayo, mustard, garlic salt and white part and half the green part of one green onion.

Heat hot dogs as you’d like. Boil. Grill. Microwave.  Whatever you prefer.

Lay hot dog on bun. Top with egg salad.  Garnish with remaining green onion.  Serve with ketchup if you’d like.  Makes 4 hot dogs.

eggsaladhotdog2

I tried to keep it light on the mayo.  What really added the flavor here was the mustard.  I’ve told you about Green Mountain Mustard before: HERE and HERE.   Seriously, their Barn Burner is what makes this awesome.  If you can’t get your hands on this mustard, maybe try putting some hot sauce in the egg salad.

To top off the classiness, I have to tell you I put ketchup on mine.  No regrets.

Ok so egg salad on a hot dog.  I’m going to need you to trust me (and Honey Boo Boo).  It’s pretty great.

awesome

 

What do you think?  Egg salad on a hot dog? Any other strangely awesome combos?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,195 other followers