Florentine Turkey-Chicken Burgers

Memorial Day has come and gone. While the official start of summer is still a few weeks out, the unofficial grilling season is definitely here, baby. Oh yeah. Love grilling season. We all love our big, juice burgers, am I right? I know in our house we will be grilling up our fair share of yummy ground chuck. I also know that we’ll have our healthy burgers, too.

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Mexican Style Chicken Lasagna

While I might not serve this “Lasagna” on Christmas Day, the garnish of green onions and chopped tomatoes do bring in that holiday colors.  This recipe could easily be doubled for large gatherings, perfect for pot-luck parties.

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Grilled Chicken Ranch Burgers

We’ve all had our share of ground beef burgers (at least the carnivores among us). When we think of burgers, we generally think “ground beef”. Some of the more health-conscious among us have elected to avoid the ground beef variety and instead get their burger fix from turkey burgers. These are just as convenient as their beef counterparts since both can be had from a bag of frozen pre-formed patties. Although, truth be told, fresh ground meat (be it beef or turkey) is the best was to get that burger fix.

While far from perfect, I am striving to make better choices in our diet. As a diabetic, I need to watch things such as fat intake. Recently, we decided to try something a little different. It’s a recipe I picked up from Julie’s Eats & Treats. Julie posted her rendition of the Chicken Ranch Burger back in March of 2013. It’s an adaptation of a recipe she picked up from Like Mother Like Daughter, Ground Chicken Burgers. That’s the beauty of recipes, foodies, blogs and the internet – home cooks can pass along their recipes, and with each passing something new is added – be it an ingredient, a tip, a story or fond memory.

Here’s my “passing” of this little gem, complete with a few tips. Hope you enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Ranch Burgers
1 1/2 lb Ground Chicken
1/2 cup Panko Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1 Tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
2 Tablespoon Barbecue Seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon Mesquite Seasoning
1 Package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
Sliced cheese (optional)
Green Lettuce Leaves (optional)
Tomato Slices (optional)
Red Onion Slices (optional)
Wheat Hamburger Buns

Since these burgers cook up quick, there’s no need to build a huge fire in your wood or charcoal grill. A small tabletop gas grill is perfect. If you plan to make oven French Fries from a frozen bag, simple preheat a small grill when the fries go into the oven. About 10 minutes into the cooking time of your fries, throw the burgers on the grill.

In a large bowl, mix bread crumbs, seasonings and ground chicken. Form 6 patties. (I know what you’re thinking – 6 patties from a pound of meat?! Sure, there’s a bit thin, but that’s okay, you’ll be amazed at how filling and satisfying these burgers will be.)

Place patties on grill. Grill chicken patties for about 4-6 minutes on each side, depending upon thickness.

Garnish buns as desired. Miracle Whip is nice on chicken burgers, giving a little zing to the overall flavor. Place burgers on buns and serve alongside French Fries or deli salad or anything else you like with your burgers.

Note: If you have a food processor fitted with a blade, you can always “grind” your own chicken. Simply use about a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut into chunks, then pulse in your food processor until coarsely ground. Remember, you’re making burgers, so you don’t want the meat to be too chunky or too fine.

Spaghetti Bolognese with Chicken and Pancetta

Panchetta is Italian Bacon, of sorts. Both American Bacon and Italian Pancetta are pork, usually from the pork belly section. Typically both have been cured (while some bacon is sold uncured). Bacon is cured in salt, either in a brine or packed in salt. It is then aged by drying the meat, be it dried in cold air for weeks or even months, or smoked (my favorite kind of bacon). Pancetta can also be cured in simple salt, but seasonings and other aromatics are often added to the curing process to infuse Pancetta with its distinctly Italian flavors. While this recipe can be made using Bacon, depending upon the type of bacon, the flavor will vary.

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