Category Archives: Sandwiches, Burgers, Wraps

Sandwiches, Burgers, Wraps

Healthy and Delicious Chickpea, Quinoa & Turkey Burgers

 

chickpea turkey burger side view

I wanted to find a way to eat a really healthy burger with lots of added nutrition.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOVE a big, juicy beef burger as much as the next person, but sometimes I want something different and/or lighter.  This is a great burger to have for lunch as it’s packed with fibre and nutrients, but is low in fat, so it fills you up without making you want to pass out after! Haha.  If you REALLY want to eat light, skip the bun and serve this with a side salad or wrapped in an iceberg lettuce leaf instead.

NOTE:  Below is basically a 1/2 recipe as I only used half the pound of turkey and half a can of chickpeas.  It makes 4 burgers.  I you want to do the full recipe but don’t need/want 8 burgers, just roll the other ones into meatballs a few days later and serve with pasta or rice for a super healthy dinner!  (I actually ended up frying the remaining mix in a pan 3 days later when I had friends over and just served the balls/fritters with a yogurt dip as an appetizer…)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (1/2 a can)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa – COOKED
  • 1 cup lean ground turkey (1/2 pound)
  • 1 egg (if you double this recipe, still only use ONE egg)
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup feta – crumbled
  • 1/4 cup white onion – diced
  • 1/8 cup green onion – diced
  • 1/2 cup mixed bell pepper – diced (I used red and orange but any combination or just red pepper would be fine)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic – minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp basil – FRESH
  • 1/2 tsp oregano – DRIED
  • 2 tsp olive oil (for cooking veggies)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup or so of flour (for forming patties to help hold them together, if needed)

METHOD

1.  Put chickpeas in bowl and smash with fork or potato masher.  Add, cooked quinoa, turkey, tomato paste, egg, feta, basil, green onion, salt and pepper.  2.  Turn heat to medium and oil to pan.  3.  Add white onion, bell peppers, garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and a little salt and sauté until cooked (about 2 minutes).  Remove from heat and add to mix in bowl.

veg frying for chickpea burg

MEP chickpea burger in bowl

4.  Mix all together and put in fridge to chill for 2 to 3 hours or up to 24 hours.  5.  Form into patties (if the mix is a little loose and you’re finding the patties difficult to form, just get flour all over your hands and form them using some flour.  This will help to hold the patty together).

chickpea patties

6.  Cook on medium high heat for 4 – 6 minutes per side using just enough oil so that the burgers don’t stick to the pan.

SUGGESTION:  Serve with grilled mushrooms, red onion, kalamata olives, mozzarella or provolone and arugula and a lemony mayo or yogurt spread (just squeeze some lemon juice into mayo or yogurt)

 

 

 

Mexican Black Bean, Quinoa & Turkey Burgers

black bean burger

I’ve done it!  I’ve found a way to get my kids to eat black beans!  (MONEY SAVING: I’ve also found a way to make one pound of turkey stretch into two meals as I only use half the package for 4 burgers).  This recipe is really nutritious and loaded with fibre.   If you’re really trying to watch your weight, just eat the patty with toppings wrapped in lettuce!  (I’ll eat mine with a bun, thank you.  Haha). I’m not a vegetarian and there’s no way my kids would eat veggie burgers without turning their nose up (and honestly, I’m not a fan either) so I added turkey into this recipe, not only because it makes the burgers taste great while still being good for you, but because it makes the burger patties stay together really nicely!

NOTE:  This recipe is technically a half recipe as I only used half the package of turkey and half a can of beans.  Feel free to double this recipe and freeze half the burgers for another time.  But if you are doubling the recipe DO NOT use 2 eggs.  One egg still works!

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 burgers)

  • 1 cup lean ground turkey (1/2 a pound)
  • 1 cup black beans (1/2 a can)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa – COOKED
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/4 cup feta – crumbled (plus more for topping the burger)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white onion – fine dice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn – cooked
  • 1/2 tsp garlic – minced
  • 1/8 cup green onion – diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • OPTION:  1 tsp chipotle – minced (I would DEFINITELY recommend adding this if you don’t have children that will complain about the heat!  If you do, just blend some chipotle and lime juice with some plain yogurt or mayo to top on your burger!)

METHOD

1.  Put black beans in bowl and smash with a fork or potato masher (it’s fine if some are left whole).  2.  Add turkey, cooked quinoa, tomato paste, feta, cilantro, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix.

black bean burger MEP

3.  Get a DRY (NO OIL) pan searing hot (it should be smoking) and add FROZEN or fresh cooked corn to pan.  DO NOT stir the corn.  Let it sit for a minute or so until it starts to pop (be VERY careful here.  The corn tends to pop right out of the pan and I’ve been hit with hot corn before!  I suggest hovering a lid over the pan so the corn hits that and goes back into the pan).  Give the pan a shake (the corn should be browning in parts but not burning).  4.  Once you have colour on the corn, turn heat down to low and add olive oil, onion, garlic, green onion, cumin, red pepper flakes and a little salt.  Sauté for a minute or two until onion is soft and garlic is fragrant.

Charring corn for burgers

5.  Remove from heat and add into mix.

6.  Refrigerate mix for 2 to 3 hours minimum (this mix can be made a day or two ahead!)

7.  Form into patties.

black bean patties

8.  Get a pan hot with enough oil so the burgers won’t stick.  When the pan is hot, add the patties and cook 4 – 5 minutes per side or until golden brown on both sides and cooked through the middle.

SUGGESTION:  Serve with chipotle lime yogurt spread (basically just mixing some chipotle and a squeeze of lime juice into yogurt or mayo, or a combination of both), grilled red onion, tomato, avocado, feta cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce and a few sprigs of cilantro  NOTE:  I like to toss the lettuce and cilantro in just a little bit of lime juice to ‘liven up the burger’

Fun Fish Tacos (PERFECT for entertaining!)

Fish Tacos

I LOVE fish tacos done right.  They are the epitome of summer.  I love ‘build your own’ anything and these are so much fun to eat – and unbelievably delicious.  I have been ordering fish tacos at restaurants forever.  Sometimes I’m happy with them, but usually I’m very disappointed.  There’s just not enough ‘love’ put into them.  I can’t stand getting 3 tacos with some bland fish, shredded cabbage or lettuce and a few diced tomatoes.  I want FLAVOUR!  I want TEXTURE!  I want WOW FACTOR!  

I have been working on this recipe for a while now.  I’m obsessed with it.   It might just be the best recipe I’ve ever come up with.  I’m not going to lie, it takes work.  That’s why I only break it out if I’m having people over to dinner or my girls over for a night of drinks and sitting on the patio.  This is the kind of meal you want to show off.  I prep over 2 days.  The first day I go out and buy all the ingredients I need.  Then I make the sauce and pickle the onions and jalapenos.  On the day we’re eating, I do the cabbage and bell pepper slaw, the avocado dish, and the pico de galo.

**This can all be done hours ahead so when guests are ready to eat, all you have to do is throw the fish in the oven and lay out the condiments and tortillas and you’re all set!  Voila!**

TIME SAVING TIP:  when prepping, get all the bowls and ingredients out for everything at once.  You’ll notice that all the different dishes here share a lot of the same ingredients.  So arrange your bowls, and as you’re using one ingredient, prepare it for all the dishes.  It makes things SO much quicker.  (for example, there’s cilantro in 3 of the dishes.  I add up how much I need in total, chop all of it at once, and then divide it up according to the measurement needed for each dish….)

all fish taco condiments

Don’t let all the steps below scare you.  They’re all easy and it’s a labour of love.  Make this while enjoying a cold cerveza, glass of white wine or your favourite margharita!  

RECIPE:  Serves 4 – 6   (if guests are eating an average of 4 tacos each!)

1.  THE FISH & TORTILLAS

The fish I use is High Liner Frozen English Style Pacific Cod Filets.  You could always use a non-breaded fresh fish of choice for these tacos, but I really do love the flavour of the fried fish.  I buy this particular fish at Costco and it’s the best frozen, breaded fish I have EVER eaten.  Like I said, I don’t make these often, so it’s a real treat and I don’t mind eating some fatty fish once in a while!  I use a 1/2 piece of fish per tortilla.  Just put fish out on a platter with a knife and let guests cut the fish and use tongs to put into tortillas!

As for the tortillas, use your favourite brand.  (I’m using President’s Choice whole wheat small tortillas because I love President’s Choice anything, and they were on sale…)

Fish and Tortillas in bag

2.  PICKLED RED ONION AND JALEPENOS

PICKLING LIQUID – Ratio 2:1 water to vinegar

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 red onion & 1 jalepeno pepper

METHOD: Combine water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Shake in the jar or container you want to keep the pickled food in. Add the Onion and Jalapeño. Seal container/jar. Wait at least one hour to eat.

pickled onion

3.  FISH TACO SAUCE  (Chipotle, Cumin and Lime Dip)  Makes 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (use 1/2 cup may and 3/4 cup yogurt for a thicker sauce)
  • 1 cup greek non fat yogurt (or sour cream if you don’t have yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic – minced
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle pepper (use more if you like it spicier!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 – 1.5 tsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt

NOTE:  you can buy chipotle peppers in any grocery store in a can.  I don’t use them very often and they are VERY spicy so you don’t need to use much at once.  I just freeze them in a ziplock bag and break off a frozen chunk when I need a little!

Frozen Chipotle

METHOD:

1.  Combine all ingredients in food processor (or blender) and blend.  2.  Pour into squeezy bottle for serving (you can find these squeezy bottles in almost any dollar store).

Fish Taco Sauce in squeeze

4.  PICO DE GALO

  • 3 tomatoes – diced + 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro – chopped
  • 1.5 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red onion (or white)
  • OPTION: 1/2 tsp jalapeno
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:  

1.  Dice tomato and place in fine strainer with teaspoon of salt to drain out excess liquid.  Let sit for half an hour (you should have about a half cut of tomato water left over.  TIP:  Save this liquid to cook rice/quinoa/grains in!).  2.  Combine rest of ingredients and put into bowl for serving.

pico de galo

5.  CABBAGE AND BELL PEPPER SLAW

  • 3 cup green cabbage – shredded
  • 1/2 cup green onion – green part only
  • 1 cup mixed bell pepper julienned (sliced)  – red, orange and/or yellow
  • 1/2 cup cilantro – chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

METHOD:

1.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Cabbage slaw

6.  AVOCADO WITH LIME

  • 2 medium ripe avocado – diced
  • 1/2 tsp jalepeno – diced
  • 1.5 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 2 Tbsp red onion – diced
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro – chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Avocado

“Asian Style” Turkey Lettuce Wraps

pork in lettuce

I found this recipe about 2 years ago and fell in love with it.  I really like it because it’s really easy to make and served ‘family style’ so everyone just digs in.  It’s a fun meal.  In the original recipe they use ground pork (which I usually use as well) but tonight I had some lean ground turkey meat in the fridge so I’m using that instead.  In my version of this recipe, I also add extra vegetables (mixed bell peppers and celery) for added nutrition.  You can really add whatever you like!  (zucchini, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc).  I want to keep the dish nice and saucy so I don’t want to add TOO many extra veggies.  Instead I will be sautéing onion, mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper and sprouts with garlic, ginger, lime and cilantro to serve along side the turkey lettuce wraps.  Whatever vegetables I have left over I’ll just have for lunch tomorrow (:

NOTE:  If the kids don’t want to eat out of lettuce cups, just serve their’s with whole wheat tortillas!  Small ones work great but if you only have the large ones, just cut them in half!  

pork beside lettuce

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 – 6)

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped carrot
  • OPTION:  1/2 cup chopped celery & 1/2 cup of bell pepper (red, orange and/or yellow) or whatever veggies you want to add
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or lean ground pork!)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Asian chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (about 2)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, bottom and bitter parts cut of and leaves separated
  • OPTION: 1/2 cup or so of peanuts or rough chopped cashews adds a really nice crunch!

METHOD

MEP asian veg

1.  Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add onions, carrots and celery and peppers if using.

using hand blender

(NOTE:  to save time I just threw the carrot and onion in my hand food processor and buzzed it until it was finely chopped.  The garlic and ginger I already had minced as I ALWAYS mince these ingredients in large amounts and have them readily on hand in my fridge).  

Sauté the onion & carrot for 3 minutes or until they begin to soften.  Add ginger & garlic; saute for 30 seconds longer or until fragrant.  Turn heat to high, add turkey (or pork or a mixture of both!).  Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

MEP asian sauce

2.  Whisk together fish sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Asian chili sauce and cornstarch, and add to pan, stirring to coat the pork.  Cook for 1 minute or until sauce has come to a boil and juices from the pan are slightly thickened.  Sprinkle with green onions.

3.  Serve pork/turkey on a platter/in bowl for each person to spoon into lettuce leaves (or tortillas).  Put nuts in side dish for each person to add into their wrap(s) if desired.

NOTE:  If there is leftover meat and tortillas I will toss the ground pork/turkey in with scrambled egg the next morning, and serve with tortillas, diced tomato and whatever cheese is on hand.  If you have sour cream, it’s great for dipping this into.

everything on table

Turkey BLT with Fried Egg and Cheese!

blt

I had some bacon and turkey meat leftover (not the processed kind but actual sliced turkey meat) and some beautifully ripe tomatoes on hand so naturally I thought of making a BLT.  But not just any BLT!  This one includes a fried egg, avocado, and sliced red onion – oh, and lots of cheddar cheese.  Any kind of cheese would be great on this.  Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterey Jack, Havarti…..  You get the idea… (:

To make a truly great sandwich, you need great bread.  Make sure you love the bread you’re using.  And the tomatoes HAVE to be ripe.  I know you can’t really see the tomatoes in this picture, but trust me, there’s LOTS in there!!

INGREDIENTS  – measurements:  Use your judgement.  Enough of each to make the sandwich the way YOU like it

  • 3 – 4 strips bacon
  • Turkey meat (enough to cover a slice of bread!)
  • Avocado
  • Red onion – a few slices
  • Ripe vine tomato
  • Mayo
  • 1 egg
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Cheddar cheese
  • 3 pieces of GREAT bread (I used Dempster’s 12 grain bread because that’s what I already had)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:  

Should be pretty self explanatory as it’s a sandwich.  Haha.  I can tell you that after cooking the bacon in the oven (I always cook bacon in the over because it’s less messy and the bacon always cooks evenly) I turned the oven off, threw the turkey onto the bacon and left it there to warm up a little until I was ready to assemble the sandwich.

When I cooked the egg, I used a little of the bacon grease from the pan instead of butter (:

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

I’m lucky.  My boys LOVE fish.  Breaded, sauteed, canned, you name it.  I have started making tuna salad and/or salmon salad sandwiches for my 6 year old for school and he loves them – and so do I.  I usually make this tuna salad on Sunday and have it in the fridge for the rest of the week.  It’s great for sandwiches and especially for little wraps.  When I don’t want to eat a lot of fat, I put 1/2 the mayo in this recipe and then just add more ‘to order’ for the boys (I don’t mind mine a little bit dry.  I’ll just add some tomato slices or avocado!)

We’re also a family of egg eaters so I make egg salad at the same time as most of the ingredients are the same!  Just don’t add the pickle or lemon to the egg.  Maybe add a little paprika, if that’s your thing (:

THERE!  Now I have egg salad and tuna/salmon salad for the week for quick breakfasts (on toast, English muffin, bagel, wrap…) and/or lunches!  My kids love them with slices of cheddar, provolone, havarti or whatever cheese you have in the fridge.

RECIPE

  • I can tuna (chunk or flaked in water)
  • 1/4 shallot (or white onion but shallot is better!)
  • Mayo to consistency (you can use lite mayo or even substitute some of it with fat free greek yogurt for a healthier version!)
  • 1T dijon mustard
  • 1/4 finely diced celery
  • 1 baby dill pickle – diced
  • 1 – 2 t fresh lemon juice plus a little lemon zest
  • OPTION:  green/spring onion (I throw green onion or chives into just about EVERYTHING when I have them on hand – and I almost always do!)
  • salt and pepper to taste