Tag Archives: burgers

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!

A New Kind of Burger -or- Making Things Better Than the Original to Nix Nostalgia

26 Oct

In all honesty, I never thought I’d find myself writing a food blog. I don’t consider myself the type with such a fine-tuned palate that I could be overtly critical of restaurants, New York Times style. With such an ineptitude in this department, I never imagined flaunting my opinion of other people’s cooking around the internet and settled instead on providing the rare, pithy review on Yelp. On the home front, I’m not particularly inventive in the kitchen to the point where I’d put up my own recipes, at least not before this point in my newly WCRS-free life. Most of my shots-in-the-dark have either failed miserably or been so simplistic that they would not register as any sort of culinary achievement. That’s not to say I’m not daring with my cooking. I’ve gotten soufflés to rise, I’ve perfected the art of rare-cooked steak, I’ve successfully “candied” without a thermometer. But in terms of my own invention I struggle with ingredient proportion, I rarely deviate from the “noble meats”, chicken and beef, and I end up pitching more that I am able to enjoy. However, I find myself increasingly altering recipes now to the point where I can no longer call them someone else’s. It’s sort of a point of pride for me, and in the case of tonight’s burger, born of necessity.

I’ll preface this by saying that I fully intended to put up my altered “Apricot Glazed Chicken” recipe, a newfound crock pot concoction which was sure to be foolproof. Needless to say, I’m the 1 in 10 that screwed up a crock pot recipe, a blunder that found me with a dish full of what pavers typically use to seal driveways. On a Monday night after class I was left with nothing for dinner and only a few ingredient with which to come up with something.

With burgers being one of the foods Tre attested to missing the most, I decided that tonight would be the night to throw together my attempt at a burger recipe. I always encourage Tre to think of the positives and not dwell on what he can’t have. But for his top few things that he cannot live without — burgers being one — I decided to take his mind off it all together and create a substitute that would be surely better than the original, enough so to kick nostalgia to the curb. It would of course have to be bun-less, but what is so interesting about a burger on a plate? Harkening back to a Jewish open-mic night at a local coffee shop and a song “Bubby bring the kanish cart around” I decided to give latke a try as a bun-substitute. In addition to the latke bun, I dug into the pantry for some other fun burger toppers and decided to use some leftover swiss cheese (cheese being a new diet staple for Tre), a vidalia onion that had sprouted, and some guacamole that I’d made the night before for snacking. The results were impressive, and by far the highest-rated dish, according to Tre, since consciously cooking WCRS-free.

Latke (adapted from Potato Latke recipe)

  • 2 cups peeled, shredded potatoes
  • 1 tbsp minced onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp garbanzo bean flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil for frying
  • Directions

    1. Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
    2. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
    3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels.

    Guacamole Swiss Burger

  • 4 ground beef patties
  • 1 vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated swiss cheese (or 1 slice per patty, sliced swiss cheese)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup guacamole*
  • 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and halved
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Directions

    1. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on low in a small pan. Add sliced vidalia onions and cook on low heat stirring occasionally until onions are soft and caramelized. Remove from heat.
    2. While onions are cooking, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to another pan and heat on medium heat and preheat your oven broiler. Season beef patties with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste on both sides. Place beef patties in the pan and pan sear both sides, about 1 minute on each side.
    3. Transfer patties to baking dish and place under broiler. Broil times will vary but about 2 minutes for medium, 3-4 minutes for well done. Remove from oven and add 1/8 cup grated swiss cheese (or sliced cheese) to each patty. Return to oven under broiler for no more than 1 minute. Remove from oven and begin burger assembly.

    *Guacamole was premade with 2 avocados, pitted and mashed with the juice of one large lemon, coarse sea salt to taste, pepper to taste, and cajun seasoning. Store-bought guacamole or mixes will do as well.

    Open Face Latke Burger

    To assemble, I put down a fresh latke and placed the beef patty on top after removing it from under the broiler. I then topped it with the halved bacon slices, sauteed onions, and a scoop of guacamole.

    Despite not having a bun, condiments, and typical fries on the side (roasted carrot pictured, recipe coming soon) Tre declared that this was one of the best meals he’d had ever. The trick to this meal was really in the timing: I prepared the latke mixture first and then put it aside. I started the onions while seasoning and pan searing the beef patties. I fried the latke after putting the beef patties under the broiler. All in all I’m quite proud of the results and will be returning to this one again very soon.