Easy Southwest Turkey Burgers w/ Avocado-Ranch Dressing + Weekly Menu

Confession: If I have a choice between a beef burger and a turkey burger, I’ve always chosen the beef.

However, this is because I once had a turkey burger SO DRY and TASTELESS, it nearly scarred me for life. Yet, when I saw Estella’s turkey burgers with the green chilies, cumin, and chili powder…I talked myself down from the turkey burger picket line. I’ve tried so many of her recipes without disappointment yet.

Turkey burgers included.


Easy Southwest Turkey Burgers from Weekly Bite

1 lb ground turkey breast 1 egg 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs 4 oz can diced green chiles 1 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hand, mix until until all the ingredients are blended together.

Cook the burgers either on an outdoor grill or an indoor pan; you want to cook them about 6 minutes on each side until completely cooked through. Yield: 5 turkey burger patties.

Nutrition Information (per patty): 154 calories; 7.8 g. fat; 83 mg. cholesterol; 403 mg. sodium; 9.8 g. carbohydrate; 0.9 g. fiber; 22.8 g. protein

Result: You can taste the southwest without too much heat at all. These got a thumbs up from Mr. Prevention, as well. Unlike turkey burgers in the past, these were far from dry and bland, and big a nutritional step-up from their ground beef counterparts! You can’t beat 154 calories for a burger! And a quick meal, indeed – 15 minutes from start to finish! Enjoy!


These weren’t spicy, they were just flavorful. And not dry….most importantly, not dry. Hear me, turkey burger haters/beef burger loyals?

With still some skepticism pre-Easy Southwest Turkey Burgers, I decided this Avocado-Ranch Dressing (made with Greek yogurt!) would surely take any burger to the next level. Correct! While I haven’t figured out how to use the excess of this dressing, I think it could replace any high-fat, high-calorie veggie dip or act as a spread on nearly any sandwich. And together, ohhh….yesss. Summer (burger) lovin’…had me a blast.


Avocado-Ranch Dressing adapted from The Dainty Chef, originally from Rachel Ray

1 Hass avocado 1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt 1 lemon, juiced 1 clove garlic, minced salt and pepper, to taste 1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (optional) 1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)


Mash avocado in a bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: 2 cups (16 servings – 2 tablespoons each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 25 calories; 1.5 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 78 mg. sodium; 2 g. carbohydrate; 0.3 g. fiber; 1.6 g. protein

Result: Smooth, creamy, and…healthy! It’s hard to do too much damage at 25 calories a serving and far less sugar than ketchup!


Weekly Menu: August 21st-25th

Last night was such a nice, relaxing night at home with Mr. Prevention. For the pizza-lover, I made Chicago-style deep-dish pizza which turned out excellent! We popped open a bottle of ’06 Chianti Classico and sat out on the deck enjoying summer. The relaxation and meal splurge was earned, however. I pounded out 5.1 miles in the HUMID August heat and later that day we went to a new park with 8 miles of trails so Mr. P could run. He didn’t wear the Garmin but he went 4-5 miles while I settled in with Plate to Pixel under the shade of a tree ;) And since I’m recapping the day not in chronological order, the farmer’s market was buzzing with people. I got their early (with Lily!) and was able to get 5lbs of apples for $4, 2 zucchini for $1, and12 mini eggplant for $2! Perfect summer Saturday!

For whatever reason I have my horoscope sent to my inbox each day, and this morning I woke up to this:

If you’ve been hesitant about whether you should go on a diet, this would be a great day to start, Cancer. If you’re one of those people who really doesn’t have to watch what you eat, good for you! However, you should still stay away from rich foods. Don’t drink too much alcohol, and stay away from a lot of chocolate.

One of those people who really doesn’t have to watch what they eat? Baahahahaha! I wish, horoscope (even though I would still eat healthy, I just wouldn’t have the excess 30lbs to show proof of less than stellar genetic make-up as far as weight status goes). And funny the horoscope suggested laying off chocolate, because I have my heart set on making a cherry cornmeal upside down cake today ;)

Question: Do you read your daily horoscope?

Have a great day!

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Top of the mornin’ to ya!

Blogging from Chicago – I’m here safe and sound, though the traffic nearly killed me! Note to self: the Dan Ryan at 6pm is a very poor life choice. Don’t make it again…

After the overwhelming love, support, and drool for yesterday’s post on The Ultimate Sriracha Burger, it’s only appropriate to show that the meal was, in fact, balanced-ish (the burger was a worthy splurge). It included healthy fats, too. And something green. And something purple – beets! I love beets so much that I’m going to make muffins out of them next week. Oh, yes. I’m going there…

While I subbed in beets for the red onion, I would highly recommend both in this recipe. I mean, why not? I also recommend using any must-go veggies – this slaw is so versatile and once again…why not? ;)

The real reason behind this recipe, however, is Mr. P’s distaste for mayonnaise. While I think mayonnaise-haters are LUNATICS (Mmm…mayonnaise!), I know there are lots of you loonies out there.

Admittedly, I learned an important life lesson. While mayonnaise rules the world of slaw, one darn good slaw can come about with no mayonnaise at all. There, I said it. For the whole world (potentially, but highly unlikely) to read.

If you’re looking for a lighter, heart-healthy coleslaw, here you have it. If you hate mayonnaise but like slaws, here you have it. I’m such a people-pleaser, I tell ya. And if that isn’t convincing enough, Mr. Prevention actually took these leftovers for lunch. That speaks volumes…take my word for it!


Asian Cabbage Slaw slightly adapted from Food, Fitness, Fresh Air

1 small red or green cabbage (or 1/2 large), thinly sliced or shredded 2 carrots, shredded 1/2 cucumber, diced 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup red onion, minced (I subbed in beets)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar 1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 serrano chile, minced, or 1/8-1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper 2 scallions, chopped


In large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and red onion.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Stir into slaw ingredients. Garnish with scallions, and serve, or allow a couple hours for flavors to marinade before garnishing. Yield: 12 servings (1/2 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup): 67 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 90 mg. sodium; 6 g. carbohydrate; 1.4 g. fiber; 0.92 g. protein

Result: I thought I would like this dish, but I ended up LOVING this slaw. As a huge mayo fan, I was sure a vinegar and oil-based slaw just wouldn’t add up…wrong! And much to my surprise, Mr. Prevention loved this slaw, too. Shocked us both – a great, healthy side dish perfect for summer. Enjoy!


There is lots going on career-wise for me. Mid Ohio Nutrition Specialists is on track to land business contracts with 11 YMCA’s in the Columbus area, offering our 7-week weight management support group. WOO! And secondly, I am going to be teaching THREE classes this fall – Medical Nutrition Therapy (6 hours), Nutrition Care Process (2 hours), and Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle (5 hours). Translation: amazing opportunity, totally pumped, rather overwhelmed already! Creating curriculum is tough, especially when you work in dialysis AND spend a lot of time and energy trying to get a private practice up and running. Should make for an interesting, exciting, rewarding fall!

I’m off to play with my mom…we’re going to get into trouble in the city and meet my brother for lunch! :-D

Question: What was your favorite class/subject in high school/college?

Have a great day!

Winners!! And…loser (me!)

Happy weekend!!!

Thanks for helping me celebrate my blogiversary in true fashion! Of course, the doughnut pans were a huge hit! :-D Sorry there weren’t more to go around!

Congrats to Becky, Dana, Rebecca, JW, Heather H-F, Matt, Christine, Becca B, Erin, Samantha, Melanie, and Andrea!!

I have sent emails to all the winners. Thanks again for entering, everyone!

And for losers…well, ME! I am down 1.2 lbs this week! It has been a very slow upward climb, or the scale has remained unchanged for a few weeks now, so I’m glad to be back down, for a total of 12.2 lbs since January. I’m batting for the “Slow and Steady” team…and I like it that way!

It’s great to get through a week like last week which was filled with emotional highs and lows and still make it a healthy one. I didn’t mention anything before now, but one the patients I worked very closely with passed away at the clinic last Saturday and the wake was on Tuesday. It was tough, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet the patient’s family and to say goodbye. And it was from the wake that I went to teach our new weight management class – sans any mascara left on my lower lashes. Oy! And while those were the highest of highs and lowest of lows for the week, there was so much more – like an anonymous donation coming into the clinic in my name!

So I am very much so looking forward to a better (and shorter!) week. I mean, school is out for summer!!!!! :-D I think I was just as excited as my students! It’s not the teaching I dislike (I love it!), it’s the hours! Being away from home all day -and- night 2 days a week is really tough. Those days are so jam-packed that it makes the rest of the week busy + playing catch-up. But hey, I’ll worry about that in another 10 weeks ;)

Rest day today (and yesterday) in preparation for my duathlon tomorrow. I purchased my (oh so sexy) bike helmet yesterday. I will post tomorrow after my event, and when things get tough tomorrow, I’ll be thinking of Samantha running a marathon on her own. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is!

Lily and I are off to the farmer’s market! :-D

Question: What was this week’s high and low for you?

Lots of love,

Garden Update!

Good morning! Man, I wish every day were my blogiversary…you all gave me warm fuzzies yesterday…all day! Thank you! :-D Best…readers…ever! Muah! And if you weren’t around yesterday, you have until tomorrow at 10pm EST to enter to win one of 4 Stevia packages, one of 3 doughnut pans, one of 4 Larabar winners, or a food scale!

Anyway…I have failed to give garden updates, but all is well in my terra cotta empire! The final round up includes cherry and roma tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. As for herbs, we planted those in our landscaping in the back of our yard and. I planted 2 basil plants, 2 thyme plants, dill, cilantro, Italian parsley, sage, rosemary, and oregano.

Here’s some shots! They’re actually about a week old now, but things are BOOMING!

In addition to a garden update, I wanted to give an update on Lighten Up, the weight management program my private practice is offering. We have 10 ladies enrolled and Tuesday was our first session. It…was…amazing! These women are phenomenal. And, so many of them are interested in healthy cooking. So much so that next week, we’re meeting at one of their homes for a cooking class! I’m pumped!

As we closed the session, the women shared a goal for the week. So many of them made the goal to exercise more. After returning home for the night, Donna, my business partner, texted me and said, “I’m out shooting hoops — the women inspire me!” And I texted back, “I just said no to Mark’s pizza offer and am going to run now!” :-D One thing I love about my job is the constant motivation to be healthier…while helping others. Needless to say, we are so excited to bond with these women and make major strides in health and weight loss.

Question: What do you love most about your job?

Be green: grow and eat at home!


Coriander Tofu Tostadas with Refried Beans and Fennel + Weekly Menu

If you don’t like tofu, I can almost gurantee that it’s because you’re not cooking it right. Tofu is all about the high temperature bake to get a crusty exterior. Not only is tofu relatively cheap, but it keeps good forever and absorbs the flavors it’s cooked with.

First things first, I always recommend purchasing “extra firm” tofu and using paper towels to remove excess water. This will help ensure the right texture after being baked. Second, you want to pair tofu with a lot of flavor. That’s very vague, but it’s true. Tofu is so versatile. I’m learning this more and more so — I mean, tostadas? Hm. It works.

I have quite a few recipes in queue to post, but seeing as this was the best meal I’ve made in awhile, it couldn’t wait. I want to make a lot of Joanne’s recipes, but she’s way more savvy than I in the kitchen. For no reason, this recipe slightly intimidated me. Unnecessarily, though. While the tofu bakes, you can prepare the rest of the meal. From start-to-finish, you’re looking at 35 minutes.


Coriander Tofu Tostadas with Refried Beans and Fennel slightly adapted from Eats Well with Others, originally from Bon Appetit

2 cans pinto beans, drained (reserve liquid) 1 chopped white onion 2 Tbsp dried oregano 2 cloves garlic, peeled 2+ chipotle chiles en adobo 2 tsp ground cumin coarse kosher salt

1 large fresh fennel bulb, trimmed and cut through the core into 1/3 inch thick slices 1 tsp olive oil 1 block extra-firm tofu, excess liquid squeezed out and cut into strips 1 Tbsp ground coriander 8 tostadas 2 cups cabbage or lettuce, thinly sliced 6 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced 2 oz queso fresco, grated fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish


Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil with non-stick spray. Arrange tofu slices on the foil and spray tofu strips with cooking spray. Season with salt, pepper, and coriander. Bake for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.

While the tofu cooks, drain the beans and put into a food processor with the onion, oregano, garlic, chipotles, and cumin. Blend to a chunky puree, adding bean water, if needed (I didn’t use any).

Meanwhile, saute fennel slices in the olive oil until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Remove from heat and into a small bowl.

Add the bean mixture to the pan that sauteed the fennel. Stir over medium-low heat, adding more bean liquid/broth if dry, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Top each tostada with a layer of the refried beans, tofu, lettuce/cabbage, radishes, fennel, queso fresco and cilantro. Yield: 4 servings – 2 tostadas each.

Nutrition Information (per 2 tostadas): 516 calories; 17 g. fat; 8 mg. cholesterol; 891 mg. sodium; 59 g. carbohydrate; 14.3 g. fiber; 26.3 g. protein

Result: Absolutely, positively amazing! Mr. Prevention was out of town for this meal, but I imagine he would really like it…he’s not thataverse to tofu :) Every flavor in this recipe compliments the others. I was able to eat them like a tostada — with my hands! Which, I really enjoyed :) Other than being on the higher side for sodium, the fat in this meal is healthy fat, the protein is lean and plentiful, and the recipe is loaded with fiber! Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list and directions, it is a near 30-minute meal :-D Enjoy!


Today I am sending off my Big-O Brownies from the Bloggers Bake for Hope bake sale. The winner bid $35 and I was pretty happy with that! All for a good cause! And UPS being open on Sunday – thumbs way up! Tomorrow is uber busy.

I purchased all of my plants yesterday, but they never made it into the ground. The skies clouded over and before long, it was pouring rain. Glad Lily and I made it to the dog park early. In fact, we were the only ones there until about 8am. Why can’t I sleep past 6am!?

At weigh-in, I was down 0.2 lbs. Basically, I’ve been the same weight for 2 months — up a pound, down a pound…up a pound down a pound. Grr! It amazes me how on-track I have to be to produce a loss on the scale. I was soooo good last week! C’est la vie.

Yesterday, rather than working out, I cleaned up! It’s amazing how quickly a house can become a wreck! I know a lot of people would choose a personal chef over a maid, but not me! My domestic skill set ends outside the kitchen – I’m worthless ;) I was a hot MESS after an afternoon of cleaning. And I only tackled half the laundry, the first floor, and the upstairs bathrooms! The kitchen alone was a 2-hour project…

Weekly Menu: May 15th-19th

Question: Which would you prefer — a personal chef or a maid?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Be well,