Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

When I saw this recipe I knew the burgers would either be really good or a huge disappointment.

Consensus: REALLY GOOD!

This recipe was adapted from weightwatchers.com.


  • 1 1/4 pound lean ground turkey(93/7)
  • 1 T fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive or sesame oil
  • 1/4 c teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 c scallions, chopped
  • 2 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 slices pineapple
  • dab of light mayo(optional)


Mix all ingredients just until combined. Make 4 patties that about 3/4 in thick. You can either grill or broil for 5-7 minutes on each side. I actually cooked them in a non-stick skillet on med-high heat. I also threw pineapple slices in the pan to cook to top the burgers(about 2 minutes per side or until starting to brown).

I put the burgers on sandwich thin buns and spread about a tsp of light mayo mixed with 2-3 drops of teriyaki sauce on one side of each bun.  These burgers are so moist and delicious. I couldn’t wait to eat leftovers for lunch the next day.

I realize that you can’t really see the burger very well in the picture but some homemade oven-baked sweet potato fries and an ear of Iowa sweet corn were perfect sides.

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Tian

I’ve made several dishes similar to this in the past and have always been pleased. This one needs a little tweaking on the herbs(or maybe because I deviated from the recommended) to give it some kick. Adapted from Cooking Light, June 2010


  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices(I used green and yellow)
  • 1 pound large beef steak tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 ounces French bread baguette(I used whole wheat from Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • fresh dill
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fat-free vegetable broth


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Arrange eggplant and zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Arrange half of the eggplant in a single layer in a glass 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray. Top with half of zucchini and half of tomato. Drizzle 2 1/4 tsp oil evenly over vegetables. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper.
  • Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs measure 2 cups(I didn’t use all 4 oz of bread). Add cheese, herbs and garlic to processor; process until combined. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups breadcrumb mixture evenly over tomato. Repeat layers with remaining eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper and breadcrumb mixture.
  • Pour broth over the top. Bake at 375 for 1 hour until vegetables are tender and topping is browned.

bread and butter pickles

I’ve made dill so why not jump to the other side of the fence and try out bread and butter? I am not personally a fan of these but Brian requested that I make them for him. Because I’m nice, I did.

Ingredients(to make one quart sized jar):

  • small or pickling cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 c distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 T sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pickling spice
  • 1/4 tsp pickling spice**


Put tumeric and pickling spice into the bottom of the jar. 

Cut cucumbers into 1/8 to 1/4 in coins. Add coins to jar.

Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil and let boil for two minutes. Pour over cucumbers in jar. Be careful as jar will now be very hot. Place lid on jar and swirl to mix turmeric and spices with brine. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours.

If you can’t find pickling spice in the grocery store(like me) you can always make your own by combining 3T whole black peppercorns, 3T yellow mustard seeds, 4 tsp allspice and 1 cinnamon stick crumbled. Yields 1/2 cup. I didn’t bother to do this. Instead, I just threw a little of each of these things in the bottom on the jar.

I’ll have to have brian give you an update tomorrow on how they are, as I don’t eat them.

Dilly Carrots

I picked up a new magazine called Eating Well yesterday. And what did it have in it? An article about pickling!

Eating well suggested making dilly carrots. I love dill pickles, so why not?


  • one pound carrots(cleaned and cut into sticks or circles)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup vinegar of choice(make sure it’s at least 5% acidity)
  • 1 T sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 5 fresh peppercorns
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • fresh dill


Combine everything but the carrots in an airtight jar. Shake or swirl around to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add carrots. Leave in fridge for two days before tasting.

The magazine suggested blanching the carrots first. I wanted to as little work as possible, so I didn’t. 24 more hours and I’ll find out how they taste.

[Edit]: So I busted into these a day early. Whoa. Delicious. I have two new favorite salty snacks in my fridge.

I’m never buying another jar of pickles again!

Ok, so that’s a lie. I’m sure at some point in my life I will buy another jar of pickles.

However, the refrigerator pickles I made two days ago are AMAZING! They taste like mildly pickled/marinated cucumbers with amazly fresh flavor. They are very crisp and don’t have that overly salty flavor. I don’t imagine the jar lasting more than a few days in my fridge. Which is fine, because they super easy to make. I might have to have a rotating schedule on which I make them so I am never waiting a day for them to be ready.

If you haven’t made them yet and you like pickles, you are missing out on the best pickle of your life.

What’s the dill?

For over a year I have been wanting to make my own dill pickles. I knew when I finally made them that I would want to try a refridgerator pickle recipe first. I like my pickles very crunchy. Tonight I started the process and can’t wait to see how they turn out in a few days.

— 4 or 5 pickling cucumbers
— 2 cups cold water
— 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
— 1 T sea salt
— 2 tsp sugar
— 5 fresh peppercorns*
— 2 cloves garlic(crushed)
— fresh dill

Cut pickling cucumbers into spears; set aside. Mix water, vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns and garlic in a large lidded jar. Stir well to dissolve sugar and salt. It will take a little extra stirring because the water is cold. Add in dill and spears. Refridgerate for two days.

I didn’t have any whole peppercorns so I added freshly ground out of my grinder.

Guacamole: Always a party in your mouth

Fearing that someone else would bring guac to the 4th of July BBQ that we attended, I bravely made it anyway, deciding that there can never be too much guac at one party.

I adapted this guac recipe from recipezaar.com:


  • 6 avocados(soft but not mushy)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 juicy limes cut in half
  • 1 small tomato diced(ripe but firm)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro(add or subtract to your liking)
  • salt
  • 1/2 medium onion(optional)
  • 1 diced jalapeno(optional)


Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Place in a bowl with juice of two limes and mash with a large fork or potato masher. I prefer my guac a little on the chunky side but keep mashing if you like it smoother. Fold in the remaining ingredients(tomato, garlic, cilantro, onion and jalapeno). Add salt to your liking.

It tastes best if you can let it set for multiple hours to a day for all the flavors to really combine. I intermittently taste test to see if I like where the flavor is headed and adjust the ingredients if necessary. Eat with your favorite tortilla chip.

smokey bbq shrimp skewers

I made this for a 4th of July BBQ.

Adapted from WeightWatchers.com:


  • 3 T BBQ sauce
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro(I used more because I LOVE it)
  • 1 1/2 T fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest(more for garnish if you desire)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 pound shrimp, extra-large, peeled and deveined
  • fruit/vegetables of your liking cut into chunks(I used orange and yellow bell peppers, baby portabellas, cherry tomatoes, red onion and pineapple)
  • cooking spray


  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together barbecue sauce, cilantro, orange zest and juice, vinegar and cumin.
  • Off heat, coat grill rack with cooking spray; heat grill.
  • Thread 2 or 3 shrimp onto a skewer with an assortment of vegetables of your liking. Spoon sauce over skewer and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  • Grill skewers, turning as needed, just until shrimp are cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to serving plates or a platter sprinkle with orange zest (optional).

**photo taken from weightwatchers.com

vegetarian bacon cheeseburger pizza

It sounds like the biggest oxymoron ever, doesn’t it? By my recent posts, it also appears that I eat pizza non-stop.

In all actuality, I rarely eat pizza because it is so unhealthy. I have been eating it more recently with the discovery of how to make a deliciously healthy pie.

My current pizza was inspired by one of my co-workers hangover meals the other day. Sluggish at work, she headed down to the Rush caf to get a “Rush burger.” A highly unhealthy choice for a health care institution. It consists of a burger on a bun topped with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce.

Contemplating how I could make a much healthier version of the calorie monster, I came up with the idea of vegetarian bacon cheeseburger pizza.


  • healthy pizza crust
  • 2 Boca burgers(or veggie burger of choice)
  • 4 slices of Morningstar vegetarian bacon
  • 1 whole pickle diced into 1/4 in pieces(I use the refridgerator brand of pickle)
  • white and orange cheese mixture(like colby jack)

Preheat oven to 400. Cook boca burgers and veggie bacon on stovetop according to directions on box. Tear/cut into bite size pieces once cooked. Set aside.

Spread BBQ sauce over crust and top with bacon, burger and pickle pieces. Top with desired amount of cheese. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

This pizza does not contain any hangover curing properties.