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Nutritionally Speaking

Ground Turkey Will Keep Your Fourth of July Cookout From Fizzling

June 29, 1989|TONI TIPTON

With the help of ground turkey, reduced-calorie cheeses and herbs and spices, holiday hosts can offer Fourth of July cookout guests customized hamburgers while keeping a watchful eye on fat.

Made with ground beef, turkey or a mixture of both, these burgers can be preshaped, arranged in single layers on a tray and frozen. Pack them in a cooler for a day of grilling at the beach or the park or for easy entertaining by the pool.

To reduce the meal's calories, try serving a variety of grilled vegetables instead of oil-laden salads alongside the burgers. Onions, corn, eggplant, leeks, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and green onions can be cooked on the barbecue.

Spray the grill with non-stick vegetable coating and cook the veggies over medium-heat coals for three to 30 minutes, depending upon texture and thickness of vegetables (three to five minutes for tomatoes and green onions; 10 to 15 minutes for eggplant and leeks, and 15 to 20 minutes for sweet potato slices and corn). Squash, green peppers, mushrooms and potatoes also cook well on the grill.

One pound of meat will yield four 3-ounce (after cooking) servings. This amount is consistent with the American Heart Assn. and its "Eating Plan for Healthy Americans," which suggests a limit of no more than 6 ounces of meat, seafood or poultry per day.

Serve each patty open-faced on a whole-wheat hamburger bun half with plenty of lettuce and tomatoes and save about 50 calories.

Keep in mind that a typical 3-ounce serving of cooked ground beef contains about 245 calories and 18 grams of fat--and almost half of the fat is saturated, the type associated with increased heart disease. The same size serving of ground turkey weighs in with about 195 calories and little more than 11 grams of fat, three of which are saturated.

BARBECUE CHICKEN BURGERS

2 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken

1 cup oats

1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Lettuce

Tomato slices

6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted

Lightly coat rack of broiler pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Combine chicken, oats, 1/2 cup yogurt, onion, egg whites, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Mix well. Shape to form 6 patties.

Place patties on broiler pan over medium-hot coals with grill 4 to 5 inches from heat. Cook 5 minutes, turn and continue broiling 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Combine remaining yogurt, mustard and remaining chili powder and mix well. Top each burger with 1 tablespoon sauce. Garnish with lettuce and tomato and serve on buns. Makes 6 servings.

CRUNCHY BURGERS

3/4 cup boiling water

1/4 cup bulgur

1/3 cup whole natural almonds

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crumbled

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted

Lettuce

Tomato slices

Sliced red onions

Pour water over bulgur and let stand until cool.

Place almonds in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Cool, then coarsely chop.

Drain bulgur well. Combine with almonds, beef, green onions, garlic salt and basil. Mix well. Shape into 4 patties. Grill to desired doneness. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. Makes 4 servings.

FRENCH BURGERS

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey

2 ounces Brie or Camembert cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Shape beef into 12 (1/2-inch thick) oval patties, patting thin.

Cut cheese into 6 slices and place cheese on center of half of patties. Top with remaining plain patties, pressing edges together to seal.

Combine onion powder, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle each side of burger with about 1/2 teaspoon spice mixture and pat firmly into meat. Or mix seasoning into beef before forming patties.

Place patties on grill over hot coals. Cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium. Makes 6 servings.

TEX-MEX BURGERS

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey

2 ounces reduced calorie Cheddar cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Shape beef into 12 (1/2-inch) oval patties, patting thin.

Cut cheese into 6 slices, then place cheese over half of patties. Top with remaining plain patties, pressing edges together to seal.

Combine onion powder, chili powder, salt, garlic powder and cumin. Sprinkle each side of burger with about 1/2 teaspoon spice mixture and pat firmly into meat. Or mix seasoning into beef before forming into patties.

Place patties on grill over hot coals and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium. Makes 6 servings.

ROMANIAN BURGERS

1 pound ground beef or turkey

1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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