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Tacos, Burgers and More Archives - alex thomopoulos

SAN-J KUNG PAO TURKEY BURGERS WITH PEANUT SLAW

When I cook I love to have fun with my food. By recreating familiar flavors and presenting them in whimsical ways, my meals always stay different and interesting. Enter: The Kung Pao Turkey Burger.

One of my all time favorite Chinese dishes is Kung Pao Chicken. It’s rich, spicy and the peanuts add a very earthy and nutty undertone. I wanted to recreate the flavors of this dish in  burger form and see how far I could push the limits on it. It turned out absolutely perfect, it had a really nice kick, great depth of flavor and the best part is it was super simple to do. Most chefs turn their noses up at bottled pre-made sauces but I believe if you are working with a really quality product that tastes great USE IT. SAN-J has a brand of amazing sauces that I have been using in my kitchen for YEARS. By using their sauces in this recipe it sent these burgers into a different category of deliciousness. I was able to create tons of flavor in the burgers without a lot of effort!

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I love SAN-J Asian Cooking Sauces because they make cooking easier without sacrificing flavor and quality to my overall dish. They are not only  gluten free and kosher but they are NON-GMO, which is important for a soy derived product. All of their sauces are made with SAN-J Gluten Free Tamari.

The major difference between Tamari soy sauce and regular soy sauce is the proportion of ingredients between soybeans and wheat. San-J Tamari is made with 100% soybeans with no wheat, whereas regular soy sauce contains 40-60% wheat. While the sodium level of San-J Tamari and regular soy sauce is about the same, the higher concentration of soybeans in San-J Tamari gives a richer, smoother, more complex taste than regular soy sauce. Tamari soy sauce can be used in the same way as regular soy sauce. Unlike regular soy sauce, Tamari flavor does not flash off under high temperature.

For my burger patties, I used the SAN-J Szechuan sauce. It’s very rich, full bodied and SPICY, just how I like it:) No respectable Kung Pao Chicken is complete with out peanuts, so I created a peanut slaw to go on top of the burger using SAN-J Thai Peanut sauce. YASSSS! The flavor in this burger is INSANE! The citrus kick in the slaw brightens the whole dish up and plays with your tastes buds. Am I eating Chinese food or a burger?! What is happening?!

I hope this recipe inspires you to play with your food, to use some help when you need it and to stretch your imagination when it comes time to make your next meal.

You can purchase SAN-J SAUCES at your local health food store or online! Click here to check them out. 

KUNG PAO TURKEY BURGERS WITH PEANUT COLESLAW

(serves 4)

  • Burgers:
  • 1 lb organic dark turkey meat
  • 3 tablespoons SAN-JSzechuan Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon SAN-J Gluten Free Organic Reduced Sodium Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine

    Teriyaki Sauce:

  • ¼ cup SAN-J Gluten Free Organic Reduced Sodium Tamari
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup honey or agave

    In a small pot whisk soy sauce, water, and cornstarch together until smooth. Heat over medium heat until warm and then whisk in honey until dissolved.

    Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and whisk until desired thickness. If it get’s too thick add a bit more water. Adjust with more soy sauce, or honey according to your taste!

    Peanut Slaw:

  • ½ head purple cabbage
  • 2-3 tablespoons SAN-J Thai Peanut Sauce
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lime
  • 2 teaspoons agave or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

    Garnish:

  • Avocado
  • Chopped roasted peanuts
  • Chopped scallions

  1. To make the slaw combine the shredded cabbage, SAN-J Thai Peanut Sauce, lime zest and juice, honey and salt in a bowl and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat a grill pan or skillet on medium high heat.
  3. In a large bowl mix turkey, SAN-JSzechuan Sauce, SAN-J Gluten Free Organic Reduced Sodium Tamari, garlic, ginger and scallion until combined. Divide and form the meat into 4 even patties.
  4. Brush the outside of the patties with oil so they won’t stick. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side, flip the burgers and cook for another minute each side, add a few tablespoons of water to the grill pan or skillets and put a lid on top or a piece of foil. This will steam the burgers and keep the turkey burgers  or until cooked through. After the water has evaporated remove the lid and let the burgers finish cooking.
  5. Toast your favorite hamburger buns and assemble.

Mini Wagyu Beef and Sweet Potato Waffle Fry Sliders

It’s almost Super Bowl! This time of year leaves me with mixed feelings, yes it is the most exciting football game of the year but it also marks the end of football season. Sundays during football season just have a certain je ne sais quoi about them. Something about gathering around with friends and family, sitting on the couch all day and watching a bunch of large men in tights beat the hell out of each other over a tiny ball warms my heart.

I am always looking for new finger foods to try out while watching the game and I came across a picture on pinterest of these waffle fry sliders and was totally inspired. What ensued next was pure mouth watering, delicious bliss.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that it is totally customizable. You can use chicken, turkey, bison, lamb or even make your own veggie burgers, or you can make little falafel patties. You can check out my recipe for falafel here.

You can top them with any type of cheese you would like. I put my goat cheese on mine, but cheddar, gruyere, havarti, swiss, brie, mozzarella….you get my point. The options are endless.

For the waffle fry, I used a short cut and baked up some frozen pre-cut/cooked fries by ALEXIA They not only have sweet potato waffle fries but they have regular white potato ones as well. waffle-cut-sweet-potato-large

I chose for my meat a grass fed wagyu beef. I am not a huge beef eater, but when I do eat red meat I make sure it’s responsibly raised. It just so happened that my local grocery store was having a sale on meat so I bought a pound of it for only $8, which is a steal when it comes to organic, grass fed meats. In turn, these burgers were born.

These are a fun, unique, and GLUTEN FREE slider. YES, because let’s be honest, I love nothing more than a slider but I can never find tiny, delicious, gluten free buns to use. (only the ones that I know of are attached to my backside…AY YO!) …sorry I had to.

The waffle fry acts as the perfect substitute for a bun. These little rascals are the perfect game day snack. They are gluten free, flavor packed, deliciously satisfying and will impress all of your friends and family.


Lamb Burger Patty Melt w Lemon Roasted Fries

Like most Greeks my grandfather, Papou Denis owned and operated a diner when he first came to America. I never got a chance to meet my Papou but judging from the stories my father has told me I think we have a lot in common.

The best recipes and the best inspiration come from the generations before me, so when I was asked to do a Greek dish for my web series I knew exactly what I was going to do. I wanted to do a spin on a classic diner favorite: The Patty Melt. Instead of red meat I used ground lamb that I season with herbs and spices. Instead of mayonaise I made a dill aoli, and top with balsamic caramelized onions to cut through the richness. I like using swiss in this dish because it’s a really mild cheese that adds that yummy cheesy factor but doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the dish.

To make it gluten free I used my favorite store bought gluten free bread, but you can use which ever bread you would like. I love this dish because it’s a unique and delicious way to wow all your friends. Serve this at your next tailgate, BBQ or even for a fun themed dinner.


Gluten Free Pizza and Words of Gratitude

OH JOY OH JOY!!! It’s here! Season 2 of my cooking show! It still seems like a dream to me. As most of you know I started my adventures as a chef while I was a stand-up in LA. I always had a passion for cooking, and being broke as a joke (like most comics are) I needed a profession I could make consistent money doing. I found myself in the kitchen, I was happy, I felt a sense of purpose, I felt, for fear of sounding cheesy, complete. There is something about food that speaks to me, much like it does for most of you. It’s the way it makes people feel, it’s the way that you can express so much love for someone on something as small as a plate. To me, food and laughter are one in the same. It’s the joy that ensues when they are experienced that really satisfies my soul.


Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Sriracha Fry Sauce

Hold UP WAIT A MINUTE! What just happened? What did I just do?! What am I eating right now?!?!?!? I am so confused.
Let me rewind and take it back a couple hours. I woke up today feeling lousy, I have been fighting this cold since I got home from New Jersey and with each day that passes I seem to being getting worse and worse. My inner rebel is refusing to see a doctor because number on: I am terrified of antibiotics and number two: I am broke. So it’s a win-win/loose-win/win-loose situation, or at least that’s what I am trying to tell myself.. it’s gotta be one of those things.


Gluten Free Blackened Fish Tacos with Grilled Corn & Mango Salsa

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GREAT TACO?! I mean I could seriously eat tacos the REST of my life and be totally okay with that.
Here is episode 2 of my new series on youtube.com/HUNGRY. My website is under construction at the moment so once it’s done all of these posts will be UBER FABULOUS! so please bear with the brevity of my blog posts! We are working away at re launching soon!
If you want to laugh and drool at the same time (try it it’s very soothing), watch the video below. Make sure to like video and subscribe to all of HUNGRY’s videos!