Zesty Turkey Patties

Need a healthy dinner recipe? Try these better-for-you burgers from Rebecca Katz—they taste great too!

By Rebecca Katz, San Rafael, California

As appeared in

I’m a chef and nutritionist. Some of my best recipes come from working with people who have dietary restrictions.

One of my clients was fighting cancer and had to cut out red meat. Problem was, he was a fast-food junkie. He’d hit the drive-through for breakfast. He almost cried when his wife showed me his stash of fast-food coupons and had me throw them out.

I knew I had to find a tasty burger alternative to convince him to eat healthy. I came up with this recipe and got him to try the turkey pat­ties for breakfast, knowing he needed a protein fix in the mornings. He practically broke into song. “It’s like a symphony of taste!” he said.

The combination of flavors woke up his taste buds, which had been dormant after his treatments, yet the ginger, parsley and fennel made these burgers easy on the stomach.

The best part? My client discovered that a healthy change can be a happy one too.

Fennel and ginger are natural digestive aids, and if you use dark meat instead of white, you’ll get three times more iron per serving.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground dark meat organic turkey

²/³ cup yellow onion, minced

¼  cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

¼  cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

1 teaspoon dried oregano

? teaspoon red pepper flakes

Olive oil for coating pan

Preparation

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for oil. Mix well.

2. Shape into desired patty size.

3. Heat a grill pan brushed with oil. Brown patties over medium heat on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

4. Cover and continue to grill 3 more minutes, till cooked through. Or in a sauté pan, add just enough oil to coat a hot pan. Sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side to brown, decrease the heat and add a tablespoon of water. Cover to steam the inside, about 6 minutes.

5. Try in pita pockets or on buns.

Serves 8

Rebecca’s Tips:
•Everyone likes these, even the most finicky kids.
•Patties can be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
•If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, just use fresh parsley.

From One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. Copyright © 2004 by Rebecca Katz. Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.