Monthly Archives: July 2012

Club Burgers with Avocado-Ranch Dressing

I love a good turkey burger but I admit that I like restaurant turkey burgers much better than I like homemade ones.  Probably because when I make turkey burgers, I use the leanest turkey meat I can find while restaurant turkey burgers probably have as much fat and calories (i.e. flavor) than any beef burger.  They just always taste better.  But I do like to experiment with homemade turkey burgers from time to time and if you know me, I’m no stranger to using ground turkey in place of ground beef in any recipe.  This recipe for Club Burgers with Avocado-Ranch Dressing already used ground turkey so I didn’t worry about my burgers being dry.  At least I didn’t hope so.

Ground turkey (I used 93% fat free as opposed to 99% fat free which can be so dry as burgers) is simply mixed with grated onion, poultry seasoning and hot sauce to create a spicy, flavorful burger which is topped with a creamy, avocado sauce.  Fresh dill, parsley and chives give the sauce a real bright punch of flavor which quietly balances out the heat from the hot sauce in the burger.  I think I was supposed to add bacon to the turkey burgers before cooking them but I didn’t and used it as a topping.  Oops.  Maybe that’s why these aren’t the best turkey burgers I’ve ever had but topped with a tomato slice, baby spinach and turkey bacon, they satisfied my burger craving and got me in the mood for the 4th.  I hope everyone is out enjoying their holiday, hopefully with a burger in one hand and beer in the other, watching or anticipating the fireworks.  Happy Independence Day!

Tired of the heat?  Tomorrow, I’ll have a yummy, cold milkshake for you!

The ingredients:

Prepare bacon.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, grated onion, hot sauce, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Add the cooked bacon, and mix to form 4 burgers or 8 sliders. 

Cook on the grill or griddle, turning once, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the burgers cook, combine avocado, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, chives, dill and parsley with a fork or process in a food processor.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Toast your preferred bread or bun in a toaster or broiler and top with burgers, lettuce, tomatoes and avocado-ranch dressing.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon
  • Baby spinach
  • Fat-free sour cream
  • Whole-wheat buns

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine

Smoky Three-Bean Bake

I don’t know about you but baked beans and burgers just seem to go hand-in-hand.  I not only like to eat them with each other but I like to smother each bite of my burger with a forkful of messy baked beans before shoving it into my mouth.  Yes, insert quirky eating habits here.  The problem with baked beans is that although they are a perfect accompaniment to burgers cooked on the grill, which is perfect to do in the summer, they are cooked in the OVEN which is not what you want to turn on when it’s hot outside!  But oh well, it’s so worth it in the end.  The sweet, spicy, creamy and oh-so smoky flavors in Smoky Three-Bean Bake will have you hooked after the first bite.

Black beans, chickpeas and Great Northern beans are mixed with peppers, onions and garlic before being mixed with a magical concoction of tomato sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, honey and cider vinegar.  Vibrant flavors of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika (my two favorites) spice up the dish, giving it all the personality in the world.  The whole dish is topped with chopped bacon (of course, I used turkey bacon) just to give it yet another burst of flavor but leave it out to easily make this vegetarian.  I accidentally forgot to put in the honey but I think it was sweet enough as it was so leave it out if you like.  Although it may take a little bit of time to make this, it’s so much better than what comes in a can.  Take this to a cook-out, potluck, picnic or any summertime party and revel in how much people are impressed by what you made.  Canned baked beans don’t stand a chance against this.

Tomorrow…turkey burgers!

The ingredients:

If using regular bacon, prepare the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat and set aside, saving the drippings.  Add onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to drippings in pan, and sauté for 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  (Since I used precooked turkey bacon, I used olive oil in place of drippings.)  

Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Add onion/pepper mixture and all of the beans to the sauce mixture.

Spoon bean mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and top with reserved bacon.

Cover and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 30 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Honey

Substitutions:

  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Broken Lasagna with Zucchini-Tomato Sauce

Happy July (my birthmonth)! If you live in the United States, most likely you spent this past weekend in some serious HEAT! It’s days like these that all I want to do is stay inside in the air-conditioning or find the nearest pool. Unfortunately, I had no access to a pool so that meant sitting indoors, listening to my A/C struggle to get cooler than 81°. The sunny, warm weather and impending holiday had me craving cook-out food and since the majority of my friends were out of town this past weekend, I took it upon myself to make pasta, baked beans, turkey burgers and milkshakes, all of which I plan to share with you this week in honor of the 4th of July. The first dish I made was Broken Lasagna with Zucchini-Tomato Sauce. To be honest, I made this to eat as a side, like pasta salad, but I’m pretty sure that it’s supposed to be dinner in itself. Whatever! That’s what’s great about making your own food – you can eat it however and whenever you want, right?

Freshly zucchini is grated and squeezed dry before being cooked with grape tomatoes and lemon zest. The whole mixture is tossed with broken pieces of lasagna noodles, parmesan cheese and chives. The tomatoes pop with sweetness, the zucchini provides a light summery freshness and the bright hint of lemon rounds out the whole dish. If you have any other pasta on hand, use it in place of the lasagna since the zucchini and tomatoes are really the stars of this dish. The recipe calls for cherry tomatoes but my grocery store was out so I used grape tomatoes which made a perfect substitute. Eat this hot or cold, alone or alongside your favorite burger and remember, no matter how hot it is outside, it’s summertime. So enjoy it!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a smoky baked beans dish!

The ingredients:

Grate the zucchini and drain in a colander with salt for 10 minutes. Remove from the colander and gently squeeze out any remaining moisture with a paper towel or clean towel.

While zucchini is sitting, break lasagna into piece and cook in boiling water according for 12 minutes. Be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta.

Cook tomatoes in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until blistered and slightly softened, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini and lemon zest and cook, lightly crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the zucchini-tomato mixture to a large bowl and add the pasta and parmesan cheese and toss.

Stir in half of the chives and half of the reserved cooking water, adding more to loosen, if needed.

Season with salt and pepper and top with more cheese and remaining chives.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Grape tomatoes

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Food Network Magazine

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