I sat down the other day and got myself organized.
I don’t know how you feel about organization. For me, it’s imperative. When things get too out of hand, I don’t like it. I’m not one of those who thrives on chaos.
An organized environment helps foster an organized and calm internal environment. For me anyway. I try to organize things here and there a couple times a week. I find it easier to keep up on as I go, instead of ending up dealing with a great big mess.
This week I focused on putting some menus together and gathering up some blogging ideas.
I had recipe ideas and menu ideas in piles, numerous note pages on my phone, ideas scratched on pieces of scrap paper, notes on napkins, recipes torn out of magazines that I wanted to tweak gluten free and dairy free… Organized piles, but piles none the less.
Then, when I would want to come up with something different to cook for dinner, it was too overwhelming to deal with all that and I began slipping right back into the same-o same-o meals. Even food bloggers get in a rut.
I put together 12 or so weeks of dinner menus to choose from, summer cocktails I’d like to try, dessert ideas, side dish ideas, and sweet and savory blog ideas all in a nice binder that I am now keeping in the pantry.
Handy, easy, and organized.
Just that small act of organization which probably took roughly 2 hours because I had several piles, made me feel tremendously better and added a big dose of peace to my evening mealtime prep.
There are days when I’ve used up all my energy throughout the day and when dinner hits, I’m not in the mood to come up with something innovative and fabulous. Having things figured out somewhat ahead of time, helps.
Now at the end of each week I’ll grab the binder, choose a few menus and jot down my shopping list. When the new week hits I have all the groceries available for those menus, I can choose which one I want to cook depending on my energy level each night, and there’s barely any hassle at all that goes into it. It gives us the opportunity to try new things and makes dinner exciting again.
When I get close to running out of menus, I’ll sit down and replenish with new menu ideas. I’m often writing them down and tearing ideas out of magazines, so replenishing will never be an issue. Also, I can set aside the menus we really liked and make a “favorites” tab in the binder for future use.
We used my grain free, dairy free, dinner rolls for buns – you can find the recipe HERE. Other good options would be a lettuce wrap as a bun, or an Udi’s gluten free hamburger bun. They hold together pretty well. You could also sandwich the chicken burger with two grilled portobellos or stack it with avocado slices. Lots of options!
South Of The Border Chicken Burgers with Cilantro Lime Sauce
Makes 8 burgers
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees
About 1.7 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 teaspoons of Cumin Powder
1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
2 oz (about 1/2 can) of Mild Green Chilies
3 Sun Dried Tomatoes (the ones packed in oil)
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Cilantro Leaves
1 Large Clove of Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of Avocado Oil
In a food processor (you can also use ground chicken and just chop and mix ingredients in), add all the ingredients and pulse several times. Then turn on low until all ingredients are incorporated (see picture above). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon 8 mounds of chicken onto the parchment and lightly form into a patty. Set aside.
Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
I have found that one large sweet potato works well for 2 of us. Adjust accordingly.
1 Large Sweet Potato, cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch sticks
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Sweet Potato Flour
About 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil
Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato sticks with sea salt and garlic powder, be generous. Then toss with the sweet potato flour until all the sticks are lightly coated. Drizzle with the avocado oil and season and toss again until coated. Line them on the parchment covered baking sheet leaving a bit of room between them to allow for crisping.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven and flip. Place them back into the oven along with the chicken burgers. Bake the chicken burgers for 15-17 minutes. Keep an eye on the sweet potato fries, if you feel they are becoming too dark, remove them and continue cooking the burgers.
*I cut up red onion, tomato, and lettuce as toppings. Also, the last couple minutes of baking, I topped a couple of the burgers with Daiya Jalapeno “Cheese”.
While the burgers and fries are cooking, make the sauces:
Cilantro Lime Sauce
3/4 Cup Mayo
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Cilantro
1 Small Clove of Garlic
1 teaspoon of Oregano
Juice of 1 Lime
2 teaspoons of Coconut Sugar
Pinch of Chili Powder
Pinch of Sea Salt
I used a Nutribullet to mix mine together but a blender would work fine too. Just add all the ingredients and mix.
Spicy Sweet Potato Red Sauce
This is the easiest sauce to make! We love it on sweet potato fries and beef burgers too. I haven’t ever measured, I just eyeball it and fit it to our spice preference which is very spicy.
If I had to guess I’d say 1/2 C of mayo, 1/4 C of ketchup, and a couple Tablespoons of the Sriracha sauce. SO tasty!