Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ketchup...not just for burgers and dogs anymore!

Each summer I come up with some new ideas when it comes to traditional 'summer' fare. Last year I was all about making a close to perfect burger and before that I was trying to perfect a stuffed chicken recipe. Learning that there wasn't a perfect anything in my kitchen was a bit of a let down. In the process, the one thing I did learn was that a great food needs an equally good sauce to accompany it. A sauce/condiment can add an amzing amount of flavor to a dish, it can bring out different effects and make peoples mouths begin to water. My Apple and Sausage Stuffed Chicken Breast has always tasted very good, but it tastes even better with an Apple Cream Sauce!  This summer I seem to be focusing on the creation of a Turkey Burger...not just any Turkey Burger...but the one and only SUPER TURKEY BURGER!!

See those Grilled Golden Beets?
Coat them in a mix of olive oil, rosemary
garlic and a few splashes of Balsamic
Vinegar. Grill until tender!!

Chances of creating the worlds first SUPER TURKEY BURGER...not all that great, but then again if you don't dream big, maybe you shouldn't be dreaming at all. So far the burger has come out pretty good. I use a lean ground turkey and add bread crumbs, a single egg, onion powder, garlic powder, a cup or more of a shredded cheddar cheese blend and some Carribean style seasoning. Make the patties and grill them for about 4 minutes on each side. They are juicy, big and taste great...but agian they seem to be missing something. Over the July 4th holiday, I was able to spend some time with the family and traveled up to NH for some pool time. I was also thinking non-stop of what to make that would compliment my soon to be masterpiece. Mayonnaise and regular old ketchup just wasnt cutting it for me. It added some flavor, which was nice but I wanted more...craved needed some razzle-dazzle!!

So what's a guy to do when he needs a little something for his burger? You start thinking about all those flavors that make turkey great or what you think will make turkey taste some

Jack Daniels Maple Ketchup, Cranberry & Orange Spread, Mango Banana Ketchup, or Sweet and Spicy Carribbean Spread.

All of these are simple to make and will keep in the fridge for a good couple of weeks. Like most of my recipes and ideas, these can all be modified to fit your own tastes. Feel free to play with them and have some fun.

Jack Daniels Maple Ketchup

2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
5 Tbs Garlic, fresh chopped
1 Cup Cola, you can use either Coke or Pepsi
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Cans Tomato Paste, 6 ounces each
1 Cup Whole Canned Tomatoes, drain out the juice
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Jack Daniels Whiskey

In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 9 minutes. Onions should begin to become clear. I prefer to let them cook a little longer. Add garlic into the pot with the onions, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add cola, vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer gently until liquid is reduced by half. This should take about 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, brown sugar and whiskey. Return to a boil, stirring often until liquid is slightly thickened. This last part of the cooking process should take around 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree in a blender until smooth.

Cranberry & Orange Spread

1 Package Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, 12 ounces
1 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Cup Orange Juice
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/8 tsp Allspice
1/8 tsp Clove
1 Cup Granny Smith or Golden Delicious Apple, peeled and chopped

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the apples. Cook over a medium/high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, cranberries will begin to pop. Stir in the apples. Cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, it should be thickened slightly and all the cranberries should have popped. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree in a blender, don't allow it to become overly smooth. The texture of the tiny pieces adds to the spread.

Mango and Banana Ketchup

2 Mangos, peeled and chopped
1 Banana, peeled and chopped
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, chopped
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
1 Tbs Garlic, chopped
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Molasses
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs Worcestershire
1/2 tsp Ground Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/2 Cup Water

Take the first 10 ingredients and using a food processor, pulse the items until pureed. Transfer mixture into a saucepan. Add spices and water into the pan, stirring to combine all the ingredients. Bring mix to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Sweet and Spicy Carribbean Spread

1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion, chopped
2 Large Bananas, peeled and chopped
1 Cup Chopped Pineapple
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Water
2 tsp White Vinegar
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Tbs Lime Juice
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Cook the onions until soft, add in the bananas, pineapple, pineapple juice, water, vinegar, curry, coriander and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture into a food processor, pulse until mix is thick with small pieces. Stir in the lime juice and red pepper flakes. Allow to chill and serve.

I didn't have a good picture for this last recipe, but if you need some island
feelings as you get inspired to create it...Here you go!

Thats all for today folks!! Over the weekend I am going to be working on some Kabob Recipes and will be posting some grilling tips to go along with them. As always feel free to comment or drop me an email over at We are also going to begin a campaign over on Facebook to get our page likes up as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Time to step into the BRAIN GAME...

Certain foods affect the body...however did you know that these same foods also can affect your brain? What if you could eat foods like chocolate and have it help your concentration and recollection while increasing blood flow to the brain. Sounds almost to good to be true, but it is!! We are surrounded everyday with certain types of 'brain food' and all we need to do is open ourselves up to them. The best part is that ALL of these foods are super easy to prepare and taste great. Lets take a look at some foods that will really help get the brain moving.

Studies are showing that these tart berries can protect the brain cells from harmful free radicals while also helping to improve memory, balance and coordination.

Sweet Potatoes
Rich in vitamin B6, antioxidants and carbohydrates, which are the only fuel source for our brains.

Simple and easy!! Toss with a fresh vinaigrette with
a little goat cheese on top or
even some toasted almonds

Delicious isnt going to be the first thing that pops into your brain after eating these anymore. A half cup provides almost 70% of the recommended daily allowance. They help protect against age related brain decline and best of all a new study is showing that people who eat strawberries may even have a higher learning capacity.

Good for the body and good for the brain as well. A diet rich in spinach can improve our learning capacity and motor skills.

Dark Chocolate
An ounce a day is what you can and should get away with! Not only is chocolate proven to improve your overall good mood it also is full of antioxidants and has been known to improve reasoning skills.

Raisin Bran
A bowl of this everyday cereal is packed full of carbohydrates, iron, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. All of these are important brain foods and great for the everyday function of our bodies. Magnesium has also been shown to help prevent migraine and tension headaches.

A great food if you are planning on increasing your learning capacity and enhancing your memory. Plus the high levels of vitamin D help with your mood and will even improve how well you sleep at night.

By increasing the intake of certain food types, we greatly increase our chances to live healthier. Monitor what you eat and try some new ideas inside of the kitchen. Here are a pair of recipes to help out with energizing your brain.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

From the good people over at, this is one of those easy to make recipes that can pair with lots of different accent dishes. Try it out with fresh tortilla chips or cornbread and if you have a touch of the carnivore inside, add some ground turkey into the mix. Use a dutch oven or a medium sized stock pot for cooking.

3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1 Large Sweet Onion, peeled and diced
4 Tbs Chopped Garlic
2 Tbs Chili Powder
4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 1/2 Cups Water
2 Cans of Black Beans, 15 oz each
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, 14 oz each
4 tsp Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro
(1 Pound Ground Turkey, Optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, over medium-high heat. Add in the sweet potato along with the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. If you are using a ground turkey, cook that first for about 7 minutes, then add in the onion and sweet potato. Add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt. While stirring constantly cook for another 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat, simmer until sweet potato is tender, which is about 10 minutes. Add beans, tomato and lime juice. Increase heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Lemon & Basil Salmon Burger

1 Pound Salmon Filet, chopped
1 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, thinly sliced
3 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbs Hot Sauce
1 Large Egg White, no yolk

Take the first 6 ingredients and combine them together in a bowl. In a seperate bowl, mix the egg whites and hot sauce. Combine the egg mixture into the salmon mix, stirring everything to combine. Shape into 1/2 inch thick patties and cook in a pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve on your choice of breads.

So does it come out as food for thought? or are you feeling tired as the day begins to quiet down. Tune in later this week for part 2 of the Living Healthy pages and read about foods that can help boost your metabolism. Plus more great recipe ideas and some fun stories about the Edible Herb Garden. As always thanks for stopping by, email me at, the Kitchen Time Website is over here at and lastly look for the Kitchen Time Facebook page as well