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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Turkey Burgers and Asian Slaw

Summer is busy! Especially for those of us with children that we're trying to keep occupied. As always, though, food is on my mind. I'm really enjoying all the fresh things out there now. If Summer were a taste, I think it would be that of a ripe juicy peach or nectarine. It just doesn't get better than that IMO.

Even with all the fresh produce available right now, Summertime is sometimes a trap of eating junk food as well. At least for me and my family it is. I've found that with our summertime activities and with our lack of properly planning the day out, we frequently run into a situation where it's dinnertime and we're either A). just getting home and there's nothing to eat; B). Out and about with just a small window of time to grab something to eat; or C). Still full from a late lunch and need to eat something that would qualify as dinner. The fast food visits are more frequent, as well as calls to the pizza delivery, and my personal "oh shoot, it's dinnertime" favorite...cereal and eggs. Yep, Summertime is not the most healthy for my family. Judging from the past, I tend to gain weight during the months of July-Oct. I think that's probably the opposite of most people. I can do o.k. through the holidays, but it's the warm months, and then especially the transition from Summer to Fall that have me cramming all the bad stuff in.

My friend Kim is really good at always having decent things on hand or in the freezer ready for her family. One of my favorite recipes of hers is for her turkey burgers. I like a good burger every now and then, but the guilt associated with a good burger often has me turning them down. These burgers are less guilt ridden, and in my opinion, every bit as tasty. When I made them this week, I used about 2 1/2 pounds of meat, which yielded about 16 burgers. I make mine somewhat small and some I made really small for the boys. I froze most of them so we'd have the burger option waiting for us in the freezer on busy days. So, without further ado, here's the recipe I got from my friend Kim:

Turkey Burgers
Equal parts ground turkey breast and regular ground turkey
1 egg for every pound of meat
1 cup dry breadcrumbs ( I make my own: equal parts whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and wheat germ)
fresh garlic
Spice blend (such as Spike, etc.)
Optional (but really good!): 1/2 cup. shredded monterrey jack cheese

Mix the turkey with the egg well. Start adding breadcrumbs by 1/4 cup intervals. You may not need a whole cup of breadcrumbs. You don't want the mixture too dry, but you do want it to be easy to work with. Once the breadcrumbs are thoroughly mix in, add the other ingredients. You may need to use your hands to really mix well. Form into desired size patties. At this point, I pour this following marinade over the patties and let them marinade for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

Marinade for burgers:
10 ounces reduced sodium soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 TBS. Worcestershire
1/2 heaping teaspoon mustard
1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger (dry)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 TBSP brown sugar

After they marinated I grilled the ones we had for dinner, and then individually wrapped the others in waxed paper, put them all in a ziploc bag and froze the them. Much better for you than Bubba burgers!

They go great on a whole wheat bun. Thomas makes some cute little "bagel buns" that are a great size for the burgers and they come in whole wheat. I usually toast those on the grill for a minute just before serving. Kim serves hers on a crusty roll and they're wonderful!

Some ideas on sides? How about sweet potato fries? There's some pretty good panko breaded onion rings in the freezer section. And one more idea for a side:

Asian Cole Slaw:
1 pkg. Chicken Ramen Noodle
1 Pkg. cabbage slaw w/ carrots
2 red apples, peeled and chopped
sliced green onions
1/2 cup almonds.

2 TBS. Cider vinegar
3 TBS Water
1 TBS vegetable oil,
1/4 cup sugar,
1 minced garlic clove
ramen noodle seasoning.

Mix slaw ingredients together, mix dressing together and toss with slaw.

That's a great side dish for the summertime! Easy to take places and perfect for a cookout.