Tag Archives: pecans

Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad

Katie:  On the hottest and most humid days, the thought of standing in front of a hot stove isn’t always very appealing.  Salads are a good alternative, especially with the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. So when I spotted this recipe for Strawberry and Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad on Closet Cooking, I quickly remembered the huge box of strawberries sitting in the refrigerator.  I knew it would be the perfect light meal for a sticky day.  I followed the recipe as written.  First, I mixed together the homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette and marinated the chicken for awhile, before grilling it on the Panini grill.  I also made the homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing with roasted strawberries.  The remaining ingredients included a mixture of greens, chopped pecans, bacon, (peppers), and goat cheese.  It was pretty simple to prepare, and I really enjoyed the flavors!


Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup

Katie:  After trying a tasty black bean burger at the Hilltop a few weeks ago, I was inspired to try making them myself.  So when I spotted a recipe in the Mayo Clinic Cookbook for Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup, I knew I had to try them!  I followed the directions as written, but I decided to save some time by using canned black beans instead of dried beans.  The burgers consisted of other additions to the black beans, including cooked brown rice, sauteed peppers and onions, bread crumbs, pecans, green onions, an egg, and spices.  I made sure to remove the seeds from the chipotle chili for the sauce, so it was spicy, but not too hot.  The burgers took some time to prepare, but I think the results were worth the effort.  They were very flavorful and tasted great in buns with tomatoes, the chipoltle sauce, and spinach leaves.  These were a good summer meal!

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Ketchup (slightly adapted from the Mayo Clinic)

Serves 6  (I made them smaller, about 8 )
  • 2 plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled and seeded then diced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped and separated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and separated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, separated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, separated
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 3/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 green (spring) onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs
  • whole-grain hamburger buns
  • sliced tomatoes
  • spinach leaves

Combine the tomatoes, half of the yellow onion, half of the garlic, the tomato paste, vinegar, chipotle chili, 3/4 teaspoon of the cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a bit of water as needed, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the mixture is a thick sauce, about 10 minutes. Set the chipotle ketchup aside to cool.

In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Add the remaining yellow onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and the remaining garlic and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool. Set the pan aside.

In a food processor, combine the beans, onion mixture, brown rice, pecans, green onion, the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the beaten egg and bread crumbs. Form the mixture into 6-8 patties, each about 3/4-inch thick.

In the same pan used for the onion mixture, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides and heated through, 7 to 9 minutes total.

Serve each burger on a bun.  Top with tomatoes, spinach leaves, and chipotle ketchup.  Enjoy!