Burgers (or what to do with all those chives)


The last two nights I had to cover up my garden and my two berry bushes with sheets and table cloths for lack of anything more fitting. They looked kinda like awkward ghosts in the morning sun. But they called for freezing and frost and what not, and since the warm weather made the currants burst into flower, I needed to protect them or they will be done and no berries for me this year. Red currants(and black or Cassis currants for that matter) are pretty hard to come by in these parts of the world and so I am wiling to go through all kinds of trouble to save them, including digging them up at my old house and transporting them in a pot, (poor things they lived in that pot for almost a year) or turning them into ghosts. This morning it was soooo cold inside I had to turn my fireplace on to stay warm (I did turn the heat off, it’s almost May after all, and I am keeping it that way, period.) Yes I will wear a fleece in my house, if need be. And need was definitely there this morning.¬†Then this afternoon it heated up to the point where I removed half my clothes before my run for which I left the house seriously bundled up. AND I had dinner outside, on my deck.

imageWhat do you want? I had to make sure they were good, I watch out for you guys ūüėČ

I had been looking to make use of the chives chive bush that erupted in my garden this spring. So when I just had to put something on the grill, I knew what to try. The try was successful and filled my tummy with super deliciousness!


I snip the chives with scissors, I find that the easiest way to go about it

Makes 6 burgers

You will need:

  • 1 1/4 lb ground meat (1 lb venison and 1/4 lb beef mixed, or all beef)
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 small shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 3-6 burger buns (preferably sprouted grain such as these)

Serve with

Guilt Free Yogurt Chive Sauce and Mango Sweet Pepper Salsa



  1. In a bowl break up the ground meat using a fork.
  2. Add mustard, tamari, shallots, egg, ground pepper and chives and stir gently until all mixed up (I did not include any salt here, since the tamari or soy sauce is pretty salty)
  3. With your hands, form into 6 balls then flatten out to make a burger patty, set aside.image
  4. Preheat your grill
  5. Grill the burgers to desired done-ness, flipping only once.
  6. Serve on a toasted bun, or half of one, if you like


Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Portable Chicken Meatball ‘Muffins’

imageChicken Turkey Meatball Muffins

I came to thinking about this the other day. Can you name a snack that would deliver protein versus carbs, just one thought, on top of your head, …nothing? Right, thought so. Short of ¬†protein bars (mostly containing sugar=CARBS and soy), there really isn’t much we ‘snack’ on that would fall into this category.¬†So when I came across a recipe for a turkey meatloaf a light went on, ¬†and I tinkered around in the kitchen until I came up with this variation.

I’ve made two versions so far, one with chicken breast meat and venison, (all ground) the other with turkey thigh meat and chicken thigh meat with the addition of vegetable.

imageChicken Venison Meatball Muffins, (I think I added some jalapeno, see the green?)

I notice using breast meat and venison makes the muffins denser, the second version is a bit softer and juicier due to either using only thigh meat, or the additional vegetables. For vegetables I used the pulp from my juicer. I like having fresh squeezed vegetable juice in my diet, since the micro nutrient content of fresh homemade vegetable juice is out of this world, but having no compost, feel bad throwing out the dry pulp that is left over. Well, I stuck it in these and let me tell ya, it tastes awesome! If you don’t have a juicer, I am sure you could just shred and/or blend some vegetables, if juicy, squeeze in some paper towels and reduce the egg whites a bit or add some additional oats. Have not tried that, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.


Meatballs to go, now who wouldn’t love that??

Eat them cold or microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm up. You could also put them on a salad as a protein addition, if you like.

Chicken Venison Meatball Snackie


  • 1 lb lean ground chicken thigh meat
  • 1 lb ground turkey thigh meat
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites (about 5-6)
  • 2 tsp paprika, sweet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle* pepper, ground (optional, makes it spicy, yum!)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme

* if you don’t have chipotle pepper, use cayenne

Chicken Turkey Vegetable Meatball Muffins


  • 1 lb lean ground chicken meat (I used breast meat)
  • 1 lb ground venison (which is always lean, you know, no junk food or CAFO’s in nature)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetable pulp (I used a mix of celery,kale, kohlrabi, carrot and golden beet)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites (about 5-6)
  • 2 tsp paprika, sweet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle pepper, ground (optional, makes it spicy, yum!)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 375¬įF
  2. Place meat, egg whites (if using, vegetable pulp and quinoa as well) and oats together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the spices and salt in a small dish, add to the large bowl and mix into the meat using a fork until well incorporated.
  4. Line a muffin pan with (jumbo) muffin cups or grease well
  5. Form into 12 balls, about baseball sized and place in muffin pan
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Cook in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then place on cooling rack
  8. Keep in the fridge or freeze for later use

Each chicken venison muffin has 20 g protein,  3 g fat, and 5 g carbs, 123 calories

Each chicken turkey muffin has 18.3 g protein,  5.3 g fat, and 8.3 g carbs (includes fiber from the vegetable pulp) 156 cal  (with Quinoa 18.8 g protein)



Copyright © 2012 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved

Snowstorm Venison Chili


On Saturday, we were hit by a super untimely snowstorm. Up to this point from what my research has revealed, the Lehigh Valley (PA) has only had a major snow occurrence (not sure where it goes from minor to major, but that’s what the weather website said) and it was 2.2″ in 1925!!! Well unofficial measurements on my deck for this one: 6.25″
My trees are still mostly green, and with all those leaves, the branches bent almost to the ground. I went out and with the help of a rake, shook the snow off the bending branches before they could snap, like three times yesterday. We lost power around noon, so there goes my ‘corn maze, then lazy weekend on the sofa watching movies…’

The last roses from my yard, dug out of the snow and brought in

No power brings back memories of being out during hurricane Isabel, a few years back, when I lived in a house with a well =fail… (For those of you that don’t know how this works: no well pump=no water, shower, toilet, I practically lived at the gym for 7 days, don’t ask…) and I had an electric stove at the time, double fail. So right now I am feeling blessed to have a gas stove so we can cook and we have lots of candles and today we hooked up my generator, to keep the fridge and freezer alive. They keep promising the power will be back by this evening, keeping my fingers crossed.
Here’s what we ate, as no power is no excuse for not having a great meal. Even though I had lots of plans for oven roasted squash with shallot finishing butter or basting oil, and a nice braised stew maybe…


Candle light dinner, Chili and salad with Spring¬†‘Fall mix’ salad from the garden (dug out from under 3″ of snow. Surprisingly, I got it before it was too late!)


  • 1 1/2 pd ground meat (we used venison, but you could use whatever you like, including turkey)
  • 1 can or equivalent serving frozen dark red kidney beans (if using canned, rinse in a colander to remove excess sodium)
  • 1 can or frozen portion great northern beans or other white beans of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes or a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or plain homemade sauce)
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tbsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp corn meal
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 tbsp sauce from a can of ‘chipotle in adobo sauce’ (you can add more for extra heat!)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a big heavy pan, add the onions and cook until softened, not browned.
  2. Add the ground venison and separate into chunks using a fork. Cook, stirring occasionally until you can’t see any more pink.
  3. Add the spices and cook, stirring until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes,  1 cup water, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, for flavor to blend a little.
  5. Stir in corn meal and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the Chili becomes nice and thick.
  6. Serve with corn chips or a nice hearty slice of bread

serves 4 hungry folks (5 if you serve more moderate portions)

Copyright © 2011 Simple Healthy Homemade. All rights reserved.