Tag Archives: weight loss

Recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Burgers with Onion and Pineapple

24 May

We. Love. Hamburgers. (Want proof? This blog is only three months old and this is our third burger recipe. See the other two here: Naked Turkey Burgers, Blue Cheese Burgers.)

We like em naked, we like em clothed, and yes my purist friends, we even like them with ketchup. (Some would say that last statement is blasphemy, and to them I say, “get over it”.)

Because of our love for all things burgers and grilling, we’re constantly on the lookout for more ways to indulge in this seemingly all-American food choice. And hey, if we can do it semi-healthfully, we will! Here’s a recipe that never fails to satisfy AND encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Grilled Hawaiian Burgers with Onion and Pineapple

Recipe borrowed from www.weightwatchers.com


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup scallions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger root, freshly grated
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 slices of pineapple
  • ½ medium vidalia onion, cut into rings
  • cooking spray
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Prepare the grill.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine beef, scallions, teriyaki sauce, ginger, and garlic until thoroughly mixed. Form four equal sized patties.
  3. Lightly coat burgers, pineapple, and onion with cooking spray, place on grill.
  4. Grill every thing until done. Pineapple and onion should have golden edges, burgers to your liking.
  5. Serve burger naked with pineapple and onions.

Do you have a favorite burger recipe? Share it in the comments!

Download the .pdf version of this recipe: Grilled Hawaiian Burgers With Onion & Pineapple


Dessert Recipe: Strawberry Smoothies

22 May

Summertime is here, and I’m pregnant.

I’m not just a little pregnant. I’m a lot pregnant. Some of you might not know what this means- how can you be “a lot” pregnant? Well, my dear friend, I’ll tell you.

“A lot pregnant”, in my professional opinion, is somewhere between “barely pregnant” and “so pregnant I could scream”.

I’m officially 27 weeks into this pregnancy, which leaves me just 12-13 short weeks til little Abby makes her appearance. I use the term “little” very loosely here, as I happen to be one of those lucky women who produces large, chunky children. (In fact, when Aaron was born, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth as he held my brand new, 9 pound 3 ounce son were, “He’s a chunk!” Oh, what a memory. Thanks, doc.) So anyway, Abby weighs somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds at the moment, and I think I can safely say she’s going to kick-boxer. She’s active, and she loves to play games with the nerves in my back. Oh joy! Also, in case you’re wondering, I’m measuring in at about 30 weeks, (the distance from the top of my belly to the bottom of it), so you can imagine the increasing level of my general discomfort. And don’t even get me started on the effect summer heat has on women who are “a lot pregnant”.

So why am I spending so many precious words to express my complaining-ness to you? Because I’ve found the solution. I’ll give you a hint: it’s pink, it’s served out of a wine glass (because I’m classy like that), and it tastes like heaven. No, there’s no alcohol involved, but it is intoxicating nonetheless.

Strawberry Smoothies


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 container of strawberry yogurt (the individual sized containers)


  1. Put all ingredients into the blender (I used my food processor)
  2. Blend until smooth-ish.
  3. Pour into a nice glass (because it tastes better that way)
  4. Sip your troubles away.

Do you have a favorite summertime dessert? Share it in the comments!

Recipe: Baked Lemon Artichoke Tilapia

20 May

Summer is all about brightness. Bright sunshine, bright colors, bright smiles… bright flavors! And is there any brighter flavor than lemon? I think not.

Recently, I made a chicken picatta recipe, which rocked. I mean, it blew my mind. So I thought, “hey, this lemon/artichoke thing has to work with other proteins, right?” And indeed it does! I’m still working out the possibilities, but the first match I’ve found is tilapia- a buttery, flaky fish that is gentle on the fishiness and heavy on the good stuff. If you’ve never had it- it’s time to try. Seriously, it’s wonderful. If you’ve had tilapia before- you’ll love this recipe. Guaranteed.

Baked Lemon & Artichoke Tilapia


  • 2 filets tilapia
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 green onions, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (f).
  2. Lay tilapia side-by-side in an oven-safe dish.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Salt/pepper as desired.
  5. Cut artichoke hearts into manageable pieces, scatter over/around fish.
  6. Slice lemon thinly, scatter over/around fish.
  7. Baked for 18-20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  8. Serve, and enjoy.

Do you have a favorite tilapia dish? Share it in the comments.

Download the .pdf version of this recipe: Baked Lemon & Artichoke Tilapia

Recipe: Black Bean Salsa

19 May

Ah, festive food. Food to watch a sports game on TV by. (Who am I kidding, I don’t watch sports.) Amendment: Food to watch Grey’s Anatomy by. (That’s more like it.)

What, my friends, is more festive than a fresh salsa? I mean really. It looks like a party, and I’ll be darned if it doesn’t taste like a party.

You may not know this, but I worked at Chipotle for a time. Yes, it’s true- I rolled burritos with the best of them. (In fact, I could roll a perfect burrito behind my back at the height of my glory days- no joke.) I loved that job. There were several reasons for this.

  1. The restaurant was within walking distance of my dorm.
  2. I pretty much picked/chose my hours according to my schedule.
  3. My boss let me eat one free burrito a day- an allowance that quickly became my “bread and butter” when the university cut off my meal plan due to late payments on my tuition. (The job didn’t pay too terribly well, I’ll admit.)
  4. I learned how to make salsa. Kick-butt salsa. Bona-fide, make your mouth water salsa.

With my amazing knowledge gleaned from one of the best fast-casual restaurants on earth, (thanks, Steve Ells, for putting me through my sophomore year of college both financially and physically- I may have starved without those free burritos), I now give you all a gift: black bean salsa done right.

Black Bean Salsa


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
  • ½ bag frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • ½ large purple onion, diced
  • 1 fresno pepper, diced (tiny)
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (tiny)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Allow juices to drain for 5-10 minutes.
  2. DEVOUR.

Do you have a favorite salsa recipe? Share it in the comments!

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Black Bean Salsa

Recipe: Naked Turkey Burgers

13 May

Exciting news, y’all: one of our photos, the one of the Chickpea and Tomato Salad, was accepted to both Tastespotting and Tasteologie! This is exciting because these sites typically only accept photos that are awesome. So, you know, I’m feeling a little proud of myself this week.

Once that one was accepted, I felt the bite of the “food porn” bug. Oh man, I can’t explain how excited I get now when I have something freshly made that I can photograph. A couple of things I’ve learned over the past two months about food photography:

  • Always use natural light. The light source should come from behind you, preferably over one of your two shoulders.
  • Never use flash. It makes it look cheap.
  • Try to “set the stage” for the food- a lot of mine I keep simple (on purpose) but you should see the awesome set-ups some people do for their photos, and it helps!

Those are just a few tips, of course. As you can see, I applied these tips to the photo of our recipe today: naked turkey burgers. A note about these: we had never cooked turkey burgers before, let alone on the grill. So, we overcooked them. They still tasted good, but they were a bit dry. It’s nearly impossible to see if the meat is cooked through, (and when using super lean turkey, there aren’t any juices to run clear, thus taking away that hint that they’re done), so time it. 6-8 minutes should be about perfect on the grill- we did 10 minutes per side and they were a step above hockey pucks.

Otherwise, this meal was awesome.

Naked Turkey Burgers


  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey burger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • ¼ tsp sage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Mix meat with all ingredients.
  2. Form into patties (we made four)
  3. Cook on the grill, 6-8 minutes per side.
  4. Devour.

Do you have a fave turkey burger recipe? Share it with us!

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Naked Turkey Burgers

Recipe: Chickpea and Tomato Salad

10 May

Have you ever felt like you needed another weekend to recover from the weekend you just enjoyed? This past weekend was like that for me- and when I say I enjoyed it, I mean I really enjoyed it. For the the first time in ten years, my mom and I spent Mother’s day together. (She lives in Colorado, I live in Minnesota.) It was wonderful; we ate, we laughed, we spent copious amounts of money at Ikea to re-decorate my apartment in preparation for baby #2, and we loved every second of it. (We didn’t even get in an argument this time- and for two chatty-cathies like ourselves, that’s worth a mention.) It was heavenly.

And yet, I feel tired, emotional, and I’ll admit- a bit cranky now that she’s gone. It’s normal. Whenever she leaves I get a little down for a week or so, then start looking forward to the next visit, which is only a few short weeks away! She, my dad, my in-laws, and some friends will be celebrating with me as I graduate college- SO stoked.

In an effort to keep my spirits lifted, I’ve thrown myself back into my cooking, and a new challenge that I’ve found to be piqueing my interest: getting a photo of mine accepted onto http://www.foodgawker.com. Seriously you guys, I’m dedicated. Hopefully you’ll see my photos improving- practice makes perfect, right?

This recipe comes from one of those I found while surfing foodgawker, actually- The Merry Gourmet. LOVED all of these photos and recipes, but this one stuck out to me especially because of its fun flavor combinations and bright colors.

Chickpea & Tomato Salad

Adapted from http://www.merrygourmet.com/2011/04/chickpea-salad-with-feta-and-herbs/


  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
  •  kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, sliced cherry tomatoes, mint and basil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar until combined. Pour over chickpeas and toss together. Add cheese and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Do you have a healthy salad recipe for summer? Share it in the comments!

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Chickpea & Tomato Salad

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Pasta

7 May

I. Love. Red. Lobster.

I know, I know- it’s not the highest of highest restaurants in the world. When I tell people that it’s my first and foremost choice for special dinners and celebrations, they roll their eyes. (Not that there’s anything WRONG with Red Lobster- but let’s face it- it’s no gourmet anomaly.)

That being said, I love it anyway. I would eat there for every birthday every year if I could… and I do.

One of my favorite dishes there is the shrimp fettuccine alfredo- it’s so rich, so good, such a diet-killer.

So, in true Frugal Flambe fashion, I found a healthier option. And, it’s not $13 a plate. WIN.

Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Pasta


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 (9 ounce) package fresh linguine
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons (3 ounces) light garlic and herbs spreadable cheese
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • oregano sprigs
  • ¼ cup tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced


  1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large dutch oven; add pasta and shrimp. Cook 3-4 minutes or until pasta is tender and shrimp are done. Drain and keep warm.
  2. While pasta and shrimp cook, combine wine and next 4 ingredients in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
  3. Add pasta and shrimp to sauce in pan, tossing to coat. Add tomatoes and green onions. Cook for two minutes. Stir in chopped oregano just before serving. Garnish with oregano sprigs.

Do you have any favorite (and perhaps not gourmet) make-it-at-home but still restaurant-inspired recipes? Share them in the comments!

Download the .pdf of this recipe: Creamy Garlic Shrimp and Pasta

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