Friday, 29 January 2016

Best Turkey Burgers EVER

These turkey burgers are packed with a magic ingredient that's healthy and makes them taste delectable.

I got the inspiration for these turkey burgers when my mom made meatballs from the Jerusalem Cookbook. She got the cookbook "for my dad" but probably a bit for herself too. They turned out SO GOOD. Who knew turkey and zucchini were made for each other so perfectly? The zucchini makes the turkey more moist and tasty. The burgers are flavoured perfectly with mint and cilantro. 

Ideally I would use fresh mint and cilantro but my mom actually ripped open a packet of mint tea and threw it in the mix and it actually worked great! 

If you can't find any fresh cilantro (sometimes in the winter the city seems to have a mass cilantro shortage - the downside of living in Canada where the climate isn't so favourable to growing herbs in January) you can try dry coriander seed or - better yet - the coriander paste that comes in those weird tubes. 

The Jerusalem Cookbook
The book suggests making the turkey into meatballs or sliders. Instead, I made them into 8 burger patties by using a ladle to portion them so every burger was even (which also means they cook evenly). I also added some almond flour and green pepper. If you don't have any though you can leave it out and it will still work.

For the burgers I top them with avocado, tomato, lettuce, red onion and 3 year old cheddar - it was an amazing combination and made me want to eat more than just one for dinner. I talked myself down though and held off eating the second one until the next day!

This recipe is really something I can eat every day without complaining. I will probably experiment more with adding more veggies to make it even more packed with nutrition. Maybe spinach for more vitamin A?

These turkey burgers are packed with a magic ingredient - zucchini!
The best turkey burgers ever!
Each burger is only 136 calories and packed with 12 grams of protein! It's definitely being added to my regular recipe repertoire. Better yet, these burgers are paleo, 21 Day Fix friendly and great on the PiYo diet. These are good if you're trying to lose weight because each burger is pre-portioned so you can't take just "a little more" burger.

Recipe Time Saving Tips: 

  1. Food Processor:  To make the prep super easy grate both the zucchini and green pepper with a food processor using the grating attachment. I used my KitchenAid Food Processor which grated an entire zucchini in a  matter of seconds. Then I drained and salted the zucchini and green pepper and let it sit in a  mesh colander  for at least 10 minutes (this will help the burgers stick together). I squeezed out the zucchini a bit but I didn't focus too much on really drying them out. The drier they are the more the burgers will stick together. If you don't mind crumbly burgers though you don't have to drain the zucchini at all.
  2. Spiralizer: You could also spiralize the zucchini using a  Vegetable Slicer . I've tried this method and it works great too. I just chopped up the zucchini noodles into smaller chunks before mixing it with the turkey.

  3. Cheese Grater: The lowest tech option - a good ol' fashioned cheese grater like my very favourite one from Ikea here .
  4. Mini Muffin Tin Burgers: If you don't have time to sear them you can also make them into mini meatloaves. This saves a lot of time and is great for kids that might not eat a whole burger. First spray down your Muffin Tin with cooking spray. Then take an ice cream scoop and portion 1 scoop of the burger mixture into each muffin spot in the muffin tin. Then bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Serve them with potatoes, salad or pasta like meatballs or meatloaves. The recipe will fill one muffin tray (12 servings) to the brim or two muffin trays (24 servings) about halfway full depending on how mini you want your mini meatloaves.

These burgers are great on hamburger buns or just on their own - they're that good!

These turkey burgers are packed with a magic ingredient - zucchini!These turkey burgers are packed with a magic ingredient - zucchini!

Best Turkey Burgers Ever
Makes 8 Burgers (or 12 mini meatloaves)

For Burgers
  • 1 Lb (500gr) Ground Turkey
  • 1 Large Zucchini, grated or spiralized (about 2 cups). Let sit in a colander to drain for at least 10 minutes.
  • 1 Egg (large)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Mint (or use mint tea)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 6 Tbsp Sunflower Oil (or substitute canola oil) 
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Cup Green Pepper, diced
  • 4 Green onions, diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin 
For Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt (look for a brand that doesn't contain whey protein or milk protein... to avoid gas)
  • 1 Tbsp Freshly squeezed lime juice (or the juice of about half of a lime)
  • 1 Glove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Chipotle spice (or try za-tar if you can find it - it's a Lebanese spice mix).
  1. Combine the ingredient for the sour cream sauce in a small bowl. Stir well. Refrigerate (you can make this in advance). 
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the sunflower oil
  4. Mix and use a ladle to make even portions. Then shape into burgers.
  5. Pour sunflower oil in a large frying pan (I use a cast iron pan that has been heated over medium high heat for about 5 minutes so it becomes non-stick). Sear about 3 burgers at a time about 2 minutes per side until they are browned and transfer to a baking sheet. 
  6. Once all the burgers are seared pop in the oven for 7 minutes.
  7. Serve hot with the sauce for dipping or serve on hamburger buns with the sauce instead of mayo. These are great with avocado too!

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