Tag Archives: burger

Guacamole: A New Kind of Condiment

2 Dec

One thing that Tre and I have made consistently every week since his diagnosis is, you guessed it, guacamole. We’re lucky to have a local grocery store with an almost constant stock of fresh avocados all year round and it makes me sad that so many people pass up this wonderful fruit. Guacamole has made appearances here on this blog in my beef and turkey swiss burger recipes. But behind the scenes, it goes on everything from cold cut sandwiches (with almond flour bread) to carrot sticks for a quick snack. Since I intend to keep guacamole as a regular part of our diet and will surely have it make cameos on the blog going forward, I figured it was time to post the official recipe.

Here is a batch of guac all packaged and ready for storage. Tre and I will make guac every Monday or Tuesday and eat it throughout the week. We enjoy it most as a dip for carrot sticks but have been known just spoon it out of the bowl from time to time.


Between the two of us, Tre and I go through about 2 avocados a week worth of guac. Instead of buying pre-made guacs laden with preservatives and salt, or envelopes of powdered ingredients that I can’t even pronounce, Tre and I take the 15 minutes required for preparation to make our own guacamole from fresh, ripe avocados.

Avocados are praised for their health benefits and are often cited as not only being a great snack, salad topper, and dip ingredient, but also a healthier alternative to run-of-the-mill condiments like mayonnaise. Avocados are loaded with vitamin K, fiber, folic acid, potassium, protein, and healthy calories among other things and have been linked to weight loss, cardiovascular health, and lower cholesterol. While some people simply substitute avocado slices in for typical condiments on their sandwiches, I like to take it a step further and create a thick, spicy guacamole for a topper. I could literally go on and on about how much I love guacamole, but by all means, here is the recipe

Guacamole — Yields about 1 cup. We double the recipe for a week’s supply

  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Dash crushed red pepper
  • Dash cayenne pepper to taste (very hot so add in small increments)


  1. In a medium sized bowl begin to mash pitted and skinned avocado with a fork or potato smasher. Add lemon juice and onion and mix until well combined.
  2. Add salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and combine with a fork. Begin to add crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper to taste to build up heat. I recommend about 1 tsp crushed red pepper and a very small dash of cayenne. Combine all ingredients and let the guacamole sit for about an hour to combine flavors. Mix again with a fork and serve.
  3. To refrigerate, plate the guacamole in a smaller bowl. Stretch plastic wrap over the top and pat it down until it is in contact with all the contents of the bowl. This will help prevent browning (oxidation) of the guacamole and drying.

Note: Guacamole will almost always brown slightly when stored for any period of time. This is due to oxidation of the avocado when it is exposed to air. The lemon juice in the recipe not only adds to the flavor, but also slows the oxidation. The color does not mean that the guacamole has gone bad but you do want to keep track of how many days it is stored. This recipe has an approximate refrigerated shelf life of about 6 days when stored properly with plastic wrap.


Italian Spice Dijon Turkey Burgers — Double Onion, Double Cheese

28 Nov

Burgers have adopted a new sort of connotation for Tre and I since we no longer eat the traditional meat-and-bun, handheld burger. It was strange a first ditching the bread, but it’s given me ample opportunity to spice up traditionally bland meat patties. Between ground beef, our new favorite, ground turkey, and an assortment of fillers and toppings, burgers have become much more interesting from a culinary standpoint and I am actually forced to “think outside the bun.”

Since burgers are no longer a finger-food, I enjoy making them a bit more gourmet — placing the meat over mashed potatoes or latke, topping them with guacamole or handmade sauces, and stuffing them chockfull of spices, cheeses, and veggies to make the patties themselves flavorful.

Alright, I’ll admit that this recipe was thrown together fairly quickly for dinner one night and was never really intended to hit the blog. But another rushed Monday night dinner (Mondays are when Tre and I both have class) turned into a culinary winner and I couldn’t deprive my readers of this recipe! These burgers have onion and cheese both worked into the ground turkey meat and piled on top at the end hence “double onion, double cheese.” With the addition of dijon mustard, crushed red pepper and white pepper, they also have a subtle heat that helps take the fall chill away.

I love all the colors when you mix the ingredients and shape into patties. Not a lot of people think to add extras to their ground meats when making burgers but I consider it essential!


Italian Spice Turkey Burger

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped (for burgers)
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, sliced (for topping)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dijon mustard
  • Grated mozzarella cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Cooking up the turkey burgers!



  1. Preheat oven broiler.
  2. In a small pan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add sliced topping onions and cook until soft but do not over cook. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine parmesan cheese, chopped onion, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, crushed red pepper, and ground turkey. Mix until ingredients are well combined. Portion into 4 equal sized clumps and form into patties either with a press or by hand. Season patties with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place the patties in the pan and cook on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side until cooked through.
  5. Place the patties on a lightly greased baking pan. Top each patty first with a spread of dijon mustard to taste then add mozzarella cheese, about 2-3 tablespoons per patty, and the softened sliced onions. Broil the patties under oven broiler for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Remove from the broiler and serve.


Getting ready to go under the broiler!

Turkey Versions of Traditional Beef Dishes: Turkey Burgers

11 Nov

This morning while getting ready for work, Tre and I were discussing the foods I’d prepared the night before, most of which were made almost entirely of ground turkey. Tre made the astute observation that while red meat may adhere to his diet restrictions, we should not necessarily be eating it every night of the week. The shift to turkey, which I’d purchased on a whim, was very welcome and my meals had no less esteem than the red meat entrees I’d made for him before.

I’m glad Tre drew this conclusion on his own — a sign that he’s growing. Our diet is not entirely about finding substitutes for old favorites or cooking without wheat, corn, rice, and soy. It’s about maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and enjoying foods that are not only delicious, but also good for us. In the first week or two of the new diet, we were enjoying everything from ground beef burgers to filet, mashed potatoes to fried latke, parmesan to brie: comfort foods I’ll admit, to help take Tre’s mind off pizza, but not something I ever intended to become regular. Although delicious, and at times luxurious, a diet like that is both expensive and certainly not as healthy as it could be.

With an excess of 2lbs of ground turkey, I was able to wring out three separate meals, the first of which was actually a substitute for one of my own recipes. Although I love beef burgers, it’s difficult to find budget-friendly ground beef that also boasts a low fat content. 95/5 lean to fat ground beef is exactly double to cost of 80/20 at my local market and because I have a slight sensitivity to beef, I’m alright with limiting it to one night a week. Feeling a lack of creativity, I decided to revisit an early favorite, my guacamole swiss burger over latke. However, this time I opted to give it a try with my ground turkey minus the latke.



Getting ready to combine the ground turkey with Tre’s breading.

Turkey Guacamole Swiss Burger

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup breading
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated or 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup guacamole*
  • 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and halved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*Guacamole was premade with 2 avocados, pitted and mashed with the juice of one large lemon, coarse sea salt to taste, pepper to taste, 1 small onion finely diced, and cajun seasoning (chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder). Store-bought guacamole or mixes will do as well.


  1. In a small pan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions and cook until they have softened and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix ground turkey with breading until combined. Divide mixture into four equal sized balls and shape into burger patties either with your hands or a patty press.
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Place your turkey burgers in the pan and cook both sides until meat is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer burgers to  baking dish and place cheese on each burger. Place the burgers under your oven broiler for about 2 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned slightly. Do not over broil. Remove the baking dish from the oven and transfer the burgers to plates.
  5. Assemble by adding caramelized onions, turkey bacon, and a dollop of guacamole to each burger.

This burger was enjoyed on its own with a side of baked sweet potato. While it had almost identical flavor characteristics to the beef version, the turkey burger was much leaner and much healthier without the addition of fried latke.