Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chicken Veggie Burgers

These burgers are deceptively good. They're actually a reworked burger version of mini meatloaves I made this past winter (and never managed to share). If you are avoiding carbs, you can omit the panko bread crumbs and make the mini meatloaves. I'd still leave the oats, but you can omit those too if you really want. Just put the mixture into a muffin pan and bake at 375º for 35-40 minutes. I got the idea from and changed it up a little.

This recipe will make 10-12 burgers, depending on how big you like them. Go ahead and get a big bowl to mix them up in. 

Even if you don't have many people to feed, I'd suggest making the full recipe. It freezes well. Just make the patties, put some parchment paper between each one, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. We'll wrap ours in sets of two since it's just the two of us. Tonight we'll cook all of them since we need dinner and lunch for the whole week and will be really busy through Thursday. 

2 lbs ground chicken
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup thyme, roughly chopped (2T dry if you don't have fresh)
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup parmesan (or similar) cheese - I used a parmesan, fontina, asiago blend from Whole Foods
2 eggs
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp chipotle pepper powder (less if you don't like spice)
1 tsp crushed red pepper (less here too if desired)
8-10 dashed of Worcestershire sauce (mine had one of those little spouts, if your's doesn't, about 2T)

Mix everything together in a large bowl and form into patties. Cook in a skillet or on the grill and garnish as desired. I have been craving these buffalo chicken burgers I used to make. They have a lot of sodium if made from that recipe, so maybe I'll put just a little blue cheese and buffalo sauce on these. They're good just on their own though. I ate 2 right out of the muffin pan when I made them last time! If you're really worried about the sodium in the Worcestershire sauce, as I usually would be, use a bit less. Since I ended up with 12 burgers, it's not really a lot per burger.

We made Smitten Kitchen's Chopped Salad with Feta Lime and Mint to go with it. Minus the feta because I forgot to buy it (SAD) and subbing cilantro because my Whole Foods NEVER has mint. WHY?!

Lemon Thyme Margarita

As a reward for getting my butt out of bed on a drizzly 67º Sunday morning and facing the beach where my triathlon will held for a wetsuit swim, I made myself a Tequila-Thyme Lemonade from Martha Stuart's Everyday Food Blog. I follow the blog in my google reader and have found some great recipes. Even better, every Friday there's a Cocktail O'Clock entry!

I made it exactly as the recipe was written and it wasn't what I expected. I suggest you try it that way as well (click on the drink name above for the original). I think I really wanted it to be more like a margarita, so I adapted it a bit.

Muddle together two lemon wedges, 5 sprigs of thyme and 2 teaspoons of super fine (confectioners) sugar.

Add the juice of half a lemon, 3 oz of white tequila, ice and stir. I prefer Herradura tequila, but use what you like.


2 lemon wedges
2 tsp super fine sugar
5 thyme sprigs
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 oz white tequila

Muddle first three ingredients in a glass. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Training recap


I feel like I don't have an idea for a whole cohesive entry here, but it's been way too long. I really need to just write shorter entries more often.

I promised a training update. I got in a little bit of hot water with my trainer, because she wasn't super happy about how overcommitted I was with triathlon and half marathon training. I thought we HAD talked about it and it was okay, but maybe since there was so much going on in my life she was just being cautious. Either way, I'm signed up for both and just $75 from meeting my half marathon commitment to Dana Farber.

Basically, I have done a MESS of brick workouts. A brick is when you bike and then immediately run. It helps you get over the "my legs feel like a ton of bricks" feeling after riding a bike and trying to run, hence the name. Sometimes it's just a long (for a sprint tri) bike and then a run. Other times it's a medium bike distance, followed by 5 or 6 jog/sprint intervals and then the whole cycle is repeated. I do 4 of those bricks a week, one day of my getting my butt kicked personal training and one 75 minute swim class.

In the interest of not having a pictureless post, here I am, mid-brick at the Cape Cod Canal at Scusset Beach. Yes, I will probably wear this obnoxious hot pink tank at the tri even though I complain about the "pinking and shrinking" of women's sporting goods.

Recently I've been doing some short open water swims in my rental wetsuit. I got mine from , which came highly recommended and I can't be happier. I've never put on one before, but they did such a good job picking out one for my height/weight/shape and gave such good instructions for putting one on that I felt comfortable in it right away.

The OCEAN notsomuch. I picked a real crap day to do my first open water swim. I also broke rule number one and did it alone. Well, my Mom drove me out there and brought her book (you know, for like the 10 minutes I swam) but when the current started pulling me and my awesomely bouyant wetsuit out away from shore, I thought she might not be amused if she looked up from her book and I'm there all waving, getting smaller.  "No worries...imma just ride this rip current out and swim around. BRB!" So yeah, I had one of those swim! SWIM! SWIIIM!!! swimmyswimmyswiiiiiiiiiimmmmmMMMMM!!! moments. I was fine. I just didn't like that I felt like I should be moving faster, but in reality, there was no way to know how fast I was going. I would honestly rather not wear the wetsuit at all, since that's what I'm used to and the cold really doesn't bother me. I know that it will help me swim faster in the long run though. Plus, if I do get nervous, it does add the security of buoyancy. Which also feels weird and bugs me out.

Mostly all of this training has gone great. Right now I'm having some trouble with my back being sore and spasming. Right now I should just be getting home from swim, but I had to skip it. I hate that since I know I probably can'y squeeze in a make-up without sacrificing other training, but it won't help me to make myself completely immobile either. Tomorrow I plan on doing a brick, which is SUCH a pain in the butt in Boston. It's so hard to find somewhere that isn't crowded by a million other people or where you won't get run over. (I'm looking at YOU MBTA bus who almost right hooked me. Glad I cold broaden your vocabulary.) I'll get over it. Then I'll wait for The Husband to get home from work to drive me to Carson beach so I can do a 1/2 mile swim. This is the area my triathlon is based out of, so I think I'll feel a lot better with that behind me. Friday I volunteer with Back on my Feet at 5:45am and then I have personal training. Saturday is work. Sunday is long brick day at the Cape Cod Canal. Then I have 4 more days of work, vacation and a tri at the end!

Speaking of vacation, next Friday I'll be headed to Maine to visit family! Yay! I cannot wait. It's also the weekend of the Maine Lobster Festival and we plan on doing the 10K. My inlaws always volunteer on course and take a ton of great pictures too! It's always a great combination of family, fun and relaxing on the porch.

I'm a little nervous because I pretty much know exactly how much time I have (or don't) fot tri workouts, but if I wasn't like that, people would probably start checking me for a pulse.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chopped Farm Stand Salad

First, pour yourself a glass of wine...does anyone else feel like it makes cooking much more relaxing?

Um, but don't have too much. You don't want to cut your arm off with all of the chopping you're going to do.

When it's hot outside I really don't want anything heavy or hot to eat. On the other hand, by the end of June I am totally over salads. I finally figured out that I love all the add-in veggies, but the lettuce...oh, the's so much effort! It's a pain in the neck to eat and I feel like it's only there to justify the other vegetables. But, why?! This salad will make good use of your overflowing garden (I wish....but the husband nixed the fire-escape tomato idea), CSA or farmers market goods. Plus, it won't be a pain in the butt to eat! Hooray!

I used mostly local veggies, but I have to admit that I wanted asparagus (out of season...from Peru) and the cute mini heirloom tomatoes were from the US but not local. Everything else you can get near you. The point is to enjoy whatever super fresh veggies are around right now. Feel free to substitute as desired. (Full recipe at the end)

Start by mixing the dressing so it can sit for a little while.

Definitely chop that garlic up before putting it in the bowl. You may think, hey, it would be really great to mash this up with the basil, but it won't end up like you thought. Trust me. Also, just put the basil in at the end with the other veggies.

Maybe consider zesting that lemon before you cut it in half an juice it. It's probably a lot easier. Also, don't knock over your wine glass with the zester. You're welcome.

I do things the hard way so you can learn. That's all.

Whisk it up, let it sit and chop up your vegetables. Oh, that bowl you're going to choose? Pick the bigger one. It never fails that I pick a bowl wayyyy too small. You'll need room to mix everything anyway. Once those veggies are all in a bowl, whisk it again and pour it over the top.

You can serve it as a side or add anything you want for a full meal. I added some cheese tortellini, but definitely underestimated how much to buy. I'll probably also have some chicken with it. The best part is that there will be a ton of left-overs, which is necessary for the amount of chopping.


1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
juice of two lemons
zest of one lemon
1 tbsp of whole grain mustard
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste


4 medium sized tomatoes
small container of mini heirloom tomatoes
1 large carrot
1 large cucumber
1 summer squash
1 zucchini
2 bell peppers (I chose one red and one orange)
15-20 radishes
1 bunch asparagus
fist-full of basil

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for a minute or two, just until it starts to turn bright green. Pour into a colander and run under cold water. Chop the asparagus and the rest of the veggies into the desired size. I cut everything into chunks, except for the squash, zucchini and radish which I sliced thin, and the basil, which I cut into ribbons. Mix everything together, adding any beans, pasta, etc. Pour the dressing over the top and mix again.

I'd let it sit for a while in the fridge for the dressing to set in.