Barbecue Turkey Burgers

Holy smokes, I can’t believe that it’s July already! Where is this year going? I’ve been super busy outside of my kitchen for the past week or so working on landscaping my backyard. We had our yard dug up last week and a patio was put in so that we could start working on our backyard oasis. Unfortunately that means a lot of moving of dirt around the yard. I’ll just say that I have never done so much landscaping work in all of my life. And there’s still so much more to do! Of course I had to take some time out this past weekend to celebrate the holiday and made these delicious Barbecue Turkey Burgers featuring tasty turkey burger patties from Jennie-O.

I love that how Jennie-O offers seasoned turkey burger patties. It makes life so much more convenient. My only job after taking them out of the refrigerator is to grill them to perfection dress them up all fancy! Jennie-O actually has a great tutorial over on their website that talks about How to Grill a Turkey Burger.

Barbecue Turkey Burgers

I love that these burgers are lower in fat and calories and offer a huge punch of flavor. The combination of zesty barbecue sauce, spicy pepper jack cheese and pickled red onions is the perfect combination of flavors to make your taste buds dance. You can pick up a package of Lean Seasoned Turkey Burger patties for dinner tonight with this money saving coupon. Stop back and let me know what you think of these delicious burgers!

Barbecue Turkey Burgers
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Jennie-O Lean Seasoned Turkey Burger Patties
  • 4 pretzel rolls
  • ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sliced jalapeno pepper
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for serving
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
Instructions
  1. Begin by preparing the pickled onions. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion and jalapeno in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Using a paper towel, brush the grill grate with olive oil and place the burgers onto the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping. Brush the cooked surface with barbecue sauce. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes before flipping again. Brush the top of the burger with additional barbecue sauce. Place 1 slice of cheese on each of the burger patties.
  3. Remove the burgers from the grill and place on the pretzel rolls. Garnish with pickled onions and additional barbecue sauce if desired. Serve immediately.
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Barbecue Turkey BurgersThis is a sponsored post from Jennie-O. All opinions expressed are my own.

Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Pasta

Happy Monday to everyone! How was your weekend? I had a great weekend cooking and planning for my vacation. I also got my photo taken with Patrick Dempsey (Dr. McDreamy). Jealous? You can check Facebook for the photo!

I am also very excited that my blog now has a printable recipe feature starting with todays post! This will make it easier for you to share and save any of the delicious recipes you find on Food n Focus. I will be working on implementing this feature into my past posts as time goes on so that youll be able to go back in the archives and print those as well. Yay!

Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Pasta | via foodnfocus.com

So did I mention that there are only 2 weeks left until I leave for vacation? Im not excited or anything….okay, I am. In celebration of my impending vacation to Italy I decided to whip up some pasta this weekend. A very fresh pasta featuring shrimp, artichokes and feta. Sounds good, right?

Now is the perfect time for this dish because your tomatoes, basil and parsley should all be ripe for picking in your garden. I have to admit…my herb garden died. I dont have much for a green thumb. I think they were over-watered or perhaps under-watered during the high heat we had a few weeks back. Either way, my herbs all died. I try every year and manage to fail each time I plant them. I guess Ill continue to rely on my farmers market for fresh herbs while they are in season.

Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Pasta | via foodnfocus.com

At any rate, I think youre going to love this pasta. As always, feel free to toy around with the herbs and spices to create something that is truly your own recipe.

Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Pasta

Print
Author: April | Food n Focus
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 4-6 tblsp olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 tblsp lemon zest
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice, divided
  • 1 cup grape tomato halves
  • 14 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 15-20 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 artichoke hearts
  • Red crushed pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle the shrimp with salt, pepper and 12 tablespoon lemon juice and set off to the side for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Save 12 cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the marinated shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  5. Add in the artichoke hearts, remaining lemon juice, lemon zest, salt & pepper.
  6. Add the pasta into the pan and toss to coat with the mixture. Add in some of the water from the pasta if it seems too dry. Add in the crumbled feta to the pasta and toss to combine.
  7. Divide the pasta mixture between 4 plates and garnish with fresh parsley and basil.
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Shrimp, Artichoke & Feta Pasta | via foodnfocus.com

5 Fresh Salads To Get You Through Winter

It has been a very strange winter in the Midwest and after a few mild temperature days the cold seems to have drifted back into our lives. I’m starting to get those winter blues where I’m craving anything fresh at this point. Unfortunately there are a couple more months of slow cooker meals and comfort foods but I’ve been trying to mix in more greens. Here’s a roundup of 5 Fresh Salads To Get You Through Winter to brighten up your life this weekend and for the next couple of months!

Roasted Beet Salad With Goat Cheese

Roasted Beet Salad With Goat Cheese

Chickpea Shawarma Salad

Chickpea Shawarma Salad

Kale Salad With Apple and Cheddar

Kale Salad with Apple & Cheddar

Gluten-Free Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad

Gluten Free Shrimp Caesar Salad | foodnfocus.com

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Apples, Hazelnuts and Brown Butter Dressing

brusell sprout salad

Stonyfield Joins Targets Made to Matter Program

I almost hate to admit it to you but Im not big on recycling.

(cue the gasps)

Its true and its embarrassing. A lot of it has to do with the fact that the dumpster at my old apartment was always filled with regular trash and not really used for actual recycling so I figured whats the point.

But now that I own a home I figured I should probably be a little bit more of a responsible adult and care about the environment. This is exactly the premise of Targets Made to Matter program.

Stonyfield Joins Target's Made to Matter Program

Made to Matter is a collection of products that are organic, non-GMO, fair trade and much more. I was very excited to learn that my favorite brand of Yogurt, Stonyfield, is now teaming up with this initiative with a brand new line of yogurts!

Stonyfield Organic Super Seeds and Stonyfield Organic Super Grains Greek Yogurt will be available exclusively to Target starting in August and feature flavors such as orange-cranberry, maple and vanilla.

Stonyfield Joins Target's Made to Matter ProgramStonyfieldSuperSeedsBlueberry

There are a lot of different brands that are part of this initiative, including some of my favorites: Yes To, Annies, Cascadian Farm and Ben & Jerrys. I was super excited to see that Justins nut-butter products were also a part of the mix!

Stonyfield Joins Target's Made to Matter Program

So back to my recycling…

Im now realizing how important it is to reuse and recycle a lot of the trash that I create, especially with all of the work I do in the kitchen. I see how important it is to our environment and to the future of our world and to protect the limited resources that are all around us. I have found myself being more conscious of the products that Im using and where the waste is ending up. Its been pretty impressive to me to see how much less waste ends up in my garbage can and how much more of it ends up in my recycling bin!

Make sure that you head on out to your local Target store starting tomorrow to find and try the all new Stonyfield line of products as well as many of the other Made to Matter products on the list!

This is a sponsored post from Stonyfield and Target. All opinions expressed are my own.

Ranch Cauliflower Mash

Ok. Don’t freak out. This recipe is not as dreadful as it might sound.

I am a cauliflower fan, so perhaps that’s why I like this recipe so much but even if you’re not a big fan of the vegetable I guarantee you’ll like it prepared as such.

This week my Ranch Cauliflower Mash went live on the Living Litehouse blog partially because of Thanksgiving and also for their How Do You Ranch campaign. Not only is this a great alternative to mashed potatoes at your Thanksgiving dinner table, but it’s full of flavor and super creamy!

In addition to this delicious recipe, Litehouse Foods is also sponsoring a big giveaway where you can win 1 of 3 $500 holiday bonuses! For. Real.

So first, head over and check out the recipe for Ranch Cauliflower Mash and then head over and enter to win one of these big prizes!

Ranch Cauliflower Mash| foodnfocus.com

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 1/4 oz package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

What do you do when your boyfriend tells you that he wants cinnamon rolls for breakfast? You wake up 2 hours early to prepare homemade cinnamon rolls only to realize that you actually needed 3 hours for homemade cinnamon rolls. Wait, scratch that. You buy cinnamon rolls in a can. Alright, alright. When your boyfriend tells you that he wants cinnamon rolls, you prepare them the night before so that you can wake up and bake some of the most delicious cinnamon rolls that he has ever had. Yes, thats it.

Ive adapted this recipe slightly from another one that Ive found. This recipe offers a dash of spice into the cinnamon rolls and extra butter for a gooey treat. Since the dough will need to rise, you can make these the night ahead and refrigerate them until youre ready for baking.

For the dough: In the bowl of your KitchenAid mixer, combine the yeast, water and sugar. Allow this to sit for 10 minutes. Add in the remaining sugar, brown sugar, egg and yolk, and vanilla and using a whisk to beat until well combined. Place the bowl on the stand and then attach the dough hook. Add in the flour, spices and salt and beat for about 4 minutes. Turn the speed to medium-high and kneed the dough for around 4 minutes. The dough will be sticky.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a floured workspace. Kneed an additional 1/3 cup of flour into the dough and then place it into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit in a cool place for 1 1/2 2 hours.

While the dough is rising you can make the filling (or go back to bed). Combine all of the filling ingredients in a bowl (minus the butter) and stir together. This should form a crunchy filling.

Once the dough has doubled in size, dump it onto a floured work surface and kneed for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as you need. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before rolling it out. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1010 square. Brush the top of the dough with 1/2 of the melted butter and then sprinkle all of the filling evenly over the sheet. Press the filling into the dough and then carefully begin to roll it into a jelly roll, leaving the seam-side down. With a sharp knife, chop off both of the uneven ends. Cut the dough into 8 even slices.

Place the slices into a 139 baking pan that has been greased, evenly spacing them. Cover the pan and allow them to rise for an additional hour. This is where you can stop if youre making these the night before, placing them in the refrigerator.

When youre ready to bake the rolls, drizzle the remaining butter over the tops and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Prepare the icing by combining the cream and powdered sugar while the rolls bake. When they come out of the oven, allow them to cool slightly and then drizzle the icing over the tops. Serve immediately with a glass of cold milk or coffee.

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls

Spiralized Power Breakfast Bowl

Did you eat breakfast this morning? And no, coffee alone does not count for breakfast. Did you actually consume something to kickstart your body and get yourself moving on a Monday?

I’m typically a banana and almonds kind of gal but I thought I would try something a little more complex this week to start my mornings off right. The nice thing is that this is still a super easy breakfast that you can put together in 5 minutes in the morning. It just requires a little bit of prep on Sunday to get you through the week.

I was super excited when OXO sent me their all new Hand-Held Spiralizer because I’ve been seeing all sorts of spiralized vegetable recipes on Pinterest. I was a little skeptical at first regarding how well this would work but I’m telling you, it works perfectly and turns your vegetables into fun, spiralized foods.

Spiralized Power Breakfast Bowl

I decided to spiralize sweet potatoes so that the cook time would be reduced. I paired the sweet potatoes with turkey breakfast sausage, onions and a pinch of thyme to create the perfect flavor profile for this breakfast. You can also add in chopped peppers or mushrooms if you would like more vegetables in your breakfast. I finished off my power breakfast bowl with 1 egg, sunny-side up! You’ve got protein, carbohydrates and vegetables, which is the perfect way to get your body going on a Monday morning!

Spiralized Power Breakfast Bowl

If you’re looking to invest in a spiralizer but don’t have room for a full machine, I would recommend trying out the OXO Hand-Held Spiralizer. It works like a breeze and you can use it on so many different vegetables!

Spiralized Power Breakfast Bowl
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, spiralized
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 ounces turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Cook the breakfast sausage with the onions in a medium frying pan. Drain any fat and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add in the sweet potato and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the sweet potato becomes wilted and cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add in the egg and cook sunny-side up, until the whites have become cooked.
  4. Plate the sweet potatoes along with the sausage blend. Top with the egg and serve immediately. Serve with additional salt and pepper if desired.
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Spiralized Power Breakfast Bowl

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Well, its Monday and its November. I cannot believe how quickly this year has been flying by and I cant believe that we are nearing the holiday season! Did everyone enjoy their extra hour of sleep this weekend? I know that I did!

Today starts two very busy weeks for me and dont be too jealous, Ill be spending both weeks in warmer temperatures! Ill be in Orlando all of this week for work, followed by a sunny vacation starting next week Sunday in California. Im ready for a much needed break!

Chicken Parmesan Soup | foodnfocus.com

So while youre sitting there thinking about me in warmer temperatures, I thought I would share a warming soup recipe today. This soup is a great twist on a classic Italian favorite of mine. I suggest using a rotisserie chicken or very carefully poaching chicken breasts, as you dont want the chicken to be too dry. Theres nothing worse than dry chicken! I also opted for large shavings of Parmesan cheese to top my soup but you can also try out melted mozzarella or provolone for a cheesier consistency. Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Print
Author: April | Food n Focus
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 12 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 1 pound shredded chicken breast meat
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 6 ounces pasta, cooked
  • 12 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add in the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and continue to cook until fragrant.
  2. Pour the chicken broth, chicken, crushed tomatoes, oregano and tomato paste into the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Before serving, add the cooked noodles and basil into the soup. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve with the Parmesan.
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Chicken Parmesan Soup | foodnfocus.com

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

  • 8 Soft Wrap Mini tortillas
  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 1 cup onion, thick sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 1 tblsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tblsp lime juice
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sour Cream, Salsa, Guacamole

If there was one thing that I could not live without it would be Mexican food. I honestly could eat it every day if you let me. Enchiladas. Tacos. Quesadillas. Especially quesadillas. Chicken, steak, black bean. Dunked in sour cream and guacamole. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Today I’m bringing you a quick and easy smoky chipotle chicken quasadilla made to the perfect serving size using La Tortilla Factory Soft Wrap Minis. These come in 5 different flavors offering only 50 calories per tortilla. I opted for the Fiesta flavor. I’m pretty much in love with these tortillas since they are so low in calories. I’ve been using them in my lunches because they work well with my calorie counting. Be sure to read through today’s post to find out how you can win all 5 flavors to try for yourself!

Let’s start with the chicken. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and cover it with the chipotle chili seasoning, a pinch of salt, lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour before grilling. Grill the chicken over medium heat for 6-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to cool slightly before slicing.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the remaining olive oil, butter and onions and saute for 10 minutes to caramelize the onions. Remove from the heat.

Lay 4 tortillas out onto a clean work surface. Evenly divide the chicken and onions among the 4 tortillas, spreading them out over the tortilla. Divide the cheese evenly among the 4 tortillas and top each with a second tortilla.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place one quesadilla at a time in the pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side until crisp. Remove from the pan and cut into 4 wedges. Repeat with each quesadilla. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Perfect for a snack or meal!

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas | foodnfocus.com

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
Author: April | Food n’ Focus
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 8 Soft Wrap Mini tortillas
  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 1 cup onion, thick sliced
  • ¼ cup + 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tblsp butter
  • 1 tblsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tblsp lime juice
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salt
  • Cooking Spray
  • Sour Cream, Salsa, Guacamole
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in a shallow dish and cover it with the chipotle chili seasoning, a pinch of salt, lime juice, ¼ cup olive oil and salt. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour before grilling. Grill the chicken over medium heat for 6-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to cool slightly before slicing.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the remaining olive oil, butter and onions and saute for 10 minutes to caramelize the onions. Remove from the heat.
  3. Lay 4 tortillas out onto a clean work surface. Evenly divide the chicken and onions among the 4 tortillas, spreading them out over the tortilla. Divide the cheese evenly among the 4 tortillas and top each with a second tortilla.
  4. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place one quesadilla at a time in the pan, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side until crisp. Remove from the pan and cut into 4 wedges. Repeat with each quesadilla. Serve with sour cream, guacamole and salsa.
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Smoky Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas | foodnfocus.com

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Shrimp Pasta

Do you smell that? Yah, I think fall is in the air. After all it is already August 4th. I hate to admit it but the other day I think I had a taste for chili.

So now that it is August I can finally say that NEXT MONTH I will be shopping for my wedding dress. How crazy is that? Im super excited to pack my bags and head to NYC to find the perfect dress. Im in total slim down mode right now and looking for delicious fall comfort recipes that are still low in calories so that I can fit into my dream gown next month.

Today Im sharing a deliciously quick and easy pasta that I crafted for the Living Litehouse blog. I used a whole wheat pasta to bump up the nutritional value and the creaminess of the pasta comes from their all new OPA Roasted Red Pepper dressing. Ive mentioned before my total obsession with roasted red peppers and this dressing fulfills my cravings for this flavor with less fat and calories.

Im looking for some additional lightened up comfort foods to add to my recipe book. In the comments below, tell me about some of your favorites!