Juicy Agave n’ Basil Turkey Burgers

Just in time for Memorial Day, these juicy agave burgers are a sure crowd pleaser.  If you’re not a fan of ground turkey, feel free to substitute ground bison, chicken, tofu or beans for a unique twist on the classic American burger.  This recipe creates an incredibly tender burger from the agave nectar, which adds the perfect hint of sweetness pairs with fresh basil.  I always add vegetables to my burger to bulk up the patty and increase the fiber content, so toss in spinach as I did, or try chopped kale, collards or Swiss Chard, which taste amazing mixed into the burger, as well.

These burgers are incredibly beautiful to the eye as they’re finished off with a leaf of Rainbow Swiss Chard, tomatoes, daikon radish, avocado and my homemade ketchup.  Heaven? Yes, I thought so…

Happy Memorial Day.

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs. lean ground turkey
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • Gluten-Free buns
  • Toppings: Rainbow Swiss chard, sliced tomatoes, shaved daikon radish, avocado
  • Condiments of choice: Mustard, hummus, salsa, guacamole

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Using hands, mix well to incorporate all ingredients.
  2. Mold turkey mixture into patties depending on your desired thickness.
  3. Place on a hot grill; cook until turkey is completely cooked on both sides.
  4. Remove from grill; transfer to a gluten-free bun topped with a leaf of rainbow Swiss Chard, tomato slices, daikon radish, a slice of avocado and a squirt of my homemade ketchup.
  5. Round out the meal with a side of my crunchy apple and parsnip  fries.
  6. Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

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More Snacks…

Just in time for the holiday weekend, my On-The-Go Snack List continues…

I’m sure many of you are planning on hitting the road for the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend, so I thought I’d share some more of my snack ideas with you…many of them are quick and easy to prepare and can be stored in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware.

This time around I’ve categorized your munchies into what you’re taste buds are craving…You can indulge in these tasty, easy-to-prep finger foods guilt-free!

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Crunchy

  • Rye crackers with mashed avocado and lemon juice
  • Whole wheat cracker spread with nut butter, drizzled with honey and topped with sliced strawberries
  • Air-Popped Popcorn (make your own healthy variety)
  • Apple slices drizzled with Agave Nectar
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Crudites of veggies and your choice of dip (Hummus, Tabouli, Vinaigrette, Balsamic Dressing and Olive Oil)
  • Celery and Nut Butter
  • Whole Grain toast with hummus
  • Toasted nuts sprinkled with stevia and cinnamon

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Sweet

  • Wheat grass
  • Dried fruit
  • Greek yogurt and ripe fruit
  • Dried fruit and nuts (Try pairing together different options such as pistachios with dried mango, macadamia nuts with dried cherries, peanuts with dried apricots, hazelnuts with dried pears or cashews with dried cranberries)
  • Sprouted date bread with all natural jam
  • Frozen Greek yogurt (Make Your Own)
  • 1 Banana rolled in cocoa powder and drizzled with honey
  • Porridge (Maple syrup, cinnamon, soy milk, bananas mixed with your choice of left-over grains)
  • Smoothies (Carob powder, Greek yogurt, ice, fruit, soy milk, etc.)
  • Fruit ‘Ice Cream’ (Peel a banana, freeze and blend in a food processor along with nuts and berries.
  • Roasted Sweet Veggies drizzled with cinnamon and agave nectar (Experiment with root veggies such as yams, sweet potatoes, squashes such as acorn, butternut or kabocha and cut into chunks or ‘fries’, then sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with agave nectar; bake until crispy).
  • Organic Dark Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips

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Salty

  • Olives
  • Pickles, Pickled Beets, Pickled Tomatoes
  • Hummus, Tabouli
  • Organic Turkey slices wrapped around sliced avocado and tomato
  • Sardines and Oysters
  • Steamed veggies with your choice of Shoyu, Tamari, Miso or Umemboshi Vinegar
  • Miso Soup with whole wheat crackers
  • Sea Vegetables added to any dish
  • Whole Grain Tortilla chips dipped into homemade salsa/guacamole
  • Sprouted Cheese Melt (Toast sprouted bread and top with a slice of cheese; broil until cheese is melted and top with a slice of tomato).
  • Sauerkraut
  • Whole Wheat Pitas with Parmesan (Sprinkle Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese over a whole wheat pita; broil until cheese turns brown and cut into squares.
  • Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice added to your beverages
  • Vinegar and Lemon/Lime Juice mixed into marinades and dressings
  • Salted Edamame
  • Organic Cheese

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Creamy

  • Smoothies
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Avocados
  • Homemade Rice Pudding
  • Baba Ghanoush/ Hummus Spreads
  • Pureed Soups
  • Cottage Cheese with whole grain crackers and fruit
  • Homemade Pudding (Made with Silken Tofu, Avocado or Mashed Banana)
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes/Yams
  • Coconut Milk

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Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win my Big S Farms Give-A-Way.  Send me a comment for your change at 1 of 4 great prizes.  The deadline is Monday, July the 6th.

Good Luck!

Have a Happy 4th of July Weekend!

To Cook or Not To Cook….That is the Question

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With our hectic schedules, most of us cannot find the time to prepare a homemade meal and end up resorting to take-out.  As the economy slows and our budgets tighten, our dining practices are hard hit.  Most of us are cutting back on spending and are opting to prepare more meals at home and choosing inexpensive restaurants when dining out.

Due to the current economic downturn, fast food services have been benefiting from their “value menus”.  But is fast food a safer/better/healthier option than homemade? Personally, I would rather spend the extra dollar and prepare the burger myself then drive up to McDonald’s and order something that I am not even sure is real meat.  I would rather a natural, unprocessed meal than a sodium-laden, processed, “fake” impostors. 

I was brought up eating natural foods–not the impostors, therefore I tend to follow this tradition and eat as wholesome and clean as possible.  Now, don’t get me wrong, once in awhile we’ll all reach for something that isn’t so good for me but makes me “feel” better…and at those times, it’s okay to give your body what it wants/craves/needs. 

What happened to the good ol’ days of home economics when our mothers and grandmothers prepared delicious, natural meals in the kitchens and families would take the time to sit down together for dinner?  It seems those days are long gone in this day n’ age, but they don’t have to be.  Try to take time each week (perhaps on your Sunday evening) to jot down meal ideas for the week ahead.  Moreover, cook and prepare some of the ingredients for these dishes ahead of time so that they are readily available when you need them at 5pm on a weeknight…the kids are cranky and tired and your husband walks in from a long day and you are all in need of a nice, filling meal.  By simply taking some time to plan ahead, you can do wonders for yourself and your family, not to mention saving time as well as taking control over the ingredients and nutritional benefits of your homemade meals.

What are your thoughts on homemade cooking versus dining out? Despite the rough economic state and the craziness of our hectic schedules, what do you prefer?

Feel free to share some of your homemade tips.

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