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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chinese-ish Burgers

I know, I know. Chinese-ish isn't a word. But a teacher at my school says that if you can pronounce it and spell it, it's a word. So there.

Anyways, burgers are an amazing thing. They are so versatile, easy to make, and lots of fun to dress up. Plus, with the weather warming up, we can finally start grilling again! Yay! Grilled burgers > pan fried burgers. It's just a fact. My absolute favorite burger is a pork burger with barbecue sauce, white cheddar, onion, pickles, and a leaf of Boston lettuce. However, sometimes you get bored. Or sometimes you have almost the exact same burger for lunch, even though, unbeknownst to you, you're having burgers for dinner. That was my dilemma. I was bored. Which happens a lot now that I think about it.

Not wanting to succumb to a plain Jane burger again, I began to think about what a good recipe might be, that's unique, easy, but with a little bit of flavor. These fit the bill. With just a few simple ingredients you can create a burger that's got a hint of brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger. It all comes together for a wonderfully different burger without sacrificing any of the taste.

Usually, main dish meals aren't my forte, but occasionally I'll come up with a good one that's worth keeping. I can almost guarantee you that this recipe is worth keeping.

1 lbs. ground pork or beef
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 T. gluten free soy sauce (I used Bragg's liquid aminos)
1 1/2 T. brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
1 tsp. sriracha

1. Combine your ground meat of choice and egg together.
2. Add spices, soy sauce, sugar, and sriracha. Stir together until just combined. The more you stir, the tougher your meat gets.
3. Divide the meat into four sections and form each section into a patty. You want to make them a lot burger than you think is necessary. They'll shrink a lot.
4. Grill or pan fry for about 4-5 minutes aside, depending on how thick your burgers are.
5. Serve with lettuce, onion, sriracha, terriyaki sauce, or whatever you would like.

Inquiry of the Day:

What's your favorite way to eat a burger?   
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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Carrot Cake Muffin in a Mug

I know, I know. I promised you this post a week ago. But as the end of the school year approaches the busier my schedule gets and the less I feel like making/posting recipes. It's a sad truth. Fortunately, maybe by next month things will have slowed down for me. But, as for the next three weeks, I have several major tests going on each week including finals, a research paper to revise, a science fair project to do, a musical to be in, and I also have to maintain my social life. I'm exhausted just typing out all the things I have going on. ;)

Anyways, you came for the food.

For the longest time I thought I didn't like carrot cake. Vegetables in dessert? Ew! Gross! If only my ten year old self would've realized that carrots were really just like pumpkin or sweet potatoes. *sigh* It really is unfortunate how little food I actually liked when I was younger. But now I love almost everything! (Except for mushrooms. Those things are just disgusting.) Including carrot cake. Although I mostly eat it for the cream cheese frosting. ;)

This carrot cake is super simple, delicious, and packed with protein and fiber! Serve with bacon or sausage and you have a fast easy breakfast for one! Or even dessert. Don't let the somewhat long ingredient list intimidate you. I'm sure you have all of these ingredients on hand and several of them are optional. Also, the cream cheese frosting recipe makes enough for you to frost the middle and top like a tiny double layer cake. Yum!

1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 T. applesauce
2 tsp. coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 egg
1 T. oil of choice
2 T. shredded carrot (about 4 baby carrots)
2 tsp. walnuts, crushed (optional)
2 tsp. canned pineapple, diced (optional)
2 tsp. shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
2 tsp. raisins (optional)

1. Combine the applesauce, sugar, egg, and oil in a small bowl.
2. Add in the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in your carrots, walnuts, pineapple, coconut, and raisins. Add more sweetener if needed.
3. Grease a mug or ramekin.
4. Microwave on high for 1-1 1/2 minutes.
5. Frost with coconut butter or the cream cheese frosting below.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 T. cream cheese, softened
maple syrup (or other other liquid sweetener), to taste
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Combine cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla.
2. Cut your cake in half and frost one half. Put the other half of the cake on top and frost the other half. Enjoy!

Inquiry of the Day:

How did you spend Easter?

I went to church in the morning where they served breakfast, then in the afternoon my sister and I watched The Help. For dinner, we went to my grandparents house. My grandma made ham, a potato and cheese souffle, asparagus, and salad. And I made chocolate pie. :)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

20 Healthy Easter Recipes

Guess what time it is guys!?!?!?

It's Easter! The time of spring and sunshine and budding trees.... Or not. It's about 35 degrees here and rapidly dropping. We even got a light dusting of snow this morning. It's beginning to look like a lot like Christmas anyone? Why does it never snow on Christmas but then we get about a gazillion tons of it through January, Feburary, March, and April? Yes, I really do mean April. 

But I'll spare you my sob story. On a much happier note, Easter is a time to celebrate whether you're religious or not. If you're in school, it's a time to celebrate the coming of the end of the school year. You may be celebrating that Easter ham you're grandma always makes or the jelly beans or just spending time with family. I am looking forward to all those things. And I'm looking forward to chocolate pie. I mean, who wouldn't look forward to that? 

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Restaurant Review: bd's Mongolian Grill

I'm going to start doing a completely new thing where I do restaurant reviews. I know some of you have dietary restrictions and that more often than not affects where you go out to eat, does it not? So, to help you out a little bit I thought I'd do these restaurant reviews to let you know how gluten-free friendly, vegan friendly, creative, etc. a restaurant is.

A picture of my leftover stir-fry. Which tasted almost better the next day!
Today I am reviewing bd's Mongolian Grill, which is one of my favorite places to eat. Ever. If you've never been to a mongolian grill, I'll let you know how it works. Basically, they give you an ordinary bowl to start with that you can fill with meat, noodles, vegetables, etc. They have all kinds of meat that ranges from tofu to sirlion, even calamari and duck! In the meat section of the table, there is also angel hair pasta, rice noodles, and a couple other types of pasta. But I usually eat rice and don't get any noodles. Now onto the vegetables!

They have a buttload of veggies. You have to be really selective and pack down those veggies or else your bowl will overflow onto the floor! You can get radishes, carrots, baby corn, edamame, black beans, potatoes, pineapple, and that's not even half of the things you can add.

And finally... the sauces. What I love about the sauces is that they clearly tell you which ones are gluten free which ones are vegetarian friendly and which ones are both. You can also add an egg, fresh garlic or ginger and a variety of ground spices.

But the best part of bd's Mongolian Grill is watching them stir-fry your bowl. They have this huge circular stone slab that the put your food directly onto. It's super hot and they have these awesome long stick thingys that they use to stir fry your food with. If you're concerned about gluten contamination or any other type of contamination they can take your bowl to the back room where it is specially stir fried.

What I love so much about this restaurant is that it's very allergen friendly and super customizeable. I am a complete control freak so being able to see what goes into my food is very comforting. The only problem I have with the restaurant is that it isn't the cheapest place to eat. But trust me, it's worth it! All in all, I highly recommend this restaurant and if you ever get the chance to go, take it! And if I haven't convinced you of how awesome bd's Mongolian Grill is yet, I can't help you.

Oh, and if gluten isn't a problem for you, order the bacon fried rice. It is sooo good!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever been to a Mongolian grill or a restaurant similar to it? If so, what was your experience? 
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mango Yogurt Smoothie

I love smoothies. They're quick, easy, and almost always yummy.  I say almost always, because I've had a few smoothie mishaps. Let's just say that a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie with avocado in it was a bad idea... :\

My only problem with smoothies is that they can easily get boring, so it's good to have a variety of recipes just to switch things up with occassionally. And this recipe is the newest addition to my smoothie list! It's creamy, fruity, and tastes like this ice cream. Perfection? I think so. ;)

This smoothie sort of reminds me of sunshine. Liquid sunshine that makes you happy from the inside out. We all want to drink liquid sunshine, right? Or is that just me? In any case, this smoothie is still delicious and stupidly simple. So why not give it a go?

Based of this recipe

1/2 c. orange or mango juice
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt of choice)
3/4 c. frozen mango
2 T. ground flaxseed
1/2 c. protein powder of 1-2 T. collagen hydrolyslate (don't be scared by the name! It's just gelatin that doesn't solidfy)
dash cinnamon
1/2 tsp. lime juice
5-6 ice cubes
sweetner, to taste

1. Add all your ingredients to a blender and give it a whirl!
2. Pour into a glass, sip out of a straw, and add a fancy umbrella. Optional, but highly recommended. ;)

Inquiry of the Day:

Have you ever had any smoothie mishaps? 
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