Shrimpy Burgers

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Confession: This is not a recipe I created in any way.  I can’t take any credit for this. I can’t even claim like I add something small or adjust a ratio – literally, the only change I make is to remove the salt.  Otherwise, it’s perfect as is and works for my CKD diet. What more can you ask for???

Warning: You have to like shrimp to like this recipe.  I have actually tried to make it with other fish but it just wasn’t the same. It’s chunky and spicy and delicious.  But still, I can’t take credit for any of it.

So here it is, someone else’s amazing shrimp burger recipe. Please enjoy if you’re on the CKD diet (or even if you’re not).

Original Recipe: HERE

There is no revised recipe.  I just omit the salt.  And if you have high potassium, you can omit the avocado from the aioli and just make the sauce without this.

Also, I put these on regular English Muffins instead of a brioche bun.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbl chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbl garlic
  • 1/2 cup Low-Salt Breadcrumbs (See my note on breadcrumbs HERE)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped and seeded
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup red pepper, chopped small
  • 3 Tbl canola oil

Avocado Aioli

  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded and peeled (save the pit!)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbl fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbl minced garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (or 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • 2 Tbl chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Avocado Aioli

  1. Scoop the avocado pulp into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the sour cream, lime juice, garlic cloves, jalapeno, cilantro and pepper.
  3. Process until smooth.
  4. Check and adjust seasoning.
  5. Place in a dish, add the pit (this helps prevent it from turning brown), cover and chill for an hour.

Burgers

  1. Divide the shrimp in half.
  2. Coarsely chop one half and set aside.
  3. Put remaining half in a food processor and grind to a coarse puree.
  4. Add egg, shallot, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic to processor.
  5. Process until smooth.
  6. Sprinkle mixture with breadcrumbs and process again.
  7. Transfer contents of food processor to a large bowl.
  8. Add coarsely chopped shrimp and red pepper.
  9. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well.
  10. Form burgers and chill for 1 hour (covered).
  11. Heat oil in a heavy skillet.
  12. When very hot, fry the shrimp burgers until golden, about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
  13. Drain on paper towels.
  14. Serve on an English Muffin.

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Chicken Stir-Fried Rice

Hello again!  I’m back with another recipe.  And not surprisingly, this one is inspired by my love for Asian cuisine.

To be fully transparent, this is a recipe that I found before I was on the CKD diet. It’s Weight Watchers, which is great, but because of the salt, some of the veggies, and use of brown rice, I had to adjust it slightly to work now.  But it works just as well (if not better!) and I continue to love it.  This recipe is completely customizable too.  You can add any veggies you’d like to this dish or if you want to swap chicken for shrimp or beef or just leave it as veggie, feel free!  It’s really simple and comes out just as delicious.  I’ve admittedly tried this with many, many varieties and like it all the same.  Also, this can easily be transformed into a side dish if you want to take out the protein altogether.

Also, because I’ve made this so many times, I’ve found a slightly better order to cook everything, as laid out in my instructions below.  The method in the original Weight Watchers recipe works fine too – but I like actually stir frying the rice separately so it gets a nice yummy crispiness.

Original Recipe: Weight Watchers, Find it HERE

Revised Recipe: Me, Jackie 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 large egg white(s)
  • 1/2 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
  • 2 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 12 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cup(s) cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), diced

NOTE: If you have a wok, this is ideal for this recipe.  If not, I would recommend using a large skillet that is pre-heated until hot.  You can use a cast iron or nonstick, but it’s important to make sure it’s hot before you begin cooking anything. That creates the nice sear on the bottom like a wok would. It also should be a larger size – there’s a lot of food in this recipe!

Instructions

  1. Pre-cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. After skillet has warmed up, coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the chicken. Cook until done, when no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, optional carrots, minced garlic and ginger.  Stir together and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers have softened.
  3. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Coat skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the pre-cooked rice. Spread the rice out around the skillet so as much of it is covering the surface as possible.  Allow to sit (untouched) for 5 minutes or until slightly browned on the side. Stir around the pan and allow other side of rice to cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is browned, add back in the chicken, peppers, garlic and ginger.  Add in the coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar.  Add the frozen peas and stir together.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until combined.
  6. In the center of the skillet, make a hole by pushing back the rice-chicken-veggie mixture towards the outer edges.  In the hole, add the egg whites and stir. Egg whites will cook quickly so make sure to stir rapidly until they are scrambled.  Once they are fully cooked, combine the eggs in with the rest of the mixture.
  7. Add cilantro and serve.

Yields about 1 cup per serving.

ENJOY!

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Notice the crispy bits…YUM

I’m-From-Philly Steak Sandwich

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Confession: I grew up as a red meat vegetarian, and while I’ve started to eat meat over the last 10 years, I really do not like to cook it.  I’m scared of it for some reason.  I like to eat meat medium rare, even slightly rare, but I’m always afraid that I’m going to poison myself, so I overcook it.  And then it turns out rubbery.  I’m more comfortable with chicken and I know when it’s done. It feels like red meat is open to interpretation…you can call it done whenever you want.  As a side note, if anyone has any tips on how to get over this completely irrational fear and cook meat properly, please let me know.

As such, I have fewer red meat recipes than chicken, turkey or fish.  However, I discovered this one when I was eating a version of a steak sandwich at a restaurant and realized it might be do-able.  There are 4 reasons why this is an incredible recipe:

  1. I can successfully cook it, as the meat gets cooked all the way through (I can handle that).
  2. It reminds me of home.  I’m from Philly where, traditionally, we eat cheesesteaks.  A cheesesteak is similar to a steak sandwich, except it has grilled onions and either provolone or ‘whiz (see HERE). They are AMAZING.  They’re cooked to perfection and the cheese gets all melty and the bread is crispy…ok, this is making me hungry.  No one does it better than Philly.  After I was diagnosed with CKD, I found this restaurant that had a steak sandwich, which is similar to a cheesesteak but doesn’t have the cheese.  It had the perfectly toasted bread, steak, grilled onions and this amazing horseradish sauce.  It wasn’t a cheesesteak but it was close enough and I was hooked.
  3. This is good for lunch or for dinner.  Right now, I’m eating it with a cup of soup and calling it dinner.
  4. The sauce: This uses a version of my all-time favorite sauce from My Redheaded Burger Fantasy recipe.  Just like the original, I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this sauce is.

All in all, this recipe creates the most fantastic sandwich, whether you’re from Philly or not.

Original Recipe: Courtesy of Westville Restaurant (although there are recipes for this…see  HERE for The Barefoot Contessa version)

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

  • Servings: 2-4, depending on how large your rolls are
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12-ounce) 1-inch thick New York strip boneless beef top loin steak
    • NOTE: I’ve also done this recipe with a ribeye, hanger or flank steak – they all work, as long as they’re around 1 inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt-Free Steak Seasoning
  • Olive oil & canola oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced very thin (if you have a mandolin, use it) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 recipe Mustard Mayo, recipe follows
  • 4 Hawaiian rolls (I like King’s Hawaiian. If you can’t find these, any white rolls will do)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • Optional: 1/2 cup button mushrooms
  • Mustard Mayo:
    • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
    • 1/3 cup sour cream

Directions

NOTE/TIP FOR THE STEAK:

The key to this recipe is slicing the steak paper thin.  I do this by first freezing the steak for an hour before I’m ready to use it. Take it out of the freezer and make really thin slices.  Set aside those pieces and allow them to come back to room temperature and then proceed below.

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MEAT 🙂

Season the steak with salt-free steak seasoning and pepper on both sides. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking.  Add the steak. Cook all the way through and remove from the pan.

Using the same saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and saute for 10 minutes, until the onions are brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally. If using mushrooms, add these in at the same time as the onions.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread a tablespoon of Mustard Mayo on the bottom half of each bun. Place a layer the steak strips on top of the mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the caramelized onion rings. Place the baby arugula on top of the onion rings, and cover the sandwiches with the top half of the buns.

Mustard Mayo:

Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature.

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ENJOY!

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Better-than-Chipotle Burrito Bowl

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I remember the first time I went into Chipotle. It was awhile ago – probably 7 or 8 years ago – and everyone at my office had been raving about it.  I always liked Mexican but I couldn’t imagine how fast-food Mexican could be different than Taco Bell.  But one afternoon, I decided to go and fell in love.  There was so much goodness in that one bowl…the creamy guacamole, the spice of the salsa, chicken, beans, rice…it was like someone managed to take all of the best parts of a plate of nachos, throw them on rice, and call it a day.  It was like heaven and I think I went back at least a dozen times.

And then two things happened: 1. I read an article online about the calorie and fat content of Chipotle and nearly fell out of my chair. My amazing dream of a lunch was close to 52 grams of fat and 1,000 calories (and that’s without the side of chips). And did I mention the sodium?  It was more than half of the recommended daily intake.  And then a couple of years later, #2 happened: I went on the CKD diet and all thoughts and forms of fast-food became a hazy memory.

But in my quest to find food that fit the diet and I enjoyed, I was in my office, watching someone eating Chipotle, and it occurred to me that the basics of the burrito bowl I had fallen in love with a few years ago were, in fact, on the diet.  If I removed the beans and the cheese, all of the individual items I included in my bowl were acceptable. I ran home that night to make it, so here is the recipe.

I will note that there are two ways to make this: 1. With rice as your base and 2. With lettuce as your base. Sometimes I make this for dinner (see #1) and sometimes I make this for lunch (see #2) – it’s flexible and easy.

Original Recipe: Chipotle (Chipotle’s Nutrition Link)

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

Serving Size: 2 people, if you want more, just double it

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (if you want to make this for 4 people, just double this)
  • 4 peppers (I prefer red)
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1-2 chopped jalapenos
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Avocado (Optional)
  • Hot Sauce (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast the Peppers (This step is optional): If you prefer your peppers roasted, set your oven for 400 degrees. Slice the peppers into thin strips and toss them in 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Roast them in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip them onto the other side and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.  Once at room temperature, dice them into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Set aside.
  3. Defrost the corn in the microwave by adding corn and a tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Depending on your microwave, start at 90 seconds and see if it’s done.  Add another 15-20 seconds until defrosted. Drain and allow to cool.
    • ALTERNATIVE: You can make the Corn Salsa from my recipe and use this instead.  If you choose to do this, omit the jalapeño and red onion from this recipe.
  4. Pour 1 tablespoon of canola oil to a large pan on medium heat and add the chopped red onion.  After 2-3 minutes when it starts to soften, add the raw ground turkey.  Break up into small pieces and allow to cook all the way through, about 8 minutes.
  5. After all of the pink has disappeared from the ground turkey and it is cooked through, add your spices – the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Stir together so all of the turkey is coated.  All to sit for 3-4 minutes so the oil/juice is soaked up and the meat has turned a dark red color from the spices.
  6. While the turkey is cooking, start to assemble your bowl.  Place some rice at the bottom, then add the roasted red peppers and corn.  Then add some of the jalapeños (be careful not to add too many if you don’t like it spicy…remember, the turkey is spicy too).  If using avocado, cut up a few small chunks and add it to the bowl.  When the turkey is done cooking, add it to the top.
  7. If you’re using sour cream, add a tablespoon on top of the turkey and then sprinkle on your chopped cilantro.  If you like hot sauce, add this as well.  Finally, squeeze the lime over the whole bowl.  Repeat for multiple people/bowls.

ENJOY!

Veggie Dumplings

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I will forewarn that this is one of the most time-consuming recipes that I have, but in the end, the results are absolutely amazing.  They’re a really great dinner on their own or maybe a side dish or appetizer for parties and gatherings.  But be warned, this requires an assembly line of activity, so you need to allow yourself enough time so you can properly pull all of this together.

I love a good dumpling and I order them wherever I go. Even now, with my diet, I still order dumplings. I assume there’s soy sauce in them and lots of salt (and probably some veggies I can’t eat) but one good dumpling makes me unbelievably happy. I prefer them steamed, but this recipe uses a light sear + steam method.

There are a few shortcuts in this recipe that you can use, which will help speed up the process a bit.  But note, it’s not the actual cooking that takes time – this is the quick part – it’s the creation of the dumplings themselves. I am just not good at filling and folding the dough. I constantly struggle with this.  I really hope you’re better but please let me know if you have any tricks!

Original Recipe: HERE

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

  • Prep: The official recipe says 5 minutes, so I guess someone somewhere is able to do this in 5 minutes. I am not. For me, this takes about 40-45 minutes to prep.
  • Cook: 15 minutes
  • Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup coleslaw mix (found in the lettuce section with the bagged lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms
  • 4 scallions, chopped (light green and white parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos (see HERE for the brand I prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 15-20 dumpling wrappers – you can find these in the freezer section or the refrigerator section, usually near the tofu products

Directions

  1. Prep and chop your ingredients: Note – I throw all of the vegetables (coleslaw mix, bean sprouts, mushrooms, scallions) into a food processor and chop them that way. This is MUCH easier and creates greater consistency with the filling.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the coleslaw mix, chopped beansprouts, scallions, soy sauce/coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and ginger.
  3. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium. Once its hot, add the contents of the medium bowl. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, stir and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat.
  4. Working with one dumpling wrapper at a time, spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the center. Moisten the edges of the dumpling wrapper with water (use your finger to spread it around). Then, fold the wrapper over, sealing the edges together with your fingers. Place on a foil-lined plate. Repeat until all of the dumplings are filled and sealed.
    NOTE: There’s a great website showing all the different ways to fold a wonton wrapper HERE. I generally do the basic samosa style (because I can’t quite get it any other way).  One tip though – make sure to keep a wet paper towel over the wontons you’ve already filled.  They’ll dry out if you don’t do this and will taste a bit like cardboard when you go to cook them.
  5.  Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and wait until it gets hot. Add a few of the dumplings, making sure to to over-crowd the pan. Sear on one side (about 1-2 minutes) and then flip to the other. While they’re on the other side, add about 3 tablespoons of the water to the pan and cover.  Allow to steam.
  6. Wait about 3-4 minutes, remove the cover and the dumplings should be nicely steamed with crispy edges.
  7. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Good luck and ENJOY!