Greek Turkey Burgers & Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Hey howdy hey readers! So I know it’s not a Monday, but I wanted to get a post in before the end of the week and I figured I would put up a couple recipes I used recently. Last week I meal prepped lunches & dinners as I was trying to focus on my nutrition, so I made turkey burgers for lunch (along with a delicious tzatziki sauce) and cilantro lime shrimp for shrimp tacos for dinner. The turkey burgers were 163 calories each (before adding pitas and the tzatziki which was only 21 calories a serving) with 19g of protein in each serving. The cilantro lime roasted shrimp was 113 calories per serving with 28g of protein. As always, at the end I’ll add the recipe write-ups to make shopping easier.

We’ll start with the turkey burgers, as they involve more prep time and actual cooking. I started by making the tzatziki sauce so it had more time to soak in the flavors while the burgers were cooking. The tzatziki is just 7 oz. low fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp dried dill, juice of half a lemon, and a dash of salt.

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Super tasty and low fat tzatziki! 

To start the burgers, make sure your spinach is thawed out and if not go ahead and defrost it. You want to dry out the spinach as best you can, I did my best to wring it out with paper towels so that it doesn’t weigh down the burgers. Then you chop up the spinach to avoid getting any long stringy pieces, as well as chopping the sun dried tomatoes and 1/4 of a red onion. In a mixing bowl combine the chopped veggies with the ground turkey, feta, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. You want to mix it well so all of the filling is evenly distributed.

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It doesn’t look super appetizing at the moment, but here’s the burger mix. 

This mix will make 6 pretty good sized patties, make sure to form them tightly as you don’t want to lose any of your filler ingredients! I also advise making an indent in the center of each patty the size of 2 thumbs so when you’re cooking them in the skillet they don’t turn into softballs.

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Patties all ready to go into the pan! 

Cook the burgers over medium heat, I did 3 at a time in about a tbsp of olive oil for each side. I cooked them covered in a skillet for about 3 minutes on each side. Since these are turkey burgers and not beef burger, I wanted them to be cooked all the way through instead of keeping them a little rare like I normally would.

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Patties all done cooking and ready to be put away for consumption throughout the week. 

The way I served my turkey burgers was on a Flatout Foldit pita, atop a bed of arugula. I also spread the tzatziki on both halves of the pita/bread and topped with another sprinkle of feta. With all of that, each lunch topped out at around 300 calories- which is not too shabby in my book. Especially for something that tasted so good.

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A tasty, low-cal lunch! 

Next up was the cilantro lime roasted shrimp for my tacos! You want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees before you start working on the shrimp. Now unless you want the extra work I had, buy your shrimp peeled and deveined. I used 1.5 lbs of shrimp because I wanted 6 servings for my tacos. You begin by making the sauce/glaze which consists of 3/4 cup chopped cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, lime zest, salt, and pepper whisking to combine.

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A very cilantro-heavy sauce for the shrimpies. 

After your sauce is prepared, you want to pour it over the shrimp and mix it well so the shrimp are thoroughly coated. After you’ve mixed it well, you evenly distribute the shrimp onto a foil lined cookie sheet so that they’re in a thin layer.

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Ready for the oven! 

After cooking for 10 minutes, pull the shrimp out and garnish with some fresh cilantro if you so desire. I set aside my shrimp for dinner but then packed away the rest in tupperware for my tacos!

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A lot of delicious shrimp for dinner! 

As for my shrimpies, as I mentioned I put them in tacos for dinner. I used 2 carb balance tortillas each night topped with half an avocado, shredded lettuce, red onion, and some tomatoes. Each dinner was about 500 calories with a lot of fresh and healthy ingredients to satiate my frequent craving for Mexican food and stick to my healthier lifestyle.

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Voila! Shrimp tacos! On the first night I tossed a bit of the extra feta in there for a bonus treat. 


Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce 

Tzatziki ingredients

  • 7 oz. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 medium fresh lemon
  • ¼ tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp dried dill

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by combining the yogurt, ¼ tsp minced garlic, dry dill, juice of half the lemon and a dash of salt. Stir everything to combine and then refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend while you make the burgers.

Greek Turkey Burger ingredients

  • 1.25 lb. ground turkey
  • 6 halves sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 oz. frozen spinach
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Roughly chop the spinach to prevent long stringy pieces. Also chop the sun dried tomatoes and ¼ of the red onion.
  2. In a bowl combine the ground turkey with the spinach, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, feta, ½ tsp minced garlic, dried oregano, egg, bread crumbs, ½ tsp of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Stir everything until it is evenly combined. Shape the mixture into six patties.
  3. Cook the burgers on a counter top grill, a non-stick skillet or over open flame. I did mine in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, covered for 3 minutes on each side.

 

Cilantro Lime Roasted Shrimp 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs shrimp, shell off and deveined
  • ¾ cup of fresh cilantro, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoons)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon of pepper
  • zest of one lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a small bowl mix, ¾ cup of fresh cilantro, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, lime zest, salt, and pepper. Whisk until combined.
  3. Pour cilantro lime sauce over shrimp that has been patted dry, toss to coat everything.
  4. Spread seasoned shrimp out on a baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until pink.

 

Mighty Meal Prep Monday!

Good day readers! I’ve decided to try something new this week and see what kind of a response it gets from you all, if it’s a success I might consider making it a regular part of the rotation. As many people know, part of my healthy lifestyle for the last 19 months or so has been meal prepping my dinners on Sunday/Monday and having delicious healthy food for the week. This week I’m going to share with you all not only my recipes, but also some pictures of the in progress cooking and my experience with it. Today I’ve made balsamic caramelized onion turkey burgers which I got from a recipe here! As well as a side of what I’ve dubbed “Brussel Sprouts Suzanne” as my godmother created the recipe and introduced me to brussel sprouts which I’ve found to be delicious!

I decided to make the brussel sprouts first as they required less actual cooking, since they’re oven roasted. So once I finished the prep work I could let them roast for a while and start prepping the necessary ingredients for the turkey burgers. The brussel sprouts prep is pretty simple- for the actual sprouts you just need to wash, remove the stems, and quarter the sprouts. Once you’ve fixed your sprouts, it’s time to chop up some bacon! The way Suzanne taught me to prepare it is 2-4 pieces of bacon per 10-15 brussel sprouts which is enough for 2 servings. Because I was making 5 servings, I used 6 pieces of bacon. Once you’ve got all your ingredients in an oven safe baking dish, drizzle with 2-4 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and mix it well. Once your oven is preheated to 400 degrees, you’re going to roast the sprouts for 25-30 minutes stirring once about halfway through. Once they’re done cooking and removed from the oven, drizzle balsamic glaze on the whole dish and then mix it up before serving. The way I prepared it, each serving came in at 171 calories with 11g of fat (that’s the bacon mostly) and 7.5g of protein (which is more than I expected).

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I’m super proud of my presentation here, the dish is absolutely delicious! 

My next step in prep (hehe that rhymed), was caramelizing the onions for out turkey burgers! You can read detailed instructions in the link I posted above. I used yellow onion because it’s my favorite and was on sale, so I halved and sliced 3 large onions and added a half cup of balsamic vinegar to a pan with a lid and let this cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. After that time, I removed the top and stirred the onions allowing the liquid to disappear is what causes the onions to caramelize. Once all the balsamic vinegar is gone, add 1/3 cup of water and stir the onions frequently until the water evaporates as well. After all is said and done, you’ll finish with 8 servings of balsamic caramelized onion to top your turkey burgers, each serving of onions is 32 calories.

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The onions, mid-caramelization

The final part of my prep was tackling the turkey burgers, the toughest part of the day for sure. Combine all of the ingredients listed and form into 8 burger patties, be sure to make an indent in the center of the patties as they will expand when you put them on the hot skillet. I used a cast iron skillet, because the only grill I have is a George Foreman and I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any flavor. They could just as easily be grilled, either way you want to use medium high heat. The recipe called for cooking the burgers 7 minutes on each side, adding the provolone cheese for the last minute. I forgot to add the cheese to the first 3 until after I had already plated them, so that’s why 3 of them look a little funky. I’m sure they’ll taste the same though. You can also serve the burgers on whatever you choose, I bought french hamburger buns from the Publix bakery as they were also on sale this week and clock in at 160 calories a piece. Though it could just as easily be served without the bun, on a lettuce wrap, or a sandwich thin if that tickles your fancy. The burgers (without bun or onions) are each 173 calories with 8g of fat and 22g of protein.

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All my burgers, in different states of done (and 3 wonky ones with partially melted cheese). The center burger and the one directly to the right were fresh off the pan. 

For your convenience, I’ve listed all the ingredients below and a photo of the finished product all plated and fancy. If anyone attempts this meal prep I would love to see pictures or hear your reviews.

Brussel Sprouts Suzanne 

5 servings – 171 calories each

  • 25-30 brussel sprouts
  • 6 pieces bacon chopped (I used center cut because of calorie content)
  • 2-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp balsamic glaze
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from brussel sprouts and quarter them tossing the extra pieces into the dish as well.
  3. Chop bacon into medium to small pieces and add to baking dish.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Mix the dish so that all the sprouts have olive oil on them and the bacon is distributed equally.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for another 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan and immediately drizzle with balsamic glaze, stir and serve.

The following is the exact recipe I used, copy and pasted from The Foodie and The Fix blog.

 
Balsamic Caramelized Onions

8 servings – 32 calories each

  • 3 large onions (any kind will do, but I usually use white or red), cut in half and then sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Put your sliced onions and vinegar in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid. If you don’t have one you can use a pot instead, but the process may take a bit longer. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.
  2. Take off the lid and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until there is no liquid left. Once this happens, the onions will start to caramelize. You’ll then add 1/3 cup of water, stirring again until there is no liquid left.
  3. Repeat this process until onions are fully cooked and caramelized. Set aside.

Turkey Burgers 

8 servings – 173 calories each

  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp (3 large cloves) of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs dried thyme

Toppings

  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • balsamic caramelized onions
  • whatever you want to put it on: whole wheat bun, english muffin, pita, greens, etc..
    Instructions

To make the burgers:

  1. Mix together all ingredients, form into 8 burger patties.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure it’s nice and hot before adding your burgers or they may stick. You can also cook these in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Either way, using medium-high heat, they should take about 7 minutes on each side. Flip only once to get the juiciest burgers and cook until the burgers reach 165 degrees or if you don’t have a thermometer, until they’re hot and no longer pink on the inside.
  4. Put a slice of provolone on each one and close the lid until melted (this will only take a minute or so).
  5. Serve each tasty turkey burgers on whatever you like, such as a whole wheat bun, english muffin, greens, etc., along with about 1/8th of the caramelized onions.

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The finished product- a delicious dinner for under 600 calories!