Fire up the grill! These summer-friendly turkey burger are loaded with flavor…avocado, Dijon, basil, lemon and more. Wrapped in collard greens, these burgers are Whole 30-approved, paleo and gluten-free.
I said last week I like to eat with my hands. Well, the proof is in the
pudding burger as this is another finger-food recipe. I also said many, many moons ago that I would write my recipe-posts like any other post. Meaning, I wouldn’t talk solely about how “amazing” the food is. Just a personal preference, so if you’re here for the recipe, scroll down :)
I have very fond memories from when my family and I first moved to Florida 7.5 years ago, which, by the way, is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. We literally knew nothing about this place. Nothing about the culture, the city, the people, the weather. It honestly took me a good two years to fully adjust, but there was something that told me/us that Tampa would be a good change.
The other day at dinner I randomly said to my dad “do you remember how dumb we were when we first moved here? We used to go running at 4 or 5 p.m. In. the. summer.” During Florida summers, you run before or after the sun. Never with it.
While we’re on the topic of dumb moves, we also wore cotton t-shirts while running….and I was still wearing traditional Soffe shorts. *Cringe*
My parents didn’t want me running alone at 14 in a new area (damn safety precautions) so I worked around their schedules. Who knows why we didn’t just wake up early. But I came to love our little routine: my dad would come home from work early to change and then we’d set out for 3-5 miles, depending on the day. We stuck with the same two routes and, if we didn’t get caught in an afternoon thunderstorm and need my mom to pick us up, we ended at a water fountain near our house to cool off.
Back home, my mom would be grilling a summer meal: steaks, burgers, grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, salad, watermelon, etc. (Not all that food, unfortunately, just that type of cuisine). In fact, I remember finishing runs and telling myself “just a few more steps until you smell the grill.” We’d shower and then eat dinner as a family, often outside because we were seriously crazy. I’m sure this was not an everyday occurrence, because, looking back it seems too good to be true. But this routine is how I generalize that first summer…family time, hot runs, good meals on the grill.
We eventually learned our lessons and transitioned to early-morning runners, and my dad a primarily treadmill-runner (boo). Yet I’m grateful we had that first summer to laugh in thunderstorms, complain about 4 o’clock heat and eat 8 oz steaks immediately post-run, which I probably couldn’t do now. A perfectly imperfect summer, but one I’ll always remember.
And now for these turkey burgers.
I wanted to convey that summer-scent I love so much, so I decided to take it upon myself to grill this MDW. Turkey burgers are a family favorite because, frankly, no one complains about eating them for dinner. The non-gluten eaters (my mom and me) can use collard greens as buns and the gluten eaters can use regular buns. Double bonus that everyone likes sweet potato fries! The entire recipe (minus the buns if you choose) is Whole-30 approved, and therefore paleo and gluten-free.
I’ve made this recipe three times for the family and finally decided to photograph them last weekend. It’s not rocket-science obviously, but I think the combination of these flavors makes for a delicious and nutritious meal. One last thing to add: I actually grilled these myself. Typically, I make the burgers and my mom grills them outside (not fun in the heat). But HELL YEAH I grilled these babies myself (with her over my shoulder). Felt kind of badass, if I do say so myself.
If you don’t have a grill, you can use a pan/grill-pan, but the cooking times will vary.
- 2 lbs of ground turkey
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of chopped celery
- 1/4 cup of sliced almonds**
- 1/4 cup of chopped basil
- 2 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- Collard greens
- 2 medium white sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp of olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Wash and chop sweet potatoes.
- Coat with olive oil and salt and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure to spread them out evenly, using two baking sheets if necessary.
- Bake for 25 minutes, flip, and put back in for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat grill, or grill pan of choice to high.
- Add carrots, celery, almonds, avocado and basil to food processor. Chop/pulse until mixture is fully blended.
- Add that mixture to the ground turkey.
- Add lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper.
- Mix with hands to combine.
- Form patties and coat with olive oil
- Cook on grill for about 4 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.***
- Remove from grill, add toppings of choice (I used avocado and mustard) and wrap in collard greens.
- Serve with fries.
- *The sweet potato fries take longer, so if you plan on making them, I suggest putting them in the oven before making burgers.
- **Or regular almonds, but make sure they go through the food processor enough to fully blend.
- ***Cooking times will vary.
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