Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New You.....2012 Edition

Happy 2012!  Did 2011 go out with a bang?  I am pretty sure I was in bed and asleep by 12:05am.  And it was a struggle to even stay up that late.  I was rockin’ the Just Dance 3 on the Wii early in the night, but I was pooped by 10pm.  All that dancing, and winning, can make a girl tired.

Anyhoo, as usual, one of my 2012 resolutions is to eat healthier.  I make this resolution every year.  Usually I say “eat healthy”, but this year I am not being as aggressive.  I am just saying “eat healthier”.  Less pressure on me.  Plus, with this blog…..nobody wants to see 356 days of salad. I’m not that blog.

Eating healthy can be a challenge for me.  I constantly crave comfort foods, and comfort foods usually aren’t that healthy.  If I can take one of my favorite comfort foods, and make that healthier….I seem to do better.  I was craving burgers and fries yesterday, so I came up with this recipe for a healthier chicken burger that is loaded with veggies.  It turned out great.  If all healthy food was this delicious, I could get on board with it….plus, I would weigh a lot less.

First off, holy glare!  Sorry about that. 

For these chicken burgers, I used one pound of ground chicken breast.  Chicken breast can be super dry, especially when formed into burgers.  To combat that, I stuff this bad boy with lots of veggies.  I used spinach, sundried tomatoes, red onion and Gourmet Rooster Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Spread.  I also used some salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic spread is chock full of roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, onion and other yummy goodness.  If you can’t get a hold of any, which would be weird because I can ship it anywhere, you can always replace it with roasted red peppers and roasted garlic.  It won’t be the same, but it will be close;)

I started by sweating the onions a bit in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Let’s keep this light, folks;)

I sautéed the onions, over low heat, for about 5 minutes….until they were just starting to soften.  I also sprinkled the onions with salt and pepper.

At my grocery store, I could only find sundried tomatoes in oil.  Obviously, the oil would defeat the purpose.  I rinsed my tomatoes and drained them well.  I made sure to get all the oil off.  I also diced them up a bit.

If you can find sundried tomatoes not packed in oil….use those.

Once the onions were soft, I added the spinach and sundried tomatoes to the pan.  I cooked this just until the spinach was wilted.  This will happen in a couple of minutes.

I set this mixture aside to cool a bit.  I mix my burgers by hand and super-hot spinach isn’t the best idea.

While the veggies cooled, I added the Gourmet Rooster spread to the chicken.  See how juicy it is?  This will keep your burgers moist.

I hate the word “moist”, and I wish there was another word that I could use.  I can’t think of one yet.  My birthday is January 11th.  Buy me a Thesaurus.

I mixed in the veggie mixture by hand, just like I promised above.  This is the best way to mix ground meat.  You don’t want to over mix because that will make the burgers tough.  Using your hands is the best way to ensure you don’t over mix.

This mixture will be very wet and sticky.  When you form your burgers, make sure your hands are slightly wet.  I got 6 burgers out of this.

I cooked my burgers on my Lean Mean Grilling Machine.  Actually, I think my grill is a different brand, but I like saying that.  So yeah, I used my indoor grill.  If you have one, your burgers should cook in about 8 minutes.  Spray the grill well with cooking spray.  Since there is very little fat in these burgers, they will stick if you don’t spray.

If you are cooking these in a pan on your stove top, spray the pan well.  Cook these little guys for about 5 minutes per side.

I topped my burgers with a reduced fat Provolone cheese.  If I wasn’t feeding my kids, I would top these with goat cheese.  Strong cheeses like goat cheese and blue cheese are excellent when you are trying to lose weight.  Why, you ask?  Because they are so strong….you can eat way less and still get the same satisfaction.

I served my burgers on “bun thins”.  They are reduced fat buns.  I guess they are reduced fat because there isn’t much too them…but I didn’t want to make a healthy chicken burger and then slap it on a 500 calorie bun;)

I also served my burgers with Dijon mustard (no mayo, which made me cry a little bit), lettuce and sliced tomato.

I have to say….these little suckers were crazy good.  They were moist from the veggies, and the Roasted Red Pepper spread gave them a really yummy flavor. They are almost reminiscent of the flavors of a crab cake. without the crab.  Like I said above, if all healthy food was this good……I would be a happy, and thinner, girl.

To keep up the “healthier in 2012”….I will be posting a recipe for super healthy creamy cauliflower and broccoli soup on Thursday.  See you then;)

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Burgers

1 pound ground chicken breast

½ cup red onion, diced

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and diced

2 handfuls baby spinach, or about 2 cups

1/3 cup Gourmet Rooster Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Spread

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

Cooking spray

Pre-heat an indoor electric grill.

In a sauté pan, sprayed with cooking spray, sauté red onion over low heat for about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  When onions are starting to get soft, add diced sundried tomatoes and spinach.  Cook until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, place ground chicken, Roasted Red Pepper sauce and sautéed veggies.  Mix thoroughly, by hand.  Form 6 patties.

Cook patties on electric grill for about 8 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

Serve with reduced fat cheese, reduced fat buns, lettuce, tomato and mustard.

Makes 6 burgers

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