“I’d eat that again.”
My “selective” eater boyfriend uttered these magical, validating words after finishing one of my homemade Pesto Turkey Burgers. It wasn’t slathered in barbecue sauce, hidden by melted processed cheese or served with fries. It was healthy. It was delicious. It was a fantastic moment.
The war on unhealthy eating has been waging in our house for a while now. Battles have been lost but some major battles have been won, too. Boyfriend eats breakfast every day now. He’s given up foot-long breaded chicken subs with mayonnaise, white American cheese and a light dusting of shredded lettuce in favor of whole wheat wraps with turkey, lettuce and tomato– and he genuinely likes them. He no longer snacks on Raisinettes. He must, however, still have his macaroni and cheese, a request I am happy to indulge him considering he has it at most twice a week.
If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, this is a great healthy burger alternative. I’ve yet to meet someone, picky eater or voracious consumer, who doesn’t like garlic. The pesto in these burgers and on the buns pack a lot of flavor. Pow!
Ingredients and Equipment
- grill or grill pan
- 1-lb of ground turkey (I don’t use 99% fat free– it’s turkey!)
- 1 jar of pesto or your own homemade version
- whole wheat burger buns
- part skim mozzarella (block cheese not shredded)
- 1 large tomato
- lettuce (optional)
- olive oil
- large pot lid or cookie sheet
- Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the pan.
- Mix your ground turkey meat with 2-4 tablespoons of pesto depending on how strong you want the flavor to be in your burgers. Add a little salt and pepper. Form your burger patties.
- Slice your tomato (1-2 per burger patty).
- Slice your mozzarella.
- Place your turkey burger patties and tomato slices on your grill. Cover with a lid or cookie sheet. Turn the turkey burgers and tomato slices once; turkey burgers after about 5-6 minutes and tomatoes after about 3 minutes.
- After flipping your burgers, top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover again with a cookie sheet to melt the cheese.
- Toast your whole wheat buns. Spread more pesto on the buns.
- Assemble your burger. Enjoy!
Don’t rule out berry crumbles or stone fruit cobblers as healthy alternatives to the ubiquitous summertime popsicle or bowl of ice cream for dessert. The fruit-centric desserts are ideal for all the fresh produce available and an excellent way to add a bit of fiber to your picky eater’s diet.
I chose to combine apricots with blueberries for one very sad reason: the apricots that I had purchased from Trader Joe’s were absolutely tasteless. The blueberries, bought from Whole Foods in order to use the apricots, are the best I’ve ever had. I popped a few of them into my mouth as I washed them and was so pleased at their flavor– each deep blue-purple orb burst with natural sun-ripened sweetness and finished with the slightest pucker of sourness.
Ingredients (Makes one bread loaf’s size crumble)
- 5-6 apricots, washed and chopped
- 1-2 cups of washed blueberries
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2-3 lemon wedges
- 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons of sugar (for the fruit)
- 1 tablespoon of butter (to butter the loaf pan)
- 6 tablespoons of butter (for the crumble)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (for the crumble)
A crumble is really an instinctual thing; there should be a lot of tasting and feeling. While this recipe is a great starting position, every bit of fruit is different so make sure to adjust your added sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice accordingly. Novice cooks, don’t worry; crumbles are effortless and really, really, really hard to completely screw up.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F.
- Butter the loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of butter.
- In a food processor, pulse the 6 tablespoons of butter, brown sugar and 1 cup of all purpose flour until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries, apricots, sugar and lemon wedges. Taste for sugar level. Adjust lemon juice and sugar levels accordingly. Add 1-3 tablespoons of cornstarch; you’ll want a semi-white coating on your fruit (the blueberries will be the best indicators).
- Pour your blueberries and apricot mixtures into the buttered loaf pan. Add the crumble on top (you might not need all of it) and bake for about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done with the crumble topping is brown and the fruit is bubbly!