Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers – 140

Last night was one of thoseΒ  “I can’t decide what I want for dinner” nights. My son, Josh, was visiting so I asked him to decide (this way I don’t have to πŸ˜‰ ). He said “How about burgers, maybe stuffed with some kind of cheese”? Well…that sounded pretty good.

Of course, if you read my blogs very often, you’ll know that I don’t eat red meat so these burgers would be turkey burgers. I always use 99% fat free ground turkey which can be dry when fully cooked (who wants a rare turkey burger πŸ™ ), so I’m always trying out ideas to “kick them up a notch”. I looked in the fridge and found that I had fat-free feta, mozzarella, and cream cheese – a good start; then I noticed that I also had some roasted red peppers from our most recent trip to Whole Foods – that will do it! When the burgers were almost done, I realized that I was out of my favorite sandwich rounds that I usually use in place of buns; but I did have some Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Thin Sliced Bagels – that works!

My son loved them and my husband says they are the best turkey burgers he’s ever tasted….let me know what you all think!

Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers

 

4 -100% whole wheat thin sliced bagels
1/2 cup fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup low-fat mozzarella, shredded
2 Tablespoons fat-free cream cheese
1 medium roasted red pepper, cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon plain fat-free yogurt
1 – 1/4 lbs. 99% fat-free ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Place the feta, mozzarella, cream cheese, red pepper pieces and the yogurt into a food processor and process until well blended (you might need to add a little more yogurt to get it to all process smoothly). You want to end up with a thick mixture that holds together. Set aside in a small bowl. (This amount made more than I needed for the four burgers, so I set aside the rest of it and spread it on top of the cooked burgers.)

Place the ground turkey in a large bowl, add the garlic powder, onion flakes, basil and vinegar; blend well. Press the mixture into an even ball in the bottom of the bowl; score into four even sections. Take one section at a time and break that into two even pieces, form each piece into a flat patty and place onto a plate. Take a couple of spoons of the cheese filling and spread onto one patty; top with another patty and press the edges together well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the stuffed burgers and cook 4 – 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Top with some of the extra cheese mixture and serve on toasted bagel thins.

 

 


Pasta Sauce – 147

Last week a friend of mine posted a comment on facebook that she was cooking a big “gravy” (apparently that is Italian for “sauce”) complete with meatballs and sausage. This sounded pretty good to me, not too healthy ( πŸ™„ ), but good. Also, since I don’t eat beef or pork I would be leaving that out. I love all types of pasta (again as my friend pointed out – all pasta is actually “macaroni”) and a fresh homemade sauce sounded like dinner! Since I’m Irish/French and Eric is Italian/French and we’re both into eating healthy; this sauce was going to be a combo of Italian/French/Mediterranean/P90X. I prefer my sauce to be more “chuncky-saucy” and less “gravy” so my first step was to enlist my favorite prep cook to chop up some veggies. I also don’t add salt or products containing salt (whenever I can avoid it) to anything, so I am forced to use small cans of tomato sauce. It’s a pain and very wasteful. If anyone knows where I can get no-salt added tomato sauce in cans larger than 8 oz. I will give you a free copy of this cookbook when it’s finished!

Pasta Sauce

 

1 – 1/4 lbs. 99% fat-free ground turkey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground savory
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
4 – 8 oz. cans no-salt added tomato sauce
5 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, season with next 9 ingredients and saute until cooked through and nicely browned. In the meantime, in a very large skillet or dutch oven; heat the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and peppers; season with the next 4 ingredients. Saute until the peppers are tender crisp. Add the 4 cans of tomato sauce and 2 cans of the diced tomateos. Place the remaining 3 cans of tomatoes into a blender or food processor and puree them (if I could buy tomato puree with no salt I could eliminate this step). Add the tomato puree to the veggie mixture and blend. Once the turkey is done, add that to the tomato/veggie mixure and mix well. Turn heat to very low and simmer for as long as you can stand it (the smell will be making you crazy πŸ™‚ ). Cook up some whole wheat “macaroni” (pasta) of your choice and enjoy! This makes a TON of sauce, so for the next week or so I’m making Pizza’s, Lasagne, more pasta….yummy!

Buffalo Mac & Cheese – 150

The good news is that I am 1/4 of the way to my goal of 200 recipes in 400 days. The bad news is that I only have 206 days to accomplish it πŸ™ I will not be discouraged, I am going to keep going and (like Tony says in the P90X workouts) “Do my best and forget the rest”.

Another piece of good news is that I am now officially a “Foodbuzz” featured publisher! Take a look to the left of this post and you’ll see the badge. You can click on that link and see my profile on their website. There are also a ton of other food bloggers there who publish great recipes every day. I got the idea for this recipe from a fellow Foodbuzzer. I loved the idea of combining spicy buffalo chicken with a creamy mac & cheese. I simply needed to “healthy it up” a bit. It is still spicy, creamy, delicious and as comforting as any mac & cheese you’ve ever had πŸ˜‰

 

1 – 16 oz. pkg. of any whole wheat pasta (macaroni is the obvious choice, but any short cut pasta will do; I used rotini in the photo)
1 – lb. 99% fat-free ground turkey (or chicken)
1/3 cup Franks Red Hot wing sauce
2 Tablespoons Smart Balance Light
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1/3 cup shredded low-fat jalapeno cheddar cheese
2/3 cup fat-free cheddar cheese
1/3 cup low-fat blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup whole wheat dried bread crumbs (seasoned with 1 teaspoon chili powder)

Preheat oven to 350Β°

Saute the ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat until cooked through and lightly browned. Turn heat down to very low and add the wing sauce; mix well. While the turkey is browning, cook the pasta according to package directions (no salt) and drain. Put the pasta back into it’s pan and add the turkey mixture; cover and keep warm. In the same skillet, on medium low heat, melt the smart balance. Sprinkle in the flour and cook and until well incorporated. Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until the mixture is smooth. Add in the cheese (one cheese at a time and whisk well after each addition). Pour cheese sauce over the pasta/turkey, mix well and then pour into a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish that has been sprayed with fat-free cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top; cover and bake for 25 minutes; remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes (until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned).