I hope this uncharacteristic recipe post for a turkey burger doesn’t turn off too many of my most dedicated vegetarian readers. As I’ve written before, I’m a flexitarian who follows a plant-based diet, which means I allow for the occasional bite of humanely-raised meat here and there. I do feed my kids meat more regularly than I eat it myself–though to be honest, they’re not huge fans– namely because I’m constantly obsessing about whether they’re getting enough iron.
Not surprisingly, my latest experiment was to create a high-iron burger that was moist and delicious enough for the kids to accept, but healthy enough for the adults in the family as well. For the latter reason, I chose turkey instead of beef, though red meat does have more iron than turkey. By using ground dark meat turkey and adding iron-rich quinoa as a binding agent, I thought I could compensate for some of the difference, while sparing us all the extra saturated fat. (Oh goodness.. reading this out loud I just realized that Turkey-Quinoa burgers are exactly the kind of thing people imagine nutritionists feed their kids, aren’t they? Along with beet pancakes, that is… am I right? When did I become such a stereotype…?) My inspiration was a gluten-free, Turkey-Quinoa meatloaf I tasted once at a health food restaurant called Calista Superfoods. By using cooked quinoa and a bunch of cooked veggies as binders for the loaf, it was super moist and not dense at all.
Recipe: Turkey-Quinoa Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
- 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grated zucchini (or substitute 1/2-3/4 cup well-chopped spinach)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce (can substitute Dijon mustard if you avoid fish)
- 1 lb ground turkey (preferably dark meat/thighs)
- Kosher Salt
- Cook quinoa according to package directions in a very small saucepan. You may need to add a bit of extra water to account for evaporation since the quantity is so small. Note that 1/4 cup dry yields about 1 cup cooked.
- Meanwhile, while quinoa is cooking, saute the shallots and garlic in olive oil for 1-2 minutes until starting to sweat. Add the zucchini (or spinach) and continue to saute for 2 minutes more until veggies are soft and sweating. Remove from heat.
- Combine ground turkey, cooked quinoa, worcestershire sauce and sauteed veggies in a mixing bowl. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt. Mix with hands until well-blended.
- Form mixture into 4 patties of equal size.
- Grill burgers on a preheated grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (About 10 minutes on an outdoor grill, flipped halfway through; 7-8 minutes on an indoor sandwich press grill, such as the Cuisinart Griddler, set at “high”)
Approximate nutrition info per serving: calories: 230, protein: 23g, carbohydrate: 7g, fat: 12g, iron: 2 mgDid you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.