The weather today was perfect - sunny and not too warm. In fact, it was the kind of weather that makes you want to fire up the grill, sit outside, relax and enjoy nature. Sounds nice, right? The only problem is that we live in Astoria, Queens - and outdoor space is hard to come by (which is a nice way of saying that we have no outdoor space). Have I let that stop me? No way. Today was the day of the indoor bbq.
This morning I remembered that we had some leftover corn in the fridge - which instantly made me think of burgers (does that make sense? I don't know, but when I see corn on the cob - I want a burger to go with it). However, because I spent my Saturday eating pizza and drinking beer - I knew that if tonight was going to be burger night - then it was going to have to be more "healthy" and less "ish".
I always turn to Eating Well when I want a healthy recipe that tastes great and includes fresh ingredients. Seriously, you cannot go wrong with Eating Well - just search for whatever you are craving and they have a healthy way for you to make it. I found this recipe for Spicy Turkey Burgers with Pickled Onions (once I saw that the burgers were seasoned with ground chipotle, I couldn't say no). I also found a Guy Fieri recipe for Black Bean and Corn Salad (a seemingly perfect use for my corn on the cob). Until today, I've never tried one of Guy's recipes, however, after watching his show - Diners, Drive-ins and Dives - I 100% trust his opinion on good food.
Turns out - neither recipe disappointed. Have you ever had pickled onions? Jeeeeez they are good - whip these up tonight - they are so simple, and so so delicious. The all spice and brown sugar really add a ton of flavor to the vinegar (while taking the edge off of it) - and the entire combination just brought the burgers to life. The little touch of all spice in the burgers really tied everything together.
The corn salad was a really solid side dish - the cider vinegar was the perfect compliment to the sweetness in the red pepper and corn, and the black beans added heartiness. There was no need for another starch or vegetable with this meal - the corn salad was the perfect side dish.
I grilled the corn and the burgers on my indoor grill, which was nice - but it doesn't hold a candle to the great outdoors. I guess we'll have to settle for the great indoors for now.
What's your favorite healthy-ish recipe for the grill? Email it to me, email@example.com, and I'll give it a try!
Spicy Turkey Burgers with Pickled Onions
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Preheat the grill to medium.
Grill the corn until lightly charred, about 2 minutes, turning frequently. Transfer the corn to a cutting board and using a serrated knife remove the kernels. Set aside.
In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then the red bell pepper and the red onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, beans and corn and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the snow peas and saute for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold.
If the rumors (aka scientific studies) are true - then soda is going to kill us. It's going to rot our teeth, give us cancer and eat through our intestines. But honestly, you can't deny it - soda is refreshing and delicious. So we have to make choices, and obviously we choose diet soda (less calories, less sugar etc. etc.). Good choice? Wellll, here's where I tell you my cautionary tale.
A few months ago I was drinking about 2 liters of Diet Coke a day (gross, but true). When I decided to cut back I worried about the caffeine withdrawl, but what I actually dealt with was aspartame withdrawl. You guys, it wasn't pretty. Think headaches, nausea and aches. So if you are currently consuming aspartame on a regular basis - heed my warning. The stuff is NOT good for you. Want proof? Check it out here
So what do healthy-ish people do when they want delicious, carbonated diet coke but DO NOT want to put weird chemicals in their body? They find alternatives. Lately I taste-tested two diet coke alternatives, and here are my findings:
Don't Drink Me
First up: Jones Sugar-Free Cola. Guys, this stuff is gross. Yes, it has zero calories - and yes, it is sweetened with Splenda, but it's overly sweetened, not fizzy enough and 100% not worth drinking. Also the flavor wasn't crisp and clean, it left an after taste - and it definitely doesn't pair with food (the sugar just overpowers everything). Personally, I really respect Jones as a brand and they should stick with what they do best - making delicious natural sodas with cane sugar. Leave the diet stuff to the other guys.
Drink Me Instead
Next up was GuS Grown-up Soda in Dry Cola flavor. This is one of the best diet sodas I have ever had. It's so dry, crisp and light. It's perfectly carbonated with a subtle lightly sweet flavor. Yes, it is better than diet coke. But there's a catch...and that catch is that this is not a diet drink, it's a natural drink (which means, and don't panic...it has calories). In fact it has 95 calories per bottle. Worth it? I say yes, and here's why....
Calorie-free doesn't always mean healthy - in fact, many times it means "filled with chemicals". For 95 calories you can put something natural and satisfying into your body. So do that...and don't drive yourself insane. Just don't drink them all day everyday (I personally like to have one as a snack everyday at around 4pm). Now go forth, break free from the shackles of aspartame. It's a new, healthy-ish day my friends!
Have any recommendations for diet , sugar-free or low-calorie sodas for me to try?
Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org