On this episode of ‘In Char’s Kitchen’ I’m joined by Canada’s funny man Tyler Morrison ~ Tyler and I are whipping up two mouthwatering dishes with a healthy-ish twist: Maple Mustard Pork Burgers Stuffed with Brie (I said: ‘healthy-ISH ;) ) and herb garden pesto pasta.

Maple Glazed Pork Burgers Stuffed with Brie 

Glaze

⅓ cup (75 mL) Muskoka maple syrup + 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon mustard

Stir together maple syrup and mustard.  Set aside.

Burgers

1.5 lbs.(750 g) ground Ontario pork

¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger

1 clove minced garlic *or to taste

Hefty pinch salt and pepper   

6 thick slices Brie cheese – about 2 oz (60 g) each

Pre-heat grill to medium-high. Using your hands mix together burger ingredients. Form into 6 even size patties. Using your thumb, make a well in the middle of each burger. Place one slice of cheese in each burger and press meat back over to cover cheese. Place burgers on clean, pre-heated and well greased grill. Turn heat down to medium. Grill for about 5 to 7 minutes per side – or until internal temperature reads:160°F (71°C). Remove from grill. Let stand for about 5 minutes and brush evenly with maple glaze. Makes 6 burgers.

Herb Garden Pesto Pasta

Homemade pesto is a cinch to make. If you don’t have baby spinach on hand, use: fresh baby kale or arugula. This pesto also makes a great “sauce” for grilled fish, or slather on a sandwich instead of mayo!

1/2 cup (125 mL) whole natural almonds

3 cups (750 mL) packed baby spinach

½ cup (125 mL) each; fresh basil and mint leaves

3 tbsp (45 mL) freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh garlic *or, to taste

hefty pinch of salt and chili flakes 

1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil 

zest and juice of one lemon

3 cups (750 mL) Italpasta Total Pene (*or pasta shape of choice)

Place almonds in food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Add spinach and fresh herbs. Pulse until chopped. Add cheese, garlic, salt and chili flakes and pulse until combined. With motor running, drizzle in oil.. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Makes 3/4 cup (175 mL). Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss warm cooked pasta with pesto. Makes 4 cups (1 L). For added nutrients add 2 cups (500 mL) halved grape tomatoes.

Charmaine is the host of “In Char’s Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka and regular guest on: Rogers Daytime OttawaCTV Morning Live OttawaCHCH Morning LiveBreakfast Television What She Said Radio sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and fitness.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys; Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind.

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