Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fresh Veggie & Turkey Tostadas

1.25 lb. fresh ground turkey
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/3 cup taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
2 cups fresh baby greens
1/2 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 avocado, sliced
10-12 flat corn tortilla shells
1 small can sliced black olives
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 cup green salsa (salsa verde)
14.5 oz. can black or pinto beans
1 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used feta and/or colby-jack)

1.  Saute chopped bell pepper and onion in small saucepan, set aside.
2.  Brown ground turkey in medium saucepan, draining any fat.  Add sauteed bell pepper and onion, taco seasoning, and water.  Bring to quick boil, lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
3.  Heat corn tortillas on your grill, or on the stove in a small saucepan, just until very lightly browned.
4.  Lay corn tortilla on a dinner plate, layer with any/all of the ingredients from above and devour, several if you like! 

These tostadas are like mini taco salads on top of a tortilla, inspired by the Costa Vida-style salads.

BBQ Shredded Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients for BBQ shredded chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon grill seasoning
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
14. 5 oz. diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon Worchestshire sauce

For everything else:
8 clean-scrubbed white sweet potatoes
Pam cooking spray
dash of salt per sweet potato
1 cup shredded colby/jack cheese
1 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
dash salt & black pepper
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
fresh off cobb or frozen sweet yellow corn

1.  Mix together all ingredients for BBQ shredded chicken, except the raw chicken.  Pour BBQ sauce into crock pot, add chicken breasts and slow cook for 6-8 hours on low setting.
2.  Stir together the Greek yogurt, salt & pepper, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro.  Chill.
3.  With about 2 hours to go on the BBQ chicken, scrub and clean sweet potatoes. Coat lightly with cooking spray and dash of salt.  Wrap in foil and place in heated 375 degree oven to bake for 1.5 hours.
4.  When the chicken is finished, remove from crock pot and shred with a fork, and stir back into BBQ sauce.
5.  Once sweet potatoes are baked, slice open in the center, fluff with fork, and stuff with BBQ shredded chicken, Greek yogurt concoction, shredded cheese and sweet corn.

NOTE:  I also gave an option of making this a BBQ shredded chicken sandwich and sweet potato meal by providing whole wheat hoagie rolls, baby greens, and fresh pineapple.

Summer Chili with Turkey

1.25 lbs. fresh ground turkey
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon grill seasoning blend
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
1 Tablespoon Worchestire sauce
2 Tablespoons hot sauce
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (I used yellow & orange), chopped
14.5 oz. tomato sauce
14.5 oz. beans (black, pinto, and/or small kidney - I used all three)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (optional, I did NOT use)
1/2 cup fresh off cobb or frozen, thawed yellow sweet corn
1/4 cup diced jalapenos

1/2 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 avocado, sliced

1.  Brown ground turkey in skillet, add chopped peppers and onion.  Add chili powder, grill seasoning, and cumin and saute until onions are translucent.
2.  In a large saucepan or crock pot, add and stir together tomato sauce, beans, (optional) BBQ sauce, Worchestire sauce, hot sauce, corn, and jalapenos.
3.  Transfer ground turkey mixture into the crock pot.  Slow cook for 6-8 hours, or quick cook for 4 hours.
4.  Serve chili hot with any/all toppings and enjoy!
5.  Another option for a heartier, but still healthy meal is to steam quinoa and top with cooked summer chili.

Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad


For the dressing and marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup ground ginger (I buy this in the jar next to the minced garlic in the jar at the grocery store or 6T fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (asian cooking section in the grocery store)
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 T sriracha sauce (can use more or less to taste)
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (white and green parts)*
For the salad:
  • 3 lb cabbage, very thinly sliced (for a time saver you can buy this pre-shredded)
  • 4-6 carrots, grated 
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds, toasted (if you don't have these, you can just double the white sesame seeds)
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, olive oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, and salt.  Add 1/2 cup marinade to a gallon sized ziploc bag along with the chicken breasts.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. *To the remainder of the marinade, add the red wine vinegar and chopped green onions.  Now you have the dressing for the salad.
  3. Grill or fully cook chicken, thinly slice.
  4. In a large salad bowl, combine the cabbage, grated carrot, additional sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, almonds and half of the sesame seeds.
  5. Add the chicken and just enough dressing to lightly coat the salad.  Mix thoroughly.
  6. Top with remainder of sesame seeds and serve immediately.
  7. Makes enough for 4-6 people.
If you don't plan to serve the salad immediately, reserve the toasted almonds, grilled chicken, salad dressing, and remaining sesame seeds until just before serving. The inspiration for this dish along with the photo, come from menumusings.com

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

In the past, I have made iced coffee by simply brewing coffee, chilling it, and then adding milk/sweetener, etc.  WHAT AN IDIOT I HAVE BEEN!  In search of a more "fun" beverage to serve at an afternoon birthday party, I came across this recipe for cold brewed coffee.  Game changer.  I will never ever, ever go back.

The recipe was published back in the NY Times in June of 2007 and obviously is a winner!  It's pretty darn simple, the only disadvantage is that it requires time to "brew" so you have to plan ahead.  The actual hands on time is pretty minimal.

  • 1 c ground coffee, the darker roast the better (I used Trader Joe's Wintry Blend)
  • 4 1/2 c water
  • Milk/Cream
  • Sweetner/Flavor of your choice


1. Pour ground coffee and water into container and stir.  Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

2. Pour brewed coffee through paper coffee filter or strainer lined with cheese cloth. French press might also work here?!

3. The cold-brewed coffee concentrate is now ready.  Mix coffee concentrate with equal parts water or milk. Sweeten as desired.  Serve over ice.  Serves 6. *You can refrigerate concentrate for up to two weeks.

I have a batch brewing on my counter as I am typing this blog.  I am completely craving it.  I loved the spices in the Wintry Blend coffee from Trader Joe's, but I am sure any coffee would be delicious. Just to point out the obvious, the more fat in the milk the more creamy your iced coffee will be. At the party, I pre-mixed with milk and 1/2 c sugar (served in a pitcher) and let people add their own additional milk, sugar, chocolate syrup, etc. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lemon Chicken Turkey Burgers with Spiced Yogurt Sauce


  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Moroccan or Greek seasoning blend**
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 4 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
**If you don't have Greek seasoning on hand, you can make it yourself. Here is the recipe I followed:
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


  • Combine first 6 ingredients; add 1 teaspoon rind, stirring well. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into 1/4-inch-thick oval patties.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes.
  • Combine remaining 1 teaspoon rind, yogurt, and oregano, stirring well. Fill each pita half with 1 patty, 1 tablespoon yogurt mixture, 1/4 cup lettuce, and 1 tablespoon tomato.
These burgers are a fun escape from the "norm" and are bursting with flavor!