Green Taco Burger Wraps.

I love lettuce wraps – I think I even prefer when things are wrapped in lettuce to any tortilla or bun (excluding hot dogs, of course). The cool crunch and the light freshness of the lettuce just seems to pair well with a lot of the foods that we think of as bun-worthy. This recipe for what I’m calling “green taco burger wraps” combines the best of cheeseburgers and tacos and wraps the whole thing in nice crunchy lettuce. The burger meat is spiced with cumin and oregano to give it a bit of Mexican flavor, and the toppings are all my taco favorites (especially avocado….mmmm). They’re easy and healthy and so delicious!

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INGREDIENTS

about 3/4 lb ground meat (I used beef)
1 egg
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
red onion, diced
cheese, sliced (I used cheddar)
cilantro, rough chop
tomato, chopped
red pepper, raw or lightly sauteed
4 large lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
avocado, sliced
green onion, sliced
1 lime, sliced

Just the Recipe link: Green Taco Burger Wraps

DIRECTIONS

First, season the burger meat. In a large bowl, add meat, egg, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and red onion to taste. I set the rest of the red onion aside in a little ramekin to top the burgers with later. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.

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That’s the only cooking prep you’ll do in this recipe. At this point, I set the meat aside to let the flavors hang out a bit while I chopped up everything else and put all the amazing toppings into their own little bowls.

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When everything else is ready to go, cook the burgers. First, use your hands to form them into small patties (we made two little patties per person). I cooked them on my beautiful new Le Creuset grill pan from Williams-Sonoma, but a regular grill or a pan can do the trick as well. Put your pan over medium high heat and lightly grease before adding the burgers. Cook until browned on each side and medium-rare in the middle (or however you like your burgers cooked!). Set aside for 5 minutes to let the meat rest.

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The next step is just assembly!

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I started with the lettuce wrapper, then laid the burger on top and placed the cheese on top of that, so it would get a little melty. Then it’s only a matter of topping to your heart’s content – cilantro, red pepper, red onion, green onion, avocado, and a finishing squeeze of lime make these a perfect fresh and healthy lunch. Before you take a bite, just wrap the lettuce around your taco-topped burger. Then dig right in!

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Impostor “Egg” Salad.

Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike: I swear to you, this is really yummy. I like to eat vegan whenever I can, and for me, it often comes down to convenience. What I love about this tofu “egg” salad recipe, inspired by Healthy Happy Life, is that it’s just as easy–if not easier–than making egg salad with actual eggs. Observe: I steamed the tofu for a couple minutes, put it in the fridge to cool while I went for a quick run, and by the time I came back it was a matter of about 5 minutes before I was chowing down on a fast and easy–not to mention healthy—weeknight dinner. This definitely falls into the “I’d never haven guessed it was vegan!” vegan recipe category, so no matter who you are, there’s no excuse not to give it a try!

INGREDIENTS

12 oz extra firm tofu, sliced
1/3 cup vegenaise or mayo
1-2 stalks celery, sliced (I didn’t have any tonight, but normally I would add some celery)
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 small green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
chives for garnish

DIRECTIONS

The first step is optional, but I think it makes a difference in texture and is totally worth the extra time: Steam the tofu for 5-7 minutes, then place in the refrigerator and chill completely.

Now, whether you’ve steamed the tofu or not, pat it dry and cut it up until you reach your preferred egg salad-esque texture.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the chives. Stir to combine.

Serve as a wrap or sandwich on toasted bread, or with crackers. Garnish with chives and enjoy your egg-less impostor egg salad!

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese.

A friend had an idea for this fabulous sandwich, and it’s so easy, it’s barely a “recipe” at all! This simple sandwich is a tasty, spicy take on a classic comfort food, and it goes well with bleu cheese dressing and baked sweet potato fries. And it’s a great way to quiet a craving for buffalo wings without eating anything fried.

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 sandwiches)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
Hot sauce (I like Tabasco or Frank’s)
Mayo
2 green onions, chopped
pepper
cheddar or swiss cheese
soft bread
butter

DIRECTIONS

Combine chicken, hot sauce, mayo, green onion, and pepper to taste.

Lightly butter  2 pieces of bread. The buttered sides will be the outer sides of the sandwich, the ones that touch the pan. Assemble each sandwich with 1 cup of buffalo chicken and 1 slice of cheese.

Transfer to heated pan and cover. Cook until browned on the bottom and flip. When both sides are browned, remove from heat. Serve with bleu cheese dressing on the side.