The Truth About Norwegian Farm-Raised Salmon

Separate facts and fiction about farm-raised salmon and learn how the Norwegian aquaculture industry sets the standard for high-quality, safe, and sustainably farmed salmon.

This post is sponsored by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

I had an incredible opportunity last year to travel to Norway to learn first hand about seafood from Norway. As a dietitian and a chef, I am invested in learning about where our food comes from and the sustainability practices behind them to create a thriving future for the next generation.

Sustainability has been one of the main objectives of the Norwegian fishing industry, committed producing seafood in a safe, controlled, and sustainable manner with strict regulations.

Get the facts about farm-raised salmon from Norway

  • Farm-raised salmon from Norway is raised in its natural habitat and not a cramped pool of fish swimming on top of each other. The ratio of the pens in the fjord is 97.5% water to 2.5% salmon.
  • Farm-raised salmon from Norway is able to have much more control to prevent disease and mortality.
  • Seafood from Norway is all about sustainability. Since fishing had been part of their heritage for more than 2,000 years, taking care of the sea for the next generation is part of their culture.
  • Seafood from Norway is shipped fresh or frozen! (really, however, the customer wants it!)

Why origin matters

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to seafood – both wild and farmed. Salmon is really one of the most popular species in the US and there are a number of species available with different characteristics.

The origin of the seafood, as every country has completely different practices.

How to identify seafood from Norway

According to the USDA, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a consumer labeling law that requires retailers (grocery stores and supermarkets) to identify the country of origin on certain foods, including wild-caught fish, farm-raised fish, and shellfish.

It will clearly be listed that the seafood is from Norway or you can look for the Seafood From Norway seal.

Our group in Norway with safety gear to check out the Fjords.

Why eat more fish

Seafood helps build healthy hearts. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease.

Storing fresh salmon

Fresh salmon can last up to two days if stored close to 32 degrees, rather than up to one day at the typical home refrigerator temperature of 40 degrees. Place the fish in a zipper-lock bag on ice in a bowl (or cover it with ice packs) and place it at the back of the fridge, where it’s coldest.

How to freeze salmon

If you want to freeze raw salmon, pat it dry, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container and freeze it. Make sure to label it with the date and use it within three months.

Cooking Tips

Skin side up or skin side down?

First of all—skin is tasty! So when you’re cooking salmon, keep that skin on. It provides a safety layer between your fish’s flesh and a hot pan or grill. Start with the skin-side down, and let it crisp up. It’s much easier to slide a fish spatula under the salmon’s skin than under its delicate flesh.

Best ways to cook salmon

  • Pan-fry
  • Roast
  • Broil
  • Skillet to the oven (just make sure your pan is oven-safe!)
  • Grill
  • Poached
  • In parchment (also known as en pappillote, French for “wrapped up in parchment.”)

For more information about Seafood From Norway visit: seafoodfromnorway.us

Have additional questions? Comment below!

Mediterranean Cod En Papillote

Step up your culinary game with this surprisingly easy Mediterranean Cod En Papillote made with Norweigian cod.

Mediterranean Cod En Papillote

This post is sponsored by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

During this time, we are staying inside and limiting the number of trips to the grocery store. Rethink the protein choices on your grocery list. Add seafood! Build recipes around lean fish with pantry ingredients you have on hand. Just starting out cooking seafood? Simple is best! Only a few ingredients and seasonings are needed to make fish delicious.

Being strategic when grocery shopping and relying on pantry staples is key. Here in New Jersey, there are limits on amounts of certain proteins like chicken and eggs. At the grocery store, there is a whole department dedicated just to seafood. Don’t skip it!

Health benefits of eating more fish

Eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause by 17 percent. New to adding seafood into your menu repertoire? Start with a mid-flavored, firm fish like cod. Norwegian cod to be exact!

Tips for buying fish

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to seafood – both wild and farmed. The origin of the seafood is something you should be looking out for, as every country has completely different practices.

Sustainability has been one of the main objectives of the Norwegian fishing industry, and they are committed to producing seafood in a safe, controlled, and sustainable manner. And I know this because I actually traveled to Norway myself with the Norwegian Seafood Council and saw how seriously Norway takes sustainability and how strict regulations that maintain fish supply are meticulously upheld.

According to the USDA, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a consumer labeling law that requires retailers (grocery stores and supermarkets) to identify the country of origin on certain foods, including wild-caught fish, farm-raised fish, and shellfish.

What does “en papillote” mean?

Don’t be intimidated by this recipe, en papillote is a culinary technique that any home cook can master in their kitchen. 

The term en papillote (pronounced: ON pah-pee-YOHT) means “in paper” or “in parchment”. It is a moist-heat cooking method because it is the steam from within the package where the food is enclosed by parchment paper that cooks the food. More delicate proteins, such as fish or chicken, are more commonly cooked en papillote as they can be quickly cooked by this steaming method.

Steaming en papillote requires no special equipment other than parchment paper. The food won’t stick and parchment paper is easy to seal not allowing any liquid to escape. Just make sure to tightly seal the edges. Plus, clean up is easy – just toss the parchment when you’re done!

How to build flavors

The key to creating a flavorful en papillote dish is building flavors. When cooking en papillote, there are usually vegetables as the base with herbs and seasonings, topped off with the protein. The vegetables contain moisture and during the cooking process generate steam, which cooks the protein enclosed in the parchment pouch. Additional herbs and seasonings are used to build flavors.  Mediterranean flavors inspired this recipe creation. 

Mediterranean ingredients on parchment paper

Get cooking together

This recipe is the perfect way to get everyone involved in the kitchen.

  • Raid the pantry to play around with different spice and herb blends
  • Get the family involved – everyone makes their own signature creation
  • Little hands (kids) can help make this meal. Have them help stack the ingredients, wrap the parchment paper, etc.
Mediterranean Cod ingredients layered on parchment

Health Benefits of Cod

Norwegian Cod is a lean fish. It contains only up to 3% fat and almost no carbohydrates. It is an excellent source of:

  • Protein
  • Vitamins (such as B12)
  • Selenium
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (a meal-sized portion of cod delivers the recommended daily intake)
  • Iodine
step by step guide for Mediterranean Cod En Papillote recipe
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baked cod on top of mediterranean vegetables

Mediterranean Cod En Papillote

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: seafood
  • Method: En Papillote
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

Step up your culinary game with this surprisingly easy Mediterranean Cod En Papillote made with Norweigian cod.


Scale

Ingredients

2 (5-ounce) pieces of Norwegian cod (or other white fish like snapper, grouper, or monkfish)
salt
pepper
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
2 pieces of parchment paper


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pat cod dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Fold the parchment paper in half. On one side of the parchment paper layer the tomatoes, olives, capers, onion, pepper, and garlic. Top with fillet, drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flakes (if using) and place lemon slices on top.

Fold the other half of the parchment paper on top and seal the edges making a small fold every 1/2-inch all the way around to create a half-moon shape.  Repeat with another piece of parchment and remaining ingredients. 

Place both pouches on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the parchment paper, has puffed up and fish is cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and cut with scissors or unroll, being careful of the hot steam that will escape.

Keywords: cod, seafood from norway, En Papillote, fish, seafood recipe

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Other ways to prepare cod

  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Fried
  • Sauteed
  • Steamed
  • Poached

White Bean Shakshuka

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

cast iron skillet with white bean shakshuka with a piece of bread

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a Mediterranean meal of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce with spices.

The beauty of this dish is that you can play around with the ingredients to customize it for your preference. I’ve even made a green shakshuka before!

Why you should always keep a well-stocked pantry.

Writing this blog post now, we are in the midst of COVID-19. We are taking fewer trips to the grocery store and may need to rely on pantry staples to create nutritious meals around. Mealtime inspiration is just a can opener away.

cast iron skillet with shakshuka

Is canned food healthy?

Canned foods are an easy, cost-effective way to eat healthy year-round. They are a simple, realistic way people can incorporate nutrients into meals.

Nutritionally speaking, canned food is comparable to its cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. Canned fruits and vegetables are packed at their peak of harvest, which means they are packed at their peak nutrient value. Crops that go directly from the field to the processor often retain vitamins better than those that travel hundreds of miles across the country and sit for days in produce bins. (resource)

portion of white bean shakshuka on a ceramic plate

What ingredients give this shakshuka a smoky flavor?

The smoky flavor mainly comes from two ingredients in this recipe – the fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.

  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
    Fire-roasted tomatoes are made by charring the tomatoes over a flame before they’re diced and canned. You may even see little black flecks within your can. That is from the tomato making direct heat with the flame creating that smoky flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika
    Smoked paprika is made from pimiento peppers that have been dried and smoked over an oak fire, then ground into a fine powder, creating that earthy and smoky taste.
Cast iron skillet with a brunch recipe scooped with a wooden spoon

What equipment you need to make shakshuka:

  • Cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan* (see FAQ below if you don’t have one!)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Colander
plate of tomato sauce mixture with an egg and bread
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White Bean Shakshuka

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!


Scale

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed baby spinach
4 large eggs
Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup feta crumbles
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Red pepper flakes, if desired
Crusty bread or pita, for serving


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet, preferably cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, oregano, and tomato paste, consistently stirring for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. 
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices, beans, and spinach. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to come together and spinach has wilted.
  4. Turn off the heat. Use the back of a spoon to make a well in the tomato/bean mixture and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers. (Keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.) Cook to preferred doneness.
  6. Transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with crumbled feta, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or pita on the side.

Notes

Don’t have an oven-safe pan or cast-iron pan? No problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

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plate of white bean shakshuka with poached egg and a slice of bread

FAQ:

What if I don’t have a cast-iron pan?

Not a problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

What if I can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes?

You can use regular crushed tomatoes for this recipe! If you are looking for an extra smoky flavor, then add a little extra smoked paprika.

What if I don’t prefer the smoky flavor?

Use plain crushed tomatoes and paprika (not smoked).

Salmon Burgers with Lemon Dill Horseradish Sauce

Rethink the classic burger with a seafood twist. Add these salmon burgers, made with Norweigan salmon, with lemon dill horseradish sauce to your menu rotation.

salmon burger with creamy sauce on a brioche bun

This post is sponsored by the Norwegian Seafood Council. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

One perk of COVID-19 (always trying to find the positive) is that people are cooking more at home. The downside, we don’t necessarily have access to certain ingredients and are limiting grocery store trips.

Being strategic when grocery shopping and relying on pantry staples is key. Here in New Jersey, there are limits on amounts of certain proteins like chicken and eggs. At the grocery store, there is a whole department dedicated just to seafood. Don’t skip it!

opened face salmon burger with creamy dill sauce

Salmon is one of the most popular species consumed. With the high demand, the safest and most efficient way to feed the population is with farm-raised salmon. Norway is the world leader in the production of ocean-farmed sustainable salmon.

Understanding aquaculture

Aquaculture provides safeguarding to the environment and fish stocks for the future is the only way its aquaculture industry can remain sustainable. Sustainability has been one of the main objectives of the Norwegian fishing industry, and they are committed to producing seafood in a safe, controlled, and sustainable manner with strict regulations.

seafood from norway

Seafood from Norway

In Norway, salmon farmers monitor fish conditions carefully, control the salmon’s feed, and keep parasites out. This farmed environment helps resist disease. In Norway, farm-raised salmon live in their natural habitat and have plenty of room to swim. One of the myths about salmon farming is that the fish lives in crowded pens. The fact is, Norwegian salmon has plenty of space to grow as the pen holds 97.5% water and just 2.5% fish. Their pens are designed to ensure optimal growth and living conditions for the dish. Norwegian aquaculture industry sets the standard for high-quality, safe, and sustainably farmed salmon.

salmon burgers in a cast iron skillet
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salmon burger with creamy sauce on a brioche bun

Salmon Burger with Lemon Dill Horseradish Sauce

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Scale

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets skin and bones removed, chopped
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
canola oil for frying (can also use olive oil)

Yogurt-Dill Sauce:
1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons) and zested (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon horseradish

To serve:
Brioche buns
Butter lettuce


Instructions

  1. In a food processor add salmon. Pulse a few times until the salmon breaks down into small pieces. (Tip: Pulse a few times vs. running the food processor)
  2. In a large bowl, combine salmon, breadcrumbs, egg, dill, salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Mix well, but make sure to not overwork the mixture. Shape into 6 burgers.
  3. For the yogurt-dill sauce: In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, mustard, dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, and horseradish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add salmon burgers and cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 145 F.
  5. To serve: Place a few pieces of butter lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, top with a burger, and a generous dollop of the yogurt-dill sauce.

Keywords: salmon, salmon burger, burger, seafood, omega3, heart healthy

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salmon burger with creamy sauce on a bun

FAQ

Can I freeze these salmon burgers?

Yes! Form the salmon into patties. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (so they don’t freeze to the pan!) and freeze until solid. Once frozen, wrap each individually with plastic wrap, then foil, then store in a freezer bag removing as much air as possible.

Can I grill these salmon burgers?

Yes, of course! I like using a cast-iron skillet to get a good sear, but grilling works great too! Tip for if you decide to grill – After forming the patties, refrigerate them for 10-20 minutes so they firm up a little to prevent them from falling apart on the grill.

How else can I use the salmon burgers?

These salmon burgers as leftovers are delicious! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Add to leafy greens
  • Crumble and scramble with eggs
  • Chop and add to a wrap
  • Serve with a sunny side egg on top

What else can I use the lemon dill horseradish sauce with?

Utilize this sauce any way you would utilize any other condiments! This pairs well with many foods.

bowl of lemon dill horseradish sauce

Other recipes you may enjoy

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Charcoal vs. Gas Grills – What’s the difference?

Fire up the grill! Both charcoal and gas grills are great but there are a few distinct differences in how your grilled food will come out. There are both advantages and disadvantages of using charcoal and gas grills.

person in blue apron cooking on a charcoal grill

Charcoal Grills

Cooking over an open flame is the most basic, and probably the oldest, culinary technique. Charcoal grills provide a more distinct smoky flavor along with that amazing backyard aroma. It’s such a tease when you can smell someone in the neighborhood grilling. Scented wood chips or charcoal will add additional flavor.

Cons: However, charcoal can be a little messy and sometimes tricky to regulate the temperature.

Tips for setting up charcoal grills for different applications.

Gas Grills

Just turn on a switch and your gas grill is fired up and ready to go. Gas grills are able to easily regulate the temperature and often gas grills have different settings that you can easily regulate areas of the grill at different temperatures.

Cons: You won’t really get that smoky flavor, but you are able to cook various items on the grill at the same time.

cooked vegetables on a gas grill

Best Grilling Tools

Recipes you may enjoy

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Ultimate Greek Burger

Serve these Ultimate Greek Burgers at your next barbecue. Highlighting fresh Greek-inspired flavors, this recipe will kick your burger game up a notch.

Greek Burger on a toasted bun with tzatziki sauce and tomato salad

This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

How these Ultimate Greek Burgers will step your burger game up a notch

There is nothing better than a juicy burger right off the grill. A beef patty is a classic, but after hosting and attending so many barbecues, it’s time to switch things up! Don’t worry, we are keeping the beef patty, but enhancing it with Greek-inspired flavors. As a chef, I love Mediterranean flavors and as a dietitian, I love the health benefits that come along with following a Mediterranean style diet.

bite taken out of a Greek burger

What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean-style eating pattern encompasses a wide variety of foods and flavors from the countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. While the cuisines of each country differ slightly, they all have a few things in common. To build a healthy Mediterranean plate, start with fresh vegetables and fruits, add lean protein and whole grains, and enhance with dairy and healthy fats.

Why lean beef is included in the Mediterranean Diet

The eating pattern allows a wide variety of proteins (including fresh lean beef, pork, poultry, and fish) that support heart health. Lean beef contains important nutrients, like protein, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins that your body needs.

What does “lean beef” mean?

Beef can only be claimed as “lean” if the cut of beef is less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100-gram serving.

overhead image of greek burger topped with tzatziki sauce and tomatoes

What’s different about this Greek Burger?

Ripe summer produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs are essential to Greek cooking. Flavors are incorporated within the lean beef as well as adding layers of additional flavors and textures as you build the burger.

Why I love this recipe

Can’t go wrong with a delicious burger, am I right? I love the fact the burger is stuffed with spinach and onion, along with plenty of seasonings. I’m not a fan of raw onion on top of my burger (caramelized onions – that’s a different story!), so the addition of them minced within the burger adds a subtle flavor vs. overpowering. The addition of the added veggies helps keep the lean burger moist and juice.

I kind of kept traditional burger toppings on here. The tomato salad adds a tanginess while the tzatziki adds a cooling creamy effect. I never said this wasn’t going to be a messy eating kind of burger!

Chef’s Tips

  • Invest in a digital thermometer. DO NOT cut open the burgers to check their doneness. This will release all their juices leaving you with a dry burger.
  • Take the time to squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumbers. This will prevent your tzatziki sauce from being watery.
  • Oil your grill grates. Dip a bunched-up paper towel into a high-heat cooking oil (such as canola oil or olive oil). Be careful not to saturate the paper towel. You want enough oil on it to coat the grill grate, but you don’t want it dripping everywhere. Using an oven mitt and tongs, carefully wipe the paper down on the grill grate.

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Greek Burger on a toasted bun with tzatziki sauce and tomato salad

Ultimate Greek Burger

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Greek

Description

Serve these Ultimate Greek Burgers at your next barbecue. Highlighting fresh Greek-inspired flavors, this recipe will kick your burger game up a notch.


Ingredients

For the tomato salad:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the tzatziki sauce:
1 English cucumber
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt

For the burgers:
1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
½ small red onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 hamburger buns


Instructions

For the tomato salad:

  1. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, parsley, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the tzatziki sauce:

  1. Using a cheese grater, grate the English cucumber. Using a thin dish towel or paper towels, press out any excess liquid. 
  2. In a bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Fold in the cucumber.

For the burgers:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grease grill grates.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, spinach, onion, garlic, dill, feta, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. Do not overwork the meat mixture. Form into 4 beef patties.
  3. Grill the burgers for approximately 4-6 minutes then flip over and grill another 4-6 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F.
  4. Add burgers to a bun and top with tzatziki sauce and tomato salad.

Notes

  • Invest in a digital thermometer. DO NOT cut open the burgers to check their doneness. This will release all their juices leaving you with a dry burger.
  • Take the time to squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumbers. This will prevent your tzatziki sauce from being watery.
  • Oil your grill grates. Dip a bunched up paper towel into a high-heat cooking oil (such as canola oil or olive oil). Be careful not to saturate the paper towel. You want enough oil on it to coat the grill grate, but you don’t want it dripping everywhere. Using an oven mitt and tongs, carefully wipe the paper down on the grill grate.

Keywords: burger, Greek recipe, Greek burger, beef

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FAQ

How do I know when the burgers are done?

See the chef tip above. Invest in a digital thermometer. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F.

What can I serve these burgers with?

You can’t go wrong with serving fries with these Ultimate Greek Burgers! If at a BBQ other ideas can be veggie sticks, seasonal fruit, like watermelon or grilled pineapple, potato salad, or a simple mixed green salad.

How else can I use lean ground beef?

Ways to repurpose this Greek burger

  • Greek burger salad. Add the tomato salad and other veggies you have on hand, a heated patty, quinoa (or a different whole grain), and add the tzatziki as a salad dressing.
  • Greek pita. Ran out of burger buns? No problem. Crumble up a burger and stuff it in a pita with the tomato salad and tzatziki sauce.

Other recipes you may enjoy

Resources:

O’Connor LE, et al. A Mediterranean-style eating pattern with lean, unprocessed red meat has cardiometabolic benefits for adults who are overweight or obese in a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2018, nqy075.
https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqy075/5036105

Leidy HJ,et al. The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101:1320S-9S

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for
Standard Reference Legacy Release, April 2018. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl

Build A Better Burger

Fire up your grills. It’s burger season. Let’s Build a Better Burger! Burgers are just not simply a beef patty between a sesame seed bun anymore. Grillers are getting a little more creative and adding healthy twists to classic BBQ fare.

Choose Your Protein:

First, choose your meat or meatless patty. Choose the protein you enjoy.

For Beef

Look for 90% lean beef. While others may challenge this choice saying more fat = more flavor, think about the rest of your burger. You can pack in plenty of flavors and have a juicy burger while trimming back on saturated fat from a beef burger. Look for lean beef options like ground sirloin.

For Poultry

For ground chicken and turkey, look for “breast meat” or “100% white meat” to ensure it’s coming from leaner parts of the poultry. 

For your meat patties, salt, and pepper are really the only seasonings you need. Let all of the flavors of your burger shine.

Cooking Tip: Spatulas were made for flipping the patties, not pressing them. Ever heard that hissing sound when you pressed down on them? That’s all the flavorful juices dripping out. They belong in the burger!

Grilling Tip: To ensure the meat cooks evenly, make a thumbprint indentation into each patty before it goes on the grill. The indentation helps the patty hold its shape, rather than swelling, as it shrinks during the cooking process.

Going meatless? No problem!

Portobello mushrooms are the perfect stand-in for a hamburger. It has a hearty meaty texture, with no saturated fat or cholesterol.  You can also try the “blend trend” and go 50/50 meat and mushrooms.

Pack your burger with pulses. Pulses are part of the legume family and are better known as beans and lentils. Peas, chickpeas, lentils, and dried beans like kidney or navy beans fall into the pulse category. Pulses are a nutrition powerhouse, full of protein, fiber, iron, zinc, and B-vitamins. 

Bean burgers are often mixed with veggies and other whole grains. To prevent your bean burgers from falling apart on the grill, don’t forget a good binding agent, which is what is going to hold your burger together. An egg or even a “flax egg” (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp warm water) can do the trick.

Pick Your Bun

You just made a tasty burger so don’t skimp out on the bun. A simple healthy swap is choosing a whole grain burger bun. Before you add those burger buns to your shopping cart, make sure the first ingredient listed is the word “whole”. Looking to trim back on carbs or need a gluten-free option? Try going bun-less! Sturdy lettuce or leafy green like iceberg lettuce, kale, or collard greens can be the perfect vessel to hold your delicious burger. Another idea is adding your burger between two grilled Portobello mushroom caps.

Load on the Produce

The produce possibilities are endless. The more the merrier!

You can go for the simple, LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) or also enhance this classic topping with a culinary twist. Try using large leaf delicate lettuces like Bibb lettuce, opt for juicy heirloom tomatoes, and try pickled onions to enhance the flavors. 

Sautéed mushrooms with caramelized onions are my personal favorite burger topping, but if you are looking for a sweet addition try adding grilled pineapple. 

Want to add even more produce? Try packing your burger patties with veggies! It’s not only a sneaky way to add more vegetables and nutrients, but it also keeps the burger moist and juicy.

Sauce It Up

Let the ingredients speak for themselves. Don’t hide the delicious flavors of the burger and toppings itself by overdressing your burger. Add a dollop of ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce.  Compare condiments before you grab one off the shelf in the grocery store. Look for condiments lower in sugar. Even better, make your own condiments.

Want to step your flavor game up a notch? Try adding other condiments like relish, sauerkraut, tzatziki sauce, guacamole, hummus, salsa, pesto, or hot sauce.

Top It Off

Say cheese! Hard and firm cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, and gruyere work well with all kinds of burgers from beef, to poultry, to veggie versions. A little goes a long way.

Tip: To make sure it doesn’t take extra long to melt, let the cheese come to room temperature before adding to burgers.

Recipes You May Enjoy

Pear Walnut Muffins

Enjoy as part of breakfast or alone as a snack. These Pear Walnut Muffins are simple to make with big flavor.

Pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other
pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other on a cooling rack

How to know if a pear is ripe

Remember to “check the neck”. Pears are one of the few fruits that don’t ripen on the tree. Pears are harvested when they reach maturity, and when left at room temperature pears slowly ripen from the inside out.

Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it yields to pressure, it’s ripe.

What’s different about green anjou pears?

Anjou pears have a more egg shape appearance. Their dense flesh holds up well in heated applications like baking, poaching, roasting, or grilling and they are delicious when sliced fresh in salads or eaten as an out-of-hand snack.

pear walnut muffin cut in half on a white plate

How to make Pear Walnut Muffins

The recipe for these pear walnut muffins is pretty much a straight forward muffin recipe.

  1. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  2. Fold in mix-ins.
  3. Bake!

Recipe Notes:

Why sift flour?

Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted flour and easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a cake or muffin batter. When flour is sifted with other dry ingredients, it helps combine them evenly before they are mixed with other ingredients.

Be mindful of the size.

When chopping ingredients to mix into the batter, be mindful of the size. Chop ingredients in an even size. For the pears in this recipe, think about each bite of the muffin – big enough to note the taste and texture but not too big that it takes over.

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Pear walnut muffins stacked on top of each other

Pear Walnut Muffins

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: muffin
  • Method: baking

Description

These pear walnut muffins are the perfect addition to a breakfast or enjoy alone as a snack. Learn baking tips to create perfect muffins every time!


Ingredients

1 large ripe pear peeled, cored and diced (preferably d’Anjou)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Optional topping:
coconut sugar or coarse sugar
chopped walnuts


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together diced pears, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. 
  4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg, Greek yogurt, apple cider, butter, and vanilla, until smooth. 
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
  6. Add the walnuts and pear mixture and any accumulated juice to the batter. Gently fold with a spatula until the pecans and pears are incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin wells. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins generously with coconut sugar and chopped walnuts. Allow the muffins to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter.
  9. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Why sift flour? Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted flour and easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a cake or muffin batter. When flour is sifted with other dry ingredients, it helps combine them evenly before they are mixed with other ingredients.

Keywords: pear, walnut, muffins, baked goods, baking

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How to freeze muffins and prevent freezer burn

Cool muffins completely before wrapping and freezing. To freeze, wrap securely in foil or freezer wrap, or place in freezer bags. Be sure to remove as much excess air within the bag as possible. Muffins can be stored frozen for up to 3 months.

Spring Farmer’s Market Cooking Class

Spring Farmer’s Market Cooking Class

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Join Chef Julie Harrington, RD for a hands-on cooking class at King’s Culinary Studio. Think outside of the box with spring produce with new recipes.

Enjoy this hands-on culinary experience followed by a meal enjoyed in a small group setting.

Menu includes:

  • Asparagus Goat Cheese Galette
  • Flank Steak with Creamy Chimichurri
  • Crispy Smashed Potatoes
  • Spring Wheat Berry Salad
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Granola Streusel

Questions? Call 973-258-4009.

Click here for more classes and events.

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos

Revamp taco night with a kick of spice with these Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos. This flavorful meat is deliciously seasoned and cooked until perfectly tender. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings your next taco night!

open-faced tacos with beef barbacoa

This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

Did you get gifted an Instant Pot this holiday season? The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.

Don’t be intimidated by this new appliance. Read up on these 7 Things You Need to Know About Your Instant Pot before you get started.

Beef barbacoa in the Instant Pot

What is barbacoa?

Barbacoa refers to the method of cooking meat. Barbacoa is an authentic Mexican dish typically made with a cut of beef head meat, like beef cheek. When cooked long and slow it becomes extra tender. It is traditionally seasoned with dried chilies and spices and slowly cooked.

Barbacoa is now used to refer to a seasoned beef, that has been slow-cooked. 

open-faced beef barbacoa taco on a flour tortilla

Choosing lean beef

Forget about sacrificing taste for nutrition. These lean beef cuts are chock-full of flavor and 10 essential nutrients. Beef can only be claimed as “lean” if the cut of beef is less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100-gram serving.

Beef chuck

Beef chuck is a primal cut that comes from the shoulder area and yields cuts known for their rich, beefy flavor. Beef chuck is ideal for slow cooking to yield tender beef.

beef barbacoa tacos with toppings
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open-faced taco with Barbacoa Beef

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: meat
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: mexican

Description

Revamp taco night with these Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos! This flavorful meat is deliciously seasoned and cooked until perfectly tender. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings your next taco night!


Ingredients

For the beef barbacoa:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotle peppers (from a can in adobo sauce – reserve sauce), chopped
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 bay leaves

For the tacos:
Tortillas, soft or hard shells
Sliced avocado
Pickled onions
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges


Instructions

  1. Press the “saute” setting on the Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until heated and shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Press “cancel” to turn off the heat.
  2. Remove contents from the Instant Pot into a food processor and add beef broth, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
  3. Press the “saute” setting on the Instant Pot. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until heated and shimmering. In batches, add beef and brown all sides. Be mindful not to overcrowd the pan. Repeat until all beef is browned. Press “cancel” and turn off the heat.
  4. Add all the beef, bay leaves, and reserved sauce in the Instant Pot. Stir well to combine. Close lid securely and set vent to “sealing”. Press “manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then add 60 minutes of cook time.
  5. When cook time is complete, very carefully, turn the vent to “venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released.
  6. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaves. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Stir shredded beef with the juices so it can soak up all the flavor.
  7. Assemble tacos by layering beef barbacoa on a tortilla and top with avocado, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

Keywords: beef, tacos, barbacoa, instant pot

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Other ways to use beef barbacoa

This Instant Pot barbacoa beef is so flavorful and tender, and it’s so versatile!

  • Tacos
  • Burritos (wraps or bowls)
  • Salads
  • Nachos
  • Quesadillas
  • Enchiladas
  • Or just about any other use, you can think of for spicy shredded beef