I’ve been cooking a wee bit differently over the past month or so, as Ben recently found out he has…dunh, dunh, dunh...
High cholesterol. Eek!
It’s true, and it sucks. For him. For me. But mostly him.
Gone are the days of eating cheese, red meat, cheese, pizza, cheese, bacon and well, cheese, with reckless abandon (Ben loves cheese.) Basically he’s restricted to what he calls “rabbit food” for a couple months, and I’ve been struggling to come up with meals that are heart healthy but don’t taste like cardboard.
We’ve had some successes – I’ve made Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup twice, and a whole bunch of grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwiches for him (chicken + cajun seasoning + bun = very exciting!) but none of ‘em have come close to the burgers I made for dinner tonight:
Spanakopita Turkey Burgers
These burgers, made with 99% fat free ground turkey and classic Greek flavors like kalamata olives, red onion, tomato & oregano, are simply amazing.
Not only are they low in cholesterol, but they taste great and are extremely FILLING, which is something Ben’s been missing with his rabbit food. He’s always hungry!
The burgers are started with frozen –> thawed spinach, sauteed onion & garlic, grill seasoning and oregano.
Some of Ben’s beloved cheese – feta – actually makes the cut in this recipe, as it’s used in modest amounts. It’s a good thing too, because it gives the lean ground turkey SO much flavor.
Each burger is grilled until golden brown, then piled high with toppings.
A lemon-spiked Greek yogurt sauce, fresh tomatoes, red onion and kalamata olives.
Spanakopita Turkey Burgers
Adapted from Rachel Ray.
Makes 4 burgers
For the burgers:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry of excess moisture
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon grill seasoning
4oz crumbled feta cheese
1 1/3 pounds 99% lean ground turkey breast
For the sauce:
1 clove garlic
1/3 seedless cucumber, grated & squeezed dry of excess moisture
6oz plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper
Additional ingredients needed:
Red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
1. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Saute onion with salt & pepper until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for another minute, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate to cool.
2. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine cooked onions with spinach, oregano, grill seasoning, feta cheese, and turkey breast. Form into 4 patties and grill on high for 5 minutes a side, or until cooked through.
4. Top burgers with sauce, sliced onion, tomato and kalamata olives.
These burgers are low in cholesterol, fat AND calories – but they taste anything but. We were mmm’ing our way through our entire dinner!
I served Ben’s burger with steamed broccoli on the side, while yours truly got roasted broccoli – my fave. That’s just broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper then roasted at 425 for 15 minutes. PERFECTION! Make this meal!
In other news…
20 Day Holiday Workout Challenge
Now that we’ve said sayonara to both Halloween and Thanksgiving, I think it’s safe to say that we’re currently in the thick of the holiday season. I’ve even got the decorations to prove it.
From holiday parties with buffets of seasonal cakes & cookies, to the urge to cook and devour warm carbs every night, the chilly winter season is full of temptation and opportunities to overindulge. For me though, it’s easier to manage winter weight gain by staying active instead of refusing to enjoy special, once-a-year holiday goodies. Therefore this year I’ve decided to ward off the weight with a plan.
There’s 20 weekdays from now until Christmas, and I intend to workout on every single one of them, taking Saturdays & Sundays off. ‘Cause your body needs a break, and I hate working out on the weekends.
There, I said it.
Luckily I have 40+ treadmill and workout routines to choose from on my Workouts Page, so every day I’ll pick one and, come hell, high water, or, shudder, a 5am trip to the gym – I’ll complete it.
Please feel free to join me in my challenge if you’d like, in any way you can. Maybe you hate running, but love walking, using the elliptical, or taking workout classes. Perfect! The idea is just to stay active over the next 20 weekdays.
I’ve created a 20 Day Holiday Workout Challenge page where I’ll be documenting what I do. Leave your blog URL, or name if you don’t have a blog, in the comments section of that page if you plan on participating in the challenge. I’ve also tossed around the idea of making a button to copy/paste on your blog, so let me know if there’s any interest in that!
In the meantime, here’s to the most wonderful, time – and YOU – of the year!
How do you ward off holiday/winter-related weight gain? Making careful food choices, taking it up a notch in the gym, or just figuring it will even out eventually?
Do you have to cook to accomodate a special diet, or food allergies?