Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

The other day I ran across some fabulous-looking fresh pineapples at Trader Joe’s. Of course I knew I had to figure out a recipe to utilize those bad boys! I decided on a grilled burger because the pre-fall weather has been so nice lately, and I figured we could enjoy them on our balcony.


In the end, we didn’t actually grill the burgers outside, nor did we eat them on the balcony (there was a baseball game on ESPN, these are my priorities). But they turned out absolutely delish! Even though it can be sticky, I love using ground chicken for burgers  because it cooks great, always super moist, and is a healthier alternative to beef. The grilled pineapple added the perfect juicy tang along with the spiciness of the paprika and chili powder.

Spicy Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

(adapted from Home is Where the Holmans Are)

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 pineapple, cut into rings or slices
  • 6 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


Combine the ground chicken, soy sauce, 1/2 the paprika, 1/2 the chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Lightly mix with your hands and divide into 6 even balls. The mixture will be very moist, so you might want to rub a little bit of olive oil on your hands before working with it. Form patties, making them slightly thinner in the middle and sprinkle with remaining paprika and chili powder. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.


Preheat the grill to medium heat. Again, I used my Cuisinart Griddler for this recipe and, as always, it worked just great! Before putting the burgers on, spray the plates lightly with cooking spray. Grill burgers over medium heat about 6 minutes per side. The burgers should flip easily when they are ready to turn, if they want to stick, give them another minute. Top with cheese for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking time to melt. Remove to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to rest. Put the buns on the grill while the burgers are resting.

For the pineapple, grill over medium/high heat and carefully turn after 3 minutes.  Assemble burgers and enjoy! I served them with some Salt and Pepper Ridge-Cut Potato Chips from Trader Joe’s, and, of course, Pumpkin Cider. The leftovers were great the next day with some chips and fresh salsa to add some more spicy kick.




Summer Corn Salad

Summer corn

Summer Corn Salad

Since moving to Chicago over a week ago, we realized suddenly that we still had not tried any legendary deep dish pizza — gasp!  So, naturally, on my last night of freedom before Fall semester classes began we decided to indulge ourselves.  I could not have been happier with the decision, and I highly recommend The Art of Pizza (get Art’s Special pizza).

Boiling Corn

Break the corn cobs in half so that they cook faster and are easier to cut later.

That being said, I did not want to entirely desert my commitment to a well-balanced diet; I decided to prepare a salad to go with the meal. Instead of a simple green salad, I had seen so many summer corn salad recipes on the internet lately that I decided to utilize the five ears of corn I had bought on sale in my weekly shopping and try out a recipe of my own. Corn is pretty starchy, so I wanted to incorporate another light, crisp veggie, as well. I chose red bell peppers (nutrient-rich and delicious!) in order to give the salad some additional color and texture. Here are the ingredients I used:

Summer Corn Salad

  • 5 ears of fresh corn
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
  • 4 green onions, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cherry tomatoes for garnish

Assembling the salad was fairly easy, making it the perfect addition to a low-maintenance Sunday night meal (especially since this week marked the beginning of football season, meaning my attention will always be slightly compromised by whatever game on TV). I started off by shucking the corn and placing it in a pot full of water to boil for 8-10 minutes. In the meantime, I chopped two bell peppers along with a few green onions.

Bell Peppers

Combine the chopped bell peppers and green onions in a bowl while the corn is cooking to blend the flavors.

Once the corn was cooked, I drained the water and let the cobs sit until they were cool enough to handle, at which point I cut off all of the kernels and added them to the bell pepper/green onion mixture. I then drizzled some olive oil (about 3 tablespoons) on top of the assembled veggies, as well as the juice of one lemon and a splash of salt. As a garnish I sprinkled on some sliced cherry tomatoes. Voila! A vibrant summer salad to complete our pizza night.

The best part of this salad is that the leftovers are very versatile; I simply added some crumbled feta cheese for extra protein and took it to school for lunch the next day! You could also chop up some tomatoes and avocado and use it as a salsa with tortilla chips, or add some grilled chicken on top for another complete meal.


Summer corn 2

Art’s Special pizza with Summer Corn Salad. The perfect combination of savory and sweet!