Southwest Chicken Burger and Lime Corn Salad

All right, the secret is out… I was so incredibly over Winter and it’s dreariness. In fact, I’m ready to skip Spring too and head straight for Summer a.k.a. Grilling Season. Nothing excites me more than the thought of charred burgers, grilled corn on the cob and oozing fruit-filled desserts. Oh, and the mouth-watering smoky smell of barbecue…but I digress!

So, with some sunshine this past weekend, those in the Northwest do what they do best: bring out the grill! Even though this might have been a little premature (yes, I did attempt to wear a dress and found I was a little bit too ambitious… it was still cold!), I was ecstatic to get my “grill on” even if that meant wearing a light jacket and pants.

For this weekend, we decided to make Southwest Chicken Burgers with Grilled Lime Corn Salad.

The best part about this recipe? No exact sizes of ingredients needed – just some good ‘ole eyeballing and taste-testing!

Southwest Chicken Burgers

Ingredients:

Ground Chicken
Corn
Black Beans
Garlic
Green Peppers
Red Onion
Bread Crumbs
Cilantro
Pepper Jack Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Mix ground chicken together with garlic, black beans, green peppers, red onion, cilantro and corn. Add salt and pepper.

2. Form ground chicken mixture into patties.

3. Put onto grill. Grill on each side for a few minutes (test to make sure that it is cooked all the way through).

4. At the last minute of grilling, add a slice of pepper jack cheese and toast buns.

5. Assemble buns and chicken patties together. Add necessary other sauces!

Grilled Lime Corn Salad

Ingredients:

Corn
Lime
Olive Oil
Green Pepper
Red Onion
Cilantro
Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1. Grill corn

2. Add grilled corn with chopped red onion, green peppers, cilantro.

3. Mix lime juice with olive oil to taste. Add dressing to corn mixture.

4. Serve immediately (with above chicken burger of course)!

I think the key in both of these items is the use of cilantro. It’s not often that I use it; however, when I do, it feels the same way that a fashionista would utilize a statement piece.

Overall, a nice change from the usual burger and a great mix of flavors!

Cheers to Grilling Season!

Black-Bean & Tomato Quinoa


Whether you pronounce it “KEEN-WAH” or “KEEN-AH-WAH”, hands down I love it. However, I will admit that at first glance, I was a bit skeptical of this strange, grain-like substance. But, after a few times that I of trying it, I realized that this once previously thought sketchy crop was actually quite tasty. Even though Quinoa has a unique, nutty flavor, the key to its taste success lies in the dressing (at least in my opinion).

Lately, I’ve been on a lime-kick and have indulged in any and all recipes lime-worthy. I happened to find a recipe for Quinoa (Black-Bean & Tomato Quinoa) and the dressing relied heavily on limes. So, after zesting a lime, cutting some cilantro, and cooking some Quinoa (not from a box, go me!), I was set to make this recipe!

Step 1: Chop Cilantro and Zest Lime

Step 2: Whisk Sugar, Salt, Oil, Melted Butter
Lime Juice, Lime Zest, and Pepper Together


Step 3: Cook Quinoa


Step 4: Mix Tomatoes, Black Beans,
Lime Dressing, and Quinoa Together 


This recipe is definitely very fresh and tasty. Next time, I’d love to add more vegetables and some jalapenos to add some more flair. Even though Quinoa looks a bit funky (as compared to usual pasta), I really like it. I will admit that it was a bit of a pain and hassle to make it the old-fashioned way. Next time, I will definitely look for a short-cut!

Funky, fresh, and flavorful — at least I found something to keep me satisfied for a few days!

Cheers!