Monday, January 23, 2012

Mozzarella (stuffed) Turkey Burgers

Taken and adapted from Eating Well
Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4-8 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 x 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted
  • fresh & crisp romaine lettuce leaves (about 8-10)


  1. To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
  2. To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and basil in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over-mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 thick patties about 4-inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat . Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total on each side.
  4. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, place a slice (or two) of mozzarella cheese on one side of bread and spread 3 tablespoons of marinara, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and top with romaine lettuce. 
Note:  The original recipe called for making "stuffed" burgers, which means that instead of making 4 thick turkey burgers and topping with mozzarella would make 8 thin turkey burgers and stuff the center of two each with mozzarella cheese.  However, I decided NOT to stuff the burgers after I read several reviews of the recipe that described the cheese "stuffing" as oozing out and not being as enjoyable as simply topping a burger with cheese.  Please make the burgers to your own fancy!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Taken from The Red Spoon
Serves 4

4 large russet baking potatoes, scrubbed (about 3/4 pound each)
6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water, divided
1.5 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for coating potatoes
1 slice firm white bread
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 pound bulk breakfast chicken sausage
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Prick potatoes with a fork. Microwave, covered with a paper towel, on high power until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Cutting lengthwise, divide in half and scoop out centers, leaving a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick walls.
Whisk together mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons water, tomato paste, anchovy paste and 3 tablespoons mustard.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Cook onion in oil with a pinch of salt in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, tear bread into small pieces, then soak in milk in a medium bowl until very soft. Mix in sausage, basil, onion and 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese mixture with your hands.
Divide filling between potatoes, then coat skins lightly with oil. Bake in a 4-sided sheet pan until sausage is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
While potatoes bake, whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture with lemon juice, remaining teaspoons mustard and 1 teaspoon water, and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove potatoes from oven and turn on broiler. Spoon remaining mayonnaise mixture over filling and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until charred in spots, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool slightly. 

Baked Southwestern Eggrolls

The recipe idea for this meal came from Robyn Louis' FB page.  I adapted it to suit my style of cooking and my clubmates' tastes!  The recipe that follows fed eight people.
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts
48 oz. low-fat/low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup lime juice
3 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 teaspoons organic honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large + 1 small can of green chilies, diced
3-10 oz. cans of organic black beans
1 cup of spinach, fresh, de-stemmed & chopped 
10 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, ground
4 cups of colby/jack cheese, shredded
40 egg roll wrappers
non-fat cooking spray

Combine first seven (7) ingredients in a crock pot and cook for 4-6 hours at 250 degrees. 
After all of the prep-work has been done to the next four ingredients, combine all remaining ingredients from the green chilies through the shredded cheese in a large mixing bowl. 
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 
When the chicken is fall-apart tender, remove it from the crock pot to cool about 15 minutes.  Once cooled enough, shred the chicken with a fork and add it to the mixing bowl, combining thoroughly. 
Rolling the egg rolls is a little tricky, but once you establish a'll go along quite smoothly.  Coat a baking sheet with non-fat cooking spray.  Then coat a dinner sized plate with non-fat cooking spray.  Lay out one egg roll wrapper so that one of the four corners is facing you.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of chicken/bean mixture onto the egg roll wrapper about 1/3 of the way from your corner to the adjacent corner.  Tightly roll the wrapper, ends tucked in or out (your preference), and make sure all corners are securely against the egg roll when finished rolling.  Repeat this procedure, including the spray on the dinner plate, 39 more times ;-)
Place egg rolls on your baking sheet just so they are not touching each other.  Bake a full pan for 16-20 minutes, turning over at the half-way time if you prefer.

Cook's note:  Greg and I loved this meal!  I also served saffron/cayenne flavored yellow rice and guacamole dip with the egg rolls.  Warning: this meal is very time-intensive.  From the time I started preparing the different vegetables, and then shredding the chicken...and eventually rolling the egg rolls, I had been working for 4 hours.  With cook time, this meal (for eight people) took almost 5 hours.  We thought it was well worth it though! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Healthy Parmesean Yogurt Chicken

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • cayenne to taste
  • paprika to taste
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray 8in square baking dish with cooking spray
  3. Place chicken in baking dish and sprinkle on lemon juice
  4. In medium bowl, mix together yogurt, flour, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne.
  5. Spread yogurt mix over chicken
  6. Layer onions on top of yogurt mix
  7. Bake for 1 hr, uncovered
  8. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and cook until cheese in slightly brown. Can broil if you prefer.
This recipe comes from a Weight Watchers user's website. It is low in fat and calories (just under 6 WW points/serving), but tastes much richer due to the gravy it makes. I double the sauce ingredients and serve it with brown rice for more "gravy". Very easy recipe and the chicken is very moist.