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Turkey burgers among many tempting make-ahead meals


When people ask me for weight loss tips or how to stay healthy while living such a busy life, I always recommend two things: Cook your own food and be prepared.

You don’t have to do it every night, but when you take a few hours to get in the kitchen with a game plan in mind, you can truly accomplish a lot. Take three hours a week, and you can get a soup and chili on the stove, and while that simmers away, prep a few salads, marinate some chicken you can grill later in the week and prepare a healthy chicken or turkey burger like the recipe below.  

I like to prepare the patties in advance, wrap them individually and then toss them in the freezer. As needed, pull them out 24 hours in advance or, if you make the patties thin enough, you can grill them in their frozen state.


Turkey Burgers

Makes 4-6 servings

2 lbs. ground turkey, white meat

1 small-medium yellow onion, grated (about ½ cup)

2 cups cilantro leaves, rinsed, dried and chopped (1/2 cup chopped)

2 cups parsley leaves, rinsed, dried and chopped (1/2 cup chopped)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 extra large egg

½ cup dry, seasoned breadcrumbs

1 ½ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ tsp. Aleppo pepper

¼ tsp. turmeric powder

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1 pinch ground cinnamon

Canola Oil, for brushing

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Form eight to 10 patties that are one inch thick. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours before grilling.

Heat a large, non-stick pan or stovetop grill over medium-high heat. Brush lightly with oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, season the patties with a little salt and grill for five minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for five minutes on the second side, covering the pan for the last 90 seconds of cooking.  Rest one to two minutes. Serve with a side of salad greens lightly dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cook’s note: This is a great make-ahead recipe. To freeze, wrap the burgers individually in plastic wrap and defrost as needed in the refrigerator 24 hours in advance. I like to serve these flavorful burgers without the buns and garnish, if desired, with garlic yogurt sauce, tahini or a salsa verde of finely chopped cilantro, jalapeno, lemon juice and salt.