Thirty Minute Thursdays: Thai Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

One of my favorite meals may be a well-cooked burger. It doesn’t have to be beef, either. In fact, a homemade veggie burger can knock the socks off of even the most delicious beef hamburger (that is, if hamburgers were ever to wear socks). Today, though, I’m not talking about beef or veggie burgers; I’m talking about turkey burgers, sometimes known in the Floptimism kitchen as the most common type of burger made. With grass-fed beef being more expensive and, even with its lowered saturated fat profile, still a food more suited for the occasional indulgence than everyday fair, I wind up making a lot of meals using ground turkey breast. As long as you choose a package that clearly says ground turkey breast, not just ground turkey (the nutrition label should read about 1g saturated fat, no more), you’re getting a pretty healthy source of protein. Plus, I think it’s pretty tasty.

Earlier this week I made Rachael Ray’s Thai Turkey Burger, and absolutely loved it. It was a soy sauce and scallion-infused burger topped with a mild spicy-sweet pineapple salsa. The flavors were strong but well balanced, and the burger was filling enough that I didn’t even need any sides (but in the future would definitely consider making more, smaller burgers and pairing them with a side salad of some kind to take the focus away from the meat).

I made 2 burgers and ate the leftover one several days later over kale sautéed in a peanut sauce (more on that later!), which was equally excellent; and I had the leftover pineapple salsa first mixed with peanut butter as a wrap, and next layered with some Chobani Passionfruit yogurt for a mid-day snack. I meant to add a drop of rum extract and would have topped it with some dried coconut if I had any, but it was really good even without those two ingredients.

I would definitely recommend making this recipe (or really, recipes plural if you split up the salsa and burger) – it was easy and by far one of the best recipes I’ve made from her cookbook yet. This one’s a keeper!

Thai Turkey Burgers, adapted from Rachael Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals
Yield: 4-6 servings

The Ingredients – The Salsa
1 small, fresh pineapple
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
¼ red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar

The Ingredients – The Burgers
1 ⅓ pounds ground turkey breast
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons (low sodium) soy sauce`
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 scallions, chopped
4-6 rolls or sandwich thins, toasted (optional)
kale or lettuce, for topping

The Method
Coarsely chop the pineapple and place it into a food processor. Pulse until coarse and chunky. Meanwhile, heat the oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the bell pepper and onions; cook 1-2 minutes. Add the pineapple to the pan and allow the juices to evaporate a little, 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, let cook an additional 1-2 minutes, and then turn the heat as low as it will go while you cook the burgers.

Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat (but err on the side of medium) and spray with nonstick spray. Combine the turkey, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, curry powder, and scallions so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed in the mixture. Form into 4-6 patties and arrange somewhat evenly spaced on the heated pan. Cook the patties 6 minutes per side.

Serve the burgers either over a salad or as sandwiches, topped with the kale and 1-2 tablespoons pineapple salsa.


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