Do July 4th Right: Spinach and Parmesan Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

Eating healthy means missing some of the unhealthier stuff that I see so many people indulging in on pretty much a daily basis. Especially in summer, the smell of BBQ is pretty much constantly in the air and I go to bed every night dreaming of burgers and hot dogs and fries, oh my!

Okay, so it’s not really that bad, but I do still like to indulge in comfort foods – I just have to figure out a healthier way to do it. Well, I think I’ve got it! You remember those cloud breads you made on Monday? Well, you’re gonna need a batch of those for these AMAZING spinach turkey burgers. Plus, we get to have sweet potato fries (and some steamed broccoli for good measure). Hold onto your hats – it’s gonna be… delicious. Yes, I’m aware of how corny I am and no, I don’t care.

Let’s do the turkey burgers first, shall we? This recipe makes between 4 – 6 burgers, depending on how big you like ’em. Now, gather your ingredients:

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s white ground turkey meat (or equivalent 1lb of ground turkey)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (I did this in the food processor)
  • 2 cups or thereabouts of fresh baby spinach (I didn’t measure; you can use more or less)
  • 1 egg, or substitute with 1 tbsp ground flaxseed in 3 tbsp water, mixed and left for about 10 mins
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash “Table Blend” seasoning
  • ground black pepper and salt**

** Note: I don’t use salt unless a recipe specifically needs it. I prefer salt substitutes, which taste the same but don’t have sodium. What can I say – I’m paranoid about high blood pressure! As for the Mrs. Dash, I highly recommend ALL of their (her?) seasonings because they’re delicious and salt-free, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can throw in your own blend of spices. Anything goes, here!

Step 1: Mix all your ingredients until well incorporated. The spinach will make things slightly more difficult to do, but far from impossible.

Step 2: Spray a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, for the unacquainted) onto a pan of your choice – I use a grill pan and am sorta obsessed with it – and form your meat mixture into patties and cook ’em. Make sure they’re cooked all the way through, but don’t overdo it. Remember that meat continues to cook as it rests, and you don’t want it to get too tough.

Here’s mine in action:

Once done, you can put one on those sweet cloud bread buns and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella or your cheese of choice – or leave the cheese off entirely if it’s not your thing. ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of the best things I have eaten in recent memory.

But wait, we’re not finished! We’ve got to get to the sweet potato fries! I usually do my own at home, cutting up fresh sweet potatoes, skin still on, into chunky chip-sized wedges and going that way. I happened to pick up some crinkle cut sweet potatoes (fresh, not frozen and literally no ingredients other than sweet potatoes) during a recent shopping trip. Either way, the method is the same.

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 425F. Toss the sweet potatoes in a very light coating of EVOO – you don’t want them soaking, just coated.

Step 2: Season with a little bit of salt or salt substitute and – GAME CHANGER ALERT! – cinnamon. Bake them for about 30-35 minutes if self-cut, or if you grab a bag of these pre-cut ones at the store, they go in for about 20 minutes. Et voila!

You can chill with a veggie of your choice. I prefer to steam my veggies, and Ziploc even makes “zip and steam” bags for your microwave that work GREAT. They were an impulse buy during my last shopping trip and I’ll definitely be buying them again.

So that’s it – there’s a full, healthy 4th of July (or just regular Thursday) meal for you – all for about 450 calories! You know what that means – room for seconds!