Protein Turkey Burger

Quick, easy and healthy

delicious turkey burger

“Protein Turkey Burger,” “Lettuce Turkey Burger,” there are a lot of names I can call this healthy and delicious burger. I was inspired to make this because this past week, I had a girls night out and two of my friends ordered a turkey burger. I’m thinking in my head, “I would never order that!” When my friend offered me a taste, I agreed (of course, I never decline to taste food). It was actually really flavorful. So today, I quickly made my own version with lettuce instead of bread. Summer is coming and I need to get in shape!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1 egg white
  • iceberg lettuce
  • cucumbers, sliced
  • red onion, sliced
  • red bell peppers
  • hummus
  • crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix with your hands. Form into patties.

Spray cooking spray on a heated a grill, grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Lightly season patties with salt and pepper and cook them 5 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked.

Assemble: (Use buns if desired) Spread hummus on lettuce, add feta cheese, cucumbers, red onion, red bell peppers and the turkey patty. Top with another piece of lettuce and serve.

 

 

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Spicy Asian Hot Pot

Asian Noodlesnoodle soup

I’m back! Phew, its been quite busy and I’m so so sorry for neglecting this website. Well, I’m back and I’m back with a vengeance because I have a lot of fun amazing recipes to share. First off, I need to provide a recipe for this hot pot meal that I made a while back. These poor pictures have been without instructions on how to make it. I made hot pot for my friends almost a month and a half ago (yikes, thats a long time). Although it was a great casual winter dinner party, hot pot is enjoyed all year round. This was my first time making hot pot and a lot of the recipes I came across called for a soup base that came from a package so I decided to make my own. I used my palate to adjust the ingredients so if it tastes like it needs more of something, let your palate lead the way!

Hot pot is a family style meal. Using a portable burner and a metal pot, the broth simmers in the middle of the table while each person cooks various ingredients in the broth. The ingredients include meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles.

Broth

  • 3 quarts of beef stock (12 cups)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped 4 pieces each
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 3- 1 inch pieces of ginger, peeled and pressed
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons chili garlic paste (found in most main supermarkets, int’l aisle)
  • 2 thai chili peppers (pepper flakes if you don’t have)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of pineapple juice (chucks of pineapple if desired)

In the same pot that you will serve the hot pot, combine and stir in the beef stock, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallots, garlic chili paste, thai chili peppers, soy sauce, fish sauce and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add pineapple juice and simmer for 10 minutes.

Vegetables:

  • king oyster and enoki mushrooms
  • baby bok choi
  • watercress 

Meat and Seafood (raw):

  • sirloin, thinly sliced (frozen beef is easier to cut into very thin slices)
  • mussels
  • baby clams
  • peeled shrimp
  • an assortment of fish balls
  • frozen dumplings

Noodles

  • udon or rice noodles or egg noodles

Dipping Sauce: Combine soy sauce, sesame oil,  fish sauce and garlic chili paste.

To serve, have the pot of broth simmering on portable burner. Each individual puts in the ingredients they will like to eat and in the broth and takes the ingredients out after being cooked. Enjoy with the dipping sauce.

I took crappy photos on my phone that night:

spicy asian hot pothot pot and friends

Royal Orchid Cocktail

royal orchid cocktail

Alright, so this isn’t necessarily a true Royal Orchid drink. I changed it to reflect the ingredients that I had available. I used Kern’s fruit drinks which can be found at any supermarket in the drink aisle. They come in many fruit flavors such as peach, guava, pear, etc. I always have a can in the pantry somewhere just in case I wanted to make a fruity cocktail. In this case, I had a can of guava juice, lemons, club soda, gin and St Germain elderflower liqueur

  • 3/4 oz (1 1/2 tablespoons) St Germain
  • 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) gin
  • 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz (2 tablespoons) guava juice
  • splash of club soda or ginger ale

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover, and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass filled with ice and pour a splash of club soda or ginger ale on top. Cheers!

 

Biscuits with Summer Thistle Honey

Recently went to Seasonal Pantry in DC to look at some of their unique finds. I came across some raw summer thistle honey which I late find out to be the most sought out honey in the US. It was my first time coming across this honey so I felt compelled to buy it and try it out. My mouth slightly dropped when I found it was $14, but my curiosity took over and I spit out the cash and hurriedly went home so I can experience how good an expensive jar of honey can be. I quickly whipped up some warm, flaky biscuits because honey and biscuits is one of my favorite combinations in the world. Excuse me, my mouth just watered after typing that sentence. The biscuits was a bit on the flat side, but that just had to do with the fact that I rolled it out too thin. Nonetheless, they were soft, flaky and buttery. The honey was a great pairing with the buttery biscuits- thick, sweet and slightly floral. I’m not a honey expert- the summer thistle is delicious but I’m not sure I would pay $14 again for another bottle. I’ll just have to savor every drip of this bottle. Enjoy the pictures.


biscuits with summer thistle honey

biscuits with summer thistle honey

Pan Seared Tilapia 3 Ways

tilapia with rice noodlesRice Noodle Bowl with Tilapia

Summer Rolls with TilapiaSummer Roll Tilapia

Summer Roll with Tilapia

Lettuce Wrap TilapiaLettuce Wrap Tilapia

Eureka! I have finally posted the recipe!

Wow, I suck. I haven’t had the time or energy to even finish this post. I’m telling you, having a full-time, labor intensive job and coming home to cook and blog is exhausting to say the least (and I don’t even have kids!). Since I last blogged, I’ve kept busy with work, cooking for gatherings, Philly–> DC,  getting sick, resting, Rihanna concert in Philly–> DC, work, being with friends, getting sick again, resting. This should not excuse my laziness, but still! Can a girl get a vacation? Ok lets get on with this fresh, healthy Vietnamese inspired dish made with tilapia. This is more like a salad with an intensely flavorful dressing. I grew up eating all kinds of vermicelli bowls, but tilapia wasn’t something we ate too often. Unlike my mom who bought her fish from asian supermarkets which provide a wide variety, I have Safeway. My choices are fresh salmon or tilapia and frozen halibut or cod. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of dried vermicelli rice noodles (available at my Safeway, international aisle)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tilapia filets, washed and patted dry
  • salt and pepper
  • butter lettuce aka boston bibb
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into strips
  • a few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • fish sauce mixture (see below)

Start with the vermicelli rice noodles by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 minutes or until soften, then submerge in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and rinse in cold water; fluff with chopsticks. Set vermicelli aside.

Heat a pan with canola oil on medium-high. As pan heats, season the tilapia filets with salt and pepper. Once pan is hot, sear the filets for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.

To plate, add vermicelli to a bowl, topped with lettuce, cucumbers, tilapia, cilantro, scallions and fish sauce mixture. For exciting ways to eat this versatile dish, I made a lettuce wrap using boston butter lettuce and summer/spring rolls with rice paper wrapper.

Fish Sauce Mixture

  • 1 small knob of ginger
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, roughly chopped (white part only)
  • 5 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water (add more water if the mixture is too strong)
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of lime
  • thai red chilis, chopped and remove seeds if you don’t want it too spicy (sriracha will do if you don’t have chilis)

In a food processor (I used my coffee grinder), add ginger, lemongrass and pulse/grind finely.

In a small sauce pan, add fish sauce, water, sugar, ginger, lemongrass and lime and simmer for few minutes. Remove from heat and add chilis. Pour into a ramekin and serve with rice noodle bowls.

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