Category Archives: burgers

Amazin’ Asian Ahi Tuna Burgers

I’ve got to start this post off with a little ‘woo-is’ me/feel sorry for me story! Let me first state that the first line of this recipe says “You MUST have fresh ahi for these burgers. DON’T cut corners and attempt to make these with the frozen stuff.” I might have taken this a little too literally! Being new to Southern California, I still don’t know where to get certain items, or where any specialty stores are. Sometimes I don’t even know what to search for in my GPS to find said items/stores. This was no exception! I searched google for fresh fish markets near me. First place that came up was less than a mile away and called something like “Fish Market”. SCORE! Or so I thought, it was non-existent! This used to happen to me all the time with my old GPS, but the new one has never been wrong! This place was just not there! After 2 hours of driving around, following directions and 4 stores later I came up with absolutely SQUAT!  Seriously, I was so annoyed and ready to give up! This is not how I wanted to spend my morning! I finally just said to h.e.double.hockey.sticks with it and was gonna buy the frozen stuff. I just didn’t care anymore! So I went to Ralph’s. I’m looking at the frozen fish right next to the fish/meat counter and saw frozen ahi. A little spendy but why the heck not? Just for shits and giggles I look at the fish counter. What did I find you ask? Oh, fresh ahi tuna! (Well it was from Indonesia but at least it wasn’t currently frozen) Son of a B! I finally calmed down, grabbed what I needed and headed out of dodge to my apartment (1/2 mile away btw. ha) What happens next? Some jack-ass son of a bitch mo-fo rams the back of my car with his! You have got to be kidding me! Luckily nothing and no one was hurt, and we went on our merry ways. This got my blood pumping though and I was aggravated beyond believe. Now that you feel sorry for me and feel the need to cheer me up with gifts, let me digress into the actual recipe:

THE RECIPE:

Amazin’ Asian Ahi Tuna Burgers

PER SERVING (1 burger) 246 calories, 2.5g fat, 734mg sodium, 26.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 3.5g sugar, 33g protein

(Side note: Who else is excited about the new Weight Watchers? I am I am! This recipe used to be 5 points now its 6, seems like a bad thing but really, it’s not! It’s such a good thing it’s ridiculous!)

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise (hate this stuff but decided to buy it and try it anyways, I’m such a good sport)

2 tsps. wasabi, or less for a milder taste (hell with that, give me spicy spicy!)

1 pound fresh raw ahi/yellowfin tuna, finely chopped

1 extra-large egg white or 3 tbls. liquid egg whites (I cut this entire recipe in half because it makes 4 and it’s just me and the boyfriend. For this item though I should have used 1 1/2 tbls. of egg whites, I used about 1/2 tbls. If you remember the Tremendous Top Shelf Turkey Burger, you’ll  know why I did that!)

3 scallions, chopped

1 1/2 tbls. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce

2 tsp. ground ginger (ginger really isn’t my favorite spice. It’s just so over-powering, I used a few dashes, didn’t want to go overboard! I love fresh ginger btw, just not so much the dried/ground variety!)

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Dash black pepper

4 small light hamburger buns, about 80 calories or less each.  (I couldn’t find these little buggers, so I went with some sandwich thins. Good enough at 100 calories each, at this point in my grocery shopping trip I just didn’t give a hoot!)

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:

In a small bowl, combine mayo and wasabi. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine tuna, egg white, scallions, soy sauce, ginger, mustard and pepper. Mix well. Using your hands, shape mixture into 4 patties, each approximately 4 inches wide. (Seriously, I can’t measure that way! I use the “hope they are all even method” and cross my fingers!)

 

The tuna before I took out my frustrations on it with my favorite knife! (No the two pieces weren't really that different in color, I think the flash hit one more than the other one! Couldn't even correct that in Photoshop.)

Ah, I feel so much calmer now! Chopped up the tuna into small "ground" up pieces.

 

Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and bring to a medium-high heat. Place patties n the pan and cook until golden on the outside and medium-rare on the inside, about 2 minutes per side. Be sure to flip them gently! (Not a problem for me, I didn’t overload them with egg “binders” LOL!)

 

Looks like it could be a turkey burger huh? Nice!

Place each patty on the bottom half of a bun. Top each evenly with mayo-wasabi mixture. Finish each one with cucumber slices and top bun half!

 

An open-faced view!!

Would you like fries with that? (Oh, I so did!) Served them with some roasted sweet potato wedges (aka fries!)

 

Makes 4 servings.

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Sushi, on a bun! Nice!

Mike’s first bite reaction: (I wasn’t paying attention when I finally noticed he had taken a few bites and then moved over to the “fries”. I asked what he thought) “I like the sweet potato fries,” then I grilled him about the burger. He didn’t like it at all! Had too much wasabi, too many cucumbers and reminded him of sushi! I’m such a bad girlfriend! I forgot that he doesn’t really like sushi! MY BAD! He’s more of a california roll type of sushi person (crab and avocado) where I’m more of a sashimi person (raw slabs of fish). I’m such a ditz, felt bad and gave him my fries. Ugh lol!

(Now I want some Sweet Potato fries!)

Taste: If you love sushi, you will love this recipe! If you only sorta kind of like sushi you might want to make sure someone who loves sushi is around to eat it incase you don’t like it (and so it doesn’t go to waste) if you don’t like sushi at all (or only prefer the american variety of sushi aka california rolls) do not even attempt to look at this! 🙂 It has all the right components, fish, wasabi, soy sauce, ginger. I thought it was great! I’d make it again (if it wasn’t such a pain to find the right fish) and gobble up the leftovers too!

Texture: By not adding very much egg whites it was perfect. Held together well and had a nice bite to it! If adding the right amount of egg whites be prepared for a soggy/sloppy mess! Or at least that’s what I think! I don’t understand adding eggs to burgers.

Creativity: Absolutely bloody brilliant! When I looked at the ingredients I really didn’t put two and two together. It sounded like it was going to be a simple tuna burger with wasabi. It wasn’t until I was putting it all together did I think “Duh, Sushi!” I was impressed!

Satisfaction: I wish I would have eaten my sweet potato fries. I was still a little hungry afterwards. Instead I drank a big glass of water and pouted a little. But I guess I didn’t have to give him my fries! Regardless, it was worth the points and calories for sure!

How do you like your sushi?

Where in Southern California can I find a fresh fish market?

Who else is thrilled about the new Weight Watchers?

(I know too many questions!)

Quick tidbit: As stated in my last post I think I’m gonna have to hold off doing all these recipes so quickly. Some of the Weight Watcher points are just a bit high! Plus having to buy more fruits and veggies is getting more and more expensive! I will try to do at least 2-3 a week, but no longer 7 days a week. (Sorry) The reason I wanted to even start doing this blog/cookbook was to try new foods and eat new things! I tend to get myself stuck in ruts and eat the same thing everyday (In result, not lose weight) and so far, that’s what I’ve accomplished! However, my pocket-book has gotten a bit too small trying to keep up at this pace! Until next time!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under burgers, chinese food inspired, dinner, tuna, vegetarian

Bowling For Pizza

You know what the best thing about this recipe is? (Besides the fact that it’s yet another pizza recipe) It’s that it’s so cleverly named that I almost didn’t get it! HA! (ok, maybe it’s not the best thing about it, but it made me smile!) Seriously though, I read the title and ingredient list and still just didn’t get it! Why are we bowling for pizza? What does this have to do with pizza? What does this have to do with bowling?  I think it took me about 5 minutes to “get” it! Pizza (ingredients) in a bowl……………

Get it?

THE RECIPE:

Bowling For Pizza

PER SERVING (entire bowl):284 calories, 7g fat, 1025mg sodium, 28.5g carbs, 9.25g fiber, 11g sugar, 30.5g protein

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 stick light string cheese

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup sliced green bell peppers (or a little red and yellow like I did)

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 Boca Original Meatless Burger, vegan, thawed and chopped

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be canned diced or fresh diced, I went with grape tomatoes, diced)

1 tsp. reduce-fat parmesan-style grated topping

8 slices turkey pepperoni, chopped

1 tbls. sliced black olives (I totally could have used more than just 1 tbls…………….)

Optional: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

If you like, season crushed tomatoes to taste with option ingredients. Set aside. Tear string cheese into shreds, roughly chop and set aside.

In a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, cook mushrooms, bell pepper and onion over medium heat until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. (I sliced my veggies pretty chunky so I cooked them for about 8-10 minutes to make sure they were done!)

The veggies! (Just downloaded a photoshop tool for my camera, doesn't this picture look amazing!)

Add chopped Boca patty, diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, and continue cooking until heated through, about 3 minutes.

It's a little red! Yum, tomatoes!

Transfer to a microwave-safe (or oven safe since I don’t have a microwave) bowl and immediately sprinkle with string cheese, grated topping, turkey pepperoni, and olives.

About to emerge into the oven! (or microwave, whatever!)

Microwave for about 30 seconds (or about 10 minutes in a 225 degree oven, I wish I would have preheated the oven to a higher temperature, this took forever with no microwave! ) Just long enough to heat and soften the cheese! Enjoy!

All stirred up, and ready to eat!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite review: Wow, it somehow tastes like a pizza! I’ve never put hamburger (or meatless hamburger) on a pizza before! This is amazing! (yeah, it was a long thought, I am capable of these things!)

Mike’s first bite review: I like it! (What a spazz!)

Taste: I didn’t miss the crust. I really felt like I was eating a pizza with a fork and in a bowl! It was a bit tomato-y but I love love love tomatoes! So this didn’t bother me in the slightest! Mike doesn’t love tomatoes like I do, so I was worried he wouldn’t love it, he said it was perfect! Not too many tomatoes, not too acidic, just like a pizza! Hells to the yes! (yeah, I just typed/said that! I’m sorry!)

Satisfaction: Its 5 weight watcher points! It had a lot of veggies, protein, cheese and tomatoes! I mistakenly served it with some steamed broccoli (because it’s just not dinner without something green!) and was STUFFED after eating all of this! In fact it’s been 3 hours since eating this, and I’m still full! This is an amazing thing! I’m always hungry! A+, gold star and 5 out of 5 rating for satisfaction!

Creativity: Genius! First, a hamburger on/in a pizza! Would have never thought of this! Loved it! Out of all the pizza recipes this cookbook has delivered so far, this is my favorite and the most creative! It didn’t miss a beat, and made me happy!

Texture: When it comes to pizza, the crust is my favorite part! Yes I like the toppings, but I could care less about them at the same time! And I’m not really a bread person either, so I don’t think its a “carb thing” I really just like pizza crust! (When Mike is eating pizza, he eats all the way to the crust and I eat it,  normally he would throw it away! ) I was worried! But this “pizza” has sold me on crustless pizza! The meaty-ness of the Boca burger and the thick tomato-y sauce all over the “toppings” was a perfect match for my teeth! Not too much crunch, not mushy (like I expected) and just all around great!

Would Mike make this himself: eh, probably not he said! Would he eat it again if I made it? Yea, for sure!

What’s your favorite part of a pizza?

2 Comments

Filed under burgers, cheese, meatless, pizza, vegetarian

Outside-In Cheeseburger Patty

Another burger! Hungry-Girl really gets me! What’s more comfort food then a cheeseburger? (besides turkey that is) Grilled beefy goodness with gooey cheesy heaven on top! Throw it on a bun, eat it wrapped in lettuce or all by itself, burgers have a very soft spot in my heart! (I even like veggie burgers, tuna burgers, black bean burgers, turkey burgers….etc) This recipe however won’t send you into a fast food greasy coma or expand your waist line to extremes!

This recipe calls for The Laughing Cow light cheese wedge. If you love cheese but also love your skinny jeans, you have got to check this stuff out (if you haven’t already) it comes in many of great flavors (new flavors just hit supermarket shelves a few months ago like blue cheese, queso fresco & chipotle….and a few more) my favorite is the garlic and herb variety.

After yesterdays “I’m so excited to try this recipe, but it turned out gross” issues, I tried not to get too excited about this one. Even though it involved burgers and The Laughing Cow cheese! I had to control my excitement!

THE RECIPE:

Outside-In Cheeseburger Patty

PER SERVING (entire recipe) 179 calories, 6.5g fat, 502mg sodium, 1.5g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 26.5g  protein

Wow, look at the impressive protein stats!

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces raw extra-lean ground beef

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

dash salt, more to taste

dash black pepper, more to taste

1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese (not gonna lie, I used the garlic and herb variety….don’t judge me)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients except cheese in a bowl. Add as much salt and pepper as you like. Knead mixture by hand until integrated.

Form into a ball and, using your thumb, make a large, hollow indentation in the ball (past the center but not all the way through). Fill the hole with cheese and squeeze the meat to seal, making sure no cheese is exposed. (ok, why am I just now reading this, I swear I skim stuff too much, I had cheese showing, oops!) Flatten slightly into a thick patty.

The hole in my meaty ball! (Wow, my hands look porky)

Stuffing the cheese into the hole! This was harder than it sounds, the mushy cheese is quite pliable. (Please ignore the black line at the bottom of the picture, it was hard to take a picture with a touch screen camera phone with one hand full of cheesy meat)

The formed patty! (see the cheese on the outside, oops!)

Bring skillet or grill pan (again, went with the skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-heat. Place patty in the skillet/grill pan, cover and cook for 4 to 7 minutes per side, depending on how well done you like your burger. Heads up: Don’t press on the patty with your spatula (your burger might ooze cheese!).

Serve however you like your burger….We like ours with ketchup and pickles between giant leaves of lettuce!

I like  mine between giant leaves of lettuce too, minus the ketchup and pickles. 🙂

Holy batman! Thats a friggin close up!

So what does it look like on the inside you ask?

After about 12 different trys, I think this one was the best shot!

Yeah, its a little on the rare side, deal with it mad cow haters! Ha! (and no those are not my hairy fingers, haha!)

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Mmmm, I like cheese!

Mike’s first bite reaction: A hamburger with cheese, it’s good!

This was a success and so utterly easy! Nothing too complicated, no fancy knife skills involved and such comfort food appeal! Score!

Creativity: I really liked that after cooking it looked like an innocent looking burger. Then you take a bite and BAM, there’s cheese in your mouth! And it melds so well with the burger its like it was meant to be there! Yes, you could have just put the cheese on top of the cooked patty but hell, that’s no fun! The fun makes you feel like you cheated, but you didn’t!

Texture: Pretty straight forward burger patty, nothing too complex to delve into here. The cheese inside didn’t change the texture a ton, it really worked well!

Taste: A little bummed that the Worcestershire didn’t stand out more (seeing as how this was the only thing I had to pick up at the store to make this) but Mike said he could tell it was there! (In all honesty, I was freakin’ fammished by the time I got around to eating this and almost inhaled it, I guess I could have paid a bit more attention) Overall, I loved it! Cheese & beef, yum!

Satisfaction: So completely and utterly worth the 4 weight watcher points! I don’t honestly eat a lot of red meat (red meat takes your body 72 hours to digest, just knowing that makes me cringe a little) but I do love it! I keep going back to what Mike said about the peanut butter and peanuts, tonight I felt like i ate a cup of peanuts and crunched on them for days! (btw, the whole article is great, the peanut butter thing is under the “touch” category.) In other words, I was so happy with this and (even being completely starving before consuming) I was extremely full after eating this burger with some veggies and a few potatoes (aka, same as yesterday, yeah I was being creatively boring)

What kind of comfort food makes you feel this happy?

1 Comment

Filed under beefy and cheesy, burgers, cheese, dinner

Tremednous Top-Shelf Turkey Burgers

Let’s talk about turkey! I love love love me some turkey! If I could have thanksgiving turkey 365 days a year I would be so happy! I would also be really fat (because I’d probably eat a whole turkey every day) I really cannot say enough about turkey! Its full of protein, it’s generally pretty lean, it tastes better than chicken (yup, I said it!) it reminds me of happy holiday times, and all around I just cannot get enough of it! I think I eat some form of it at least 3-4 times a week. Usually in the ground lean form in turkey burgers! That’s why I was so excited about this next recipe!

MMMMMM........turkey!

When it comes to whole turkeys, I prefer the white meat over dark! I like the fact that it’s drier than the dark meat (I know, that’s kind of weird) and I like the slightly different flavor.  When talking about ground turkey (my go-to variety) I don’t really like the extra lean breast meat, I think its way too dry and ever so slightly tasteless! Yes, it has way less fat than the “lean” ground turkey (which I assume is a mix of white and dark, but I’m not really sure) but as “they” (who “they” is I can’t really say) fat is flavor! And when cooking at high heats for a shorter amount of time that fat helps a whole lot!

So, with the last recipe Pizza Luau Mike got a  guilt-free version of his favorite food, PIZZA! When I flipped the page in the book and saw this recipe I was stoked! TURKEY!

THE RECIPE:

Tremendous Top-Shelf Turkey Burger

PER SERVING (entire recipe) 184 calories, 6.5g fat, 502mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugar, 20.5 protein

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 slice light white bread (again, I used whole wheat)

3 ounces raw lean ground turkey

1/4 cup finely chopped mushrooms

3 tbls. finely chopped onion

1 tbls. fat-free liquid egg substitute

1/2 tbls. finely chopped parsley

1/2 tbls. Dijonnaise (apparently Hellmann’s Dijonnaise is only sold on the east coast, I live on the west coast, I just used Dijon Mustard)

1/2 tbls. ketchup

1/4 tsp. crushed garlic (I didn’t actually measure this one, is there really ever too much garlic)

dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:

Place bread in blender or food processor (magic bullet works just as well) and pulse until you have soft, fluffy breadcrumbs. (FYI, don’t try to use your magic bullet or food processor to chop the mushrooms and onions, they just turn to mush!)

 

My finely chopped mushrooms courtesy of my favorite kitchen aid pink knife! (I was kind of proud of my knife skills here, had to take a picture)

 

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs will all other ingredients, and kneed by hand until integrated. Form into a nice, big patty about 3/4-inch thick.

 

All the ingredients, in a bowl! (No, you don't have to make your bowl look like this all separated and "pretty", I just thought it looked cool!)

 

 

Look how big they are! Same size as my hand! (there is a burger under my hand btw! 3 ounces of turkey meat turns into 6 ounce turkey burgers, Woot! Woot! )

 

Bring a skillet or a grill pan (I used a big skillet) sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Place patty in the skillet pan, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until patty is cooked through. (psst…flip carefully)

Serve on a plate, on a bun, over lettuce…..whatever!

 

I served it with lettuce as a "bun" along side a big old portion of steamed veggies and a few tri-colored roasted mini potatoes. (notice how half the patty is hiding under the lettuce? that's because when i flipped it, it kind of fell apart....oops!)

 

Let me remind you, I was so excited to try this recipe!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite review: Uh, let’s try it without the lettuce “bun” might be better.

Mike’s first bite review: I like it better the other way! (The other way being my own personal recipe for turkey burgers, more on that later possibly)

Creativity: Eh, good way to add some veggies into the mix. I was kind of intrigued by adding the ketchup and mustard to it instead of on it! Overall (only because I am biased by my own recipe) creativity gets a 3 out of 5.

Texture: God awful! It did not represent the consistency of a burger at all! It reminded me of a really really bad meatloaf! Mike said the texture was more like what he thought cat food would be like! Or spam! It fell apart and kind of flopped if you didn’t grab the whole thing with two hands! Not a good sign! Rating: big old goose egg! (zero)

Taste: Mediocre, I couldn’t actually tell it was turkey, it was masked too much by the “filler” of bread and veggies. I couldn’t taste the Dijon or the ketchup which I was kind of excited about! Nothing stood out, it was just “blah”. Mike said he choked it down so fast he didn’t really taste it! (not a good thing since he usually eats overly dramatically slow and chews every last bite of everything until its gone, weirdo!)

Satisfaction: 4 weight watcher points down the drain! I was so unhappy with this I was actually still hungry (even after eating all the veggies and potatoes) if my brain is unhappy so is my stomach! Funny how that works! Mike said he was reading an article about satisfaction, were groups of people were given 1/4 cup of peanut butter and a 1/4 cup of peanuts. The people who ate the peanuts (not the peanut butter) were more satisfied and full because of the crunchy texture and constant chewing, even though the calories were close to the same! This burger left me feeling like I ate a 1/4 cup of crappy peanut butter!

The questions I grill Mike with after each recipe:

Would he make it himself: “Hell no!” Would he eat it if I made it again: “I would request you never make that again”

So, needless to say, they all can’t be winners! This one (to us) was most definitely a bust! I don’t understand adding bread and egg to a burger! I remember as a kid my mom would always add egg and it didn’t make any sense to me! Ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken, pork whatever) generally has enough fat and connective tissue to stick together very nicely and doesn’t need a “binder” to hold it together! As for the adding the bread, I just don’t get it! It doesn’t make the burger any bigger (the veggies do that) it doesn’t add any flavor, it just makes it “funky”.

I hate to be such a downer on this recipe because you might like it! I just honestly could not get past the texture and it ruined it for me! Hopefully the next recipe will get my spirits back up! It’s another burger, and it doesn’t have any filler! It should be a winner!

Do you add egg or bread to your burgers? Why!?!?

1 Comment

Filed under burgers, dinner, turkey