Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Asian Turkey Burgers with Avocado Tahini Dressing

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It was MY idea! Don’t let my husband fool you in to thinking it was his idea.  He simply said “let’s make turkey burgers”.  I was the one who came up with ALL the ingredients and therefore I am the creator of this masterpiece, and the ruler of all!

Just setting the record straight.

But that is the beauty of burgers! You can take a plain ‘ol hunk of meat and add a variety of delicious ingredients and prepare a delicious, juicy burger bursting with wonderful flavors for your taste buds to enjoy.  I was tossing up between an asian style or mexican style burger and I decided to go with my first instinct, especially since I had some cilantro and ginger hanging around.  mmmm mmm!

(apologies for lack of photos)

Asian Style Turkey Burgers

1 pound of ground lean turkey meat

1 tablespoon of ground ginger, fresh

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 teaspoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

juice of 1/2 a lime

dash of salt and pepper

Avocado Tahini Dressing (whats tahini? read at the bottom)

1/2 avocado, chopped

1 tablespoon of tahini

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro

1/4 inch of fresh ginger, cut into a few smaller pieces

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 tablespoons of water, or until you reach desired consistency.  It shouldnt take a lot of water, so start with 3 tablespoons first.

1.  Add turkey meat, ginger, cilantro, chives, finely chopped jalapeno, salt, pepper, soy sauce and fish sauce to a large bowl and mix it all up.  You can use a fork to kinda fluff it all up- as along as it is all mixed nicely.  Divide the meat into four quarters and form each quarter into a round, plump burger.  

2.  Take a large fry pan and set the heat to medium to high setting, add desired cooking oil (I used coconut oil), let it heat up and then add your turkey burgers.  Each side should take about 6-7 minutes.  I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to determine if the burgers are cooked through.  (take burgers off from pan onto plate, stick meat thermometer in center of burger and allow it to reach 165 degrees F).

3.  While the turkey burgers are cooking (and your mouth is salivating :)), make the dressing.  I used this itty bitty food processor that is just the cutest thing ever, but do not let it fool you! It is very powerful… and loud! It scared the bejeezus out of me the first time I used it.  Anyways, enough about my mini food processor’s Napoleon complex, take all the ingredients listed for the dressing, add it to the food processor and blend until you reach desired consistency.

4.  prepare a delicious salad and use choice of salad dressing OR if you made enough avocado tahini dressing you can use it as the salad dressing as well!.  You can eat the burgers with choice of bread/burger buns or have it sans carbs and lay it on top of the salad.  Add a dollop of the avocado tahini dressing on top of the burger and enjoy.

IMG_1580I’m not tooting my own horn here (I’m TOTALLY tooting my own horn here!!) but these burgers were amazing!!! I felt like a genius.  The expression on my husband’s face did indeed confirm the party that just happened in my mouth.   They are so so tasty and I highly recommend you give this recipe a whirl soon.

Helpful hint:

I highly recommend the tahini in the dressing.  The sesame seed flavor really compliments the whole meal.

What’s tahini?

Tahini is sesame seed paste.  Before you go wrinkle your nose in disgust, realize that if you like hummus, you will like anything with tahini because hummus’s main ingredient is tahini.  It is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fats, so all the more reason to include it in your diet.

What are some of your favorite burger recipes? please share! (just make sure its copyrighted so my husband doesn’t try to go and steal it hee hee).

Also…

Follow me on social media:

instagram:  peacelovenfood

twitter:  @peacelovenfood_

facebook:  Get Healthy- with peace, love and food (profile pic is a yogurt parfait)

See you there!

Krazy about Kale

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I will honestly confess that I always found kale to be intimidating.  How could a vegetable be so scary? Crazy as it sounds, I was always just so weary about trying it.  What if this amazing super food tasted awful? I would be so embarrassed to admit it.  How do I even begin to cook it?  It was better off chilling in the veggie section of the supermarket until a more appreciative shopper would come along and buy it.

But I kept reading about the wonderful health benefits of kale and finally the curiosity got the best of me.  For starters, Kale is one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables out there:

  • high in fiber- great for lowering cholesterol and keeping your bowels healthy and active
  • high in iron
  • high in vitamins and minerals
  • great source of non animal protein
  • high in antioxidants (cancer fighting properties)
  • good source of omega 3 fatty acid

For more in depth information about Kale, click on this link here.

I finally became a proud owner of a juice extractor and I thought to myself “now is my chance to experiment with kale!”  So I started to juice with kale and immediately became a fan.  Next step, cooking! At first I added it to an egg muffin recipe to replace spinach.

Success!

And finally, I became brave enough to throw a whole bunch in a pan and sauté it with some beans and crushed tomatoes…jackpot!  It was absolutely delicious and so flavorful.  It was even tasted tested and approved by some family members, some who have never tried kale in their life and probably would have liked it to stay that way…until they tried my recipes! 🙂

KALE, SUNDRIED TOMATO AND FETA EGG MUFFINS (gluten free)

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled

2 cups chopped raw kale

1 dozen extra large eggs

salt and pepper to taste

PREHEAT OVEN @ 400 DEGREES Fahrenheit

1.  whisk the eggs together. in a sauté pan, sauté kale in some olive oil and sea salt for five minutes.  set aside to cool. then add to egg mixture.saute kale

2.  add the other remaining ingredients

3.  in a one dozen muffin baking dish, drizzle some olive oil in each muffin cup, take a paper towel and kinda smother the oil inside each cup.muffin pan

4.  evenly distribute the egg mixture in each muffin cup .egg mixture

5.  bake for 15 minutes.

carefully take out the egg muffins.  serve 3 muffins per person and feel free to serve it along side some crispy cooked bacon, tasty smoked salmon or some freshly toasted bread.egg muffins bakedegg muffin

KALE, TOMATO AND WHITE BEAN CASSEROLE (vegan, gluten free)

YIELDS 2-4 (DEPENDING IF IT IS A MAIN DISH OR A SIDE DISH)

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups raw, chopped kale

2 large tomatoes

1 can of cannellini beans, drained

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

sea salt to taste

olive oil

1.  add olive oil to a sauté pan.  sauté onions on a medium heat for about 8 minutes.  add garlic and saute for 1 minute until the garlic as become aromatic.   Add kale and sauté for 3-5 minutes, adding a splash of water while sauteing.saute kale

2.   Cut the tomatoes into quarters, and manually crush them right over the sauté pan.  That’s right, take your day’s aggression out on those lovely red fruits and squeeze the living daylight out of them!   It’s a very rustic approach to crushing tomatoes, I felt like Jamie Oliver for a few seconds there 🙂 … crush tomatoes

3.  once all the tomatoes are crushed into the pan, add the tomato paste, stir into the mixture and allow it to simmer.

4.  while the pan is simmering, drain a whole can of the cannellini beans, rinse them under water to wash away any residual sodium and then chuck them into the pan as well. simmering bean casserole

5.  Continue to simmer over a medium high heat for about 10 min or until nearly all the tomato juice has evaporated.bean casserole

6.   serve into bowls and enjoy!

DID YOU KNOW….Kale can be a little bit of a diva??  It is recommended that you give kale a little TLC by giving it a hand massage before eating! Ha! I have a hard time getting a massage from my spouse and here is this lovely little green leafy veggie getting a 5 minute rubdown before consumption!

It turns out that rubbing kale leaves between your hands for five minutes breaks down its cellulose structure, thus taking away its bitter, tough taste and texture and making it wilted, silky and even a little bit sweet.  This is perfect if you plan on adding kale to a salad or eating it raw.  It is recommended you use some olive oil and salt while massaging…might as well kill two birds with one stone and dress your salad while massaging it!

Tips for cooking Kale:

  • chop leaves into 1/2 inch portions and stems into 1/4 inch portions
  • steaming kale for 5 minutes is the best way to bring out its phytonutrients, as well as drizzling lemon juice over kale and letting it sit for a few minutes before cooking/consuming
  • give it the best massage of its life!

Rock-n-(Nori) Roll

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My love for sushi started at around age 14.  Like any beginner sushi eater, I started with the ever so safe “California Roll” and eventually became brave enough to try some beautiful creations that this wonderful cuisine has to offer.

sushitop_display

I’m still a little wary though.  I am coming out of the stage where I need massive amounts of rice with my sushi rolls, which is a relief because when I eat sushi I like to eat until I am the size of a roll myself.  The amount of rice I consume contributes to my new, lasting “roll” figure.  I also prefer to have avocado with nori rolls.  I just really love the flavor combo and felt that it was enough to make up for the decrease in rice I was going to use with my nori rolls.  Besides, we can all use a little avocado in our lives, considering how healthy avocados are.

avocado

This fruit is high in monounsaturated fatty acids as well as other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, fiber and potassium.  Look at all the health benefits avocados provide:  reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, and even aids in blood sugar regulation thanks to the amounts of fiber and healthy fats.

Here is another reason to hit up your fave sushi spot tonight:  Nori, which is a type of seaweed, is super healthy.  There are many clinical studies on the health benefits of eating seaweed.  There are components in seaweed that “exhibit many beneficial biological activities such as:  anticancer, antiviral, anticoagulant and antioxidative acting properties.”  You will find that seaweed is also high in Iodine, which is important for thyroid function.

nori

 

Making my own sushi has allowed me to save some bucks on the days when I am really craving sushi but just don’t want to spend the money.  The sushi rolls I made are so easy and quick to make- feel free to add whatever your heart desires.  Here in Australia, they add chicken to sushi rolls.  Heck, my friends Amanda and Matt Terillo saw a kangaroo sushi roll while visiting us!   I was shocked, but then again, why not??!

Ingredients:

Nori sheets

Large can of tuna fish, packed in water preferably

mayonnaise, to your liking

2 celery stalks, chopped

lemon  juice of 1/2 lemon

1-2 carrots, julienne or thinly cut

1 – 1.5 cups brown rice, cooked

1 whole avocado, sliced

Tuna salad:

Mix tuna, celery, mayonnaise and lemon juice together.  Mix until it is all coated nicely with the mayo and has made a delicious tuna salad.

prep ingredients

Directions:

1.  Place nori sheet down on sushi rolling mat.  Add 1/4 cup brown rice and spread it across.  Make note that the rice isnt supposed to cover the entire sheet of nori, like typical sushi does.

2. At the end of the nori sheet, add some tuna salad along the edge.  Top it with some carrot, followed by 2-3 slices of avocado.  Roll the sushi the best way you know how.  Confession:  The first time I made sushi, I used a youtube video as a guide 😉 have no shame!

"Let's rock into a roll!"

“Let’s rock into a roll!”

3.  Use a sharp knife to cut the roll in half.  Add a side of soy sauce, wasabi, sweet chilli, whatever you like and…

4.  Stuff your face.

finished roll

I found that 3-4 halves was enough for me as a meal.

Tasty tips:

  • I used brown rice because it is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to white rice.  
  • Dont have brown rice? Use your favorite grain or plant seed.  I think next time I will use quinoa!
  • Get creative and use other veggies such as cucumber, peppers, even sweet potato!
  • I would eat them within two days of making them.  So feel free to make a little extra and take to lunch the next day.  Just remember to store them in the fridge.
  • Don’t have access to a sushi rolling mat? Try wrapping a thin magazine with plastic wrap.  Place the nori sheet right on the magazine, place ingredients on the nori sheet and roll away.

Challenge yourself and try making some of your favorite sushi rolls, or even some of these rolls:

sushi roll

sushi-hand-roll-i-12

Fun Fact: I can easily (and happily) eat this entire tray all by myself…

Hello, lover!

Hello, lover!

Yuuummmm! Enjoy!

“I get by with a little help of my friends”…African Chicken Stew

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I am currently obsessed with Instagram.  Partly because it’s the only social media that works on my phone at the moment, but mostly because it is loaded with health and fitness minded individuals that are also creative and super dedicated to their lifestyle.  It’s become a huge motivator for me and I am inspired everyday by these wonderful people.  I highly suggest you create an environment that is filled with people who share the same lifestyle you have or are working towards having.

So, this blog post  is about a recipe posted by one of the Instagram profiles I follow:  food4health.  He posted about an “African Peanut Chicken Stew” which I have been trying to make for weeks!  The time has come and I am finding myself wishing I would have made it sooner.  I changed just a few things from the original recipe and it still came out BANGING! MMMM!

plated IG

What I love about this recipe is that it is made with clean, whole foods.  The sauce is full of antioxidants and immune system boosting ingredients.  It tastes phenomenal and is also gluten and dairy free!  Omit chicken and replace it with a non animal protein source and you have yourself a vegan meal!  I’m thinking tofu and chickpeas would do the trick.

I have used quinoa as my “starch” for this meal.  Remember, quinoa is not a grain, it is a plant seed.  Click on the link and read all about why it’s so good for you on a past blog post.

Yields:  4 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup dry, roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup reduced sodium vegetable stock

Juice of half a lemon

1 cup chopped tomatoes

leaves of 5 coriander/cilantro sprigs

2 cloves garlic

1/2 large onion or 1 small onion

thumb size fresh ginger, chopped

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of salt

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

1 cup quinoa, dry OR 1 cup brown rice, dry

1 small broccoli head, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

Directions:

1.  Add 1 cup dry quinoa OR brown rice to 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on a low flame/setting for ~20 minutes  for quinoa or ~40 minutes for brown rice (or until all water is absorbed for both).  Fluff with fork and let stand until ready to serve.

Quinoa

Quinoa

2.  Meanwhile, throw in first 12 ingredients in a blender.  Blend until you have a smooth sauce, consistency of a smooth paste/thick sauce.  Now is a good time to taste test and determine if it needs more salt, ginger, garlic, spices, etc… to meet your liking.

blender

paste

3.  Add diced chicken in a deep pan (I used an electric fry pan) and the blended sauce.  Cook on a medium to medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through ~15 minutes.  (I added an extra pinch of salt at the last stage of cooking, since I didn’t add more after my taste test.)

warning: may experience salivating at this point

warning: you may be salivating at this point

4.  Steam veggies to your desired consistency.

5.  Serve it up on a plate all nice and pretty and gobble it up.

ta-da!

ta-da!

Remember:  If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.  Here are two lunches for tomorrow-score!

I can't wait to eat you tomorrow!

I can’t wait to eat you tomorrow!

Again, this recipe is made with clean, whole foods.  No artificial ingredients or additives.  This is clean eating at its finest and your taste buds would be non the wiser.  Go ahead- challenge your taste buds.  They wouldn’t know the difference between this meal and a meal from the “curry in a hurry” shop, but I bet you your stomach and butt would 😉

EAT CLEAN! TRAIN MEAN! LIVE LEAN!

Too good to be true Creamsicles

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“My mind is telling me nooooooo…but my body-my body is telling me yessssss”  (I secretly believe R. Kelly was singing about these creamiscles that I coincidentally stumbled upon myself a few days ago).

My husband is doing a 12 week super clean and lean diet plan and is doing remarkably well.  His willpower is so inspiring!! Anyway, I’m trying to find clean, wholesome recipes for sauces and “treats” so his meals aren’t too bland and boring.  I decided to make protein and yogurt based popsicles using mangoes, yogurt, milk and vanilla protein powder.  They are deeee-licous!  I like to consider this treat a “guilty free, healthy frozen threat”.  Your mind won’t know what to think but your body is screaming “gimme that creamsicle”  and in this case, you should listen and obey!

Yield (using Chobani popsicle molds):  12 popsicles

Ingredients:

3/4 cup or 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt (I highly recommend Chobani Greek yogurt)

2 scoops Vanilla protein powder

***If you only have a non-flavored protein powder, use vanilla greek yogurt instead.

3/4 cup milk

2 ripened mangoes, chopped OR use any fruit you like

See Mango Madness for tips on how to chop a mango.

Directions:

1.  Put all ingredients in a blender.

2.  Blend into oblivion.  Ideally, you want the consistency of a really thick shake.

3.  Carefully pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and stick in the freezer for ~6 hours.

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4.  When its time to enjoy, run the mold under warm water for a few seconds to loosen it up a bit.

THE RECIPE WOULDN’T BE OFFICIAL UNTIL IT WAS “DORA APPROVED- 2 TALONS UP”

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Feel like having seconds? Go for it! James sure as heck did 😉

Enjoy!!!

Mango Madness

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It is finally mango season in Australia.  We want to start incorporating mango salsa into our meals for a nice, clean and delicious addition with lots of flavor (and may I add that there is something about pulling over the side of the road to purchase some newly ripened mangoes from a fruit stand that make them that much tastier!)

So far we have had our mango salsa on grilled chicken breast with coconut rice, as well as crispy skinned salmon.  I hear it goes well with other types of fish and even Mexican style cuisine, such as Fish/ Shrimp Tacos.

I’m sure there are different recipes out there for a mango salsa.  The one I am providing is super simple, yet has lots of flavor.  Feel free to experiment with other ingredients you think may add to the recipe…and please share them with us!

Shell’s Mango Salsa

Serving size: 2 (its okay to be greedy with this one 🙂 )

2 fully ripened mangoes

1 cup chopped cucumber, skin peeled off (unless it is a continental cucumber, then you can leave the skin on)

3 TBSP freshly chopped coriander/cilantro

juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed

(optional) 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

To chop the mango, I found that cutting along the sides and scoring them like a grid was the easiest.  Then take a knife and carefully slice along the skin and underneath the flesh.

Score the Mango like a grid, careful not to pierce through the skin

  • Add all ingredients together, toss with the fresh lime juice, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!  (for a spicy kick, add a few shakes of tabasco sauce)

    mango salsa with crispy skinned salmon and rice noodles

That Clean, Crisp Feeling

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You may have heard of “Clean Eating”.  It is a concept that revolves around eating foods in its most natural form, cooked with very little or no artificial ingredients/flavors.  My husband and I have decided to adopt to this clean eating regimen due to the bottomless french fries bowl which is constantly available at work our new-found love and appreciation to living a healthy, active lifestyle.  This eating regimen really forces you to be creative in adding flavor to your meals using whole foods and none of that preserved, artificial, shelf life stuff.

On our way home from the gym one day, we were having a bit of a winge over our usual steamed broccoli, carrots and mashed sweet potato.  I suggested we make a quick stop to the supermarket.  What were we to buy? I didn’t know yet.  What I did know was I had 5 minutes to figure something out.  Since spring season has just blessed us with its presence, I knew I wanted to make a salad.  I find that Asian inspired salads always have a fresh, clean taste to them.  So I opted for Crispy Skinned Salmon and an Asian noodle salad.

My key ingredients were garlic, ginger and fresh lime juice.  I knew with these three ingredients I would be able to make a clean and healthy meal with HEAPS of flavor!

Unfortunately the picture below does not do it justice.  It was one of the tastiest meals we have had in a while and is now a household favorite.

Crispy Skinned Salmon with Asian Noodle Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 salmon fillets with skin on

1 TBSP grated fresh ginger

1 TBSP honey

Juice of 1 lime

3 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 TBSP freshly chopped coriander/cilantro

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (for salad)

rice noodles

2 cups fresh roughly chopped cabbage

2 carrots, sliced with a grater or Julienne

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Crispy Skinned Salmon

1. Use a sharp knife to cut two slits on the skin side of one salmon, length wise.  Do the same for the other Salmon fillet.  Each slit no deeper than 1/2 inch.

2.  Sprinkle salt in each slit and over the skin of salmon.

3.  Add a very generous amount of oil to a pan.  Get the pan screaming hot, then carefully add the salmon fillets skin side down.  Let them sit for ~5 minutes.  Flip over and cook through to your liking.

Asian Noodle Salad

1.  Cook Rice Noodles according to its package.

2.  Combine grated ginger, soy sauce, salt, pepper, honey, lime juice and rice wine vinegar and whisk together.

3. Combine cooked noodles, sliced carrots, chopped cabbage, and fresh coriander/cilantro in a bowl.

4.  Add the dressing, followed by 3 TBSP Olive oil to the salad and toss together.

Rest the salmon fillets, skin side up, on a nice heaping serve of Asian salad.  Dig in and enjoy the clean, crisp and super tasty flavors of this healthy, delicious dish.