Healthy, Recipes

Southwest Salmon Burgers with a Chipotle Drizzle

These Salmon burgers are so deliciously satisfying plus a light and healthy alternative to a regular burger. Each bite is hearty and juicy bursting with southwest flavors and topped with a creamy Chipotle sauce that takes it to Rockstar status. 

Here’s what to know about making this salmon burger recipe:

Fresh Salmon… I like to use fresh salmon but you can use canned too. 

A food processor is handy, but a knife works too! 

Refrigerate before cooking. Firming the burgers for 15 minutes does wonders for the texture.

Pan fry for 5 minutes per side. 

They will come out lightly crispy on the outside and browned to perfection.

Once you’ve cooked up your salmon burger, pair it with this tasty and delicious Chipotle drizzle for maximum deliciousness!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ pounds salmon, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup green onion chopped
  • ½ cup fresh corn
  • ½ cup zucchini, diced fine or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon water

Chipotle Drizzle

  • ½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, (*see vegan note)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, (Sir Kensington’s is best here)
  • 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, using your hands combine the salmon, green onion, corn, zucchini, garlic, cilantro and ½ of the black beans.

In a food processor combine the remaining black beans, avocado, lime juice and pulse well. Add egg and the spices, pulse until blended.

Add the mix to the salmon mixture and stir well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 

Heat a large pan with a small amount of oil. 

Fry patties over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve over salad or with a bun!

Don’t forget the Chipotle drizzle!

Chipotle Drizzle

In a food processor, place the yogurt, mayo, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and generous pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Store in a small jar in the fridge, or in a squirt bottle for easy use.

Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Pasta, Recipes

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

This pasta bake recipe features the classic flavors of Spinach Artichoke Dip

Do you love Spinach and Artichoke Dip? I totally do! So I figured why not turn it into an easy pasta dish! It’s simple to make and delicious – just toss the pasta with the thick, creamy spinach & artichoke sauce and top with panko and Parmesan mixture. After 25 minutes of bake time, you’ll have a flavorful yummy dish that is sure to please your entire family!

Pasta bake recipes are perfect to make ahead! You can totally add some chicken to this bake to make this into a more filling meal, or leave it out. Completely your choice.

Looking to make this even easier? Just buy a container of Spinach Artichoke dip, stir in with the cooked pasta and bake.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8  ounces medium pasta shells
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼  teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 10  ounces fresh baby spinach, or frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2  cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 4  ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
  •  Black pepper
  • 4  ounces grated mozzarella (about 1 cup)

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Turn down to medium-high, and cook the pasta according to package instructions until 2 minutes short of al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and reserve.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the onion, garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the spinach little by little until wilted, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped artichokes.

Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. 

Stir in the Parmesan until melted. 

Remove from the heat then carefully stir in the cooked pasta, or transfer to a large bowl to mix together, if necessary. The liquid might appear wet and loose, but it will thicken up as it bakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a 2-quart casserole dish. 

In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the pasta dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and topping is lightly browned. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipes, Small Bites

MARGARITA GRILLED SHRIMP

These Margarita Grilled Shrimp Skewers are loaded with flavor and charred to perfection. If you like grilled shrimp, you are going to love this recipe! 

They can be served as an appetizer or turned into a meal, just serve over rice. 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish! This past weekend, I served them with mini taco shells, a spicy mango dipping sauce and a chili lime aioli.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon  cumin
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon tequila, optional
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Wedges of fresh lime, for squeezing over top of grilled shrimp

Chili Lime Aioli

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 2 2/12 tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 lime zest

Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

  • 1 Small Mango ,peeled and diced, about 3/4 C
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh cilantro ,chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Canned coconut milk 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate shrimp for 20-30 minutes.

Thread shrimp on skewers and grill 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from skewers and place in a serving bowl.

Chili Lime Aioli & Spicy Mango Dipping Sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl or in the blender. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

Serve shrimp on a platter with both dipping sauces.

Recipes

Bacon & Sweet Corn Grilled Pizza

Sweet grilled corn, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese mingle together on homemade pizza dough that’s grilled for maximum flavor and a perfect char.

This pizza is perfect for a Barbeque party!

INGREDIENTS 

1 recipe homemade pizza crust

2 ears sweet corn

2 tablespoons olive oil divided

4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled

2 clove garlic minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

½ teaspoon garlic salt

pepper

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or shredded

1 Jalapeno, seeds removed sliced

2 ounces Goat cheese crumbled

Parsely, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS 

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat.

Shuck the corn and remove and the silks are still left. Rub the corn with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on the grill. Cook, turning occasionally until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly, then remove the kernels from the cob.

In a pan over medium heat, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic. 

Sprinkle the cornmeal on a cutting board or pizza peel and turn the dough out onto the cornmeal and roll into a 14-inch circle. Brush the top with 1/2 of the olive oil and sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper. 

Place the crust olive oil side down on the grill and cook until puffed and browned.Flip and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil onto the dough, then sprinkle on the sauteed veggies, bacon, parsely, mozzarella, jalapeno slices and charred corn kernels.

Half way through the grilling, sprinkle on the goat cheese crumbles. 

Grill the pizza until the cheese has melted and the crust has a nice char. If the crust is cooking too fast, move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill.

Healthy, Recipes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon only takes 12 minutes in the oven before dinner is served! 

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is such a delicious and easy way to prepare salmon in the oven. It only takes 12 minutes at 400ºF to whip up this healthy dinner idea!

Salmon cooks up so fast, has a beautiful mild flavor without the fishy-ness, and is very easy to find at your local grocery store. You don’t need a whole lot of effort and time to make this salmon taste amazing.

Feel free to turn this into a one pan meal by adding some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, asparagus or even potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 5-oz. salmon filets

1.5 teaspoons lemon pepper

salt, to taste

2 lemon, sliced into wheels

Lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.

Next, prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.

Then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.

Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. And, season with salt to taste and place lemon wheels on top.

Bake at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through a

Healthy, Recipes

KETO-Friendly Cajun Parmesan Salmon

This Keto Cajun Parmesan Salmon Recipe is perfectly seasoned pan seared filets smothered in an unbelievably delicious honey lemon garlic sauce.

This Keto friendly meal takes only a few minutes of prep time and comes together in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. It’s the perfect low carb dinner for those hectic weeknights or even a gourmet weekend! Bonus points that it’s an one pan meal, so clean up is a snap.

I recommend getting a good piece of fresh wild caught salmon if you can. Frozen filets are fine too but they do tend to release that funny white liquid when they are cooked. It won’t affect the taste of your dinner, it just doesn’t look as pretty. I also recommend getting filets that are at least an inch in thickness, so that they cook more evenly and stay juicy and tender. 

I served my salmon over sauteed zucchini noodles to keep it low carb but you can always serve it over the pasta or rice. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (4-oz.) fillets salmon (preferably wild)
  • 2 tsp. Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun seasoning, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
  • Lemon slices, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
Season salmon with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning and pepper, then add to the skillet skin-side up. 

Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. 

Transfer to a plate.

Add butter and garlic to the skillet. 

When butter has melted, stir in broth, lemon juice, honey, remaining teaspoon Cajun seasoning, parsley, and Parmesan. Bring mixture to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium and add salmon back to skillet. 

Simmer until sauce has reduced and salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add lemon slices to the skillet and serve.

Recipes

Mango & Chicken Kabobs

These grilled mango and chicken kabobs are made with marinated chicken, mango, onions, red peppers, all threaded onto skewers and cooked to perfection. 

Chicken kabobs are a classic grilling option. This version includes a sweet and savory honey chile lime marinade and plenty of fresh mango. Serve your mango and chicken kabobs over ice or eat them straight off the kabob.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Kabobs

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chile Lime Seasoning 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Mango Kabobs 

  • 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion 
  • 2 sweet red peppers
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Juice of two limes
  • ½ tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • Cilantro, chopped for topping
  • Lime Slices 

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the honey, chile lime seasoning, chile lime seasoning, red pepper flakes, zest and juice of lime, rice vinegar and EVOO in a large bowl until combined. 

Add the chicken to the bowl. Toss to coat in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

In a large bowl, whisk honey lime juice, zest, garlic and EVOO until combined. Add the mango, red onion and peppers to the bowel and toss. 

Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat.

Thread the chicken and vegetables onto the skewers.

Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Sprinkle with cilantro and lime juice.

Recipes

Root beer Braised Short Ribs

This is slow-cooked in a root beer broth and is great with mashed sweet potatoes.

When it comes to short ribs, the secret is all in the sauce! We love beef short ribs so I am always trying to think of a new way to cook them. 

Each month, Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa features a new beef short rib recipe on their seasonal menu. I’m very lucky that I get to visit Bern’s often and I always have to try their seasonal beef short ribs. One month, they had Coca-Cola short ribs and they were delicious! So I thought why not recreate this recipe but use Root beer instead! This creative twist really enhances the meatiness of the ribs with a concentrated sweet and savory combination full of flavor. Of course the meat falls off the bone and goes perfectly with mashed sweet potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds short ribs, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-inch wedges 
  • 3 large celery stalks, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half crosswise
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups good-quality root beer

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper. In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil on high. In batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes total. If oil gets too dark during browning, pour off and add more oil (do not wipe pot clean). Transfer ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot.


Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, and star anise. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until onions soften, 5 minutes. Return ribs to pot and add broth and root beer. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover, and place the pot in the oven.


Cook until meat can be easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 3 hours. 

With a slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a large straight-sided skillet. 

Skim off and discard any fat from cooking liquid. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into skillet; discard solids. Boil over medium-high until liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Continue to cook, spooning liquid over meat occasionally, until ribs are glazed and sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipes

Chicken in White Wine Fennel Sauce

The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in a chicken wine broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.

Want to cook with wine? Always! Adding wine to a sauce makes it taste like it’s from a fancy restaurant…but it’s easy to make at home! The flavor is tangy from the wine and savory from the fennel rosemary, and garlic. It’s a perfect combination! 

Why cook with wine? Italian and French style recipes often call for white wine in the ingredient list. It’s used to deglaze the pan or add a complex, acidic flavor to dishes. It adds incredible complexity to risotto or pan sauces like this dish!

What wine to use for cooking? You can use any dry white wine for this recipe. You’ll want a crisp white wine that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness. A few types of white wine that are great for cooking are:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Pinot Gris

Making a white wine sauce is easier than you think! It might sound fancy. But it takes just 15 minutes to whip up with a short list of ingredients. 

So grab a bottle of your favorite dry white wine, pour yourself a glass and let’s get cooking!

The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine such as Scout & Cellar’s ETNICO PINOT NOIR. Elegant and bright with black cherry, pomegranate, herbs, and a hint of turned earth on a light-bodied frame with a lingering finish.

I served this dish with my creamy parmesan orzo.  

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • ½ cup canned low-sodium chicken broth  
  • ½ cup white wine, such as Scout & Cellar Gallivant Chardonnay
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh-ground black pepper and Salt to taste

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Remove chicken and set aside. We will finish cooking the chicken in the broth in the oven. 

Deglaze the pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of wine in the pan, scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula vigorously as the liquid comes to a boil. Do not let it boil for more than a few seconds and you make sure you’ve released all the particles from the pan. 

Add butter and melt. Add fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes, add the shallot and garlic, stir and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes.  

Add the wine and broth bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the pan and bake for 10 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 . 

Stir in the parsley.

Blogs, Pasta, Recipes

Creamy Spinach Orzo

I love orzo! I much rather have orzo than rice any day! 

Since orzo is so quick-cooking, it’s a perfect choice for a one-pot dinner. It cooks up fast in a simmering pot of broth and milk, and the starch from the pasta actually helps to thicken the creamy sauce. 

There’s little work required, besides stirring in a few big handfuls of baby spinach and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. This orzo is an amazing blank-canvas recipe, it’s easy to tweak, you can add cherry tomatoes, peppers, or even shredded chicken. Seriously the possibilities are endless! Get creative! 

You can serve this creamy orzo as either a light main dish or a side dish. We served it alongside my Lemon Parmesan Chicken but totally could have eaten it as the main dish- it’s that good! 

Lemon Parmesan Chicken with Creamy Spinach Orzo

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried orzo pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. 

Add the onion and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. 

Add the garlic and orzo, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed and has formed a creamy sauce, about 10 minutes. 

(If the orzo isn’t completely, you can add another splash or two of broth to the pot and continue to simmer until it has.)

Stir in the spinach and Parmesan until the spinach has just wilted and the cheese melts, about 1 minute. 

Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with additional cheese.