Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Can Cook!

Whether the government is using The Basic Seven, the Old Food Pyramid, the New MyPyramid, or the even newer Choose My Plate in my mind it comes down to this: limit crappy stuff and eat more good stuff.  

With this profound knowledge in hand I spend endless hours perusing magazines like Clean Eating and Eating Well tearing out incredible looking recipes filled with nutrient-filled ingredients that I can't wait to make for my family (while wearing my beautiful apron and high heels, doing my best June Cleaver, of course).  Somehow, however, the 6 o'clock hour sneaks up on me and I find myself unprepared to cook anything other than what the girls call "The Mom Meals" (spaghetti and meatballs, "breakfast for dinner", grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, of course, my favorite - take out). But that's all changing.

Next week we move in to our new house.  As luck would have it the house we fell in love with happened to fall in the tip top of our price range.  So those glorious meals I "make" from Beer Run, Horse and Hound and BBQ Exchange while the Spicy Chicken is out of town are now completely off-limits. We are in full budget mode.  Oh, and in case you forgot -  I'm supposed to be trying to lose weight. Eating out tends to make that a little difficult (especially when they have all those great beers on tap...).

So while those who know me are skeptical (I can't imagine why!) I've embarked on something new.  It's called COOKING and guess what? I'm not that bad at it after all. While you shouldn't expect an invitation to dinner any time soon, I have been able to create a few nutritious and - dare I say yummy? - creations that everyone in the family enjoyed.

At KK's request tonight's selection was turkey burgers.  Not a difficult request, but I was feeling confident after knocking out a whole chicken with roasted vegetables that didn't suck last week so I decided to take it up a notch by making a GREEK version (crazy, I know!). I Googled "greek turkey burgers" (who needs cookbooks anymore?) and I came across this really good (read: easy) recipe from a great blog called The Novice Chef.

I adapted her recipe a little by using ground chicken because we had it in the freezer (I  stocked up when it was on sale a few weeks ago).  I also upped the sun dried tomatoes because we, for some reason, had 3 jars in the pantry (maybe they were on sale, too?). The result was  scrumptious! The Spicy Chicken even claimed  the tzatziki was better than his (which we know isn't true but at least he tried to make me feel good about it). Here's the recipe:

Greek Turkey Burgers and Tzatziki Sauce 
(adapted from The Novice Chef)

1 lb ground chicken 1/2 C. crumbled reduced fat feta cheese 1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped 1/2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped 1 teaspoon oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Wheat hamburger buns Tzatziki (recipe below) 

6 oz greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded
3 large cloves garlic, minced
Pepper, to taste

Place ground chicken, feta, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and seasonings into a mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Form patties and place onto a cookie sheet.  Grill for about 3 minutes per side or until an internal thermometer has reached 165 degrees. Garnish with Tzatziki, spinach, red peppers, etc., as you like. 

For Tzatziki:
Slice cucumber in half, length wise. Using a spoon, scrape out seeds. Finely shred cucumber and place in paper towels and squeeze out extra moisture. Combine greek yogurt, lemon juice, shredded cucumber, garlic and pepper. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

The Novice Chef is also a much better photographer than I am 
so you really should check out her post.
I'm going to try her Lettuce Wraps next week so stay tuned!


  1. Sounds great! I'll send you a great and easy recipe with a Mexican twist. Less than 10 ingredients and very good. The twist is adding part of a chopped up chipotle to ketchup for the top. Quite yummy

  2. sounds delicious! This cooking thing is pretty new to me so anything easy, healthy and yummy I'm game for. Thanks for sharing!