Veggie Burgers

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So I finally moved out of my East Lakeview apartment in Chicago and into my fresh, new, love-the-location Lincoln Park apartment! One of the BEST things about my new place is the size of the kitchen. All this extra counter space made me especially excited to cook my first meal. I decided to make some veggie burgers and start off healthy! I adapted this recipe off the blog Oh She Glows and they turned out to be quite the delicious dinner.

Veggie Burgers

1/2  cup red onion, diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chopped spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 eggs

1 cup oats

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup grated beets

1 can of black beans, rinsed

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and  chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and black pepper, to taste

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the onion, garlic and spinach in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet for about 3 minuets. Place all ingredients except spices into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Season the mixture with the spices and salt and pepper. With wet hands form the dough into patties and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for a total of 30 minutes, flipping once. Serve on toasted buns with your choice of toppings. I went with pepperjack cheese, avocado and BBQ sauce! Enjoy!

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Asparagus and Poached Eggs

If anyone is guilty of splurging too much lately it is me! So after all my crazy-calorie-blasted meals, I decided to take it easy and eat as healthy as I could this week. I enjoyed baked chicken, roasted brussel sprouts, oatmeal with banana slices and lots of broccoli! Yesterday after a long walk home from work, I decided to make asparagus with poached eggs. I’ve never had this before but it sounded appealing so I decided to go for it! It ended up being really satisfying and delicious. While this is typically a standard Italian breakfast, it can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner too!

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Asparagus and Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

6 stalks of asparagus, woody ends cut off

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Removed woody ends from asapargus and place on a greased cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast, turning once for 25 minutes.

Poaching the eggs can be tricky. I always make sure to crack each egg in a separate bowl and allow to sit in a tablespoon of vinegar each for five minutes. Placing them in a bowl is key as this allows for an easy “slide-in” when placing into simmering water. Another key is the whirlwind method is stirring the water in the same direction until it creates a little water tornado. You then slip the egg in the center of the whirlwind, one at a time. It comes out perfect for me every time. For additional instructions I think that Smitten Kitchen demonstrates it best.

Once asparagus is roasted and eggs are poached, place asparagus on plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Top with the poached eggs and finish with salt and pepper. ENJOY!

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Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

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When I studied abroad in 2009, my favorite place that I got to visit was Greece. I never thought I’d love any kind of food more than Italian, but the food in Greece really rivaled it! I ate my heart out from everything from the gyros to the fish to the flaming cheese. Now I have a bunch of favorite Greek restaurants that I frequent in Chicago (my favorite is Avli in Winnetka), and love cooking with Mediterranean flavors since its always healthy and flavorful. Here is a really easy dish that’s low in calories but high in deliciousness!

Greek Chicken Skewers and Tzatziki Sauce

For the chicken…

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3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, grainy

1 red onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions: Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs and mustard until well combined. Cut chicken into 2 inch cubes and let marinade in lemon/garlic/herb mixture for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.  Once marinaded, Preheat oven to 350 degrees and  begin to skewer chicken and onions, alternating between one chicken cube to two onion slices. Place in greased baking dish and bake in oven for about 15 minutes and turn to other side. Bake for another 15 minutes or until cooked through.

For the Tzatziki…

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2 cups of fat free Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced

2 tablespoons fresh dill

Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve the meal with warmed pita bread and enjoy!!

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Triple A Salad (Arugula, Avocado and Apple Chips)

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As we are all in our 22nd day of the New Year I thought I’d inspire some healthy-delicious eating! We had a whole bunch of extra arugula in the fridge so I took myself to my favorite grocery store, The Fresh Market, for some salad-like inspiration.  The first thing I saw were these amazing looking Fuerte avocados that felt perfectly ripe.

 

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After that I thought about how great avocado’s go with lime and cilantro (think guacamole goodness) so that is what I picked up for the dressing. I wanted some crunch to my salad and got some of the Fresh Market’s homemade green and red apple chips. I went on home and whipped up this yum-yum salada!

Triple A Salad

Arugula

1 large Fuerte avocado or 2 Hass avocados

3/4 cup apple chips, crumbled

 

For the dressing:

1/2 cup of fresh cilantro

3 limes, juiced

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

1 cup of canola oil

Salt and Pepper

 

Combine cilantro, lime juice and mustard in blender. Slowly combine canola oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Toss arugula greens with dressing until well coated. Top with avocados and apple chips and ENJOY!

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