Teriyaki Turkey Burger and Pecan Roasted PotatoesI admit I giggled at the thought of adding a slice of pineapple to my burger. And I do find the concept of “turkey” burgers quite comforting. The recipe for “Teriyaki Turkey Burgers,” from The Complete Diabetes Prevention Plan, by Christopher Saudek and Sandra Woodruff (recipe below), produced flavorful and moist patties. And yes -- the pineapple slice was neat!

The Complete Diabetes Prevention Plan
6 servings

Burger Mixture:
1 1/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 1/4 lbs. 95% lean ground turkey
3 Tbsp. light, reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Rest of Recipe:
6 canned pineapple rings (optional)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. nonfat or light mayonnaise
6 light wheat or multi-grain burger buns
6 slices red onion
6 lettuce leaves

Place the mushrooms, scallions, and red bell pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until the vegetables are finely chopped. Place the vegetables, ground turkey, teriyaki sauce, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape the mixture into six 4-inch patties.

Grill the burgers over medium coals or cook under a broiler for about 6 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 165 degrees and the meat is no longer pink inside. (To retain moisture, avoid pressing down on the patties as they cook.) Alternatively, coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with nonstick cooking spray and cook the burgers over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side.

If desired, brush the pineapple slices with a little teriyaki sauce and grill or broil for a minute or two on each side, until lightly browned.

To assemble the burgers, place the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl and stir to mix well. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on each bun. Place each burger in a bun and top with some of the onion, lettuce, and if desired, a pineapple slice. Serve hot.

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I adjusted the quantities of this recipe to make four burgers, rather than six. Therefore, I processed 4 mushrooms, 2 scallions, and less than 1/3 red bell pepper. This vegetable mix is what contributed so wonderfully to the moistness of these burgers. It’s like using a little “burger secret” for great taste. I used 13.3 oz. of ground turkey for the four burgers, and my chosen teriyaki sauce was Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki. I admit I was nervous when the recipe did not add any salt to the mix, and then amazed when I tasted the final burger and didn’t need it. I did “grill” these burgers in a pan on my stove top, 5 minutes per side.

The mayo/mustard combo was a nice spread for this burger. I combined 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp. honey. The red onion slice was great. And that pineapple! Craziness.

Another fun recipe I tried was the “Pecan Roasted Potatoes,” from All Recipes, customized for four servings. Indeed, yet another roasted potato recipe, but I was interested in the use of pecans, all those spices, and Worcestershire sauce. The amount of dried herbs and garlic powder did make for a fragrant kitchen (I didn’t use ground rosemary, but did use whole dried rosemary). My final dish was too dry -- I suggest you add a more generous drizzle of olive oil to this mix. And the taste? There was nothing too stunning about this dish. Oh well.

RECIPES: enjoy moist and tasty burgers; try to jazz up the potatoes
PREP TIMES: the burgers are very quick (eat them in less than 30 minutes); the potatoes need a little more time
TASTES: sweet, tangy, juicy mix in burgers that include processed veggies, teriyaki sauce, mayo/mustard dressing, pineapple, and red onion; herbed potatoes need more lubrication for flavor

Next time, I want to cook another warm and comforting meal. How does this sound: “Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon,” from the September 2009 issue of Everyday Food, combined with the “Stout and Cheddar Rarebit with Fried Eggs,” from the October 2008 issue of Gourmet. This should be fantastic! Come back to my site on Friday, March 6, to witness my delicious results.