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Better Burgers

If you think a burger is a burger is a burger—think again. They come in all varieties and sizes, and make an entire meal when combined with your favorite toppings and seasonings. Try unique toppings such as avocado slices, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, alfalfa sprouts, fresh herbs, or even your favorite fruit. Enjoy your grill and this American classic in a new way.

VEGGIE BURGERS
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped zucchini
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups hot water
1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
1-1/2 cups TVP soy (textured vegetable protein)
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
8 sesame seed hamburger buns, toasted

In medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onion, zucchini, mushrooms, parsley, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Heat water in small saucepan over high heat. Remove saucepan from heat and add soy sauce. Add textured vegetable soy protein to bowl of a food processor, then add hot water mixture. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the TVP is hydrated. Add garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, yogurt, black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, egg whites, and breadcrumbs; blend until smooth. Scoop mixture into large mixing bowl and stir in sautéed vegetables, mixing well. Form into patties.

Grill over hot coals on grids that have been sprayed with canola oil. After burgers are done, toast buns on grill. Serves 8.

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN BURGERS
1 lb. ground, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onions, with tops
2 Tablespoons diced green chilies
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

In medium bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, red bell pepper, green onions, green chilies, and ground black pepper. Using damp hands, form the mixture into four 4-inch patties.

Prepare grill and spray grids with canola oil. Place burgers on grill over hottest coals 1-2 minutes on each side to brown. Move burgers to cooler part of the grill and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked (no pink remains and juices run clear) and burgers spring back to the touch. When burgers are nearly done, toast buns on coolest part of the grill. Top with lettuce and thinly sliced onions. Serves 4.

DELUXE TURKEY BURGERS
3/4 lb. ground, skinless turkey breast
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet apple
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 slices provolone cheese
Romaine lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

In medium bowl, combine ground turkey, apple, parsley, breadcrumbs, and salt; mix well. With damp hands, form mixture into four 4-inch patties.

Spray grids on grill lightly with canola oil. Place patties on hottest area of the grill for 2 minutes on each side to brown. Move patties to cooler part of the grill and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the meat is cooked thoroughly (no pink remains and juices run clear) and patties spring back to the touch. When burgers are nearly done, toast buns on coolest part of grill. Top with provolone slice, lettuce, and tomato slice. Add your favorite condiment. Serves 4.

MINIBURGERS
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon onion powder

With damp hands, mix all ingredients. Form into 12 small patties. Grill over hot coals on grill that has been sprayed with canola oil to prevent sticking. Grill 1 minute on each side to brown and move to cooler part of the grill. Continue cooking 2 minutes on each side until juice runs clear. Serve on small butter bakery buns with red onions, tomatoes, and Swiss cheese slices. Serves 4-6.

SPICY RED PEPPER BURGERS
3/4 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded
4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
Mayonnaise or favorite dressing

Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, green chilies, salt, and pepper; mix well. With hands dampened, shape into four patties.

Cut bell pepper in half; seed and core. Roast red pepper over hot grill, skin side down, until skin is blackened. Put in small paper bag or wrap in paper towels until cool; peel off skin and cut into strips.

Place burgers over prepared coals on the hottest area of an oiled grill for 1 minute on each side to brown. Move burgers to outside of the grill and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes on each side. When the burgers are nearly done, toast the buns.

Spread buns with roasted red pepper strips and mayonnaise, then add burgers and cheddar cheese. Serves 4.

Coming Next Month: Fresh Corn Recipes

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