Greek Chicken Burgers with Feta Cheese and Kale

Greek chicken burger hoagie

This is a celebratory post in honor of the glorious sun that has returned, the balmy 40F degree temperature these past two days, and for my not catching spring fever until now. In past years I’ve had the itch to break out the spring decorations before Valentine’s Day. I made it until March 8th this year, only twelve days shy of the official first day of spring, and that, my friends, is cause for celebration.  So… in honor of the aforementioned details, I’m posting this recipe for Greek Chicken Burgers served hoagie style. It’s a spring-y sandwich. Fresh. Green. Light. And tastes as delightful as it looks!  Serve as traditional Greek chicken burgers, form into oval patties and serve hoagie style as I did (with plenty of tzatziki sauce), or form meatballs around skewers and refrigerate 20-30 minutes before grilling to serve as keftka kabobs. 

I’ve been remiss in posting this awesome recipe because life has been on turbo charge the past few weeks. I say that with gratitude and not complaint. It’s all good, though being MIA from my blog also serves as a reminder that sometimes I just can’t fit everything in  —and it’s okay. Everything has it’s own time. And it’s time for me to share these Greek chicken burgers with you!

There are over 2 million other listings for Greek chicken burgers but I betcha the majority are made with spinach. I used kale. Pretty sneaky and quite a shock to my Loves who know I am not a card carrying member of the kale fan club. I had a toe in the door for the longest time, though after making this soothing soup and now these yummy Greek chicken burgers, I’m dangling a leg through the door. Baby steps, people, baby steps.


Greek Chicken Burgers with Feta Cheese and Kale
Serves: 9
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small-medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups frozen kale
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • ⅓ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Tzatziki:
  • 1½ cups light sour cream
  • ¼ cucumber, grated in a separate bowl and squeezed dry
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute onions until golden.
  2. Add kale and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add vegetable mixture to ground chicken, granulated garlic and black pepper. Gently mix, folding in feta cheese.
  4. Form into desired shapes and either pan fry or grill until cooked through.
  5. To prepare Tzatziki, mix all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.




Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Blue Cheese Aioli

oven roasted tenderloin slider

This recipe for oven roasted beef tenderloin sliders is brought to you in part by a great supermarket sale and my craving for blue cheese.  Tenderloin is not a cut of beef that makes its way to my family dinner table very often so it was an EXTRA special supper – worthy of the all caps shout out.

Whole beef tenderloin happened to be the feature sale and for this recipe I used only the butt portion, which was about 2 lbs. The butt portion is the thicker part of the tenderloin. (The longer, narrow tail end piece is tucked in the freezer for a future special supper.)

whole beef tenderloin

Next to the stupendous taste, the next best thing about this recipe for is the workload: it’s next to nothing. Oven roasted tenderloin sliders is a sloth-like recipe. The greatest effort that one will need to put forth is mixing: mixing the herb rub for the beef and mixing the aioli ingredients. I suppose washing mescalin greens and slicing red onions and slicing rolls is technically prep work but as you can deduce, it’s not laborious. The only sweat you’ll break is opening the oven door and feeling the heat.

herb rub for oven roasted beef tenderloin

Pair these sliders with a healthy cup of soup and you have a meal that not only fits the bill for busy weeknights but one to go to for casual entertaining year round.

preparing oven roasted beef tenderloin sliders

This weekend I was reminded that we never know when God will call us home. Whether it’s surprising your family with a splurge, meeting up with a friend or bestowing a random act of kindness on a complete stranger, relish every moment with a grateful heart.

Wishing you many special suppers with your loved ones,

Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin Sliders with Blue Cheese Aioli
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 lbs. beef tenderloin
  • Ailoi: ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup blue cheese (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • good quality dinner size rolls
  • mescalin salad greens
  • sliced red onion
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place tenderloin on baking sheet.
  3. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the top of the tenderloin.
  4. Rub in thoroughly.
  5. Roast for 30-35 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. To prepare aioli, combine all ingredients



Crock Pot Asian Beef and Noodles

Serving up slurpy noodles doesn’t get any easier than crock pot Asian beef and noodles. The distinctive flavors of simmering beef with peppers and onions, soy sauce, ginger and garlic are a welcoming aroma after a long day. It’s simple and soupy and incredibly satisfying.

crock pot asian beef and noodles

This has been a hectic week (in a good way) and I was grateful to have my crock pot at the ready. What busy mom doesn’t love her crock pot? Not only does crock pot cooking make meal preparation effortless, a crock pot works wonders. It’s capable of turning a normally tough, inexpensive cut of beef into something tender and flavorful in a single bound.

Even if you’re not an occasionally frenzied working mom, I’m giving you a virtual nudge to give this crock pot Asian beef and noodles a try. Let me know if you too savor every slurp. 🙂

Crock Pot Asian Beef and Noodles
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 pounds round steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 large red peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh tomato, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ cup hot water
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and brown beef strips in batches.
  2. Sprinkle with black pepper and granulated garlic and toss to coat.Transfer to crock pot.
  3. Layer peppers and onions on beef and top with tomatoes.
  4. Mix soy sauce with water and ginger and pour on top. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire, if desired.
  5. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours.
  6. Add 1 package of soba noodles to crock pot and cook until noodles are tender.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve with additional reduced sodium soy sauce.

This recipe is an adaptation of Taste of Home’s crockpot pepper steak.




Vietnamese meatballs with hot chili slaw

vietnamese meatballs

Don’t let this photo fool you. These Vietnamese meatballs may look innocent, but they will test your will power I tell you.

Could I eat just one? Not a chance. Did I exercise portion control? With greater difficulty than I can put into words. These babies are an explosion of taste with a slight hint of sweetness, a subtle taste of sassy, and an overall depth of flavor like no other meatball that I have ever eaten.

I could have devoured the entire pan and would have Hunky Hubby to thank for it. After all, these little delights were brought to our family table thanks to and Hubby’s inquisitive mind. Yes, the source of his inspiration to try Vietnamese meatballs came from an unidentifiable sandwich in the game titled, “Sandwich Time!”  The photo was labeled Banh Mi and a few Google’s later the recipe and ethnic origin were discovered.  And our household learned something new.

The original recipe is titled Pork Meatball Banh Mi from the January 2010 edition of Bon Appetit, which, of course, I put my own spin on. Banh Mi refers to a Vietnamese sandwich and the original recipe was a sandwich presentation consisting of four meatballs arranged in a 10-inch-long baquette topped with hot chili mayo and pickled vegetables.  Pickled vegetables are sodium bombs and given the sodium content in fish sauce and sriracha there wasn’t a need to add any more. Being sodium conscious,  together with my hankering for a wrap and my love of slaw, lead to this creation.

vietnamese meatballs wrap

Hot chili sauce like sriracha packs quite a punch and a tablespoon in the slaw will definitely send your taste buds blazing. If you are adverse to spicy foods, omit the sriracha in the slaw or simply adjust the quantity to your liking.

Football season is around the corner and in true foodie fashion I’m going to modify the menu for our next party. These meatballs are so flavorful they can stand on their own served as an appetizer with the hot chili mayo as an optional dipping sauce. Meanwhile, it’s time to enjoy the last bit of summer.

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Vietnamese meatballs with hot chili slaw
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ Cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha (hot chili sauce)
  • ½ head finely grated cabbage
  • 1 finely grated carrot
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (roughly 3-4 cloves)
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha (hot chili sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  1. Stir all slaw ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
  2. Gently mix all ingredients for the Vietnamese meatballs in a large bowl.
  3. Moisten hands and roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs using a scant tablespoon to measure.
  4. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. DO AHEAD: the meatballs can be made 1 day in advance. Cover and chill.
  5. Preheat oven to 300F.
  6. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the meatballs in batches, half at a time. Turn the meatballs often to avoid browning too quickly. When browned on all sides, transfer meatballs to another baking sheet and place in oven.
  7. To serve, spoon a quarter of the slaw into a tortilla and top with 4 meatballs. Repeat with remaining tortillas and garnish with sriracha to taste.


Oven Roasted Pork Roast – the juciest, most tender roast you’ll EVER make!

Hubby has become a master smoker, treating our family and extended family to succulent slow smoked pulled pork on many a fourth of July. It’s no easy task managing a small water smoker but he skillfully juggles tending the butt while getting his own into the pool for one of our good-natured uncompetitive volleyball matches. Wisconsin winters, however, send our smoker into hibernation so to combat potential barbecue withdrawals I decided to try adapting Hubby’s outdoor recipe to oven roasting. The results blew us away. This is bar none the juiciest fork-tender oven roasted pork roast you will EVER make, adapted from The Renowned Mr. Brown recipe from the book Smoke & Spice with reduced sodium.

Begin by mixing a rub that will transform into a sweet tangy layer of crispiness.

preparing oven roasted pork roast


  • 2 T ground
  • 2 T paprika
  • 2 T turbinado sugar (aka sugar in the raw)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 lb pork shoulder roast

Mix dry ingredients well, adding 1-2 Tbsp of oil to form  a paste.


  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Rub the paste into the roast, covering every nook and crevice and place seasoned roast in Dutch oven or roasting pan.
  3. Pour 1 1/2 C of water to cover the bottom of pan.
  4. Cover tightly with lid or foil and roast 4-5 hours, checking for fork tenderness.
  5. Remove the lid or foil and increase temperature to 375F and roast for another 15-20 minutes for the top to get nicely browned and crispy.Allow to rest 15 minutes before transferring to board or platter and begin pulling.

Sound too simple to be true? Not at all. Besides being the juiciest fork-tender oven roasted pork roast it’s also the easiest!


rubbed pork roast before roasting

After: (ooh, look at that crispiness)

oven roasted pork roast

Proof of fork-tenderness, or in this case tong-tenderness, below. The roast fell apart as I pulled it out of the Dutch oven.

shredding tender roasted pork

This pork can actually be used in a variety of ways as the seasoning lends itself to be adapted to a variety of cuisines. As for me and my brood, we crave a taste of summer during the doldrums of winter so it’s barbecue all the way.

I was hooked at first bite of pulled pork topped with creamy slaw. Put all of this in a crusty Dutch roll and oooh la la. There’s only one other addition that makes it a taste of heaven and that’s a generous pour of barbecue sauce from Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Atlanta, GA. (After seeing Fat Matt’s featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, we just had to check it out ourselves. That was one tasty road trip.)


oven roasted pork sandwich with slaw