Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resolutionary Road: A 'Healthy' Juicy Lucy Alternative

As I mentioned in my New Years post, one of my resolutions is to try to cook at least one meal a week. I know that doesn't sound like much of a challenge to the average person, but for me, it is. Since I live alone, I am always preparing meals for one person. And if I don't feel like cooking, I am the one who has to live with it. So I usually choose a can of soup over pulling out a cookbook... which I have a plethora of! You know those little Better Homes & Gardens or seasonal/themed little magazine-type cookbooks you find in the check-out aisle? I am a sucker for those. I bet I have like 15. And I don't think I've ever cooked a single thing out of one!!

Along with cooking more, I need to eat healthy. Abby's wedding is 7 months away from tomorrow. It will most likely be the my time as a bridesmaid (8th time around!), and I need to go out in style!! I am hoping to go from looking like this:

To looking like I did 2 years ago. Pre-grad school & post-marathon... but without running another marathon. I just don't have the time to train!

So all my recipes will be low-fat, low-calorie, and healthy...
So I made my first meal a week ago Sunday. It was a 'healthy' version of a Juicy Lucy. Does every large city have a place that serves these burgers, or is this a Minneapolis/St. Paul thing? I don't know. But for those who don't live here, it's a burger filled with a cheese of your choice, and is one of the most scrumptious foods, but is TERRIBLE for you. Oh, and they are dangerous to eat, as your first bite can result in an explosion of cheddar, across the table. Here is what they look like, courtesy of Google Images. You should see some of the results of googling "Juicy Lucy." Good thing I'm not doing this on my work computer!

I'll put the recipe down below, but basically, this 'healthy' version of the JL is made with ground turkey meat filled with reduced-fat Feta cheese. Unfortunately, the Feta doesn't melt like Cheddar or Swiss would, so you don't get that 'oozing' cheese flavor that you would with the healthy version... but it's still pretty good.

So you form 8 patties out of the 1 lb of Turkey meat, then sandwich 2 tablespoons of Feta between 2 patties, forming 4 Turkey Feta Burgers (or Mediterranean Turkey Burgers, as the Weight Watcher cookbook calls them!).

I have some issues with touching raw, ground meat, so making these patties really pushed me outside of my comfort zone! And I now know I have to make them WAY flatter so that I can fit an entire 2 T of Feta. I could only fit about 1 T on my burgers.

After that you fry them in some Olive Oil like so.

And voila! The finished product! Instead of eating them in a bun, you put them in a Whole Wheat pita, add baby greens, and roasted red peppers.

I'm not going to lie & say they are better than JL's. It's just not possible. But they are a much more healthy alternative. And they were actually good a 2nd time around when I reheated them.

Here's the recipe if you feeling like getting healthy along with me!

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers:

  • 1 lb ground skinless turkey breast
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Large whole wheat Pitas
  • Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, drained
  • Mixed baby salad greens

- Mix together the turkey, oregano, and black pepper in a large bowl. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 8 thin patties.

- Place 2 tablespoons of feat in the middle of each of 4 patties. Top with remaining patties and pinch the edges to enclose the cheese and to seal the patties.

- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until 160 degree F for well done (about 5 min/side).

- Place each burger in a pita half, top with roasted red peppers and salad greens.

** Next time around, I would add more of the spices and maybe something with a little more kick, like crushed red peppers...

1 comment:

qwerkyqook said...

mmmm lisa looks delicious! I'm so proud of TOUCHED raw meat :) I might need to make this recipe soon, thanks for posting.