Category Archives: Meats

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Makes 4 Patties

Submitted by Alecia Patrick (from

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit:

Turkey Burger with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (photo credit:

Our friend Alecia was kind enough to share some recipes with us before she left.  This recipe for turkey burgers is great because the dried tomatoes will add some rich flavor.  And both the tomatoes and feta will also add moisture (as long as the burgers aren’t overcooked).  A rich garlic aioli would be a good balance as a sauce but it would add LOTS of fat and calories.  But a plain, Greek yogurt, blended with some chopped, roasted garlic would be a much better choice.


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (if using 99% lean turkey breasts, recommend using sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons diced chives or green onions


Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and make into 4 patties. Recommend outdoor grilling or using a George Foreman type grill. Top burgers with your favorite condiments.

Note: Patties can be made ahead of time and frozen.

Serving Size: 1 burger patty & 1 whole wheat bun

Calories: 185 |  Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fats: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 56 mg | Sodium: 134 mg | Total Carbohydrates: 12 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 5 g | Protein: 18 g



It’s Cinco De Mayo! Celebrate with Margarita Chicken!


Margarita Chicken with Mango and Avocado Salsa

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgiving plate

My Thanksgiving dinner plate circa 2012. Clockwise from the top: light mac and cheese, green beans with bacon, homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing with turkey sausage, chunks of turkey and ham, and candied yams.

Thanksgiving is a week away.  If you have not completed your menu, here are some recipes to consider.  Also, if you want to “lighten up” some of your favorite recipes, check out some of the suggestions below.


  • Use whole wheat or multi-grain bread cubes
  • Use low sodium chicken broth
  • Substitute pork sausage with turkey sausage
  • Add diced apples for moisture and flavor
  • Saute diced onions, celery, garlic, cumin and sage to add flavor

Sweet Potatoes

  • Cut back on sugar or use brown sugar
  • Omit the marshmallows
  • Add pecans or walnuts

Green Bean Casserole

  • The traditional green bean casserole is coated in cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onion rings, both of which are high in sodium and fat.  Instead, saute green beans in olive oil and about a tablespoon or two of bacon fat with herbs.  Top with crumbled bacon.

Mashed Potatoes

  • Substitute low fat milk or buttermilk for whole milk.  Or use half low-sodium chicken broth and half low fat milk.
  • Substitute half cauliflower and half potatoes.

Cranberry Sauce

  • Instead of using canned sauces, make your own.  Here’s the recipe I make at Thanksgiving.  Any leftover sauce is used to make cranberry mustard for sandwiches.
  • Make cranberry relish by chopping whole cranberries, oranges, apples and 1/2 cup sugar in your food processor.


  • Drain fat from turkey drippings or simply use butter to create the roux for your gravy.


  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Low fat pumpkin cheesecake (see below)



Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Brown Sugar Sauce

brussel sprouts

Apple – Bacon Brussel Sprouts

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

From RecipeGirl and Cooking Light

Low-fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

Beef Casserole

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Rose Krebs.  She recently tried it because it’s relatively quick and easy.


  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, cubed
  • 3 ½ cups tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup uncooked rice, preferably brown
  • 1 ½ cups water

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain fat.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
  5. Serve.

8 servings

Nutritional Analysis:

  • Calories: 201
  • Total fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 16mg
  • Sodium: 164mg
  • Total fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbs: 31g
  • Potassium: 449 mg


  • If you don’t want to use beef, substitute ground turkey or chicken, reducing the grams of fat.
  • For more color, add some chopped yellow and red peppers
  • Feel free to add other herbs or spices
  • The original recipe uses white rice.  Brown rice would be healthier and add more fiber.
  • Also, if you want to add more flavor, use stock instead of the water.  But be careful with the sodium content.  Trader Joe’s has cooking stock with a very low sodium content.

Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna

Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna (adapted by Carlton)

photo credit: Food Network

photo credit: Food Network

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack, low-fat
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – twice around the pan. Add chicken/turkey and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.

Coat a shallow baking dish with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil. Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve.

Notes about this recipe:

  • If you bake this in a 9 X 13 inch pan, you should get about 12 servings.  If you use a smaller pan, the lasagna will yield less servings.
  • The original recipe used spinach flavored flour tortillas.  Although they may add a little flavor and color, they are also higher in fat and sodium.  Using whole wheat reduces both.
  • I usually add a jar of fresh salsa to the top of the casserole for added moisture.  Or I’ll serve it on the side.
  • To further reduce the sodium content, cook your own beans instead of using canned.

Benefits from this recipe:

  • Low in sodium and fat and good source of protein.
  • Easy and quick to assemble.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories               275.9

Total Fat               7.7 g

Saturated Fat     2.6 g

      Polyunsaturated Fat       0.4 g

      Monounsaturated Fat   1.5 g

Cholesterol         48.3 mg

Sodium                 396.2 mg

Potassium           219.2 mg

Total Carbohydrate         24.0 g

Dietary Fiber      4.6 g

             Sugars   1.9 g

Protein                 28.0 g

Vitamin A            13.7 %

Vitamin B-12      1.9 %

Vitamin B-6         5.4 %

Vitamin C             9.8 %

Vitamin D            0.0 %

Vitamin E             1.6 %

Calcium                16.8 %

Copper                 4.0 %

Folate                   9.9 %

Iron                        15.4 %

Magnesium        6.7 %

Manganese        8.6 %

Niacin                    3.2 %

Pantothenic Acid              2.6 %

Phosphorus        16.2 %

Riboflavin            5.8 %

Selenium             5.6 %

Thiamin                6.2 %

Zinc                        5.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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