Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers and Eating More Vegetables

We’re all adults here. We all know we’re supposed to eat vegetables, because they’re good for you.  But the reality is life happens.   We get caught up in things; we forget to eat vegetables…  Not cool, guys.  Eat your vegetables.

I’m a big proponent of vegetables and exercise being the cure for most things.  I’m not a nutrionist or a doctor but I’ve realized that when I eat more vegetables and exercise regularly, I tend to feel better.

Last week, Melissa’s Produce reached out to me asking if I’d like to review one of their boxes and maybe come up with a few recipes from the content.  I said Yes, because 1. I love vegetables and 2. it seemed like a great opportunity to blog about things.

So let me tell your a little bit about the produce box I got.  I got the “Organic Mixed Vegetable Box – Southern California Delivery.” I chose this one because I didn’t want a box with fruit.  I would rather just have vegetables.  It arrived while I was at work.  Since I live in a housing complex, it was delivered to the apartment office, so the box didn’t sit outside all day.  Luckily, I was able to make it home a few minutes before the apartment office closed at 5pm.  If not, I would have had to wait til the next day, which would have sucked.

I got the box and it was jam packed with deliciousness.  I definitely give them props for their packing skillzz.  Everything was in there, the lettuce wasn’t smashed or wilted.  Thumbs up for that! There was also an ice pack in the box  that kept everything cool.

Here is everything my box included:

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This is a good amount of produce for two people.  But Jesse and I eat a good amount of vegetables so we’re good to go.   One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about produce delivery services and CSA shares (aside from cost), is that it’s simply too much produce. I agree, it is a good amount, but not really too much.  When I first saw the enormous pile of vegetables, I got concerned and thought, oh goodness how are we going to eat all this?  But really, having this box forces us to eat more vegetables, it’s just about prioritizing and planning. Using this produce, I’ve planned a variety of meals to use up almost all the vegetables, and today I’ll share one of these recipes: Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Creamy Yogurt Sauce, served with Grilled Zucchini. Sounds delish right?  I think it looks pretty great too! turkeylettuceburger2

The most important thing to remember with CSAs and produce delivery is that certain things go bad faster than others.  Lettuce and kale are the most perishable, so they should probably be eaten first.  Then Zucchini, Broccoli, Cucumber and Celery.  Beets, Carrots, Potato, Garlic, Onion, Leeks and Ginger, will all last a pretty long time.

Keeping that in mind, I’ve been having green smoothies with kale for breakfast everyday to make sure to use the kale.  To consume the lettuce as quickly as possible, I decided lettuce wrapped burgers were the way to go.

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Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Creamy Yogurt Sauce

For Turkey Burgers: 

1 package lean ground turkey (a little more than a pound)
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
garlic salt to taste

For Creamy Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 cucumber, grated
1 lime
Garlic salt to taste

Extra:

Lettuce
Tomato  

Combine all ingredients for turkey burger.  Work together and form into patties (4-6 depending on how big you want them, I did 6).  Grill on a hot grill, or on a skillet or you can even bake them.  If you’re grilling on a grill or in a pan, it’ll be about 5 mins per side (depending on how thick your patties are).

In the meantime, prep your yogurt sauce by combining yogurt, grated cucumber and lime juice.  Mix together and add garlic salt.  Taste until you get the right saltiness.  Then refrigerate until ready to use. (Note: You can make this sauce is advance.  As long as it’s refrigerated, it’ll be good for a few days)

Next assemble your burger.  I doubled up and used two lettuce leaves per side of the burger “bun” (so 4 lettuce leaves total per burger. Remember, we’re packing in those vegetables!).  Put down two pieces of lettuce, top with burger and tomato, drizzle with yogurt sauce and top with more  lettuce.  Serve with some grilled zucchini and enjoy!  

This recipe will make 4-6 lettuce wrap burgers (I made 6). I was really happy with this recipe.  Confession: I ate 2!  I don’t feel guilty.

If you’re curious about how I grilled the zucchini, I just sliced it into 1/2 inch thick strips then drizzled with olive oil and tossed with some garlic salt.  That’s it.  And seriously delicious. turkeylettuceburger3

This meal was chock full of vegetables, which is always awesome, but also super tasty and satisfying.

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I can’t wait to make use of the other vegetables.  Here are some of my ideas to make the most of each ingredient…

  • Use Ginger to make awesome peanut sauce to go on zucchini noodles.  Or just drink with hot water, because ginger is great for your immune system!
  • Roast beets to make an amazing kale salad with onion, almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.  Doesn’t that sound amazing? I also intend to saute those beet greens and add those to the salad as well.
  • I cut up the rest of the cucumber that I didn’t use in the yogurt sauce just for snacking.  Because don’t we all need some extra veggies as an afternoon snack?  I think yes.
  • Carrots: Gluten free carrot cake.  Yup. I made it happen.  Recipe soon!
  • Celery: I love filling celery with tuna salad for an awesome and light lunch.  I can seriously go through 10 celery ribs in one sitting with a bowl of tuna salad.
  • Leeks + Potato… Do I even need to say it?  Potato-Leek Soup!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with Melissa’s Produce delivery service.  It’s the most reasonably priced delivery service I’ve seen.  I used to pay about $19/week for my CSA share in Ithaca.  The box I got through Melissa’s Produce costs $25 (although I got it free this time, thanks to Melissa’s Produce!).  For $25 you get 7lbs of organic produce.  Not bad.

Are you a fan of lettuce wrapped burgers or are you a bun purist?

Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce provided me with a free produce box in exchange for this blog post.  Opinions and recipes are my own.

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Crazy Good Biscuits

My boyfriend confessed to me that one time, I ate his biscuit.

That sounds totally gross.  Let me back up.  Once night, we had a crazy hankering for KFC.  So like any normal couple, we satiated the craving with a bucket, 4 biscuits and 2 sides.  Apparently, after dinner, I wrapped up the leftovers and told him to take them.  When he went home, he forgot them.

The next day, lunch rolled around and I ate the last biscuit, but left Jesse the remaining chicken and sides.  At least that’s how I remember it.

Yesterday, he confessed.  I ate the last biscuit and he was silently sad about that for a while.

Naturally, I laughed and apologized profusely.  Then, of course, made some biscuits to make amends for my biscuit-devouring habit.

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Crazy Good Biscuits

adapted from Epicurious

2 cups flour (plus extra for rolling out)
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, cold
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tbsp melted butter (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 425F.  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add butter and using your fingers work the butter into the flour until you get coarse crumbs.  Next, add yogurt, cream and milk and stir with a spoon until combined.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, then form into a disk shape.  Pat it down with your hand until it’s about 1 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter or the bottom of a cup (I used the bottom of a mason jar I use to make pies in jars, so mine were small biscuits), cut out biscuits and place onto a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Repeat until all dough is used up.  Brush with melted butter and bake 10-15 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of your biscuits) until golden brown.   This will make about 2 dozen biscuits (depending on size).

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Serve with whatever you like.  We like to keep it Latin so we ate them with carne asada, grilled corn and squash.

Tasty.

Caramel Yogurt Bundt Cake

When I was little, I remember my mom regularly kept a Costco Pound Cake in a glass cake dome on the kitchen counter.  I remember not liking it much as a kid, but I’m pretty sure it was offered to anyone who came over.  We all need that kind of cake.

The kind you offer with coffee to any and all of your guests.  A simple cake that almost serves more of a decorative purpose than a gluttonous one.  This is that kind of cake.

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But I’ll be honest, this won’t wow you.  It’s a simple cake, and that was my intention.  Sometimes we need simple.

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Caramel Yogurt Bundt Cake

For Caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp butter, softened

For Cake:
Caramel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  Then start making the caramel.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar to a sauce pan.  Turn on heat on high until sugar starts to melt.  Once sugar starts to melt, turn flame down to low and stir.  Keep stirring until sugar is melted, any clumps have dissolved and you have a deep golden amber color.  Next stir in butter then cream.  Keep stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl or mixer, beat together sugar and oil.  Stream in caramel and continue to mix.  Beat in eggs, beating 1 minute after each egg.    Combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.  Gradually add flour to batter, alternating with yogurt.  Once combined, add milk and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth.

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake for 30 mins, then reduce oven temperature to 325F and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until you poke it with a knife and it comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely and turn onto a plate (note: I had a hard time getting it out of the bundt pan, but finally it happened! This always happens with bundt pans for me!).  Dust with powdered sugar and serve or keep in a cake dome on the kitchen counter.

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That’s what I would do if my counter was larger than 2 feet wide.  Clearly my kitchen is a little to simple.  Is yours?

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