lunchbox life: moroccan turkey burgers & kale and avocado salad

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Sometimes cooking goes exactly according to plan.  Your bright idea meets a perfect execution and everything is right in the world.  This week’s lunches are not in this category.

How many times have I made turkey burgers?  Plenty.  How many times have I changed up this recipe?  Several.  Today’s case includes the best consolation prize for a burger gone wrong: the “hey, at least it still tastes good even though it’s not pretty” award!

I’ve omitted the egg I used in the recipe; I think it was the culprit ingredient.  My burger mixture was too moist and gloppy which made for a very messy grilling experience.  Another good idea for homemade burgers is to form the patties, refrigerate for an hour (or more), and then place them on the grill or grill pan.  I also think that while I always like to see grill marks on a burger, these burgers should have been cooked on a flat top grill for even cooking (and less fall-apart-ness).

About kale: just succumb to its delicious and nutritious existence.  The best way to start loving kale is to saute it with plenty of olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes (an old standby for me).  The next level of commitment comes in the form of a raw kale salad, but hey, with lemon and avocado, can anything taste bad?

Moroccan Turkey Burgers

1 lb. ground turkey, lean
1 small red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup Moroccan ketchup
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
dash of Kosher salt
dash of cracked black pepper

Using 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil, saute onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat until softened and onions are translucent (about eight minutes); set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, Moroccan ketchup, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Add the onion and pepper mixture and mix to combine.  Using your hands, divide into five evenly divided patties.  I suggest letting the burgers chill in the refrigerator for an hour before you cook them to give them time to solidify before placing them on the grill.  When you’re ready, use the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil on a grill pan and cook the burgers to your desired temperature.

These are great as a stand-alone or on a fluffy bun.  I’m eating them as an accompaniment to my kale salad this week!

Kale and Avocado Salad

1 bunch kale
1 lemon
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp. honey
Remove stems from kale and cut leaves into thinly sliced ribbons.  Place kale in a large bowl and add the halved tomatoes.  In a small bowl, add the zest and juice of the lemon as well as the honey; mash avocado mixture until smooth (guacamole texture).  Add the avocado to the kale and, using tongs, evenly mix the avocado with the kale.  That’s it!

WWinfo: burger–6pp; salad–2 pp.

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