Chicken Basil Balsamic Burgers

Chicken Basil Balsamic Burger

Every time I pass the ground chicken in the grocery store, I pause and think, I really need to make more things with ground chicken. Then I usually keep walking. Last week however, I grabbed a package and decided to make burgers. If you’ve used ground chicken before, you will understand when I say it’s VERY sticky. Very goopy. Very messy. BUT, if you can get past that, you can transform a $6 package into the most glorious, FLAVOUR packed delight you’ve ever had. A total twist on the every day burger, and buns aren’t even needed!

Mix and Match the “Extras”

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the “accessories”. Some of my favourite additions to the burgers include:

  • Balsamic
  • Parmesan
  • Pine nuts
  • Minced shallot
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Bread crumbs
  • Caramelized onion

chicken burger

Flavour Up Your Mayo

Regular mayo is delicious, but with just a few quick choices,  you can change the whole taste of the burger to make it amazing! Start with 1/2 c of mayo and add in one or more of the following:

  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp ketchup + 1 squirt of relish + squirt of yellow mustard + = “big mac sauce”
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, flavour of your choice = “taste of Italy”
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter + 1 tbsp of cider vinegar + 1 tsp sesame oil = Asian “satay”

Pro Tips

  • Once you’ve formed the patties, let them chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Not only does this give the ingredients a chance to settle in, but the patties themselves have a chance to “set up”.
  • If you are pan frying the burgers, make sure you add a little water to the pan, then pop a lid on JUST for a few minutes. This steam will help progress the cooking faster, and make a more even cook.
  • Make sure you cook on medium, to medium high only. Watch the pan so they don’t burn
  • Don’t make your patties TOO thick, or the outer crust will form before the insides are cooked!

Chicken Basil Balsamic Burgers

A deliciously juicy chicken burger packed with the flavours of basil, parmesan and balsamic. Buns are optional!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Comfort Flavour
Servings 4 patties
Author Meg Tucker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 tbsp parmesan
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp basil fresh or powder
  • 1 tsp garlic fresh or powder
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 pinch salt/pepper

Instructions

  1. Add ground chicken to bowl.

  2. Add parm, bread crumbs, basil, garlic, balsamic glaze, salt, pepper to bowl.

  3. Mix to combine (don't overmix) and form into 4 patties.

  4. Let rest in fridge for about 30 minutes, freeze the patties you're not cooking today. **separate with parchment

  5. Pan fry in a little oil until cooked through and caramelized on both sides. 

  6. Combine your mayo with basil and top your burgers. Enjoy! Meg xo

I would love to see how yours turn out, send me a pic or tag me @Tuckermeg on Instagram! #megtuckertalks

Want more chicken? Try my Chicken Lazone!

Enjoy, Meg xo

Energy Bites

Energy Bites

Such a Quick Snack!

Energy Bites are one of my favourite snacks that I honestly need to make more often. They’re a quick snack that boosts your energy, super easy to make, and no baking required! When I get around to making them, I make a double batch, pop into a container and store in the freezer. I admit I don’t always use a recipe but recently I made this batch for a girlfriend, so I made myself write it down!

I will admit I am a big fan of dates, but even if they’re not a fave our yours, once they marry the peanut butter and maple syrup you don’t really taste them. I roll mine in coconut when I finish rolling them into little balls, but you could also use ground peanuts, almonds, or even sprinkles for the kids!

Question: do you need a food processor? Ideally, it makes it easier to blend everything together and reduces the time to make them, BUT it’s not necessary. Just consider it your little workout for the day.

Substitutions allowed?

ALWAYS WELCOME! Honey instead of maple syrup, almond or cashew butter instead of peanut butter, hemp seed instead of flax, it’s all good! You can also add sunflower seeds, dried raisins, cranberries – the list is endless!

Have fun and happy chopping!

Energy Bites

Course Snack
Keyword energy bites
Author Meg Tucker

Ingredients

  • 2 c pitted dates
  • 1 c natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Pulse in food processor until combined. Roll into balls and then into more coconut (optional). Store in freezer. Enjoy! Meg xo

I would love to see how yours turn out, send me a pic or tag me @Tuckermeg on Instagram! #megtuckertalks

Want another snack-spiration? Try Meg’s Morning Muffins!

Energy Bites 14

 

Shortcut Flan

I LOVE FLAN.

Shortcut Flan

SO EASY TO MAKE

When my husband Wade and I got married in Mexico, we saw flan on almost every dessert menu. I’ve always loved custard of any format. Something about the creamy sweet egg custard mixed with the clear caramelized syrup just sends my tastebuds into overdrive. While it’s a real showstopper for company coming, it can be a little finicky. Not this version however! Shortcut central including sweetened condensed and evaporated milk. Check back soon for the recipe. Ps 3 eggs stretches this to 6 mini flan!

Shortcut Flan

This amazing custard dessert comes together quickly and bakes in under an hour. WOW your guests and share if you dare!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Flan
Servings 6
Author Meg Tucker

Ingredients

  • 1 c white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Melt sugar in saucepan over medium-low until it's a liquid and almost golden in colour.

  2. Carefully pour liquid sugar into ramekins, swirling until the insides are all coated. Set them aside.

  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs until nice and golden. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, then evaporated milk, vanilla and pinch of salt. 

  4. Pour into ramekins and place all of them into a glass baking dish.

  5. Gently fill the baking dish with water in and around the ramekins until it comes up halfway mark of the ramekins. You're creating a "water bath". 

  6. Bake at 350 for about 40 mins, then see how set they are. You will want them to set in the centre, with very little jiggle. Let cool completely, then carefully run a sharp knife around each one. Using a plate, cover the top of the ramekin then quickly flip over to release the flan onto the plate. You should see the caramel pool around it. OMG. YUMMMM. Enjoy! 

Enjoy! Meg xo

 

How To Use One Dozen Eggs in One Week!

One Dozen Eggs in One Week

UPDATE: Contest closed Friday February 28, 2019 at 11:59pm MST but STAY TUNED for more coming! 

How many eggs would you say you use in a week? Three? Six? How about one dozen eggs in one week? I am not talking just scrambled, boiled or over easy. If you’re looking to stretch the budget, eggs make a great option for any meal of the day without breaking the bank! Alberta eggs are also one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods containing 6g of protein and only 70 calories each. They’re also a great recipe builder.

I set out to use one dozen eggs in one week, and it was actually VERY simple and just might be the recipe to making mealtime more creative, not to mention cost effective! LET’S DO THIS!

UPDATE: Each month I will feature one of the recipes below! Today it’s SHORTCUT FLAN!

Want to make Shortcut Flan? Here’s the recipe!

Shortcut Flan

[Read more…]

Saucy Spaghetti Pie

Saucy Spaghetti Pie, as featured on Season 1 of my kids cooking show Just One Bite. A twist on the everyday classic of spaghetti and meat sauce that will have everyone asking for more!

Enjoy! Meg xo

Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti Pie

A twist on the everyday classic of spaghetti and meatballs, but in pie form! 

Ingredients

  • 3 c cooked spaghetti (about 6 oz)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 jar fave pasta sauce
  • 1 small container of ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 c shredded cheese
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente; drain.

  2. Cook ground beef until browned with diced onions, red pepper, salt/pepper and a little olive oil. Mix in sauce and let simmer.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta and 1 egg, salt, pepper, 1 tsp parsley. Set aside.

  4. Combine pasta with 1 egg, 1/2 c parm and salt/pepper. Whisk until incorporated. 

  5. Spray a pie plate with non stick spray. Pour in your spaghetti mixture and press into the plate, just like you would with a pie crust. 

  6. Spoon in your ricotta/egg layer. 

  7. Then spoon in your pasta sauce until it almost reaches the top. *you might have extra, perfect, now you have dinner for another night! 

  8. Once your meat/sauce layer is added in, just like a pie "filling", top with shredded cheese and parm. 

  9. Bake 350 until golden and bubbly on top, about 30-40 mins! 

 

Spring Gardening Tips for Newbies

We’re still shovelling driveways and letting our cars warm up but Spring will be here soon!

That’s when many people start to plan their spring planting gardening season. Plants? Flowers? What about fruits, herbs and vegetables? Friends of ours planted tomatoes last year for the first time and had the MOST fun growing more tomatoes than they could even handle. What an accomplishment, to grow what you eat!
I’ve decided that 2019 is my year. I’m going to grow food but where to begin? Hannas Seeds Garden Centre in Lacombe, that’s where! They’ve got some Spring gardening tips that I just have to share!

Hanna Seeds Carries Seeds and Seed Starting Kits for Newbies

Hannas Seeds carries untreated, non-GMO seeds from West Coast Seeds, Mr Fothergill, Wildrose Seeds, Pacific Northwest and of course Hannas Seeds.
Their seed racks have arrived, plus, they have planter trays, cell packs, humidity domes, seed starter mix, plant starting fertilizer, root stimulator… AND everything else you need to start your seeds in the comfort of your home.

But let’s back up for a second.

Imagine growing and eating organic at home. So many choices. Herbs. Veggies. Fruits. Hannas Seeds also carries a huge selection of micro greens and sprouting seeds. The list is endless. Have we convinced you yet?

I AM IN…WHERE DO I BEGIN?

If you’re a newbie like me, you first need to decide what you would like to plant. What’s great about the seed packs is that on the back it tells you exactly when the best month is to plant.

Here’s a tip!

Right now you could start seeding onions, leeks, celery and strawberries. In February/March you can begin seeding gourds, petunias, geraniums and even verbena, to name a few.
Now I was always under the impression that you planted everything directly into the ground but OMG have I learned a lot since going to Hannas. To get a jump on the short growing season in Canada, starting your seeds at home gives them the time to “do their thang” then be ready once the ground thaws. *my words not theirs.

How to get a Head Start on Spring Gardening

First you start with a bag of seedling starter. Then you mix your seeds with the seedling starter and pack them into the tray or cell pack. Then you need to cover everything with a humidity dome and a proper light. Lots of light, like 18 hours a day if you can, in a cool spot. Hannas Seeds sells all the supplies, but they also have this great all-in-one miniature greenhouse kit called the Sunblaster Nanodome. Everything you need in one kit. AMAZING.
They also carry the Biosta Kitchen Crop Sprouter. Yes it’s true! This amazing system makes it possible for you to grow microgreens and sprouting seeds right in your own kitchen! Are herbs your thing? Me too! Once the days get a little longer you can plant and grow herbs like basil, thyme and sage, right on your windowsill. Just make sure you’ve got a good south facing exposure as they needs lots of long beautiful sunshine.
The bottom line is, Hannas Seeds in Lacombe has been getting farmers and home gardeners ready to grow for over 5 decades. Let’s get a jump on spring and make 2019 our year to grow!

Follow Hannas Seeds on Social

Like and follow Hannas Seeds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and better yet, be sure to pop in to see their unbelievable renovations that are happening in Lacombe.
Enjoy, Meg xo
Read more about Hannas Seeds here on the blog too!
Disclaimer: I was compensated for writing this post but all opinions are my own, of course! My goal is to write with honesty and only about brands and products I love. If you want to know more please read my disclaimer policy. Meg, out!

Hosting the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay ~ Jan 23rd to Feb 7th 2019

torch-relay-mascot

I am so excited to be a part of the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay. I’m going on the road and on location to share in these special ceremonies. Today I’m in Rocky, tomorrow, Leduc and a few other places before I wrap up on February 7th. Wanna know what this all means?

Here’s a super short Facebook Live I did yesterday.

Here’s the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay schedule.

Jan 23- Rimbey ~ done!
Jan 24- Rocky
Jan 25- Leduc
Jan 26- Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis
Jan 29- Blackfalds
Jan 30- Innisfail
Jan 31- Olds
Feb 2- Lacombe
Feb 5- Sylvan Lake
Feb 7- Ponoka

About the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay

The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay is a significant element of the Canada Games and has united communities across the nation for the past 52 years. It will officially start in Ottawa from the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in fall 2018 and will visit over 40 communities across Canada before arriving in Red Deer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2019 Games. In total, 48 communities will be visited through the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay, with 26 torch relay stops and 22 celebration stops being hosted across Canada.

Thank you

I want to say a big thank you to my own team of sponsors who have gotten me ready and on the road!

Here are a few quick links for you to hop on over to social media:  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

#MNPTorchRelay #ChasetheTorch #MegTuckerTalks #hostlife

Enjoy! xo Meg

Head Over Feels Chimichurri

Flavour explosion on chicken, pork, beef and more!

Chimichurri Sauce

I fell head over FEELS with this sauce in Mexico at one of the restaurants at Paradisus Cancun resort, in 2017. As soon as we got home, I replicated it and have been making ever since.

*NOTE: Make lots, you’ll want more!

Enjoy! Meg xo

Chimichurri

This herb packed tangy sauce is the perfect topper to roasted meats and vegetables. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c good olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c finely chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic (more if you dare)!
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (see above, get daring, add more)!
  • 1 pinch oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl, stir stir, taste. Stir, stir, taste. Adjust all the levels to your liking. Some recipes call for more oregano but I am NOT a fan. They also call for doubling the amount of garlic but I don't. 2 is enough.

    Make this ahead and let this "marry". It gets better with time, even the next day. Pop in the fridge, just give time to let the oil come back to room temperature before you serve it.

  2. AMAZING on eggs and sausage the next day!

Are you looking for more recipe ideas? This one for weekend brunch Finnish pancakes is delectable and super easy!

Boobs, Bras & Bums!

My visit to The Bra Lounge, in Red Deer, Alberta with one of the owners- Sheena!

Find and follow The Bra Lounge on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Book your appointment today!

Enjoy! Meg xo