Recipe Clean Up – Turkey Burgers

July 13, 2011

One of our favorite family recipes comes from AllRecipes.com; Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers.  These turkey burgers are nothing short of amazing.  I find most turkey burgers to be dry, plain, and mostly flavorless affairs.  These are the exact opposite.  They are moist, flavorful, and have completely replaced hamburgers in our household.  The last time I offered to make hamburgers for my wife and daughter, I was politely turned down and asked to make these instead.  Wow!

This recipe is already pretty “clean and real” by my standards, but we had these for our Fourth of July cookout, so I decided to see how I could tweak it to make it even better.

First, the ingredients in the original recipe.

3 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 egg whites, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

I’ve highlighted those ingredients that I think are candidates for improvement.  I chose not to worry about the onions because, as I discussed here, onions are one of the least contaminated produce items in the grocery store.  I haven’t yet found good sources for organic herbs and, to be entirely honest, I’m not sure how far I want to take my eating clean crusade.  Does organic truly matter when we are talking about 1/4 cup of parsley, or one clove of garlic?  I’m not sure, but I suppose that’s a post for another day.

I replaced conventional ground turkey with organic turkey bought from Whole Foods.  I didn’t pay close attention to the price, other than noting it seemed considerably more expensive than conventional ground turkey I buy at Costco.  I think in future recipe posts I’ll compare the price of conventional vs organic/clean food.

Egg whites were easy; most stores carry organic and cage free eggs (although “cage free”, sadly, does not always mean what one would think it means), so I simply used organic chicken egg whites.

The toughest for me is bread crumbs.  I haven’t found a good source of bread for my family yet.  I would like break that isn’t full of fillers and unpronounceable ingredients and I’d like it to be whole grain.  To accomplish this, we’re going to have to get fresh baked bread because conventionally made bread on store shelves is loaded with preservatives to make it “shelf stable” for a couple of weeks.  Real bread should be stale or moldy within a few days of being made.  I’ve got more work to do in this area, so for today I simply used prepackaged bread crumbs from the store.  Once I solve my clean bread dilemma, I’ll post my solution.

So, the consensus on the burgers was, as always, rave reviews.  My family loved them.

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