Salmon-Cilantro Burgers

We had a big post-parade meal for lunch of BBQ beef sandwiches, pasta salad, chips & cherry cobbler. I thought it might be nice to go a little lighter with dinner (and had thawed salmon that needed to be cooked). I minced up a package of salmon filets and mixed in some breadcrumbs, cilantro, green onions, a jalapeno pepper (shh – Mike didn’t know about this), some lime juice, salt & pepper. Made some patties and cooked ’em up! Then I put them on a bun with some lettuce, cucumber, and mayonnaise with a little more fresh, chopped cilantro and lime juice mixed in. Mike took one bite and said, “Did you take a picture of this?” And so a blog post was born!

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eMeals to the Rescue!

I hate making the grocery list every week. And deciding what to cook for dinner. So when I received an email offer from Groupon for 50% off the meal planning service emeals.com I jumped at it! Well, actually, I thought about it for a day-and-a-half and THEN jumped! Your menu depends on how many you’d like to cook for, if you have a special dietary needs, and which store you’ll be shopping at. Then every week you download 7 meal ideas complete with recipes and a grocery list! I even got a special menu for Father’s Day. Our 1st eMeal meal was tonight: Easy Stromboli. Pizza crust from the tube rolled out and topped with ham, mozzarella cheese & spinach, then rolled back up and baked for 35 minutes. Easy and good!

Steak Baguettes with Pesto Mayo

Cooking Light photo

To quote Mike after taking a bite of this sandwich, “Mmm. This is good” Really good!” It was. I used fresh instead of store-bought pesto made with basil from my garden and even used a yellow tomato that I had managed to grow, too! We also used romaine lettuce instead of arugula and kaiser rolls instead of a baguette. Once it’s not 100-degrees outside anymore, you should definitely try this one. Another favorite from Cooking Light which reminds me: I really need to send in my subscription renewal card.

While Daddy’s Away…

I bought “The Cookbook for Kids” by William Sonoma at the book fair at Audrey’s school a few months ago. Regrettably, I haven’t cooked anything in it…until last night. Mike’s away for a training/conference for the week so I told Audrey to pick a few recipes. The idea is that she would cook with me. Not this time. She DID eat everything, though! First up: Sloppy Joe’s. Of course I forgot to take a picture of them, but you all know what they look like, right? Plus, they’re on the cover of the book in the picture right here! When I told Audrey I never took a picture she suggested using an x-ray machine to snap an image of the food in her tummy. A good idea, but not very practical!

What You Need:
1 T olive oil
1 1/4 lb. ground beef or turkey
2 T. golden brown sugar
2 T dried minced onion (we left this out)
1 t. paprika
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste (left this out too)
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 t. red wine vinegar (again, this was not included)
Salt & black pepper
Hamburger buns, 4 split

1. First cook the filling: Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat. If you are using turkey, add the oil to the skillet to keep it from sticking. Add the meat and cook, using a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces, until evenly cookied, 8-10 minutes. (Ask an adult to help you pour off the fat if the mixture seems too greasy.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the brown sugar, onion, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cook, stirring, until blended, about 2 minutes.

2. Then add flavor: Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Stir until well mixed. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Finally serve the joes: Place a bun bottom, cut side up, on each of 4 plates. Spoon an equal amount of the meat mixture over the buns, then place the bun tops on top. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Southwestern Sloppy Joes

I was surprised at how good these were! Plus, if I hadn’t opted for oven baked fries as the side, dinner would have been ready in 15 minutes! You really should try them. And don’t forget the coleslaw on top! They’re a nice change from traditional sloppy joes made with ground beef and a bottle of chili sauce.

1/3 c. mayonnaise
3 T. honey
2 T. fresh lime juice
Salt & cayenne to taste
4 c. coleslaw mix
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1/2 c. onion, minced
1/2 c. ketchup
1/3 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 can diced green chiles (4.5 oz)
1 T. brown sugar
2 t. prepared yellow mustard
1 t. ground cumin
Salt to taste
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Whisk mayonnaise, honey, lime juice, salt and cayenne together. Toss with coleslaw mix and cilantro; chill.

Saute turkey and onion in oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, corn, green chiles, brown sugar, mustard, cumin and salt; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into each of the 4 bottom buns. To serve, spoon slaw onto each sandwich and top with a toasted top bun.

Mozzarella, Ham & Basil Panini

photo courtesy "Cooking Light"

My foodie friend, Jayne, gave me her latest issue of Cooking Light after she was done reading it. She gave it to me because we both are interested in pressure cooker recipes – which this had a whole section on. Neither of us have a pressure cookers but I’ve watched lots of infomercials about them. They intrigue and scare me. Anyway, in this issue was a recipe/tip section for healthy food in a hurry. The Mozzarella, Ham & Basil Panini was “Favorite 20-Minute Recipe #9. The picture in the magazine is MUCH better than the one I copied from their website. No, it’s not my picture. If someone has already gone through the trouble of taking a picture, why should I?

In any case, I digress. This panini was super good (and finally gave me the opportunity to use the Cuisinart Griddler I got for Christmas a few years ago as a panini press)! I also think it’s funny how the loaf of ciabatta bread I got is exactly the same size as as my panini press. I’m thinking it’s not just a coincidence. Yes, I did cut it into 6 wedges as the recipe suggested, but then ate 1 1/2 pieces so I guess it was cooking light, but not EATING light. Too bad. I had a crappy day.