Tandoori turkey burgers

This isn’t your ordinary burger.

You’ll find no beef. No cheese. No ketchup and mustard. No grease running down your hands.

I realize that I probably just listed the top things the average person loves about burgers. Stay with me guys!

Here’s what you will find: super bold seasonings, lovely cool/warm contrast, and tangy freshness. Basically, a burger that’s totally drool-worthy.

Tandoori Turkey Burgers
courtesy of Baked Bree

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (turkey) breast
4 green onions
3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Naan bread
red onion sliced thinly

Yogurt Sauce
1 small container fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon fresh mint chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Put the chicken (turkey) and all of the spices in a bowl and mix well.  Form into 4 patties.
Mix the yogurt sauce in a small bowl.  Set aside.
Slice some cucumbers, red onions, and cilantro.
Cook the burgers on a preheated grill over medium-medium high grill.  About 3 minutes per side.
(I used my George Foreman! Took ~5-6 minutes total.)  Throw the Naan bread on the grill during the last few minutes.
Top the burgers with a few sliced cucumbers, red onion, a generous handful of cilantro, and the yogurt sauce.


I’m in love with the cool crunch of the cucumber and the super fresh taste the yogurt sauce adds.  After I mixed the sauce, I gave it a taste and thought, “Whoa.  This might be too tangy.” But the flavor of the burger itself stood up really nicely to the sauce.  Fresh lemon, ginger, and mint lend a fantastic brightness to the burger, while paprika, cumin, and cayenne add the spice.  It’s harmony, I tell you.

As you can see, I used a sandwich thin instead of naan and left off the cilantro and red onion. I’m positive they all would’ve been great, though! Just look at
Bree’s photo. Couldn’t be any dreamier.

This was my first time making a burger…let alone a turkey burger.  I’m totally pleased with the results.

Have a lovely evening!

Peanut sesame noodles with vegetables and chicken

Uhhh… Yum.

Any recipe that goes from ingredients to in my mouth in a short amount of time is a good one in my book.  Boiling the pasta is probably the most “time-consuming” part of this dish.

Had I known that it was national peanut butter day on the 24th, I totally would have made this then.

But no matter; these noodles are good all day, any day.

Peanut Sesame Noodles
from Smitten Kitchen

For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice

After this point, Miss Smitten Kitchen gets fancier than me. 

For noodles
3/4 lb dried soba noodles (dried linguine fini or spaghetti will work in a pinch)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
Half a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

I’m all for ease so all I did was cook some whole wheat spaghetti noodles, steam some frozen vegetables, grill some chicken, and call it a day.  I think people are much more likely to have spaghetti hanging around as opposed to soba noodles, and steaming frozen vegetables…well, there’s pretty much no work involved there.

I used this frozen vegetable mix as well as some frozen sugar snap peas.  For the chicken, I rubbed it with a little olive oil, threw on my favorite seasoning blend, and grilled it on the George Foreman.  Super simple and perfect.  The original recipe has tofu instead of chicken, which is awesome if you want a completely vegetarian meal.
Think peanut butter with noodles sounds weird?

So did I the first time I heard of it.  But then I took a taste and never looked back.  For some reason, it just works.  I don’t question the phenomenon.

Try it, you’ll like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s your favorite thing to pair with peanut butter?

Hummus pasta!

Kind of.

This pasta has all the ingredients of an average hummus.  Minus the tahini.  Maybe I should call it hummus-ish pasta. ๐Ÿ™‚

Chickpeas, garlic, broth, and seasonings blend up into a surprisingly creamy sauce.  Finished with a touch of lemon, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, this dish is a winner.

Pasta with chickpeas and garlic sauce
courtesy of Cooking Light
2  teaspoons  olive oil

  • 2  garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1  (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken (I used vegetable) broth
  • 1 1/2  cups  uncooked medium pasta (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2  cup  grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  minced fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
  • 3  tablespoons  shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic; sautรฉ 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, chickpeas, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
While garlic mixture simmers, cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
Place chickpea mixture in a food processor, and process until smooth. Combine chickpea mixture, pasta, tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon juice; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

A few things to note:

1. I halved the recipe and used approximately 3/4 cup of broth.  If you use the amount called for, the sauce will be more on the liquidy side (still good!).  Mine was more the consistency of baby food.  Tailor it to your preference! ๐Ÿ™‚
2. I added a pinch of this:
My favorite hummus recipe has a bit of cumin in it, and adding it to this sauce turned out to be a good idea.
3. Several reviews mentioned that the sauce was a bit mealy.  In my opinion, mealiness is characteristic of chickpeas, but to cut down on it, you can peel the chickpeas before using them.
Chickpea skins.  Looks like something an insect would shed.
But just fyi…this is a fairly time-intensive process.  I know no other way to peel chickpeas than to do it by hand, one. by. one.  (If anyone knows a quicker way to do this, holler at your girl.)
4. I left out the minced garlic at the end.  There was already enough garlicky goodness! ๐Ÿ™‚
Overall I thought this dish was good.  It’s definitely a healthier way to get your fix for a creamy pasta dish.  Another plus: it’s vegetarian!

Unless you decide to do what I did and add some grilled chicken.  Whatever suits your fancy. ๐Ÿ™‚
Have a lovely night!

Impulse purchases

Hi!  How are you guys?  I just started another semester of school yesterday, so I’ve been busy trying to get back into the swing of things.

Two things I love about going back to school:
-Seeing the new freshmen clinging to their campus maps scurrying around to find their classes and being happy that I’m past that phase. ๐Ÿ˜‰
-Seeing familiar faces I didn’t get to see over break.

And then of course, there’s the learning!  I’m really stoked about my classes and all that I’m bound to learn this semester.

Something else that’s great…it’s been in the high 60’s/low 70’s for the past couple days.  Blue skies, sunshiney, and perfect.  I couldn’t be happier with the weather.
…Although it kind of scares me that the weather is this beautiful (not to mention warm) in the middle of January.  I do not want to know what the middle of July will look like (shudder).  Despite being born and raised here, no amount of time can get me used to the heat of Las Vegas summers.

I’m getting a little flushed just thinking about it.

In other news, today I randomly bought something I’ve never bought before: ground turkey.
I have no idea what I’m going to make with it.  Meatballs, chili, burgers, ragu…I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of recipes I’ve found so far.  Do you guys have any ideas or recipes?

I’m thinking meatballs would go well with this:
Organic spinach pasta.  Impulse buy #2.

What can I say?  Sometimes, when I’m at the grocery store, products just call out my name and beg me to make something fabulous out of them.  Who am I to turn them down? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another item I bought today on a whim: a frozen burrito.  We’ll see how successful that purchase was.

Do you buy food on impulse or do you like to have a plan for what you’re going to make/eat?
Usually I like to plan, but there’s something fun about just grabbing things that look good and experimenting! ๐Ÿ™‚

Interesting indian food

Indian food has always been intriguing to me.  The aromatic spices, rich flavors, and vibrant colors are all super appealing to me.

I once made Jenna’s chana masala (which was awesome), but I still longed to try the plethora of other foods Indian fare has to offer.

Enter Mint Indian Bistro and a visiting friend.  We went to lunch at this small and quaint bistro and decided to go with their lunch buffet.  They had a spread of about 15-20 different items including soups and desserts.  They also had plenty of fresh fruit, sauces, and chutneys.  The menu included not just Indian dishes, but Nepalese, Tibetan, and Himalayan as well.

I really should’ve taken notes on what they had, but in the company of a good friend, one must have priorities. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As far as I remember, on this plate, there was regular basmati rice, seasoned basmati rice, saag (spinach), chicken tikki masala, tandoori chicken, a mushroom and tofu dish, a potato and pea dish, vegan chau chau (noodles), and goat (I’ve never had it before and had to try it!).  I had a small second plate that had chili chicken, and chicken and cauliflower pakoda (kind of like an Indian tempura).  In addition to the entrees, we also got plain and roasted garlic naan.

I love naan.  I think it’s safe to say I love any type of bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

This being my first experience with Indian food not made by me or out of a package, I can say it was mostly pretty good.  Anything I didn’t like was not because I felt it was made poorly, but rather, a mere personal taste.

With that, let me just say…dessert was not my favorite.
Super attractive photo, I know.
Vermicelli noodles in a warm and creamy broth along with “Lal Mohan,” which the online menu describes as

“Fluffy milk-based pastries, brown on the outside, and awesome on the inside, just like the Himalayan folk.”

๐Ÿ™‚ So cheesy, right?  That little brown ball was basically a donut hole soaked (and I mean soaked to the core) in sugary syrup.  Both of these dessert items were way too sweet for me.  That says a lot coming from a girl who loves all things sweet.  When you bit the donut, syrup came gushing out into your mouth.  Totally not appealing.

On a better note, I purchased a Groupon for food at India Palace, which has the stamp of approval from my friend who was actually born and raised in the heart of India.  I’m excited to try it!

Have you eaten Indian food before?  What’s your favorite dish?

Have a lovely day you guys!

The pioneer woman’s chicken tortilla soup

Like I mentioned before, this soup is outstanding. ย The pioneer woman herself described it as “completely divine” and I could not agree more. ย 

I had a Whole Foods hot bar date with my friend a few days ago and got their version of tortilla soup:
It was good, but just look at it. ย Not a single recognizable chunk of food to be found. ย PW’s soup blows this one out of the water.

(On a side note – that three bean edamame salad also pictured was killer.)

Anyways, you’d be doing yourself a huge favor by making the pioneer woman’s tortilla soup as soon as possible. ย No lie.

I’m off to enjoy the rest of my day! ย Hope you all are enjoying yours as well.

ps – wanna learn a bit more about me? Check outย my previous post!

Some updates and fun facts

1. It’s been unusually cold here and I’ve been drinking smoothies for the past few days.  It makes perfect sense.

2. On Monday night, I wanted cookies.  So cookies I made.  With these chocolate chips.  I don’t regret the decision.
3. Yesterday morning, I did a workout courtesy of NikeWomen Training Club.  When this app was brought to my attention by Kat, I was super intrigued.  The fact that the app is free drew me in all the more.  After completing 10 minutes of sprint intervals on the treadmill, I went on to do the Beginner Sweat + Shape workout.  
Uhh yeah.  I sweated.  
It reminded me of the type of exercises I would do for volleyball conditioning in high school.  Lots of lunges and squats, jump training, and core work.  Even though my inner thighs are screaming at me this morning, I really like the app and will absolutely stick with it.  Thanks Kat! ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Last night, I made this and it was to. die. for.  The pioneer woman knows what she’s doing.  I’ll be back later with pictures and more swooning.

5. Miss Allison nominated me for this! (Thanks girl!)
I’m excited.  So now I get to write 7 facts about myself.  And you get to read them!  Lucky you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. I’d choose vanilla over chocolate any day.

2. I went to the same school from kindergarten to 12th grade and graduated with a class of 22.

3. Pretty much all the clothes I wear come from Urban Outfitters and nothing I buy costs more than $10.  I โค the sale section.  When I see a pair of jeans in my size marked down to $5 from $90, my heart jumps.

4. I love mornings!  I would so much rather wake up extra early than stay up extra late.

5. My hands are constantly cold.  Good for handling pastry dough! ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. Secretly I wish I could trade places with Adam Richman and host man v food for a day.  Or maybe forever.

7. I love God with my whole heart.

Have an awesome day!