Chili Lime Chicken Burgers & Homemade Buns

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Burgers always remind me of summer. Barbecue season, camping, etc. And even though it’s the middle of January, it’s been uncharacteristically warm in Calgary, so burgers (and even barbecuing, if I had one) are actually super reasonable. Even when they’re flavoured with lime and spices, making them even more summer-y. I think I need to buy a barbecue soon here, now that I think about it.

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These burgers are ridiculously easy, super light and healthy, and so, so flavourful. The buns, of course, take a little more work, but sometimes I just find myself in the mood to knead dough, you know? It’s actually kind of therapeutic (I can’t be the only one who feels this way…) If you’re not crazy , though, you could definitely just buy buns at the store, or even wrap these in some lettuce for an even lighter option.

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Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

Makes Four Burgers 

Adapted from Against All Grain

1 lb Ground Chicken

1/4 cup Red Onions, diced

1/4 cup Red Bell Peppers, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro, minced

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 cup Lime Juice

1/4 tsp Red Chile Flakes

For serving: homemade buns, sliced avocado or guacamole, sliced tomato, mayonnaise, romaine lettuce, pepper jack cheese

1. Saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft.

2. Place all of the ingredients, including the cooked onion mix, in a medium bowl and use your hands to combine well. Divide and shape the meat into four patties.

3. On a barbecue or grill pan, cook for 6 minutes on each side, over medium heat, or until internal temperature registers 175 degrees.

4. Serve, and top with anything you like (but the avocado is super necessary!!)

Homemade Burger Buns

Makes 8 Burger Buns

Adapted from The Kitchn

1 tbsp Active-Dry Yeast

1/2 cup Warm Water

1/2 cup 2% Milk

1 large Egg

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 tbsp White Sugar

1 tsp Salt

3 cups All Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Unsalted Butter

1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes until the yeast dissolves.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture, and whisk to combine. Add all of the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until it is roughly combined.  Take out the dough, and knead for 10 minutes, flouring your hands/working surface as necessary. The finished dough should be smooth, slightly tacky, and spring back when poked.

3. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm spot for about an hour until doubled in size.

4. Place the dough back on your floured work surface and divide the dough into 8 pieces, shaping each into a tight ball. Transfer the dough balls to a baking sheet and let rise until puffy and hamburger-sized, about 30 – 45 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter and brush it over the risen hamburger buns. Bake the buns until nice and golden, about 15 – 18 minutes. Allow buns to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Buns will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for a month or two.

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Citrus Shrimp & Prosciutto Nectarine Skewers

As I’m sure you all know, I love gluten and dairy and basically everything that is not paleo. Because I don’t really have any serious sensitivities to different food groups, I think that everything in moderation is okay. However, I’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately – two months in Europe combined with the stress/busyness that comes with moving and starting a new job has not done wonders for my figure – so I’ve been finding myself drawn towards paleo recipes lately.

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Danielle Walker is the author of the blog Against All Grain, and two paleo cookbooks (I have the first, and I am dying to get my hands on the second). I initially starting following her on instagram a few months back, and have been slightly obsessing over her and her recipes since. She has so many unique ideas and fresh takes on the paleo diet that it seems ridiculously easy to follow all the time, plus she has great writing skills and seems extremely personable.

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Danielle shared this recipe a few weeks ago on her blog, and I love that it was easy to throw together, has some of my favourite summer-y flavours, and was pretty healthy. Definitely one of those recipes that seems super fancy, but was really not difficult at all to make. I especially loved the citrus marinade on the shrimp, and will definitely be using it for other recipes in the future. I threw these skewers over a quick spinach/arugula salad with some chèvre and a simple citrus dressing, Danielle put them on cauli-rice, and I could see them working really well at any end-of-summer barbecue.

This was the first meal that I cooked in my new place! I am so, so excited to have my own kitchen again. This first meal was very appropriately eaten while sitting on the kitchen floor – my roommate hadn’t moved in, so there was no couch, and we have yet to buy a kitchen table.

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Citrus Shrimp & Prosciutto Nectarine Skewers

Adapted from Against All Grain

Serves 4

1/4 cup Fresh Orange Juice

2 cloves Garlic, peeled

1/2 inch knob of Fresh Ginger

2 tsp Tamari or other soy sauce

1 tsp Honey

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1 lb Medium Wild Shrimp, deveined with tails on

3 Yellow Nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges

2 oz Prosciutto, thinly sliced

1. Soak skewers in water for at least 1 hour, or use metal skewers.

2. Place the juice, garlic, ginger, tamari, honey, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.

3. Pour the marinade over the shrimp. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.

4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat.

5. Wrap thin strips of prosciutto around each nectarine wedge and set aside.

6. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and shake off excess liquid. Alternate threading the shrimp and the nectarines onto skewers.

7. Grill the skewers for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until the shrimp is pink throughout and the prosciutto is crispy. Serve hot.