Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Greek Burger

I am a burger purist...I LOVE a good old-fashioned all beef patty with American cheese and ketchup.....nothing else. But, for the waist-line, I rarely get to partake in that mouth-watering American favorite. More often than not, I swap lean or extra lean ground turkey for beef. (Check out the comparison chart at the bottom of the post to see why!) And since I'm not sticking to the pure form of a burger, I like to put a twist on it every now and then and this recipe is a perfect example. I love making gyros out of ground turkey and I decided to take that idea and make it into a burger. I love Mediterranean food and Greek is definitely top 3 so I was really excited to make this dish. Stuffed with Greek spices, topped with tangy feta cheese and a creamy tzatziki sauce, this Greek take on the cheeseburger will have you coming back for more!

If you are new to turkey burgers, go with the lean instead of the extra lean. It will be much juicier and will not shrink up as much. This recipe is also perfect for sliders, as in the picture above. (No, that is NOT just a giant tomato next to the burger!) Just make 3oz patties and use multi-grain dinner rolls for the bun!

The Burger:
2.5lbs lean ground turkey
1 pkg of 8 hamburger buns (I prefer a multi-grain, it just adds more flavor)
1/2 cup minced onion (or finely chopped)
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper 
1 tsp curry
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
optional - black olives, finely chopped
Fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

The Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt (plain, non-fat)
1 cucumber
3/4 tsp dill 
1/2 tsp garlic paste
salt and pepper to taste 

To make the tzatziki sauce: start by peeling and rough chopping the cucumber. Put it in a blender and blend to a chunky pulp. Remove from blender and pour into a cheese cloth or paper towel. Press out majority of the liquid reserving only the pulp. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, 1/2 cup of cucumber pulp, garlic, dill, olives if desired, salt and pepper. Set aside. (You can even make this the night before)

Fire up the grill! In a mixing bowl, sprinkle seasonings over turkey meat. Use your hands to incorporate the spices into the meat. Add in the onion, and olives if you'd like, and mix thoroughly. Form 8 patties about 1 inch thick (approx 5 oz. each) . Spray both sides with olive oil (using a Misto type sprayer, which saves on fat). Once the grill is hot and ready, place patties on the grill over medium to medium-high heat. Cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side. Do not press the burger, that will dry the burger out. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the center reaches 165 degrees. 

Building The Burger: put a patty on the bun, top with 1-2 Tbsp tzatziki sauce, 1 Tbsp feta, 1 slice of tomato and 1-2 pieces of lettuce.  Serve with a Greek salad: Lettuce, onion, tomato and black olive topped with salt and pepper and dressed with salad vinegar and olive oil. 

Per Turkey Burger: 353 cals / 12g fat / 18g carbs / 37g protein

Compare to Ground Beef:  495 cals / 23g fat / 18g carbs / 48g protein

Meat: Per 3oz
Ground Beef
Lean Ground Beef
Lean Ground Turkey
Extra Lean Ground Turkey

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