Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Pork

Why I made this recipe: Because certain people in my life (ahem, my friend since the 2nd grade, to be precise) told me they need quick recipes that taste good, can serve a small army, I mean, family, and aren’t loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Enter the Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Pork recipe.

Why I love this recipe: Mission accomplished! I’m pretty sure I met all of the criteria established during the serious brain storming session when said friend (see above) was last in town for a visit. Fast, simple ingredients, large quantity, tasty, healthy and freezable! Woo hoo! It’s always good to make sure your friends are happy.

Why this recipe is healthy: Instead of using pork shoulder, a relatively fatty cut of pork, I chose pork loin roast. This is a leaner cut and performs quite well in the slow cooker. Sometimes there’s a little extra layer of fat on this cut too, so feel free to cut some of that off before putting the rub on it. Besides that, pretty much that dry rub, pineapple and slow-cooking make this a relative healthy alternative to so many other pulled pork recipes. 

And here are the pretty pictures:

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Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Pork


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple rub of vibrant jerk spices makes this pork perfect in a sandwich, on top of a bed of lettuce or whole grains, stuffed in a pita or as a topping for pizza.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 23 tablespoons jerk seasoning (use 2 for less heat, 3 for more heat)
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the jerk seasoning, brown sugar, garlic and salt. Rub seasoning mixture all over pork roast. If doing this step the night before, place the pork in a rimmed baking dish or rimmed sheet pan, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Spread the sliced onions in the bottom of a 4 1/2-6 quart slow cooker. Place pork roast on top of the onions.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup pineapple juice and the chicken broth around the roast. Cover slow cooker with a lid and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Carefully remove 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid and discard. Using two forks, shred pork in the slow cooker. Add the remaining 1/4 cup pineapple juice and the apple cider vinegar. Cover and cook on low for at least 30 more minutes. Season with salt and serve.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 6 cups of pulled pork. Lucky you!
  • Not hot enough? Top with a dash of hot sauce before serving.
  • Making sandwiches? Top with a carrot or cabbage slaw tossed with a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and canola oil.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 10
  • Calories: 261
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 233
  • Fat: 9
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 6
  • Protein: 37
  • Cholesterol: 108

Easy Pizza Toasts

I know you and I know you love pizza.

You love it so much that you insist on ordering it at least once a week from your favorite pizza place. While that’s fine and good, it’s um, actually not. Many pizza places load on the heavy toppings and leave you feeling like you just ate a vat of oil topped with a salt lick. Yuck. Ok, well, maybe it tastes good at the time, but it can leave you feeling pretty gross. But don’t worry, I have a solution! My famous (or soon-to-be-famous) Easy Pizza Toasts.

Yes, pizza can be yours and it can taste good and leave you feeling awesome!

What’s the trick? There isn’t one! Yup, it really is easy. Let me explain. Start with some yummy whole wheat bread then slice it thinly. Cook up some yummy veggies (this toast I made with onions and squash) – hint, cut them up small so that they cook fast (this also makes them look super cute on your toasts). Spread a little marinara on top of those bread slices, top with a little cheese (a good, flavorful sharp cheddar is my favorite), then add the veggies. Slide them into the oven for about 10 minutes  and you’ve got Easy Pizza Toasts!

So, no more heavy pizza for you (ok, have it every once in awhile), instead enjoy the crispy, crunchy, veggie-goodness of these Pizza Toasts!

 

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Easy Pizza Toasts


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Quickly sautéed veggies piled high on whole grain bread topped with cheddar cheese then toasted in the oven.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 loaf, 15-ounce whole wheat baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion (about 2 1/2 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 medium yellow squash (about 5 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup canned or jarred marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400’F. Line a 9×13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. (You may need to adjust the heat to prevent burning.) Stir in the zucchini, squash and salt and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and oregano and cook one more minute. Remove pan from the heat.
  3. Spread marinara sauce evenly over bread slices, then sprinkle with cheese. Top each slice with some of the squash mixture. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.
  4. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 20 pizza toasts. A great appetizer or main dish!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 5
  • Calories: 476
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 1034
  • Fat: 23
  • Saturated Fat: 11
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 50
  • Protein: 20
  • Cholesterol: 49

Short and Sweet Series: Thai Chickpea Burgers

It’s time for a new recipe! And here it is, the Short and Sweet (this is what I am calling my new abbreviated, get-to-the-point recipe blog posts) version!

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Why I made this recipe: Because I love Thai food and I adore veggie burgers, so why not combine them?

Why I love this recipe: Because these little chickpea burgers are super flavorful, satisfying and with the lime-infused slaw, taste so clean and refreshing.

How this recipe is healthy: I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but Americans don’t eat enough fiber. Getting enough is a tall order considering the average adult needs between 25-35 grams of fiber each day! One easy way to get more fiber is to eat more beans. Beans can help fill your “fiber bucket” to the tune of about 8 grams per half cup, and these burgers make it easy. And there’s more! Besides fiber, beans are also a superb source of lean vegetarian protein and they offer other goodies like folic acid and iron. The beans are great, but so is the slaw, which is made with fresh veggies including cabbage and carrots then tossed in a light lime-infused vinaigrette. It’s a nutrition-packed, satisfying meal!

And here are the pretty pictures:

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Thai Chickpea Burgers


  • Author: Sara Haas
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

A chickpea burger that’s bursting with fresh garlic, ginger and Thai Green Curry paste then topped with a refreshing lime-infused cabbage slaw.


Scale

Ingredients

For the slaw

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green or both!)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 green onion, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

For the burgers

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon thai green curry paste (and up to 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 small whole wheat hamburger buns or dinner rolls, split in half and toasted

Instructions

For the slaw

  1. Combine the mustard, lime zest and lime juice together in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking until incorporated. Add the cabbage, carrot, green onion and cilantro and toss to combine.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the burgers

  1. Place beans in a large mixing bowl and partially mash with a fork or avocado (or potato) masher.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the olive oil, cilantro, curry paste, ginger, garlic and salt. Add mixture, along with the bread crumbs, to beans and stir to combine.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup measure, loosely scoop out the bean mixture and shape into patties.
  4. Heat half of the olive oil in a non-stick pan set over medium heat. Add half of the patties and cook for about 5 minutes. Carefully flip them over and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove the patties from the pan and cover with foil to keep them warm. Add the remaining oil and repeat the process with the remaining patties.
  5. Place the cooked patties on the toasted buns and top with a rounded 1/4 cup of the slaw. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Attention vegans and others with egg and gluten allergies! You can make these without the egg and breadcrumbs. Simply omit them and follow the instructions as written. The burgers will be a little crumbly, but still super tasty. And enjoy the burger sans bun or opt for a GF bun for all you gluten sensitive folks.
  • Yields about 10 mini burgers.

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

I am trying something new. I know you’re busy, and there are likely times that you don’t even read my blog posts. Don’t worry, I’m not mad, I totally get it. You just want the recipe. I’m excited to start off  this series with a simple recipe for Greek Pasta Salad.

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Black Bean and Mushroom Tacos

I adore tacos. Besides pizza, no other food is better in my opinion. I love tacos because they are the perfect vehicle for so many other great foods. Just think about it. Tacos are delicious filled with grilled chicken and a simple pico de gallo. They are also fantastic loaded with spicy oven-baked tofu and a refreshing cilantro cabbage slaw. And how about fish? I mean, who doesn’t love a fish taco?

In my house, tacos rule and I am constantly finding new fillings for my favorite food. To honor “Meatless Monday“, I came up with a vegetarian taco recipe that earned two thumbs up from my little family. These black bean and mushroom tacos are bursting with flavor and umami, so even if you’re a meat-eater, you won’t miss the meat. They are simple to make and many of the ingredients can be prepped the day before so that all you have to do is cook and serve. You’re welcome!

Besides being simple and delicious, tacos are also a great, healthy option for any meal. Use a whole grain tortilla and fill it with lean meats or beans and top with plenty of fresh produce like sautéed peppers, shredded kale or romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced jicama. Or why not fill it with last night’s veggie stir-fry or leftover quinoa and grilled corn? Be creative and have fun with your tacos! The options are truly limitless.

In the mean time, try these black bean and mushroom tacos. They’re sure to make your Meatless Monday meal a success!

 

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Black Bean and Mushroom Tacos


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Perfect for taco night! A delicious sauté of mushrooms and black beans makes the perfect filling for tortillas.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (any variety is fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until golden, about five minutes. Season with salt and add the garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add the spices, stirring to toast them and prevent them from burning, another minute more. Stir in the black beans, water and lime juice and cook 3-4 minutes, until most of the liquid has been cooked off.
  2. To serve: Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of the black bean and mushroom sauté. Top with cilantro and onions and serve.

Notes

  • Additional optional toppings: salsa or hot sauce, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, low-fat Greek yogurt

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 229
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 121
  • Fat: 4
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 42
  • Protein: 9
  • Cholesterol: 0

Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables

Summer means simplicity. On a 90 degree day here in Chicago, the last thing I want to do is heat my house up with the oven. So, that means I need to be cooking creatively. For moments like these, I turn to the grill. Sure, it’s hot, but that heat’s outside, where it belongs.

While some people use their grill mostly for steaks, burgers and brats, I tend to use mine more for vegetables. Sure, I love a good flank steak or turkey burger, but grilled vegetables are just plain good food. Plus, they are the perfect addition to almost any meal.

Which brings me to my Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables. It’s a recipe that starts with a dual purpose marinade. Yes, it’s a marinade, first and foremost, adding tons of flavor to the vegetables, but it’s also used to season the quinoa. Who doesn’t love making something once and using it twice!?

Here’s the best part! This is a dish you can feel good about serving your family and guests. It’s a nutritious food gift from me to you. All wrapped up in vitamin-rich vegetables, fiber-rific beans and perfect-protein quinoa. So grab a bowl and fill it up and put a bow on it. Enjoy your gift (but don’t eat the bow!)!

 

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Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple summer meal that satisfies.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed seeded and cut into planks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into planks lengthwise
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into planks lengthwise
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch round slices
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 115 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, or about 1 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

To make the marinade

  1. Combine the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper and olive oil in a jar. Screw on the lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, place the mustard, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil, whisking until fully incorporated. Pour half of the mixture into a re-sealable bag and add the pepper, zucchini, squash and red onion. Cover the remaining marinade and refrigerate. Re-seal the bag and massage marinade into vegetables. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

To cook the quinoa

  1. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.

To grill the vegetables

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean grill grates and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Remove the vegetables from the bag. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook vegetables on both sides until grill marks form, about 5-10 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.

To make the dish

  1. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and toss with the reserved marinade. Chop the grilled vegetables and add to the quinoa, along with the lemon zest, chickpeas and basil. Stir and serve.

Notes

  • Makes 8 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 378
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 176
  • Fat: 16
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 48
  • Protein: 13
  • Cholesterol: 0

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Pizza

Everyone has a favorite food, right? Mine just happens to be pizza. I mean, is there really another food that’s more perfect? Doughy crust, tangy, tomatoey (yup, I’m using that word) sauce, divine vegetables all topped with flavorful, umami-bursting cheese? Yes, please!!! Thus, the birth of the caramelized onion and fennel pizza.

As a food-lover, it’s a dish that constantly pleases me. From the myriad of toppings to the simplicity of a delicious pizza crust, it’s an ever-evolving food that can surprise, yet also elicit the feeling of familiarity and comfort. The dietitian in me, loves that pizza is the perfect platform for the wide assortment of delicious, nutritious foods out there. The combinations of those foods is almost limitless. I love whole wheat pizza dough topped with wild mushrooms or an array of broccoli, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Heck, you can even put fruit on top or what about grilled barbecue chicken or Thai-style pizza with cilantro, jalapenos, carrots and peanuts? See what I mean?

I’m always trying new things on my pizza and since I happened to have some extra fennel laying around, I decided to try that on my pizza. Caramelizing it with some onion, brought out a delicious sweet flavor and tasted amazing with fresh tomatoes and spinach. It turned out to be a winning combination that even my 2 1/2 year old loves. Try it now and let me know what you think!

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Caramelized Onion and Fennel Pizza


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Slow cooked onions and fennel make the perfect topping for pizza!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced)
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup marinara/pizza sauce
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Coat a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray, remove dough from packaging and place inside. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and rest on the counter while you prepare the caramelized onions and fennel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 420’F and place the rack in the lowest setting of the oven. (Don’t skip this pre-heating step! It’s important that your oven is nice and warm before putting your pizza in there! If you have a pizza stone, use it!)
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid or foil. Cook until onion and fennel are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.

To make the pizza

  1. Dust your counter or other clean work surface lightly with flour (any flour will do). Remove dough from the bowl and place on your work surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, shape dough into a 12-inch circle.
  2. Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spread the pizza sauce over the crust and top with the spinach, caramelized onions and fennel, tomatoes and the cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  3. Keep the pizza on the parchment and either transfer it to the oven directly onto a pizza stone or set it on an inverted cookie sheet before placing in the oven.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust turns golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven, cut and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 349
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 1101
  • Fat: 17
  • Saturated Fat: 5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 39
  • Protein: 11
  • Cholesterol: 13

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley Marinade

When it’s warm outside, I want to grill. I grew up in a household where summer meant almost every meal was made on a hot charcoal or gas grill out in our backyard. I never got much experience manning the grill as a kid, but I did have a nice moment where I backed into one in a swimsuit. Ouch! That’s one way to discourage you from grilling!

Flash forward and now I am officially my father’s daughter. While I could never top his grilling skills, I sure do try. I’ve grilled just about everything and you know what, so many things just “work” on the grill. It’s a great little cooking tool, one that can handle lean cuts of meat as well as vegetables and even fruits. I love it’s versatility which allows me to create healthful meals for friends and family.

I’ve created this Grilled Chicken with Lemon Parsley Marinade as tribute to all of those early grilled chicken meals. And I opted for a marinated chicken that could serve many purposes. This one does just that, because it’s great on top of salads, as a filler for pitas and wraps and even just enjoyed as it is.

The marinade serves two functions. The first function of course is flavor. Chicken breast is pretty bland and this marinade packs loads of flavor. The second is that it helps protect against some of the harmful carcinogens that can form when grilling meat.  I’ve also recommended to pound the chicken thin. This creates a chicken breast that’s uniform in size, which allows for even cooking, preventing underdone or overcooked chicken. Don’t skip that step!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

 

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Grilled Chicken with Parsley Lemon Marinade


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A quick, simple marinade that adds just the right amount of flavor to any piece of chicken.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 cup parsley, leaves and stems, washed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Place chicken breasts in a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the chicken until it’s a 1/2-inch thick.
  2. Combine the garlic, oil, parsley, water, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour marinade, along with lemon slices into the bag with the chicken and seal the bag. Toss to coat. Remove any excess air from the bag and place chicken in the refrigerator to marinate. (I recommend putting the chicken in another vessel, like a bowl or dish, to prevent any cross-contamination in your fridge.) Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, remove chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Clean the grill thoroughly and brush grates lightly with canola oil.
  4. Once the grill is hot, add the chicken. Grill until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165’F, about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Let rest before slicing.

Notes

  • This chicken is delicious on top of salads or pastas. It can even be used as a base for chicken salad, gyros or other sandwiches.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 319
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 241
  • Fat: 18
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 3
  • Protein: 36
  • Cholesterol: 96

Turkey Burgers with Cherry Chipotle Ketchup

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I somehow had the good fortune of having a lot of extra cherries in my refrigerator. It has a little something to do with the fact that I love cherries and I can’t help myself when I see them on sale. So, to make a long story short, I may have bought more than I really needed. No way was I going to let them go to waste. I was on a mission and I knew I had to do something with them fast. I had just made dessert with cherries (see my Phyllo Cherry Pie Tartlets recipe), and I felt like I needed to make something savory instead. But what?

Turkey burgers were on the menu for dinner. Usually I keep those pretty simple, topping them with ketchup, mustard, lettuce and tomato. But then I started thinking about ketchup and that got me thinking cherry ketchup. Could it work? Well, of course it could. But I wanted it to be spicy, so what else could I use? Right! The chipotle chiles I had in my freezer would be perfect. And that, my friend’s is how Cherry Chipotle Ketchup came into my life.

I added some great aromatics, like onion and garlic to mix along with a little acid (apple cider vinegar) and some fresh thyme. A little hit of sweetness from honey was the perfect balance for the heat. It all simmered in my pot while I made the turkey burgers. Fast and homemade ketchup in no time! Plus, you’ll get less sodium and more nutrition! Cherries are packed with nutrition, containing plenty of potassium which helps with managing blood pressure and are loaded with antioxidants to help fight off those big, bad free radicals to lead to cancer and other diseases.
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Turkey Burgers with Cherry Chipotle Ketchup


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A flavorful turkey burger topped with a spicy, sweet ketchup made from cherries and chipotle peppers.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup pitted, sweet cherries, chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup water

For the burgers

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 small, whole wheat buns, split and toasted
  • 8 green leaf lettuce leaves, washed and torn

Instructions

To Make the Ketchup

  1. Add the oil to a small saucepot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring often until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add the cherries and cook about 3 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook the cherry mixture uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the thyme stem and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. Allow to cool slightly, then puree mixture (allowing a place for steam to escape if mixture is still rather warm) until smooth. Alternatively, puree the mixture in the pot using a stick blender.
  3. Return the mixture back to the sauce pot and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from pot and allow to cool before serving.

For the burgers

  1. Preheat the grill and clean well with a grill brush.
  2. Shape the ground turkey into 8 equal-sized patties, about 2-3 tablespoons each. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly brush the grill grates with canola oil. Place burger patties on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Use a food thermometer to ensure burgers have reached 165’F.
  4. Place cooked burgers on the buns and top with chipotle ketchup and lettuce.

Notes

  • Need to turn down the heat? Simply add less chipotle pepper.
  • Want to jazz it up? Add a dash of cinnamon or cardamom.
  • Want a little more sweetness? Add 1-2 more teaspoons of honey

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8
  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 215
  • Fat: 11
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 40
  • Protein: 23
  • Cholesterol: 60

Freekeh with Black Beans and Avocado Dressing

In the quest to be the best dietitian I can be, I have been working diligently to incorporate more, “new” whole grains into my (and my family, friends’ and clients’) recipes. I have to admit, for a while I was stuck on quinoa. It’s simple and versatile…it was a love affair for sure. That love affair continues, but I am opening my mind to new, wonderful grains like freekeh. It’s just as easy to cook and just as easy to love. In fact, it’s a lovely platform for this freekeh with black beans and avocado dressing recipe.

Read more and get the recipe on The Cutting Board!