Thanksgiving-style Turkey Burgers

When my good friend Kristin shared her recipe for Thanksgiving-style turkey burgers a few weeks ago, I knew this dish was destined to become a staple in my autumn cooking. I decided to wait until it was seasonally appropriate to share it with all of you. And since it’s officially November and it was a balmy 37 degrees this morning in New York City (yep, I got out the cute winter hat and all), I think we’ve reached that whole seasonally appropriate thing.

Let’s face it, ground turkey can sometimes be a bit...dry. And bland. And ack-inducing. It often needs a bit of assistance in flavor and moistness. Like my turkey meatloaf, I found that adding veggies to turkey meat really gets ‘er done in that department. These turkey burgers are no different. By incorporating chopped celery and apple into the meat, these burgers are not only moist and filling, but heartier to boot.

The clincher for flavor? The addition of poultry seasoning. It’s a key ingredient in these burgers and instantly takes them from tired to hello turkey day! Lastly, hold the ketchup for these little guys. Instead, we’re topping them with a bit of mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Even Shaun balked a little bit at this one. But being the trooper that he is with my cooking, he asked for his burger with the works and didn’t wait for the first bite to be fully chewed before proclaiming These are darn good!

Thanksgiving-style Turkey Burgers
*Adapted from Taste of Home via Kristin M.
1 small apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp poultry seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 C reduced fat mayonnaise
6 English muffins, lightly toasted (I used whole wheat)
1 C whole-berry cranberry sauce (I used canned, which worked fine, but will try my own next time!)

In a bowl, combine the apple, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper (if desired, I left it out).

Add turkey and mix well. I used my own two hands for this since the mixture can be a bit sticky and cumbersome. Shape into 6 patties. On a foil-lined baking sheet (it makes clean up a snap), drizzle with a bit of olive oil or coat with cooking spray.

Broil burgers until cooked through, about 10 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, toast the English muffins and prepare with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise to your liking. Add your burger and get ready for a mini (and super simple) Thanksgiving dinner. Note: the original recipe calls for grilling, which is also an option. We opted to broil.

Since this made 6 burgers, Shaun had 2 and we both took them for lunch the next day. We even went sans bread and it was just as tasty warmed up in the microwave on day 2.

So there you have it. A tale of tasty seasonal dinner, and one that makes me want Thanksgiving dinner to hurry up and get here already! Meanwhile, I'll fill my tummy with these seriously delicious (and did you notice they are healthy?) Thanksgiving-style turkey burgers! So the question of the day is: What's your favorite seasonal dish or flavor this time of year?

It's Not Your Mom's Meatloaf

I'm not sure why but there's something so...unappetizing about the sound of meatloaf. I'm not saying it doesn't taste fabulous if done right, but it sounds a bit antiquated. I got to thinking that meatloaf is essentially a giant hamburger without the bun and suddenly I'm able to forget about the name and start salivating. Modernize it a bit with some spinach, mustard and whole wheat breadcrumbs and an old recipe turns mod. And don't worry about making a vegetable on the side...this one packs fresh greens right in the mix. Oh, and I should mention that the name of this recipe holds no disrepect for my own mom, who makes a fabulous meatloaf...I just feel the need to put my own personal spin on things. But let's just get down to the goods, shall we?

Not Your Mom's Meatloaf
1 lb ground turkey
4 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 C reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcheshire sauce
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 C whole wheat, seasoned bread crumbs (the 4C brand makes these now)
2 cloves garlic
kosher salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in small pan. Saute onions until translucent but make sure they don't burn. Add garlic and saute a bit longer. Remove from heat and stir in Worcheshire sauce and mustard. Let cool while mixing the other ingredients. (Note: at this point, I removed the onion mixture from the pan and put it in a bowl to cool more quickly) In mixing bowl, mix ground turkey, spinach, mayo and bread crumbs. Ok. I know that mayo isn't necessarily a typical ingredient in meatloaf. But since I picked up some odds and ends after work before checking my fridge, I didn't realize that eggs were nowhere to be found. And of course, the other meatloaf components were already mixed and just waiting for one little egg white to bind the whole thing together. So with nary an egg in sight, I tried a 1/4 C of reduced fat mayo in lieu of an egg white, held my breath while the meatloaf cooked (ok, maybe not actually the entire time that it cooked) and hoped for the best.* Once it's all mixed together (oh, and just like with Kathy's Irish Soda Bread, you're going to have to use your own two paws to really get 'er done), shape into a loaf on an ungreased baking sheet. Pour ketchup all over the top and smooth with a spatula, smoothing a bit onto the sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour, slice, and enjoy! Though turkey can tend to be somewhat less than flavorful, the added ingredients make this recipe moist and delish to boot. No ground beef = ok with me.

*The verdict on substituting mayo? Success! I did fear for a time that I'd have ground meat and spinach running all over my oven, but instead, I got a firmly packed, yummy meatloaf.๏ปฟ

So what do you think? Are you a fan of meatloaf? How do you make it?