So, I need to clear something up. It probably appears that I’m an extremely unhealthy eater due to my obvious love for/obsession with sugary baked goods (re: nearly all my previous posts). However, that’s not quite the case. To make up for my paralyzing sweet tooth, I eat pretty healthy when it comes to actual meals. Though it may surprise you, my lunches and dinners are not loaded with fat and sugar…just my desserts.
Healthy eating is often confused with boring eating. People assume healthy = bland grilled chicken, dressing-less salads, and raw vegetables. Who wants to eat that for every meal?? Not me!! Part of the reason why I love cooking healthy (aside from the whole “it’s good for me” thing) is that it’s sort of like a puzzle. I love figuring out how to make indulgent dishes healthier and how to create bold flavors with fresh, nutritious ingredients. This process allows you to use your imagination and be creative with your cooking.
One of my favorite techniques for cooking healthy is to combine multiple dishes into one. This way, your attention is drawn away from what unhealthy items are missing, as it is instead focused on the interesting combination of flavors and styles. This Brushetta Turkey Burger is a perfect example. So intrigued by the concept of brushetta on a burger, you don’t even notice the missing hamburger bun and fatty meat. This dish highlights summer’s sweet tomatoes, vibrant zucchini and spicy garlic.
These brushetta turkey burgers are so delicious that you think they SHOULD be unhealthy! Burgers are generally thought of an an indulgence…heavy, greasy and full of fat. These burgers, though, are quite the opposite. They combine turkey and shredded zucchini for a lighter, healthier patty! Bold flavors make up for missing calories! I love to place these burgers over a bed of spinach with the brushetta topping for healthy weeknight meal.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 small zucchini, grated
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. italian seasoning
- salt and fresh pepper
- oil spray
- Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper, garlic and basil. Season to taste. Mix and then place covered dish in the refrigerator. Add in the cheese right before serving. .
- Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Squeeze the excess moisture from the zucchini in a paper towel. Mix the ground turkey, grated zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Form into patties (should make 4).
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add the burgers to the pan and cook over medium for about 4 minutes. When browned, flip patties and cook another 4 minutes.
- Place cooked burgers over spinach and top with brushetta.