Chicken-Avocado Burgers

Its summer, so that means its barbecue season! However, if you live in the Netherlands/Scotland (like I do) this means: lets pretend that the weather is nice and  have a barbecue – but inside. Regardless of how good – or bad – the weather is, these burgers are always tasty and a leaner alternative to regular burgers.

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Get ready, because your hands will be dirty! Grab about 500-600 g  ground chicken (or turkey) and mix this (with your hands) together with 1/3 cup of almond flour (or regular flour), 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/3 tsp pepper. Make sure these ingredients are mixed well, and if the mixture still feels a bit wet, add some more flour to make sure it sticks together.

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Next, chop two avocados into approximately 1 cm cubes, and dice 1/4 cup jalapeño slices.

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Gently mix in these ingredients trying not to squish the avocado. After it is all mixed, create burger patties in whatever size you like. I usually make about 6 good-sized patties from this recipe.

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TIP: I think that raw chicken is like super gross, so if you can, make your boyfriend your sous-chef and make him touch all the meat while you cut and grill. If not, just hope that the raw meat won’t get stuck under your nails….which it probably will tbh.

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Get a large grill pan and grill the burgers until they are fully cooked, approx 4-5 mins on each side. These burgers freeze very well, so if you think 6 burgers is too many, just throw the rest in the freezer and use them on a day you don’t have time to cook.

I usually serve these burgers with sweet potato fries and a greek salad!

 

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 500-600 g ground chicken or turkey meat
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup (almond) flour – but add more if you feel your mixture is too wet
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 sliced jalapeños, diced
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1 cm cubes

Method:

  1. Combine ground meat, garlic, (almond) flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Chop jalapeños and avocados and gently mix into the mixture, trying not to mush the avocado bits.
  3. Grill (in pan or on barbecue) until fully cooked, approx 4-5 minutes on each side.
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Tortilla Española – Spanish Tortilla

…or as my brother calls them: “those Mexican things”, hahaha. I got the base for this recipe from my best friend’s mom, aka my madre número dos. I think the first time I had Spanish tortilla was at my best friend’s house at one of our many sport team dinners, as it is great as a tapa at a potluck-style dinner. A tortilla is very versatile, you can add ingredients to make it taste however you want. I’ve made tortillas with chorizo, chicken, jalapeños or peppers, or you could basically any other ingredient you want. The recipe here is simple and pretty straightforward with potatoes, onions, and eggs, although I also added some red peppers to it.

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The first step is to cut and peel a kilo of potatoes. This is probably most time-consuming part of the process, however making sure that you have thin slices of potatoes is essential. As always, I cheated and instead of manually cutting a billion slices, I used the slicing disc on my Magimix food processor. This thing is literally a lifesaver!

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Next, add the potato slices to a large bowl and coat in approximately a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Now this is where my recipe differs from most conventional recipes: I partially cook the potato slices in the microwave instead of in a frying pan. This can be done by placing the bowl with potato slices in the microwave at the highest setting for approximately 10-12 minutes (with stirring and checking in between) until the potatoes are soft enough to be cut with a fork. While the potatoes are microwaving, you can dice two large onions and two red (or any other color) peppers.

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When the potatoes are done, add them to a large, lightly oiled non-stick pan together with the onions and peppers. Cook these until the onion is translucent.

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Next, beat 8 eggs in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the contents from the pan to the bowl and cover potato mixture in egg. Transfer the contents of the bowl back into the non-stick pan, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes.

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Now comes the tricky part: flipping the tortilla. I’m sure that very few people actually own a special tortilla-flipping plate (basically an oversized plate with a handle), so what I do is I get a large plate that fits well over the pan. Then while wearing oven gloves, I turn the pan upside down and transfer the tortilla onto the plate and shuffle it back into the pan. I have ruined many a tortilla by flipping it incorrectly, so through through trial and error I’ve figured out this way that works for me….so good luck!

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Once the tortilla is flipped and back in the pan, cook it for another five minutes and flip it onto a plate and serve!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Cut and peel potatoes and add to a large bowl. Coat in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Microwave potato slices on high for 10-12 minutes until nearly cooked, with occasional stirring.
  3. Add potatoes to large non-stick frying and add diced onions and peppers. Cook until onion is translucent.
  4. Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer potato mixture into the bowl with eggs and mix well.
  6. Return the potatoes now covered in eggs to non-stick pan and cook on a low heat with a lid for 5 minutes.
  7. Flip tortilla and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

Avocado and Cucumber sauce with Courgetti

This recipe is such a quick and fresh one to make, which makes it perfect for spring and summer. Courgetti is variable and can be used as a no-carb substitute for any spaghetti, so this recipe is really more about the avocado and cucumber sauce than anything else. Nothing in this recipe requires cooking, as all the ingredients for the sauce are simply blended and thrown together in a large plate. Alternatively, spaghetti can be used instead of courgetti, although I prefer mine with courgetti as a lighter meal.

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The green sauce consists of ripe avocados, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh basil, with some additional salt and pepper to taste. The addition of lemon juice keeps the sauce nice and green so that you can keep leftovers (if any) in the fridge for a couple of days.

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Once the ingredients are prepped and cut into chunks, they are all blended together in a food processor until a smooth green sauce is formed. I throw the washed basil leaves in without removing the stems, as they will go unnoticed when blended.

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Again, it is very important to taste the sauce at this point so that you can make it to your own taste by adding more salt, pepper, basil, garlic, or lemon juice.

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After the sauce is finished, you should make courgette noodles either by spiralizing them, or by using a julienne peeler, as both methods will give you noodles. The courgetti can be eaten raw, but if you prefer the noodles warm or lightly cooked, then you can toss them in a pan for 1-2 minutes or in a microwave for a minute before serving it on a plate.

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The next step is to combine the courgetti with the sauce and assemble the rest of the ingredients on a plate. I have added leftover roast chicken, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, and a bit of rocket salad on the plate. When I made this last time, I prepared this meal for my whole family and the assembly of all the ingredients on the plate took more time than making the sauce or the noodles, but food has to look pretty, right?

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Enjoy!

 

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Sauce:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 ½ cucumbers
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ lemons (juice of)
  • large handful of basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Rest:

  • 4 courgettes (1 per person)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • rocket salad
  • 1 jar jalapeños
  • leftover roast chicken

The rest of the ingredients do not have specific amounts as they can be adjusted to how much you want of everything or can even be substituted for other ingredients. For example, you could add baked salmon instead of chicken, or if you are vegetarian or vegan, this meal is still delicious entirely meat free.

Method:

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients (cut in smaller pieces so that it fits) in a blender and blend until a smooth sauce is made. Taste for flavor and adjust if necessary.
  2. Spiralize the courgette and serve raw or lightly toss around in a warm pan for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Spoon sauce onto a plate of courgetti and mix to coat courgette.
  4. Assemble the remaining ingredients on the plate (remember, beautiful food is always better)

 

Caponata

Caponata is a Sicilian dish that mainly consists of aubergines and a range of other ingredients. It is a great vegetarian main, but can also be eaten as a side (last night I ate it with some beef chipolata sausages). The great thing about Caponata is that it tastes delicious when eaten both hot and cold! Last New Years’ Eve, I made this for my family’s tapas boards, and it was eaten as a cold antipasto along with tortilla española (Spanish tortilla), cured meats, cheeses, olives, and bread. This is an easy one-pan dish and takes almost no time to make!

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Firstly, get three large aubergines, and roughly chop them into large cubes. Coat a large pan in a thin layer of olive oil and cook the aubergine cubes along with the oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until browned, which is approximately 5 minutes. Then, dice a red onion and finely mince or press three garlic cloves and add these to the pan. It is important to keep stirring or else the aubergine may stick to the pan and burn (which may or may not have happened to me once or twice…).

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When the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant, add a large hand-full (or two) of olives, and two tablespoons of capers. At this point, the aubergine has probably absorbed a lot of the olive oil in the pan, and if you feel that it is too dry you can add some more olive oil, but be careful because it could make the aubergine oily and heavy. Next, add 5 large roughly chopped tomatoes (I usually use vine tomatoes, as they are quite juicy compared to roma tomatoes). Then add three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and simmer while stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the skin starts falling off.

 

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While this cooks, toast about two table spoons of almond slivers in a dry pan, to use as garnish later on. Chop some parsley (flat leaved parsley is better but I only had the curly kind, and used that instead -if you do use curly parsley, use less than the flat parsley as it is stronger in flavor.) and use this as garnish together with the toasted almond slivers.

As I said before, it is great with chipolata sausages, but the cold leftovers are also super yummy.

 

Ingredients: (Serves 4 as main, 6 as side)

  • 3 large aubergines
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
  • salt and peper (to taste)
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 handfuls of green olives
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds (toasted)

 

Method:

  1. Cut aubergines into large cubes. Coat a large pan in olive oil and add the aubergine, oregano, salt and pepper and fry for approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Finely chop a red onion and mince the garlic and add to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the olives, capers and cook while stirring for another minute or so.
  4. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and cook simmer for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the skin starts falling off.
  5. Toast slivered almonds and chop parsley to garnish dish and serve.

 

 

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s: “Jamie’s Italy”.