Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adventures in Turkey Burgers

In an attempt to make this blog more interesting to read (in the event that someday someone actually reads it besides my cousin - thanks Jenny!), I am going to try to include some posts about things aside from my darling little son. You know, so I can be one of those moms who does more than just talk about her kids? ;) haha. Remember, I said try.....

So...a couple weeks ago I decided to revisit the idea of making turkey burgers for dinner. This is something I had tried a few years ago, and dear hubby was not a fan, to say the least. If it's not a beef burger, he really didn't want to eat it. :( I am attempting to improve our diet and instill in my son a love of all different kinds of food (unlike myself growing up), so I thought I would give it a go again. Hubby was not so thrilled to see the ground turkey package sitting there on the counter, waiting to be formed into burgers. I had told him that morning that burgers were on the menu for dinner, so I guess he had gotten his hopes up? Poor guy. He would have to suffer through my attempts at making an edible turkey burger. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do to make it even healthier, but it would be purely experimental since I had no recipe to follow. My plan was to add some oats and to make a carrot puree and add some of that too. Unfortunately, I didn't plan enough ahead of time and I didn't have time to make the puree, so I just added some oats, some egg whites, and some yummy spices. The end result was not bad! The flavor was good, but I'm not going to lie, it was kind of dry, like stick to the roof of your mouth kind of dry. :( I guess I would have to call this a failed attempt. It just couldn't stack up to a real beef burger.

Fortunately, I have perseverance. Unfortunately for my hubby that meant he would be eating turkey burgers again. ;) I tried again this past week. I gathered all of my ingredients: my ground turkey, my egg whites, my oats, and some butternut squash that I had just finished roasting.

The week before I had made roasted butternut squash soup for the first time and it was fabulous!! The nutty flavor of the squash was excellent and so good that I decided I would make more and use the puree in the turkey burgers! So, forget the carrots, squash was my new secret ingredient to give those burgers the moistness that they were so desperately lacking.

I still did not use a recipe when I attempted to make the burgers again. Perhaps that is where I am going wrong. I added the squash to the food processor, pureeing until it was pretty much the consistency of baby food (which I have now decided I will be doing for baby number two - making lots of homemade baby food!!) I then added 6 heaping spoonfuls of it to the 1.25 pounds of ground turkey that I had. I threw in about 1/2 to 1 cup of oats and a generous splash of egg whites. I mixed it all up and also added some garlic salt, pepper, chili powder and ground red pepper for more flavor. I started to form my burgers and realized that the mixture was very moist, so moist that it was indeed difficult to form a shape. But, I did it. I probably should have added more oats at that point, in an attempt to decrease the moisture, but unfortunately, I didn't. Hindsight is always 20/20!

Hubby grilled the burgers and we topped them with a slice of sharp cheddar and a slice of fresh tomato on a whole wheat bun. Served on the side was Ethan and I's favorite, baked sweet potato fries. This time, lack of moistness was certainly not an issue. The burgers were super moist and as I feared, a little too moist. Too moist for my preference that is. Again, the flavor was good. Still not the same as eating a beef burger, don't get me wrong, but definitely something I could get used to eating if I had to. So, I guess I will be attempting the turkey burgers one more time. I am determined to perfect them! Next time, less puree, more oats. I'll let you know how it goes! Sorry for the lack of a finished product picture. I think we were super hungry and in our attempt to quickly scarf the burgers down, I forgot to take a pic!

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