Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers

8 Dec

I’ve always loved a good ‘ol juicy burger! It was one of the things I missed most while I was a vegetarian for a year. While veggie burgers are good, they just aren’t quit the same! And when I decided to start eating meat again, I had a burger three nights in a row! I just couldn’t get enough of the beef!

Well, this is a healthified burger! Lower in fat and calories! But you will never know it! Because the taste of these burgers is simply amazing! The feta, onions, garlic, and oregano will shock your taste buds!

It was a little too chilly outside for me to grill, so I threw ’em in a frying pan instead. Worked perfect! And much warmer!


Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1 box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon grill seasoning

4 ounces crumbled feta

1 1/3 pounds lean ground turkey

Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Saute onion with salt and pepper until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and saute an additional minute. Remove to a plate to cool.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together spinach, oregano, grill seasoning, feta, and ground turkey. Stir in cooled onion and garlic.

Form into four patties. Grill on high for five minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Source: Iowa Girl Eats


Field Trip: Pizza Luce

5 Dec

About a month ago Zach and I started having  date nights a couple times a month! The only rule is, we have to go a new place every time. There are so many fun, little restaurants around us to try that it seems like a waste to always go to the same ones!

We ventured to Pizza Luce for our last date! A phenomenal Minnesota based restaurant.

The restaurant has a fun, contemporary, and energetic atmosphere! Would be a really fun place to go with a group of friends on a Friday night for drinks!

Drinks, please! Love hitting up happy hour specials! Beer for him and wine for her!

We aren’t usually ones to get appetizers, but happy hour also included half price appetizers! Can’t pass up a $3 appetizer! Especially garlic toast loaded with cheese! I would have been totally fine with having a plate of this bread for my meal! I am a huge sucker for anything cheesy!

Zach and I each picked out a pizza to share! He picked “The Wrangler.” It was topped with BBQ chicken, banana peppers, red onion, mushrooms, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses on a barbecue-red sauce. Zach is a huge barbeque addict so I wasn’t surprised by this choice.

I picked the Pizza Lupe. Totally fitting, being that my high school spanish class name was Lupe! It was a Mexican inspired pizza with black bean salsa, fresh pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, green onion, and seasoned beef.  Served with shredded lettuce and a side of sour cream. Pretty much a taco on homemade pizza crust! Yum!

If you don’t live in Minnesota and can’t make it to a Pizza Luce, you should at least take a look at their menu for some fun homemade pizza topping combinations! I can’t wait to make a baked potato pizza!

Roasted Tomato and Pasta Soup

4 Dec

Roasted Tomato and Pasta Soup

1 pound ripe Italian plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered lengthwise

1 large red onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/4 quarts vegetable stock

A good pinch of sugar

1 cup small pasta shapes

fresh basil leaves, to garnish


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread out the tomatoes, red pepper, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are soft and charred, turning them halfway through cooking.

Tip the vegetables into a food processor. Add about 1 cup of the stock. Process until pureed. Scrape into a strainer placed over a large saucepan and press the puree through into the pan.

Add the remaining stock, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer for seven to eight minutes, or according to the directions on the package until al dente.
Serve hot in warm soup bowls, garnished with fresh basil.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Toffee Cookies

2 Dec

Some days I’m just in the mood for a big, huge, ginormous scoop of cookie dough! And Wednesday was one of those days! The only problem was deciding what kind to make. Kind of felt like peanut butter. Toffee sounded good. And the bag of mini chocolate chips was calling my name. Couldn’t pick just one, so I just threw ’em all in a bowl!

I’m a little surprised that I had some dough left to actually bake some cookies! But I’m sure glad I saved a little! The dough was good, but the cookies are even better!

Crispy on the outside! Soft and chewy on the inside! And a little sprinkle of sugar on top!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, and Toffee Cookies

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup toffee bits

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar. Add milk and vanilla. Add egg and mix just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in toffee bits and mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for two to three hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into one inch ball. Place on cookie sheet about two inches apart. Bake for four minutes. Remove from oven. Slightly flatten each cookie with the bottom of a drinking glass. Sprinkle with sugar. Return to the oven for an additional four to five minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire cooling racks.

Apple Pancake Rings

23 Nov

A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s house meeting her stinkin’ cute little baby boy! We were chatting, laughing, and just plain old catchin’ up while I was snuggling the little one. The TV was on in the background, but neither one of us were paying much attention to it. That is, until I heard the word “pancake!” Immediately my ears perked up and my eyes were glued to the television. And then they mentioned “apple,” which is another one of my love childs (I eat one nearly every day!) Put the two together– apples and pancakes– and I suddenly have a new obsession!

They look like normal, ordinary pancakes, don’t they? And where are the apples I speak of?!?

There they are! In the middle! Coated in delicious pancake batter that is jazzed up with a little pumpkin pie spice and lemon zest!

I’m serious when I say obsession. Eat them three days in a row kind of obsession. And even made a special trip to the grocery store just for apples. Didn’t buy a single thing other than apples!

In the midst of this obsession, I tried the pancakes with three different kinds of apples! And Gala definitely won the contest! It’s a slightly softer apple. Which just seems like a better match to the fluffy pancakes.


Apple Pancake Rings (Featured on The Chew)

1 cup Bisquick baking mix

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 medium apples, pared and cored


Beat baking mix, egg, and milk with rotary beater until smooth. Add pumpkin pie spice and lemon zest to batter and mix until incorporated.

Core and cut apples crosswise into 1/8″ slices.

Using a toothpick or knife, dip apple slices into the batter. Place on a greased griddle. Cook on medium-hot griddle until golden brown. Serve hot with syrup or cinnamon and sugar.


*I did also try making these using a just-add-water pancake mix and they were just as delicious. But I did still add in the pumpkin pie spice and lemon zest.


Healthy Eats: Florida’s Natural Organic Nuggets

15 Nov

Every time I go to the cupboard for a snack I seem to grab carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Cheez-its, pretzels, wheat thins, chex mix, chips. I could go on forever, but you get the idea. Its easy to open the bag, grab a handful, and be on my way.

I’ve tried having grapes, carrots, and strawberries on the top shelf of my fridge. Purposefully positioning them front and center so I see them first when I open the fridge door. Doesn’t work for me. I open the fridge, stare at the healthy choices, close the door, and go straight to the cupboard. Epic fail!

So there is only one choice, gotta start stocking the cupboard with only healthy snack options! Away with all of the carb-loaded snack options!

These little guys have become a snack-staple! Gotta have a box of them in the cupboard at ALL times!

First of all, they are distributed by AU’SOME INC!! Love it!!

And the first ingredient actually is fruit! Granted it’s from concentrate, but none the less, it’s fruit!

And they have a couple of other things going for ’em…no preservatives or artificial sweeteners! I feel like everything these days is loaded with both of these. ICK! But this snack is au-naturale!

And the best part of all, only fifty calories!! A snack I don’t even have to feel guilty about eating! And only 4% of my daily carbs!

And they really are little nuggets! They weren’t lying! Tiny little pieces that are  soft, chewy, and bursting with flavor!


Honey Oat Granola Bars

10 Nov

Buh-bye Quaker! Hello home-made granola bars! Mmmm! So soft and chewy!

No more artificial preservatives or fake sweeteners for me! The real-thing is so much better!

And the combination options are endless! Next on the chopping block is craisins and white chocolate chips!


Honey Oat Granola Bars

4 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped salted peanuts

1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup sunflower kernels

3/4 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, peanuts, chocolate chips and sunflower kernels. Stir in the butter, honey, and vanilla extract until well combined. Mixture will still be crumbly. Press into a greased-parchment paper lined 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Cool for fifteen minutes on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.

I keep mine stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The cold helps them keep their shape and from sticking together.