I am a big fan of the magazine Real Simple, and their extensive collection of easy, yet delicious recipes. Unfortunately they aren’t always the healthiest of concoctions, but I’ve found with a few fixes that I can usually tweak them into something that is not only good, but good for you!
Once such recipe was for Spiced Mini Burgers with Couscous Salad. The recipe originally called for ground beef and pan-cooking the burgers in olive oil, as well as using a bunch of olive oil for the dressing on the couscous salad. I changed it up by using ground turkey, grilling the burgers using olive oil cooking spray, and adding in some tahini to cut down the olive oil. The result was a something light and satisfying that also got me through my every other week craving for a juicy, probably bad for me burger!
To start, pre-heat your grill, and mix the ground turkey with spices in a bowl, and form into 12 mini patties.
Spray your grill with some olive oil cooking spray, then toss the burgers on the grill, cooking for about 8 minutes and flipping half-way through.
Because these are mini-burgers and they are a bit thinner, you don’t have to cook them extra long. Be careful not to over cook them, otherwise they can get pretty dry…and lose all their juice.
For the couscous salad boil 1 cup water with some salt, stir in couscous, remove from heat and cover. Let the grains sit for about 4-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Place the couscous in a large bowl and add scallions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Add in the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt to taste. Then just mix everything up.
Then all you have to do is divide the mini burgers and salad up amongst 4 plates and serve! This was a great complete meal, a little protein, some grains and lots of yummy veggies. It also kept well for left overs and I have been enjoying it for lunch all week!
As I cook more and read more recipes, I have come to realize that if a recipe looks delicious but seems too unhealthy or like too much of a hassle, don’t just cast it aside! Take a look and see if you can make substitutions, cut down on a few steps or take a few shortcuts with some of the ingredients. I would say 9 times out of 10 there is a way to make it work for you!
Spiced Mini Turkey Burgers with Tahini Couscous Salad (adapted from Real Simple)
1 cup couscous, dry
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp tahini
6 scallions, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, sliced into half-moons
3 tbsps lemon juice, fresh
For the Burgers…
In a bowl, combine turkey with garlic salt, cumin and oregano
Form into 12 mini burger patties
Spray grill with olive oil or regular cooking spray, and place burgers on the grill
Cook burgers about 8 minutes, flipping half-way through until cooked through
For the couscous…
In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup water with some salt
Once water is boiling stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat
Let stand for 4-5 minutes, then fluff with fork
Combine couscous in a large bowl with scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt to taste
Plate mini burgers with couscous salad
Yields 4 servings (3 mini burgers and about 1 1/2 cups couscous salad)