Homemade Salmon Burger How-To

Like I promised last week on Insta, today I’m going to share my Salmon Burger recipe with you!

It’s surprisingly super easy, and amazingly delicious!  I was so proud of myself when I was done.  This recipe was actually inspired by my most recent “Durham Costco trip” with my Mom when I was home the other week.  I love cooking salmon as a dish {Alaskan salmon only!}, with a side of veggies and maybe some cauliflower rice.  However, I’ve never really experimented with canned salmon.  Canned tuna?  Yes.  Canned salmon?  No.  But could they really be much different?  While we were at Costco, I stumbled upon a super pack of canned salmon {of course, it’s Costco}.  Jumping at any chance to be creative, I decided to get it and go from there.

It’s that “buy now ask questions later” mentality that can get me in trouble at the grocery store…or the mall…or when impulsively buying heels.  Which, I would like to point out I haven’t done in a long time.  No worries here, Mom and Dad.

So, I have a couple of “canned salmon uses” on the docket, that I will share in due time.  For now, let’s go over the Salmon Burger!

Note:  I don’t see why this recipe couldn’t be used with raw/smoked salmon, as long as you have 16 oz. worth.

Ingredients: {makes 2 salmon burgers}

1 16oz can of salmon
1 egg
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp of dill
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of parsley {can be dried or fresh}
2 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
A pinch each of salt and black pepper
Cooking oil of choice, here I used olive oil spray on my grill pan

Directions:

1.  Drain the can of salmon, and empty the meaty contents into a mixing bowl.  Heat skillet or grill pan over medium heat with oil.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients into the same bowl and mix well {hands can be used here}.

3.  Once the ingredients are mixed well, divide evenly and shape into two patties.  Place on heated pan.

4.  Cook on each side until cooked through to your preference.  With my grill pan I ended up flipping a few times since this was my first try, but I spent about 5-7 minutes on each side.  Keep and eye on them though!

5.  Once they’re cooked, decorate it however you like!  Add it to a bun with some lettuce and tomato, or garnish it with some arugala like I did here!

I love arugala, especially with fish.  It’s such a “peppery” little addition.  With this arugala I added a Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice {so, pretty much the juice from a slice of lemon} some crushed black pepper, and a drop of olive oil.  Then I mixed it together and used it as the bed for my burger.

NIGHT NIGHT SALMON BURGER…welcome to ma belly.

Next time you have a burger craving, give this recipe a try {with the canned salmon, it really doesn’t even taste “fishy”, if that’s your main concern}.  It’s a great substitution for any greasy, beefy burger!

Have you guys ever made salmon burgers before?  What do you like to top your burgers with?

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Dairy Free Chai Tea Latte

Like we’ve covered on so many posts before, for health purposes I avoid dairy when I can.  It’s not an allergy per say, but I was finding it was doing some funky things with my body, so I cut it out.  {{I’m sure I sound like a broken record about this at this point}}.

Anywho, I LOVE Chai Tea Lattes.  I even like a Dirty Chai every now and then when I need an extra pick-me-up {Chai Tea Latte + shot of espresso}.  Before my non-dairy ways, I was all about that Starbucks Nonfat Chai Tea Latte.  Recently I’ve had to change my ways.  There are a lot of awesome coffee shops around Charlotte that offer alternatives like soy and almond milk for that CTL {and it’s way cheaper that Sbux}, but what about when I want one at home?  For years I’ve tried and failed to master this creation.  Then one day while grocery shopping, I had an epiphany.

Keep in mind, this is a similar, homemade alternative to the Chai Tea Latte.  I don’t have an espresso machine or one of those handheld latte foamers…yet {<—–gift idea, anyone?}.  However, when you want to make one for yourself in the comfort of your own home, this is an excellent alternative.  It also cuts down on the amount of sugars and sweeteners you would normally come across at your run of the mill coffee shop.

You’ll surprisingly just need a few simple ingredients…

Black Spiced Chai Tea Bags, Coconut Creamer, Organic Sweetened Agave Nectar, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and boiling water.

Yes, that’s really it!  I clearly have a Trader Joe’s problem, but any of these ingredients could be found at your local grocery store.  I’ve tried almond milk and other milk alternatives in the past, but it never dawned on me to use alternative dairy creamer.

Here are the quantities:

1 Black Spiced Chai Tea Bag
8oz/1 mug of boiling water {I never actually measure this out to be honest, just leave room for cream}
1/2-1 Tbsp of Organic Agave Nectar {depends on how sweet you want it, I prefer 3/4 Tbsp but I know that’s being difficult}
2-3 Tbsp of Coconut Creamer {again, up to you on the exact measurements}
1 tsp of ground cinnamon to top
1/4-1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg to top

I’m all about finding what works for you.  I like to give approximations on recipes like this to let you know that you can hit anywhere within these numbers and not “mess it up”.

And now for the steps:

1.  Steep tea bag in boiling water for 5 minutes/according to packaging instructions

2.  Remove and strain the tea bag.

3.  Add the agave nectar and coconut creamer.

4.  Top it off with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’re all set!

Don’t you just love the mug?  I found it at IKEA.

So, next time you’re at home and you’re craving a Chai Tea Latte sans-dairy, give this a shot!

Let me know what you think!  How do you make dairy free Chai Tea Latte’s?

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Back From The Dead

Oh hello there.  If you haven’t noticed I’ve been a little MIA for the first part of the week.  Simply put, it’s because I felt like I was dying.  I’m much better now, but the past 48 hours have been hellish.  For the sake of this blog starting and ending on a positive note, let’s make this post a positive blog sandwich {you know, one thing positive, one thing negative, one thing positive}.

So for the first positive…rewind to this past Friday.

My friend, Jess {as in the one I’ve had for years but just recently became Facebook friends with}, is starting a new chapter in her life this week.  She’s a fellow Herd alum, but was also an employee with Marshall’s athletic department, and she’s just recently accepted a job offer with FSU!  A FLA native, I’m so happy that she’s able to go back to the sunshine state and still do what she loves.  We are all so proud of her!!!!  This past weekend was her last weekend in town, Molly had plans to come up but I wanted to surprise her for her last romp through Huntington.  {me=early bday surprise??? 🙂 }

{me, Molly, Jess, and Erika!}

As we all know, when it comes to my friends and Huntington, I can get weirdly nostalgic, so I won’t do it here.  BUT it was really nice to see my friends, and be there while one friend was closing a chapter in her life and moving on to another.  Can’t wait to visit you in FLA, Hessica…wahoo!

We then went over to my beloved Hagy’s house for Sunday dinner {former employers/owners of La Famiglia}, with our other friend, Kendall.  I absolutely adore that family, and love visiting with them in their home.  It honestly feels like you’re visiting with your own family at your own home.  A great way to end a weekend.

Now for the quick negative….

Without getting too graphic, I woke up with sharp pains at 4am on Monday and could not stop vomiting.  It was like The Exorcist for 24 hours.  I have no idea exactly what did it, but we’re just chalking it up to some random gnarly 24/48 hour stomach virus.  No one else that I was with this weekend got sick, but I somehow directed myself home.  I’ve pretty much seen cross-eyed for the past 48 hours, and unable to walk from one side of my apartment to the other without getting nauseous.  It was kind of scary, and I haven’t been sick like that in years.  The good news is, it’s clearing up.  However, blogging was the last thing on my mind.  If I had somehow gained enough sense to write, it would have been the most pessimistic thing you would have ever laid eyes on because I was in so much pain.

Now back to the positive….

Like I said, I can see straight again and I can do things without feeling like I need to carry a bucket around with me 24/7.  I’m still not at 100%, but after 2 days I’m already experiencing symptoms of cabin fever.  I want to jump right back into my routine, but I know that isn’t the most intelligent thing to do.  So here’s the plan.  I’m going to unpack/clean/disinfect my apartment, answer some emails, maybe go to the store, and be back with the dairy-free chai tea latte recipe that I talked about on Friday!  Baby steps to get back to normal.  I just wanted to check in and let you guys know what’s been going on/that I’m back from the dead.

Hope everyone’s had a great week so far!  {and not been sick}…

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#FiveThingsSF {Feb 20 2015}

It’s Friday, and once again time to round out this week’s Five Things!  Remember to share your Five Things for the week by using the hashtag #FiveThingsSF !!

Going to Durham

Like I talked about earlier in the week, getting to go home to Durham was an easy decision for my Five Things of the week.  I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go home again, but being there for a little bit was a nice treat.


V-Day Girl Time

As you already know, Jimmy and I weren’t able to spend Valentine’s Day together because of our schedules.  Since he was gone, I ended up going over to my friend, Emily’s apartment to hang out/have dinner with some friends.  Even though Jimmy couldn’t be there on that day, it was still so much fun to just have some girl time and hang out!


Dairy Free Chai Tea Latte

I’m going to share the recipe next week {I promiseee!!} but this week I created my own recipe for a dairy free chai tea latte!!!!  I’m obsessed with chai tea latte’s but the downside of it all is that they’re generally made with cow’s milk.  Thank goodness for all of the other healthy alternatives these days!


10% Happier

Now that I’m done with Amy Poehler’s book, the next one that I’m reading is 10% Happier by Dan Harris.  I’m only about 10 pages in, but I can tell that I’m already going to like it.


Duke Winning

Holy basketball game, Batman!!!!  This past Wednesday was the first of the two basketball games between Duke and UNC of the season.  Arguably the best college rivalry out there.  I was losing my mind watching the game as it went into overtime, but I’M SO FREAKING HAPPY Duke was able to pull a win out at home.

I was also happy to see that snapchat had a snap story for the Cameron Crazies that night.  That’s where I got this from.  I have no idea who’s snapchat this is, but it’s awesome.  Just like all of them were.

So now it’s your turn!

What are your Five Things for the week?  Comment below or use the hashtag #FiveThingsSF !!

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Afternoon Snack– Acai Bowls

Hola mis amigos!  A little later in the day than usual, but I wanted to pop in to share my new favorite afternoon snack with you— Acai Bowls!

The Acai {pronounced ah-sigh-EE} Berry has gained it’s popularity over the years for being one of the “superfoods”.  Taken as a supplement, juice, or in a smoothie, I’m sure many of you have at least heard of it before.  Today’s snack takes the acai berry benefits, turns them into a custard like substance, and allows you to enjoy sans-guilt {depending on what you decide to top it off with, of course}.  From what I’ve seen the most popular meal time for this baby is breakfast.  I on the other hand, don’t really like to consume that much sugar at the beginning of the day.  I’ve been really good this past year to focus on lean proteins and greens for breakfast, as a better way to start my day.  Now, aside from any fruit as a side, when I consume sugars in the morning it doesn’t seem to agree with me.  Quite honestly, it leaves me feeling a little funky.  So I eat my breakfast how I eat my breakfast and then I save this for a snack!

Making the acai bowls is easy, getting ahold of acai {frozen or powder} can prove to be a little more difficult.  Luckily, when I was home and at Costco with my mom, I found this frozen superpack!

You can use the individual frozen packs, or the powder for the bowl.  If you’re using the powder, make sure you’re adding ice cubes to get the fro-yo-like substance!

Here’s how you make it:

In a blender combine the following ingredients:

1 packet of frozen acai
1/2 banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup of berries {can be frozen}, for this I used strawberries
1 packed cup of organic spinach leaves {<—not NECESSARY, but why not add this?  Full of great added health benefits and you can’t even tell that it’s there!}

Blend until smooth, and pour in bowl or oversized mug.

See?  It looks almost identical to fro-yo!  Then all you have to do is add the toppings of your choice.

Here I added fresh blueberries, the other 1/2 of the banana, a Tbsp of ground Flax Seed, and the remaining little bits I had left over of my Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds from Trader Joe’s {yes, those do exist, and yes, I am basic}.

So there ya have it, my new favorite afternoon snack.  Even though it is freezing outside I still enjoy it, so I guarantee this will be more than refreshing once the warm weather kicks in!

Hope you all have had a great day so far!

Have you ever had acai bowls?  What do you like to add for your toppings?

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What I’m Giving Up For Lent + Last Second Durham Trip

I tried to be creative with this morning’s title, but I got way too ahead of myself and decided to take it back to basics.  Less is sometimes more.

So, in case you were wondering, we’re going to cover what I’m giving up for Lent, and a last second Durham trip.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to just go home for a minute to visit with my parents.  Idk, sometimes you just need to go home for a bit, you know?  This is a luxury I haven’t had for the past seven years when I was away at Marshall, so I decided to take advantage of it.  This is one of the first times that I’ve gone home “just to go”, normally it’s for a holiday or some sort of an event.  Ryan wasn’t even with me this time.  It was great to see my parents and my dog and just hang out, especially since we all got more time than we expected.

If you’ve been following the weather, we got snow all the way down here in North Cackalacky.  Due to the snow/freezing rain combo, both of my parents got to leave work early on Monday, and my dad didn’t have to go in until late on Tuesday morning!  My mom, a middle school teacher, naturally had the whole day off!  It was accidentally timed perfectly, like we had our own mini “winter break” together.  The plan was for me to stay until mid-day Tuesday, so that I could get back in time for volunteering, but we were at first concerned I wouldn’t make it back.

Let me just clarify here, this was like NC level concerned…aka everything is fine the precipitation just froze a little, but are tires even built to function on a little bit of ice?????????  I don’t think so, we should probably stay inside for the next few days.  Better go buy some milk, eggs, and bread.

That’s the inner monologue that I had prepared for you all if you’re not familiar with how snow days work down here.  We don’t do winter weather.  Winter Weather WARNING?  Two Hour Delay.  1″ of snow?  Schools out.  I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, that’s how it was growing up.  I don’t see it changing any time soon.

So, since we had some time yesterday morning, my mom and I decided to walk {more like skate, the roads were actually pretty icy} around the hood with Alba to see the beautiful winter weather.

The blue sky even came out to greet us!

And there’s that little diva now.  She had so much fun exploring.  I don’t know what it is about her, but Alba LOVES the snow.  She would probably sleep in it if we didn’t make her come inside.  I chalk it up to a “former Huntington stray” street cred mentality.

Everything felt so fresh, clean, and bright around the neighborhood.  Like it does most times right after it snows and the sky clears.  My mom is Miss. Popular, so we stopped and talked to a lot of the neighbors who were also out enjoying the same landscape.  My neighborhood has a lot of hills– perfect for sledding conditions.  As I watched the younger children in zip down the same monstrous hills I once tackled on a snow day, I smiled thinking about those times.  It was a nice feeling.

I did a little “time traveling”, as Amy Poehler would say.  {Read the friggin book.  It’s awesome}.

Now I’m back in CLT, Lent starts today and I’m ready to take over the world.

So, before we get started I want to make one blanket statement.  I’m not here to judge other people’s religious or spiritual beliefs.  I’m not here to go on a rant about why I give up something for Lent every year and why you should too.  This is my blog, I have my own personal reasons as to why I choose to make this a part of my life, and I hope that you show me the same consideration that I know I would show to you.

Ok, so now that’s out of the way {that was kind of uncomfortable, right?} let’s get on with it.  When you choose something to abstain from during Lent, it should be something that comes with a struggle.  Whether it’s a habit you’re trying to make yourself stop doing, a habit you’re trying to form, or a goal that you have by the end of the 40 days, with Lent normally comes a lot of determination and focus.

I’ve given up all types of things over the years– pushing buttons when I was in elementary school {ask my parents, this was a serious problem when I was little.  Good luck taking me down the toy aisle}, gum, sweets, meat…the list goes on.  This year I did a little recon on what I was really struggling with.  I realized that once again, I’ve been having this insatiable sweet tooth.  However, it’s not because I NEED it in my diet, it’s because it’s around my apartment and I’m bored so I eat it.  Then I get used to sweets being around and then it becomes second nature to always “have a little dessert”.  This always happens after the holidays.  So, this year I’ve decided to give up sweets {i.e. candies, cookies, chocolates, cakes, etc}.  If I REALLY have a sweet tooth, I’ll just eat a piece of fruit.  No big deal.  I’ve done it before and I can do it again. It’s going to be tough though.

I don’t know what my deal has been, but I’ve literally had zero eff’s given when it comes to eating dessert recently, and that’s so not me.  Lent couldn’t have come at a better time.

I didn’t have any type of Fat Tuesday celebration this year, but to commemorate the night before Ash Wednesday, I had a glass of merlot and some semi-sweet morsels while I unpacked.

Now it’s done.  My hands are clean and I’m saying so long to desserts and candies for the next 40 days.

Wish me luck.

Have any of you been experiencing this winter weather?  Do you practice Lent?  What have you chosen to give up this year?

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Winter Run//Playlist

I love snow…snowey, snow, snow…here it goes down… {say it in the Ron Burgundy voice, it makes sense}.

By NC standards, we’re in the middle of an Artic Tundra at the moment.  It’s by far not the worst snow I’ve ever seen here, but it’s something, and it’s icey, and frozen, and cold.  I’ve been doing a lot of yoga recently, and while I’m still running, lifting, and Bodypumping, I wanted to make sure I got a good distance run in before it all came down yesterday.  I quickly threw a “Winter Run” playlist together and headed out.

I’ve said it before, but I can listen to pretty much anything when I workout.  When I’m running for longer than 3 miles, often times I love listening to rock, folk, or indie-type music {think Dave Matthews, Tom Petty, Mumford and Sons}.  I’m not sure exactly what it is about it all, but once I get into my distance running groove, I just coast.  I want my music to match that.  I also like to actually listen to the music when I run, you know, hear the story.  It serves as a nice distraction.  Unless I have some serious thoughts to sort through, I normally spend my running time creating music videos or coming up with movie plots to match the music I’m listening to…hey, to each her own, right?  I just chalk it up to my creative brain that I can’t ever seem to shut off  {Is it okay to admit that? I mean…that’s normal, right?}

So keeping that in mind, as well as what it feels like right before the first snow, I give you the Winter Run playlist.  It’s 56 minutes long.  Perfect for a 5-6 miler, or a good old fashioned run//walk.

Songs:

Riptide- Vance Joy
Mess Is Mine- Vancey Joy
From Afar- Vance Joy
First Time- Vance Joy
Re: Stacks- Bon Iver
From Eden- Hozier
Work Song- Hozier
Waiting Game- Banks
Marathon Runner- Yellow Ostrich
Dearly Departed- Shakey Graves
What Kind Of Man- Florence + The Machine
Awake My Soul- Mumford and Sons
White Blank Page- Mumford and Sons
Pansy Waltz- Shakey Graves

If you follow me on Spotify, you can follow this playlist and have it sync right to your own Spotify account.  Just as a quick catch-up, here are some other playlists you’ll find:

Along with any and all of the JAMS OF THE WEEK
&& and all of my Half Marathon Playlists
Fall Run ’14
Christmas Grooves
Misdemeanor Here {Missy Elliot inspired} Playlist

Considering that it was about 20 degrees outside, and my extremities were like frozen blocks of ice, I’m not too upset about my time.  Something I definitely want to speed up ASAP.  I think my butt literally fell off around mile 3.5 and I’m surprised my fingers didn’t succumb to frostbite.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little bit.  But I’m from the Piedmont area of NC {<—-like how I used my 4th grade social studies state history knowledge there?}.  Running in 20 degrees isn’t normal for us.  In high school, soccer practice went indoors as soon as it hit 40. #truth

Either way, it’s a good base point, great place to improve from!

The snow around here has now turned more into freezing rain/ice.  I know a lot more of my friends up north are experiencing a “snowpocolypse” of sorts, so everyone stay safe out there!

What do you like to listen to when you distance run?  How’s the weather near you?

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