Chipotle Cheddar Burgers

Popping in quickly today to share a recipe I’ve been all about lately!  But first, true confession time: until a month ago, I had never cooked with red meat.  Embarrassing, I know!  I like eating it, but I had never prepared it before.  It does kind of gross me out, and I didn’t feel confident enough to make something out of it.  You’ll usually find chicken or turkey in my kitchen, but I’m branching out now and so glad I did!  I’ve eaten A LOT of these Chipotle Cheddar Burgers (almost three pounds worth over the last month! Well, I did share some.) and don’t plan to stop soon!

chipotle cheddar burgers

Seriously, how good does that look?  Drool!

I was offered the chance to try Laura’s Lean Beef.  Before committing, I spent awhile browsing their recipes in order to get an idea of what in the world I’d do with that raw cow once I got it.  I decided on their Patty Melts.  However, based on what I like / had on hand / what I wanted to do, they turned into Chipotle Cheddar Burgers.  And I don’t have a real recipe to share with you since I literally threw ingredients together.  If you want to make these, I would look at the patty melt recipe to use as a reference, and then throw some of my extra ingredients in.  Yeah, that’s what I did and they turned out great!

chipotle cheddar burger

Let me tell you a little bit about Laura’s Lean Beef because this was a brand I was previously unfamiliar with.  In a nutshell, here’s [what I feel is] the important part about Laura’s Lean Beef:

Beef had developed a reputation for high total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and many health-conscious people had cut back or given it up completely.  Laura had these same concerns about food and health, but realized that as a farmer, she could make a difference. She began experimenting with lean, gourmet breeds of cattle like Limousin and Charolais and committed to raising them without hormones or antibiotics. She also believed that sustainable farming practices and humane treatment would produce happier animals and healthier food.

Laura’s Lean Beef comes in: Ground Beef, Steaks and Roasts, Grass Fed Organic, Deli Meats, Lean Beef Jerky, and prepared foods with lots of variety in each category.

Alright, so here’s what I used in the Chipotle Cheddar Burgers:

  • Laura’s 96% Lean Ground Sirloin, egg (one egg per pound), old fashioned oats, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic powder, and pepper

I caramelized a yellow onion to top the burgers, mixed all the ingredients together, cooked them on the stove (it was raining out and nobody wanted to use the grill in the rain!), then melted a slice of chipotle cheddar cheese on top!  Make a couple healthy sides like roasted zucchini and baked sweet potato and a salad, and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner!  Sorry it’s not more of a recipe; I literally just threw it all together, but hey, it did work out!  William even approved!

chipotle cheddar burgers recipe

How do you make burgers? What are your favorite ingredients / toppings?

Nadoz Cafe & Vino Nadoz

Last Sunday, the STL Bloggers met at Nadoz for a meet up.  We were graciously hosted by owners Steve and Kathy Becker.  They own two places that are side by side: Nadoz Cafe and Vino Nadoz Wine Bar.  The wine bar is closed on Sundays, but they let us in and set up something special for us bloggers.

Nadoz sign

Yeah, private event, we’re big time!  You may remember me mentioning Nadoz Cafe as I tried one of their delicious fresh juices and Vino Nadoz when I ate there with a couple of friends.  I was excited to see what was in store for us STL Bloggers.

STL Bloggers

From left to right: Ursula from The Design Mayor, Genevieve from cityMomCo, Robyn from Robyn’s Online World, Chef Chris, Ashley from Sorry Kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others, Whitney from Cafe Mocha Reflections, and Janice from A Colorful Adventure.  Itz a really great group of bloggers – I encourage you to check out their blogs for some fun reading.  Now let’s talk food, my favorite part.  Nadoz decorated so nicely and prepared quite the spread.

Nadoz

A couple of key points from Nadoz Cafe & Vino Nadoz: They prepare all of their food in-house.  I mean everything from their pasta to their ketchup.  Chris the chef chatted with us for a bit about how they purchase 85% of their food locally, and when he said locally, he truly meant it!  The other 15% is from around 300 miles away, so still close.  Using local ingredients makes a BIG difference in the quality of food.

In the cafe, all of their wraps and sandwiches come with a side of vegetarian quinoa.  This is one of the foods that we sampled and it was made with scallions, corn, cilantro, black beans, edamame, red pepper, and cumin.  So good!  I also tasted their cranberry almond chicken salad, a poppyseed muffin (baked fresh that morning!), and a glass (or two – thanks, Chris) of Vino Nadoz Sparkling “Gigi.”

Nadoz treats

Everything was scrumptious, just as it had been during my previous two visits!  I also tasted a new-to-me juice: Swamp Thing.  This had celery, kale, parsley, lemon, and ginger.  It was strong, but I really liked it.  May have to recreate it at home with my own juicer!  If you’re in St. Louis, I’d definitely check out Nadoz Cafe and Vino Nadoz – two great restaurants that are locally owned, care about their customers, and constantly have delicious, fresh food!

I was so impressed, actually, that I made dinner reservations for my family at Vino Nadoz for tomorrow night since my little brother will be in town.  Can’t wait!

What’s your favorite local restaurant?  Weekend plans?

Itz Batch Cooking: Beans

Check out my love day gift from the hubs:

itzlinz bag

Super cute, eh?  He told me I could use it when I went out with all my “blogger friends.”  Hehe funny boy.  Instead, I think I’ll be using it as a small gym bag as itz the perfect size for a water bottle, magazine, headphones, and other random necessities.

My Valentine’s day was quite lovely.  Red roses, a walk outside with Zoey since the weather was gorgeous, and a delicious dinner at Almonds Restaurant.

valentine's day

A lovely day, indeed.

Now let’s talk about batch cooking.  I’ve mentioned it multiple times on the blog and have received several emails and questions.  Batch cooking doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t matter if you’re cooking for one person or for four.  I’ll share with you tips and tricks to make life easy and set yourself up for a week of healthy eating.

Itz Batch Cooking: Beans

itz batch cooking beans

I’ve recorded a quick three-minute vlog showing you how to prepare for batch cooking beans.  Itz easy and takes no time at all!  Take a look:

As I said, beans are very versatile.  They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Some of my favorite meals that include beans:

Southwestern Spiced Benedict

finished side

Rainbow Salad

rainbow salad

Mexican Omelette

Mexican Omelette 1

Do you batch cook?  What foods do you prepare in large quantities?

Amaranth – Protein Powerhouse

Have you ever heard of amaranth?  I hadn’t until I began the New Year New Rules program.  During the 15-day program, I knew I would want to branch out from my traditional oats or quinoa bowls, so I decided to give amaranth a try per Katie and Megan’s suggestion.

Why eat amaranth? Itz a protein powerhouse! Plus…

  • Contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain (28 grams / cup)
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Excellent source of lysine – important amino acid
  • High in calcium content (298 milligrams / cup)
  • Loaded with magnesium and iron (519 milligrams of magnesium / cup – 15 milligrams of iron / cup)
  • Tons of fiber (18 grams / cup)
  • Slightly lower in carbs than other gluten-free grains
  • Contains Vitamin E (source)

Amaranth

To make amaranth, I used 1 cup of amaranth with 3 cups of water and brought it to a boil then covered the pot, and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  It turned out very creamy; for fluffier amaranth, decrease the amount of water to 2.5 cups.  When I first looked at my bowl of amaranth, it reminded me of chia seeds.  The tiny grains seemed to come together in a gel-like manner, similar to what chia seeds do.  However, the taste was pretty bland; I wasn’t sold yet.

I like sweeter bowls, so I created Strawberry Cacao Amaranth by adding NuNaturals, frozen strawberries, and raw cacao powder (loaded with antioxidants, iron, and magnesium).  The result?  An absolutely delicious bowl that was incredibly filling!

strawberry cacao amaranth

I got my first batch of amaranth from the bulk section of Whole Foods and will need to replenish my supply as I only bought one cup (a major perk of the bulk section: you can try as much or as little as you’d like before committing to a large amount!).  I have a feeling amaranth will be making a regular appearance for my breakfasts as it really is a protein powerhouse and kept me full for so long!  Win for amaranth!

To check out other new foods, recipe ideas, or meal suggestions, click over to the huge foodie party at Peas and CrayonsHave you entered the Oakley Sunglasses Giveaway yet?

Have you ever heard of or tried amaranth?