Sunny Hawaiian-Style Turkey Burgers

I think I’m rebelling against the horrid cold that has finally settled in because I’m constantly craving summer foods. Maybe pretending that it’s summer will make me believe I can actually feel my hands and feet after I have been outside with the dogs. Whatever the reason for my summer food cravings, I’m really enjoying reaping the benefits of cooking things that make me feel sunny inside. 

Tonight I put on all of my winter gear and went outside to grill these spirit-boosting Hawaiian burgers in 10 degree weather. That’s how intent I was on enjoying an imaginary summer dinner. I may have been shaking from the frigid cold from head to toe while I was outside, but when I came back in and we ate these beautiful, tropical-flavored burgers, I suddenly felt the sunshine on my shoulders. 


1 lb. ground turkey

1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 tsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. juice from pineapples

4 pineapple rings, canned

4 burger buns

4 slices Havarti cheese

⅓ c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. sriracha sauce

2 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Olive oil spray, for grilling

Lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, microgreens or other favorite burger toppings for serving 

Preheat the grill to high. In the meantime, mix together the turkey, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, juice from the canned pineapples and salt and pepper in a large bowl with your hands. Make sure to mix thoroughly and then form the meat into 4 patties that are about 1 inch thick. 

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sriracha and lemon juice. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray the grill with olive oil and grill the pineapple rings for about 3-5 minutes, or slightly browned. Grill the burgers for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through entirely and are browned. Cover with cheese and let it melt on the grill.

To assemble the burgers, spread the sriracha mayo on the buns, place the burger on the bottom bun, top with grilled pineapple and any other favorite burger toppings.


Murgh Makhani (Restaurant-Style Butter Chicken)

Butter chicken doesn’t pack a spice-laden flavor punch like many other Indian curries because it doesn’t need to. What butter chicken lacks in heavy spice, it certainly makes up for in velvety, buttery and mild taste. Butter chicken is an incredibly popular Indian dish all over the world, likely because of its mildness and appeal to all sorts of different palates. 

This version of butter chicken is smooth and creamy, and very simple to cook. While many versions include pureed onions in the curry, I prefer butter chicken simpler and more delicate in flavor. I also chose to include chicken breasts in my recipe, but many people prefer thighs. It’s really up to you. This meal is perfect for a cold evening at home and is perfectly paired with super-simple homemade garlic naan



1.5 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Juice from one lemon 

2 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. cayenne

1 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. plain yogurt

Curry Base:

2-3 Tbsp. butter or ghee

1 c. tomato sauce

¾  c. heavy cream

3 tsp. sugar

Salt to taste

Cilantro, for serving

Combine all of the ingredients for the chicken/marinade. Refrigerate overnight. 

When you’re ready to cook, heat butter over medium high heat in a large skillet and add chicken. Cook until slightly slightly browned. Add the tomato sauce, cream, and sugar and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt. 

Serve with basmati rice and naan. Try my super-simple homemade garlic  naan recipe!


Savory Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Moroccan chefs really slam dunk it when it comes to cooking flavorful and interesting stews. One reason these special stews are so tasty is that many Moroccans cook their meat and veggie meals in a tagine. Its cone-shaped lid and spacious cooking surface help to seal in all of the essences of the spices, meat, and vegetables that blossom together during cooking. The unique shape of this magic vessel provides a natural moisture-sealing canopy that yields stews that are infused with wonderful aromas and tastes, and meat that is moist and tender. 

When you pair the tagine cooking method with the almost-infinite blends of rich spices used in Moroccan cooking, you can count on nearly never-ending possibilities for amazing stews that can be created in a tagine. Tagine can be made with meat, chicken fish,or even completely vegan. 

This version of chicken tagine includes some of my favorite stew ingredients in combination with a noteworthy presence of lemon, olives and spices. Watch for other tagine ideas coming soon . . .


4-5 chicken thighs

1 c. frozen peas

2 c. baby carrots

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

⅓ lemon, sliced thinly

¼ c. olives

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. saffron 

1 tsp cinnamon 

3 c. water

Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Brown both sides of the chicken breasts. Add the onions, garlic, spices and about 3 cups of water. Transfer the ingredients to your tagine. Cover the tagine and simmer for 20 minutes on medium low heat until chicken is cooked and tender. Stir periodically and add water if necessary. 

Add the frozen peas, carrots, red bell peppers, lemon slices, and olives. Cover and cook again until the flavors meld together, about 10 more minutes. Add water as needed. If there’s too much water, uncover the tagine and let the water evaporate a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste and top with parsley and cilantro. Serve with couscous, rice or bread.


Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Avocado

If you’re trying to eat healthier but you just can’t contain your craving for buffalo wings, do I have a solution for you! My recipe for the buffalo chicken quinoa bowl will satisfy your craving for wings without causing the buttons to bust off your pants. 

This bowl features a one-two flavor punch without the gut bomb after-effects of wings. The tender chicken bathed in buffalo sauce, blue cheese, avocado, quinoa, and crunchy veggies is a combo that just can’t be beat. Maybe even by a basket of buffalo wings.



1 c. uncooked quinoa

2 c. chicken broth

Salt and pepper

Buffalo sauce


Shredded chicken (tossed in buffalo sauce)

2 green onions, sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced lengthwise

1 avocado, diced

2 c. fresh baby spinach

½ c. blue cheese crumbles

Salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa according to package directions using chicken broth. When it is finished, season with salt and pepper and set aside, covered so it stays warm. 

To make the buffalo sauce, heat the butter over medium high heat. As soon as it is melted, remove from heat and whisk in Franks, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Immediately toss in the shredded chicken and heat through. 

To assemble the bowls, place half of the quinoa in each bowl. Top with spinach, carrots, chicken, avocado, green onions, and blue cheese crumbles Season with salt and pepper and don’t be afraid to pour some extra buffalo sauce on top!

Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches Uncategorized

Hot Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Arugula

This Italian-inspired hot sandwich is just the thing to get you through a cold winter day. While most of the ingredients in this sandwich would normally be associated with summer, this hot version is cozy and filling and just what your body needs on a frigid day. 

I prefer to serve the hot pesto chicken sandwich on a small country loaf filled with plenty of pesto chicken, red peppers, mozzarella and arugula. What takes this sandwich up a notch is definitely the last step of baking it in the oven so that all of the flavors meld together perfectly.  


2 small country loaf buns

½ c. shredded chicken

¼ c. pesto

¼ red pepper, thinly sliced

2 tsp. olive oil

2 slices mozzarella

Handful of baby arugula

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. 

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the red pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add the chicken and pesto and cook quickly until hot. 

Cut the buns lengthwise and place mozzarella slice on the bottom half and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the top half. Season the olive oil side with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, red pepper and pesto mixture on top of the mozzarella. Top with a handful of fresh arugula. Wrap tightly with foil and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and arugula is wilted.

Enjoy immediately! 

Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches Uncategorized

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

One of our favorite meals to eat is a big ol’ plate of chicken gyros. It’s super simple to prep and cook, it’s healthy, and it tastes so darn good. Chicken gyros are versatile and always a delight, whether served on a pita, on a salad, or with potatoes or rice. The marinated chicken is both flavorful and tender, and indeed, craveworthy. If you want to up the ante with the veggies, serve these gyros with a traditional Greek salad or my yummy quinoa tabbouleh salad. If you’re feeling a bit more cheeky and want some dipping items for your tzatziki sauce, you could also serve these with some fresh french fries. You can’t go wrong either way.



1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs (your preference), sliced into bite-sized pieces

5 cloves garlic, minced

½ c. olive oil

Juice from 2 lemons

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 c. plain Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. mint

Juice from ½ lemon

¼ c. cucumber, finely diced


6 pita

Crumbled feta cheese

Sliced cucumbers

Lettuce, tomatoes, onions (if desired)

*Gyros are also delicious when served with quinoa tabbouleh salad – link here

The night before serving, combine all ingredients for the chicken and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

You can prepare the tzatziki sauce in advance too, or wait until right before serving. To make the tzatziki sauce, combine all ingredients and stir. Store in the refrigerator. 

To cook the chicken, place a skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Dump the contents of the chicken (including all of the marinade) into the skillet and cook until the marinade cooks off and the chicken is browned. 

To assemble the chicken gyros, place the chicken on top of warmed pitas, followed by lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, onions and tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!

Chicken/Turkey Pasta Uncategorized

Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash is a popular Hungarian comfort food meal loaded with paprika and sour cream and usually served over buttered egg noodles. It’s perfect for a cold winter night, so last night when it was insanely windy and cold I decided to whip up a batch for dinner. It did not disappoint. The luscious and tender pieces of chicken bathed in a creamy aromatic sauce is just what the body and soul craves this time of year. 

Chicken paprikash is traditionally served with spaetzle, but can be paired very successfully with egg noodles, rice or potatoes. Whatever pairing you choose, it will be heavenly! 


1 lb. chicken breasts

½ c flour

3-4 Tbsp. paprika or hot Hungarian paprika if you like it spicier

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. yellow onion, chopped

2 c. chicken broth

1 c. sour cream

Parsley, for garnish

Mix together flour, 2 Tbsp. paprika, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge the chicken on all sides and save the flour mixture for later. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Set the aside on a plate. 

In the same skillet, add onion and the remaining paprika and cook for about 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape all of the bits of chicken from the skillet for added flavor. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Add chicken back to the skillet and cook for 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. 

In a small bowl, mix together the leftover flour from dredging the chicken, ½ c. sour cream, and ½ c. liquid from the skillet. Add it to the skillet to thicken the sauce and mix together thoroughly. Turn off the heat on the stove and add remaining sour cream. Mix together and serve hot with noodles.

Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice

Fried rice is pretty much always tasty, but sometimes the same ol’, same ol’ can get stale. If you’re a fried rice lover, but you’re craving something with a little more zing and color . . . try this amped-up Thai version of basil fried rice. The combination of basil, thai chilies, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and shallots meld so perfectly into a flavor bomb of a meal that comes together in 20 minutes or less. Once you try this version of fried rice, there may be no going back to the same ol’, same ol’ version.


1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large shallot, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch basil

1-3 Thai chilies, sliced

2 eggs

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

2 Tbsp. oyster sauce

1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. honey or agave

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook through until slightly browned. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the oyster sauce, fish sauce and honey in a bowl. Add shallots, garlic, and chilies to the skillet with the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add cooked rice and mix everything together. Push everything to one side of the skillet and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and mix into the rice. Quickly add the sauce to the rice and mix together. Add the basil and remove from heat. Toss together thoroughly until the basil is wilted. Serve immediately!

Chicken/Turkey Soups Uncategorized

Avgolemono Soup (Tangy Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

It seems that every culture has its version of a comforting, crave-worthy soup. For many Americans, it’s grandma’s chicken noodle soup. Avgolemono soup, made with a scrumptious base of lemons and eggs, is Greece’s version of grandma’s soup that can always lift your spirits and make you feel safe and warm.

Avgolemono soup is creamy and rich. It tastes like a cream-based soup that will go straight to your hips . . . but the awesome news is that it’s actually very healthy. Best of all, avgolemono soup is so quick and easy to make. The whole process takes less than 30 minutes, making it the perfect meal for a weeknight dinner.


2 c. cooked, shredded chicken

1 c. carrots, finely chopped

½ c. celery, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ c. green onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 bay leaves

1 c. uncooked white rice

½ fresh lemon juice

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add carrots, celery, onions and green onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bay leaves. Increase to high heat and allow the mixture to boil. Add the uncooked rice and turn to medium-low heat and allow to simmer until rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Add the cooked chicken to the pot.

Mix together the eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add a ladle full of the soup mixture into the bowl and whisk again until mixed. Add egg, lemon and soup mixture to the pot and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with parsley and serve immediately. 

I recommend pairing this with pita bread for a perfectly delicious Greek meal.

Chicken/Turkey Uncategorized

Amazing and Super-Fast Chicken Shawarma

Raise your hand if you ever get home from work and don’t feel like cooking, so you find yourself dreaming about ordering some spice-bomb pita sandwiches with a side of hummus from a local restaurant. Yeah, same here. The only problem is . . . you’re ravenous and can’t wait the hour it takes to get to your house. I admit, I get hangry sometimes, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

With just a little planning ahead the night before, you can have a lip-smacking, satisfying take-out style meal in 15 minutes or less. This chicken shawarma is outstanding in the taste department and involves nothing more than heating up a pan, warming some pita bread, and chopping a few veggies. Try this, and you may find yourself just saying no to take-out. Gasp!



2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized strips

Juice from 1 large lemon

½ c. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, chopped

Place all ingredients in a container with a lid, refrigerate and marinate overnight. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and dump all of the contents from the container into the hot skillet. There’s no need to add oil, since there is plenty of oil in the marinade. Cook the chicken until the marinade has cooked off and the chicken and onions are browned and caramelized. Add salt and pepper as needed and top with fresh parsley. 

Serve on warm pita bread with hummus or yogurt sauce, topped with cucumbers and tomatoes. For a healthier option, serve with tabbouleh salad. Personally, I like all of these options combined!