Friday, May 29, 2009

May week #4 - Let the Summer Grilling Begin!

Turkey Burgers
1 pound ground turkey, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon dried minced onion, 1 egg, 1/2 cup crushed crackers
*Preheat grill on high. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, using your clean hands. Form into 4 patties. Place patties on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until well done. Serves: 4.
*Any type of cracker will work, although cheese flavored crackers will make these burgers memorable.

Ranch Burgers
2 pounds ground beef, 1 egg - slightly beaten, 3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers, 1 onion - finely chopped, 1 package dry ranch dressing mix.
*Preheat grill on high. Place all ingredients into a bowl, mix well and form into 8 hamburger patties. Place patties on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Serves: 8.

Italian Burgers
1 pound ground beef, 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup steak sauce (like A-1), 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
*Preheat grill on high. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Form 4 patties. Grill about 5 minutes each side, or until cooked as desired. Baste with additional steak sauce if desired. Serves: 4.

Blue Cheese Burgers
3 pounds ground beef, 4 ounces blue cheese - crumbled, 1/2 cup fresh chives - minced, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard,
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
*Preheat grill on high. Form mixture into 12 patties. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Serves: 12.

**Recipes found on the Everyday Cheapskate newsletter

Monday, May 4, 2009

May week 1 - Quick & Healthy Tip of the Month

Stocking and organizing your pantry should be part of your spring-cleaning. So that you can easily find what you want, keep like things together such as spices, seasonings and extracts; cereals; pastas, rice and beans; canned meats; canned soups; baking products; puddings and gelatins; dressings, jams and vinegar; canned vegetables and sauces; canned fruits; fruit and vegetable juices.

A well-stocked pantry will save you time and money because you'll have foods on hand to put together a meal in a moment's notice. This will prevent needless trips to the grocery store or restaurant.

This healthy tip is provided by Quick & Healthy cookbook author, © Brenda J. Ponichtera, RD, ScaleDown Publishing, Inc.;; All rights reserved. Visit for more recipes, menus and healthy tips.

May week 1 - Mexican Food for the Health-Conscious

You might be surprised to learn that Mexican food can be quick and healthy. Here are two recipes to create one delicious meal: Baked Chimichangas with Spanish Yogurt Sauce. Round it out with a salad or fresh fruit for a dinner that is easy to prepare and will be enjoyed by all ages. You don't even have to tell the family how healthy it is!In fact, we believe that you will enjoy this meal so much that you should consider doubling the recipe and freezing leftovers for lunch or another dinner.

Chicken Chimichangas
4 (8-inch) or 8 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups cooked and cubed chicken
3/4 cup salsa, thick and chunky, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated, reduced-fat cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Spanish Yogurt Sauce (optional, recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Mix chicken, 3/4 cup salsa and cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside. Warm tortillas until pliable, about 5 seconds each in the microwave or in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Wet one side of tortilla with a small amount of water and place wet side down. Spoon filling ingredients onto dry side of tortilla. Fold tortilla around filling and lay chimichanga, seam side down, on baking dish. Repeat for each tortilla. Bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with Spanish Yogurt Sauce if desired.

Serves: 4.VARIATIONS: To make beef, pork, or turkey chimichangas, substitute ground or diced beef, pork, or turkey for chicken.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Carb Servings: 2Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat Nutrient Analysis: calories 260, total fat 5g, saturated fat 2g, cholesterol 50mg, sodium 544mg, total carbohydrate 27g, dietary fiber 2g, sugars 5g, protein 24g

Spanish Yogurt Sauce
This goes well with Mexican food, over baked fish or over sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

1 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 cup salsa, thick and chunky
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Mix yogurt, salsa, parsley, cilantro and cumin together in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving.

Makes 1 1/2 cups. Serves: 6.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: One serving equals 1/4 cup
Carb Servings: 0Exchanges: 1 vegetable Nutrient Analysis: calories 27, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 1mg, sodium 129mg, total carbohydrate 4g, dietary fiber 0g, sugars 4g, protein 2g

*Recipe found on Everyday Cheapskate newsletter. Source for both recipes: Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas, 3rd Edition, © 2008 Brenda J. Ponichtera, R.D.