Thursday, April 5, 2012

Super Moist Turkey Burgers

It was all a tease.

That one glorious week of upper-70s sunshine, cool breezes, and vitamin D absorption?

It's officially spring in Buffalo, which means weather in the 30s and 40s with grey skies and drizzly business.  Not the most conducive to happiness or productivity.  Or desire to exercise...woof.

When the happy weather was here, so was my summer appetite.  Which means I was totally craving burgers.  I managed to find some frozen lean ground turkey and I got super excited, because that meant turkey burgers!

Now, you might find this odd, but 95% of the time I'm hit with a burger craving, it's for a turkey or veggie patty.  I know, I know...those aren't "real" burgers.  But I save my "real" burger indulgences for one meal after a hardcore performance season, and when those come around nothing but a huge bacon cheeseburger will cut it! 
This time, though, I was feeling the turkey burger.

Between the ground turkey, my favorite tried and true burger add-ins in the pantry, and some awesome produce deals, I managed to come up with a turkey burger that exceeded my expectations of deliciousness: no bun, no toppings, and I still couldn't stop digging my fork into that patty!  Served with a side salad or mixed veggies and roasted sweet potatoes, it satisfied all my most ardent summer food cravings in a low-fat, nutrient-packed and delicious meal.

Not a tease in sight!  If only the weather would be so cooperative...

Super Moist Turkey Burgers

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tbsp olive or canola oil, divided (more if needed)
1 medium zucchini, grated
8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2-1 tsp salt (to your taste)
2 tbsp-1/4 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend

Heat 1/2 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the diced mushrooms and cook until the excess moisture begins to evaporate and the mushrooms are browned, breaking up any larger pieces as much as possible.  Add the grated zucchini to the skillet, cover, and allow to cook until all the excess liquid in the pan has evaporated - about 3-4 more minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat.
Place the ground turkey in a medium mixing bowl and break up.  Add the Worcestershire, salt, Mrs. Dash, breadcrumbs, and the vegetable mixture, and blend well using a wooden spoon or your hands.  Form into desired size patties, making an indentation in the center of each with your thumb so that the burgers will cook up flat.  My mixture made five substantial patties.
Brush a grill pan with the remaining oil or add it to a skillet over medium heat.  Add as many burgers as will comfortably fit in the pan and allow to cook, untouched, for 6 minutes.  Flip the burgers and cook for another 6 minutes, or until a crust has formed and the internal temperature has reached 165˚F.  Remove to a plate and cook any remaining burgers in the same manner.
Serve burgers on their own or with toppings of choice - as toppings go, I recommend Havarti cheese, baby spinach, fresh tomato, basil or sundried tomato pesto, and a whole wheat bun.  Enjoy!

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