Monday, September 12, 2011

World's Best Turkey Burgers, Angel Hair Coleslaw, and Pear Chevre Salad with Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing

We jazzed up Claire's amazing turkey burgers a little by adding more veggies to the burger mix, but absolutely no flavor was lost. Since I am on a little health kick, this works for me.  You may notice there is a little less fat in our recipes (at least for a few weeks) and that we have replaced refined grains and sugars with whole grain this and agave nectar. Don't worry-- we are not compromising on flavor, and the baked goods will be back soon enough.  We're already planning some great fall line-ups.  In the meantime, you won't be disappointed in this meal. And neither will your waistline.

It looks like melted cheese, doesn't it? It's roasted yellow pepper.
The cheese is IN the burger and oozes out when you bite in..

World's Best Turkey Burgers
Perhaps inspired by my spinach obsession, Claire has recently been trying to add more mushrooms to her daily fare.  So we've created a veggie-packed version of her original turkey burger by adding spinach, mushrooms, and carrots. The gouda and the scallions add such a great flavor that you won't need condiments. These burgers are moist and delicious! Served here with lettuce, tomato, and roasted yellow pepper.  This recipe yields about 6 burgers.  If you make a double batch, they freeze well for a quick meal later in the month.

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c grated gouda cheese
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 c dried whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 c Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 carrots, finely grated (optional)
1 -2 c spinach, chopped finely (optional)
3 mushrooms finely diced (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Form into six generous 1 inch patties.  Place on the hottest part of the grill and sear until browned, about 1-2 minutes on each side.  Move to a slightly cooler part of the grill and cook until done (5-10 minutes). Serve on whole wheat buns.

Angel Hair Coleslaw
We both independently bought bags of pre-shredded cabbage at the grocery, totally on impulse.  We had to laugh at each other.  I have to admit, I was a little jealous because Claire found angel hair pre-shredded cabbage.  I realize that you can just buy a cabbage and then shred it yourself, but if you're going to make an impulse purchase, isn't it better to buy a bag of cabbage than a new pair of shoes or lipstick? We are living life in the suburban fast lane.  The angel hair cabbage really reduced quickly.  This is an original dressing. It was wonderful with the burgers, and would even be a great garnish for the burgers or just serve it on the side.  This recipe makes twice as much dressing as you need, so you can try it both ways!

1/2 c white balsamic vinegar
1/2 c olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T honey or agave nectar
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of dried basil
smoked sea salt to taste (or regular sea salt)
pepper to taste
2 T water
1 T Dijon mustard

Reserve half the dressing, saving for later, and toss the other half with:
4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 carrot, finely grated
1/2 spinach leaves, chopped (for color!)

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and toss with the cabbage, carrots, and spinach.

Cilantro Lime Tahini Dressing a.k.a Sauce
We are on a salad dressing kick.  Salad dressing is easy and quick to make at home, and after you get used to the lightness and fresh flavor of homemade dressings, it's hard to go back to the stuff in the bottles. This dressing is adapted from Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny, and would work great on grilled fish as well.  If you're wondering what to do with all that extra tahini, try the hummus from last week!

1/2 c water
1/2 c tahini
1/4 c lime juice (use the zest too if fresh squeezed)
1/8 c dark soy sauce or tamari
1 T chopped cilantro
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar) to taste

Whisk together until combined well.

Pear Chevre Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette
We adapted the recipe for the dressing from Peas and Thank You by Sarah Matheny.  The cinnamon vinaigrette is a departure from the usual path, but it's such an interesting dressing that it's worth a try. This salad would also be great with candied pecans or walnuts, but we just used plain pecans today.  We thought this might also be good with bleu cheese crumbles or a sweet potato salad.

1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 T apple cider vinegar
3 T lemon juice
1/3 c agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c canola oil

Whisk all ingredients together, except for the oil.  Slowly drizzle the oil in while whisking vigorously.  Serve over fresh lettuce, with pear slices, nuts, and cheese crumbles such as chevre or gorgonzola.

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