Sunday, February 21, 2010

Turkey Time

I made a delicious, moist black bean turkey burger this evening. The black beans kept this super lean patty moist and flavorful, plus added fiber and stretched my food dollar. The recipe made enough for 2 dinners (1 burger for me, 2 for the husband!) and 2 lunches of leftovers (1 burger each). You can see that using ground turkey is worth its savings in fat and calories. Although we need unsaturated fat to help our brain develop, protect the heart, reduce inflammation, and keep us full and satisfied, saturated fat is not necessary, especially post-workout. Where protein and carbohydrates aid in recovery, a high fat meal will does nothing but replace protein and carb calories, thus slowing recovery. Adding nutrient dense black beans also packs the burger with complex carbohydrates. High in fiber, B vitamins (which aid in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and the breakdown of protein), and magnesium (helping reduce muscle cramps), black beans also contain the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a natural mood enhancer and stabilizer.

4 ounce serving


Fat (grams)

Ground Beef (80/20)



Lean Ground Beef (93/7)



Ground Turkey**



**Look for lean ground turkey. Not all ground turkey is created equally - just as ground beef comes in different fat content, so does ground turkey. Sometimes the entire turkey, dark meat and skin, can be mixed in, boosting saturated fat content.

  • Black Bean Turkey Burgers

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used 2-day old Whole Foods wheat-free rye)
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 2 ounces brie cheese (optional) **
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coarsely chop the onion and add it to the food processor with the turkey, drained beans, seasoning, egg white, bread crumbs, and garlic.
  3. Blend until ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide turkey into 10 patties. Place the chunks of brie cheese on half the patties. Top one patty with the other, covering the cheese.
  5. Grill 5 minutes each side. Finish them off in the oven for 8 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Enjoy with green beans and home-made potato salad. Consider using plain yogurt to substitute some of the mayo in your potato salad. I added a ton of dill, celery, peas, onion, mustard, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to mine.
**It is easier to find a part-skim feta or Swiss, which would also fit the flavor profile of this recipe. Can't find 2% or part-skim? Use less or omit the cheese, especially post-workout.

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