The Perfect Burger

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I found this recipe several years ago on www.Food.com and it has been my "go to" burger recipe from then on out. The recipe is pretty basic without any flavor add-ins... just a juicy delicious burger. I have experimented with some of the suggested flavor add-ins and some of them are really tasty such as BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, cajun seasoning, sour cream, fresh herbs, diced jalapenos, sesame oil and more! If you decide to use any of them, don't forget to count them towards your condiments or healthy fats. Also, if you choose one of the healthy fats, you will have to choose a leaner ground beef. I used 93% lean ground beef, so no healthy fat is required.

Here is the original recipe, if you want to check out some of their flavor add-ins.


I think the important part to remember when making a great burger is to loosely make the patties. Handle the meat as little as possible. Don't keep squishing and patting the meat together. This helps make them juicier!

Also when grilling, do not press the burgers down with a spatula. My husband thinks he is the number one grill master and he does this all the time! I constantly have to tell him he is letting all the wonderful juices escape when he does that! One more thing... don't flip the burgers frequently; just one time only. Be kind to your burgers and they will turn out wonderful! I absolutely hate dry burgers! Don't you?


I made the basic recipe for my burgers, but I did top it off with a tablespoon of Guy's Smokey Garlic BBQ sauce. This is one of my favorite sugar free BBQ sauce that I get from www.Netrition.com. I use it a lot on grilled chicken or hamburgers. Guy's BBQ sauce comes in 4 flavors: Original, Smokey Bacon, Smokey Garlic and Spicy. I have tried all 4 and all of them are excellent!


A very close second is G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free Hickory BBQ sauce, which you can find at Wal-mart. They also come in 4 flavors: Maple Brown, Original, Hickory, and Honey. I have only tried 2 out of the 4 flavors which were Hickory and Maple Brown. The Hickory was pretty darn good, but their Maple Brown BBQ sauce? Blech... I had to toss it. It did not taste like Maple at all. I just didn't enjoy it and I won't be getting it again. Everyone has their own opinions and different taste buds so if you try it, let me know what you think of it!



The Perfect Burger
Slightly adapted from www.Food.com

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs 93% lean ground beef
1 egg
1 tsp prepared mustard (1/3 Condiment)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce (2 Condiments)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp onion powder (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp black pepper (1 Condiment)

Directions:
Lightly oil the grill and heat the grill to medium.
Whisk egg with next five ingredients in a medium bowl.
Crumble in beef and use your hands or a fork to gently mix together.
Handle the meat as little as possible. 
The more you work it, the tougher it gets.
Gently shape (don't firmly press) mixture into burgers about 3/4 inch thick.
Using your thumb, make a shallow depression in the center of each burger 
to prevent puffing up during cooking.
Place burgers on the grill and close the lid. 
Grill until no longer pink inside, turning once, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
An instant read thermometer should read 160 F.
Don't abuse your burger by pressing with a spatula, 
pricking with a fork, or turning frequently as precious juices will be lost!

4 Servings with 1 Lean and 1.5 Condiments per serving




Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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Salted Caramel Jicama Salad

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

With the coming New Year, comes New Year resolutions! One of the top resolutions made is to lose weight and get healthy.

It is a time when the gym starts to get busier... busier than usual
and we start watching what we eat.

I try my best to come up with new and exciting recipes so you guys don't get bored with the same old same old such as grilled chicken salad. Don't get me wrong... I love grilled chicken salad, but sometimes you need a little bit of variety. I could not stay on track if I had grilled chicken salad everyday.

So... 

I was craving a yummy sweet treat that would fit into the Medifast plan as a Lean and Green option. There  aren't too many of those, but I found one.

Jicama is juicy, crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet. It's flavor reminds me of chowing down a savory apple. I decided to try it in a fruit salad, although it isn't a fruit. It is actually a root veggie.

Anyways, I used to make a delicious caramel apple salad so I wanted to try it with jicama. It turned out delicious!


Look at that yummy goodness! Topped with roasted walnuts!


This dessert had all the yummy flavors of a caramel apple salad, but without the carbs.


Jicama is quickly becoming a favorite veggie of mine. Being only 25 calories and providing 3 grams of fiber per half cup, I think I am in love!

You do need to cut the tough brown skin off with a sharp knife. Don't use a vegetable peeler since the skin is thick and tough. You will get better and safer results using a chef knife.


Trim a slice off the top and the bottom so that the jicama is sitting on a flat surface. This makes it safer and sturdier for cutting away the skin. Once you remove the skin, chop the jicama into 1 inch pieces.


Put jicama in a medium sized bowl. Add plain Greek yogurt. I used Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt. The yogurt gives this it's creamy goodness!


Add vanilla extract to the mixture.


Then add ground cinnamon. I used Sinful Cinnamon Blend from Stacey Hawkins because it is made up of citrus peel and other warm spices. I absolutely love her seasoning blends! Check it out  HERE . Use coupon code BASS at checkout to get 10% off your order!


Add stevia or your favorite brand of sweetener. I like to use the packets of NuStevia which I get from Amazon. Click HERE for the link.


Add Walden Farms caramel syrup.


I only used 1 tbsp for the mixture but feel free to add more if you like.


Stir in roasted walnuts. Don't skip the toasting! Toasting really brings out the flavor of the nuts. It gives them a richer and deeper taste.


Pour the mixture into a small casserole dish. Drizzle with one more tbsp of caramel syrup and sprinkle toasted walnuts on top. 


Lastly, sprinkle coarse sea salt on top.

Enjoy this guilt free dessert!



Salted Caramel Jicama Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups raw jicama, peeled and chopped (6 Greens)
1 1/2 cups 2% plain Fage Greek yogurt (1 Lean)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (1 Condiment)
1 packet stevia (1 Condiment)
2 tbsp Walden Farms caramel syrup, divided (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (2 Condiment)
28 walnut halves (4 Snacks)

Directions:

How to taste walnut halves:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Spread walnut on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes. Frequently stir the nuts to ensure even baking. Nuts are done when they appear a shade darker and smell toasted. Let cool and then chop. Set aside.

Combine chopped jicama, yogurt, vanilla extract, cinnamon, stevia, 1 tbsp caramel syrup and half of the chopped walnuts in a medium bowl. Stir until jicama is evenly coated.

Pour into a serving dish. Drizzle 1 tbsp caramel syrup on top and then top with the other half of walnuts. Sprinkle sea salt on top.

Serve immediately.


4 Servings with 1/4 Leaner Lean, 1 1/2 Greens, 1.4 Condiments and 1 Snack per Serving


Click Here to Print


Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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Stacey Hawkins One Day Flavor Fix System

Now that the New Year is here, some of you have already started working on your resolutions!

I know I have!

If one of your New Year resolutions is to lose weight or have a healthier body, but you just don't know where to start... check out Stacey Hawkins One Day Flavor Fix Systems. There are three different systems to choose from depending on how many different seasonings, condiments, pantry staples and other products you want.

Click HERE if you would like to purchase. Use Coupon Code BASS to get 10% off your order!

The variety of flavors help make your meals taste better without forcing you to get bored of the same old seasonings. I remember when I first started cooking... many, many years ago :), I used to use ordinary salt, pepper, and garlic powder and that was it. Then I started playing around with other spices and seasonings and learned that you can come up with soooo many great tasting meals with just some added spice! Well... Stacey has already come up with delicious flavor combination so that you don't have to! Some of the flavor blends are Italian, Skinny Scampi, Southwestern, Ranch, Cinnamon Chipotle etc, depending on what type of system you choose.

With her guides, variety of products, and easy recipes... meal planning and prepping just got easier!

I absolutely love her products and I use them daily! If I didn't enjoy them, I wouldn't be using them in my recipes. I really love the variety of flavor combinations and how easy my meals come together when I don't have enough time, especially with two young boys!

What do you get with each system?

All of the systems include the Complete Kitchen Toolkit:

Quick Start Guide
Link to Welcome Video with personalized instruction and advice
Kitchen Basics Card
Menu Planner
Recipe Booklet with a dozen approved recipes
Basic Principles of Healthy Cooking Guide

and what each system includes is listed below!


Basic Flavor Fix System



This kit includes the Complete Kitchen Toolkit PLUS:

Spices and Seasonings:
Garlic Gusto
Citrus Dill
Viva Italiano
Sinful Cinnamon

Condiments and Pantry Staples:
Roasted Garlic Oil
Balsamic Mosto Cotto


Deluxe Flavor Fix System



This kit includes the Complete Kitchen Toolkit PLUS:

Spices and Seasonings:
Garlic Gusto
Citrus Dill
Viva Italiano
Sinful Cinnamon

plus
Tuscan Fantasy
Southwestern Seasoning
Skinny Scampi
Classic Chicken

Condiments and Pantry Staples:
Roasted Garlic Oil
Balsamic Mosto Cotto

plus
Luscious Lemon Oil

Bonus Materials:
Guide to the well-stocked pantry
Guide to the Well-stocked Fridge
Guide to the Well-Stocked Freezer
Stacey's signature how to guide "Low Carb Living and Loving it!


Ultimate Flavor Fix System



This kit includes the Complete Kitchen Toolkit PLUS:

Spices and Seasonings:
Garlic Gusto
Citrus Dill
Viva Italiano
Sinful Cinnamon
Tuscan Fantasy
Southwestern Seasoning
Skinny Scampi
Classic Chicken

plus
Cinnamon Chipotle
Garlic and Spring Onion
Dash of Desperation
Rockin Ranch

Condiments and Pantry Staples:
Roasted Garlic Oil
Balsamic Mosto Cotto

plus
Luscious Lemon Oil

Bonus Materials:
Guide to the well-stocked pantry
Guide to the Well-stocked Fridge
Guide to the Well-Stocked Freezer
Stacey's signature how to guide "Low Carb Living and Loving it!

plus
Stacey's signature booklet 
"From Bland to Wow - the secret to perfectly seasoned meals every time"


So if meal planning stresses you out and you are tired of eating the same old thing, give one of these systems a shot! Or take a look at some of her seasoning blends, flavored oils, cookbooks and other products. Stacey also has a  Lean and Green Low Carb Cookbook with 125 recipes discounted to $25 if you purchase it with one of the systems!

Check it out over HERE!

Don't forget to use Coupon Code BASS to get 10% off your order!


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Kabocha, Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is almost here! Less than a week away and one of the most important meal times for my family on Christmas day is breakfast! Of course, no one ever wants to wait for a delicious hearty breakfast on Christmas morning because there is too much excitement going on! That is why I usually  make a breakfast casserole. The preparation is done the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven while opening presents! 


This is my first time making a breakfast casserole with kabocha squash, but I loved how it turned out! Kabocha squash tastes similar to butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Now... I have made breakfast casseroles with sweet potatoes and white potatoes so I thought this squash would make a wonderful substitute for the higher carb laden potatoes. It makes a slightly sweet and savory casserole that my family enjoyed! That makes this mama happy!


I usually find kabocha squash at Trader Joes, but for some reason my Trader Joes no longer carried it. I finally found it at my local grocery store, Vons. They are also commonly found in Asian markets.


Take your kabocha squash and slice it in half. They have very tough skin and can be difficult to cut. Use a sharp knife and watch those fingers! Scoop out all the seeds and goop with a spoon and throw them away. Cut each half into wedges and then cut away the skin.


Cut the wedges into chunks so they can fit in the tube of your food processor. 

Preparing the kabocha squash is the hardest part in preparing the casserole. Well not hard, but time consuming. I wish they sold it already prepared in grocery stores! I know Trader Joes sells butternut squash already peeled and cut into chunks. I hope they will do the same to kabocha squash :)


Put the chunks of kabocha squash in a food processor with the shredding disc. You don't have to use a food processor but it makes it so much easier to grate and you save time! It would definitely be a great investment if you don't already have one!


Shredded kabocha squash! 

One whole kabocha squash is going to give you more than 2 1/2 cups needed for the recipe. You can freeze the chunks of leftover squash. Use them later to roast, throw them into stews or mash up as a substitute for mashed potatoes. They are so versatile!

Here is a link that explains how you can freeze them. Click HERE.


Layer the shredded kabocha squash in a prepared 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish. If you are going to cook it the next day, I would use one of those disposable foil pans instead of a glass dish because glass can break if you put it directly from the cold fridge to the hot oven.


Next, add the red bell peppers. You can actually use any veggies you like. I had some red peppers I wanted to get rid of so I used those. Feel free to add more veggies since you still have 2 more servings of veggies per serving to make up your full Lean and Green for the day. Mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, assorted peppers are all good options.


Then sprinkle Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles on top of the veggies. Use a food scale to measure out 6 ounces.


No thawing required. They will bake wonderfully into the casserole and give it the delicious flavor I remember from numerous Christmas breakfast casseroles.


Whisk a dozen eggs together.


Add your spices. I love sage because it has a sweet savory flavor that matches the flavor of this casserole. It pairs nicely with sausage and winter squash.


Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.


Sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese on top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!



Kabocha, Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups kabocha squash, shredded (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
6 ounces Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles (1 Lean)
12 eggs (4 Leans)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (1/2 Condiment)
1 tsp dried sage (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (1 Condiment)
1 cup 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1 Lean)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. If making this the night before, use a 9 x 13 inch disposable foil pan.

Cut the kabocha squash in half with a large sharp knife using a rocking motion. Scoop out the seeds and goop with a spoon. Not sure what to call it, so goop it is :)

Cut the squash halves into wedges. Remove the skin with a knife. 

Cut the wedges into large chunks so they can fit into the tube of the food processor and then shred. They don't have to be cut nicely because they are going to be shredded anyways. 

Measure out 2 1/2 cups of shredded kabocha squash and spread out along the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Sprinkle the diced red bell pepper over the kabocha squash.

Spread the Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles over the kabocha squash and peppers. No need to thaw the sausage.

Combine eggs, almond milk, sage, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.

If you are cooking it in the morning, cover with foil and place in the fridge.

Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. You may need additional baking time if it was in the fridge the night before. Allow to cool slightly. Divide into 6 equal portions.

Don't forget to add 2 more Greens per serving to complete your Lean and Green for the day! Enjoy!


6 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green, and 1 Condiment






Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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Zucchini "Noodles" with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Friday, December 2, 2016

I was craving a quick and easy noodle salad and this recipe fit the bill! Nowadays... I do not eat pasta so my noodle salad wasn't made up of noodles at all, but it was still incredibly delicious! I used spiralized zucchini in this dish. I have used spiralized yellow squash, spaghetti squash or even cabbage as my pasta. All of them would have worked for this dish, but zucchini is what I had on hand. 


Trust me when I say this... I did not miss the pasta at all. I loved the crunchiness and freshness of the veggies and there was tons of spicy Asian flavor coming from the sesame peanut sauce that complimented the veggies.


The easiest way to spiralize your veggies is with a spiralizer of course :) I have mentioned the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Slicer being my favorite one numerous times in a variety of posts. You can get it HERE on Amazon, but I think they have a five blade spiralizer which is the same price as the tri blade one. Go check them out!


The Paderno Spiral Slicer makes the zucchini into beautiful spirals in no time at all. Measure out 2 1/2 cups.


Chop up 1/2 cup of red bell pepper. I love the red, orange, and yellow bell peppers the most because they are sweeter and have an almost fruity flavor compared to green bell peppers which have a slightly bitter taste.


Toss the spiralized zucchini and red peppers together in a medium sized bowl.


Some of the ingredients used to make the Sesame Peanut Sauce.


Along with powdered peanut butter, also known as PB2. It is less fat, calories and carbs than regular peanut butter.


You do not need to add this, but I added a very small amount to the sauce because I wanted to sweeten it up just a bit. When I mean a little bit, I mean a very light sprinkle.


Combine the sauce ingredients and mix it well.


Pour the sauce over the veggies.


Stir until the veggies are evenly coated.


I added some shrimp for my Lean that was already peeled and cooked. I just take them from the freezer and run them under warm water for a few minutes to defrost them or leave them out on the counter for about an hour. This shrimp is so convenient on busy weekdays. Love them!

A wonderful healthy meal that is so easy to make. There is absolutely no excuse for not making healthy choices when we are busy. Enjoy!



Zucchini "Noodles" 
with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups spiralized zucchini (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
4 tbsp powdered peanut butter (2 Snacks)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (1 Condiment)
2 tsp sriracha sauce (2 Condiments)
2 tsp sesame oil (2 Healthy Fats)
2 tsp water
Light sprinkle of a NuStevia packet (Optional)

Directions:

Combine spiralized zucchini and diced red pepper in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered peanut butter, water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, ground ginger, sriracha sauce and sesame oil together until mixed thoroughly.

Add the sesame peanut sauce to the zucchini and red pepper. You can also add a light sprinkle of NuStevia. Stir until the vegetables are coated evenly.

You can also add your favorite Leaner Lean or Leanest Lean. I chose shrimp! Because shrimp is a Leaner Lean, you would still need to add another healthy fat per serving.


2 Servings with 3 Greens, 2.6 Condiments, 1 Healthy Fat and 1 Snack per Serving




Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.


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Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I love Trader Joes! I especially love their grated raw cauliflower. It is about time someone created already grated cauliflower for us to purchase! It is so convenient and I don't have to worry about cleaning up my food processor and the mess surrounding my food processor :) For some reason, I always tend to get bits and pieces of cauliflower on the counter, the floor, and in my hair (don't know how that happens). Already grated cauliflower just makes my life so much easier! Not only do I love using it in place of rice, but I also use it to make my cauliflower pizza crusts. If you haven't tried the cauliflower pizza crusts yet, then you don't know what you are missing! You can get that recipe HERE.

How do I cook the raw cauliflower? I just throw it in the microwave. It is the easiest and fastest way to cook cauliflower. Add 1 tsp of water to help steam the cauliflower and make sure you cover the microwave safe container with a pieces of clear film or lid. I usually cook it for about 1 1/2 minutes but it depends on how much cauliflower you have in the container. A whole head of cauliflower could take about 3 minutes.You could also saute the cauliflower with a tsp of oil (1 Healthy Fat) if you have an extra Healthy Fat to spare on the stove top. When sauteing cauliflower, I love using the flavored oils such as Luscious Lemon, Valencia Orange or Roasted Garlic from Stacey Hawkins. This is a great way to add some flavor to plain cauliflower rice. You can purchase her products HERE.  She has a great collection of seasonings, oils, etc on her site! If you use the code BASS at checkout, you get Free Shipping on orders over $40! 


Another product I love from Trader Joes is their pineapple salsa. It is delicious! The addition of pineapple in the zesty salsa adds a little bit of sweetness and medium heat. It works perfectly with this Pineapple Salsa Chicken! I absolutely love crock pot meals since some days I just don't have time to cook. You just throw everything together in the crock pot and dinner is ready a few hours later. Gotta love it!


Measure out 27 oz of raw chicken breasts and place it in the crock pot.


Add 1/2 cup of pineapple salsa, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/4 cup of chicken broth to a small bowl. Mix it all up.


Pour the mixture over the raw chicken breasts. Cook on LOW for about 4 to 6 hours. I cooked it for 5 hours. Shred the chicken and serve it our cauliflower rice. Easy and delicious! Enjoy!



Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken


Ingredients:
27 oz raw chicken breasts (3 Leaner Leans)
1/2 cup Trader Joes Pineapple Salsa (8 Condiments)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/4 cup chicken broth (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
Add chicken breasts, salsa, soy sauce and chicken broth to a crock pot.
Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours. Shred chicken when cooked. 
Divide into 3 portions.
Serve each portion over 1 1/2 cups cooked riced cauliflower 
or any approved Greens of your choice.


3 Servings with 1 Leaner Protein and 3 Condiments per Serving


1 Healthy Fat is still needed. 
Some great options are 1 1/2 oz of avocado, 2 tbsp of guacamole, or 2 tbsp of sour cream.




Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

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