2013 South Beach Diet Burger Bash Recipe

Middle Eastern Turkey Burger (Phase 2)

HANDS-ON TIME (for the burger alone): 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME (for the burger alone): 20 minutes
HANDS-ON TIME (for the burger, raita, and slaw): 55 minutes
TOTAL TIME for the burger, raita, and slaw: 65 minutes

Makes 4 servings

This delicious and healthy turkey burger, a meal in itself, was our South Beach Diet offering at the SOBE Wine and Food Festival’s Burger Bash on February 22. It was created for us by Marcos Oliviera and Malcolm Prude, two talented chefs studying under Chef Roger Probst at Florida International University. The cumin- and coriander-scented burger is flavored with feta cheese and fresh cilantro, and topped with a creamy cucumber and yogurt raita and a spicy jícama slaw. The burgers can be shaped ahead and individually frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to cook them, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The raita and slaw recipes make enough for the four burgers plus an accompaniment for your lunch or dinner the next day. If you’re on Phase 1, skip the naan and eliminate the carrots from the slaw. If you plan to grill the burgers, freeze them individually and don't defrost before cooking.

These burgers may either be grilled or broiled. If you plan to grill them, freeze the burgers individually overnight and don't defrost them before cooking. If you prefer to broil the burgers, there's no need to freeze them first. However, they may be individually frozen for up to three months. Before broiling, defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator.

3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Cucumber Raita (see recipe below)
2 cups Spicy Jícama Slaw (see recipe below)
2 whole-wheat naan, halved crosswise (optional)


In a large bowl, combine the feta, cilantro, and olive oil. Stir until well blended. Add the turkey, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape into 4 patties, each about 3 1/2 inches x 3/4 inch thick.
Preheat the broiler with the rack 4-inches from the heat source. Broil the patties for about 4 minutes on one side, or until lightly browned on top. Flip the patties and broil for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until lightly browned and the burger is just cooked through and still juicy.
Alternatively, position the grill rack about 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the grill on high. Grill the burgers for about 3 minutes, flip over, and cook another 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. The burgers should be lightly browned on the outside, and cooked through but still juicy on the inside.
Transfer the burgers to 4 plates. Place each burger in a naan half, if using, then top with 1/4 cup of the Cucumber Raita and 1/2 cup of the Spicy Jícama Slaw. Or enjoy without the bread.
Nutritional information:
Per serving (with raita and slaw):
318 calories
12 g fat (4 g sat)
10 g carbohydrate
42 g protein
4 g fiber
445 mg sodium
Cucumber Raita (Phase 1)
HANDS-ON TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes


Makes 8 (1/4-cup) servings


A little bit of coarse kosher salt tossed with the cucumber and onion draws the excess moisture out so the finished raita doesn’t get watery. Use this cooling relish to top burgers, grilled or broiled chicken, or baked sweet potatoes (on Phase 2). Once made, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a day.

4 kirby cucumbers, peeled in stripes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 cup nonfat (0%) plain Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

In a colander set over a medium bowl, toss together the cucumber, onion, and salt. Let stand 1 hour. Rinse the mixture under cold water then squeeze with your hands to get rid of the excess water.

Dry the bowl, add the yogurt and dill, and stir well. Add the cucumber-onion mixture, stirring until combined.

Nutritional information
Per serving:
33 calories
0 g fat (0 g sat)
5 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
1 g fiber
49 mg sodium

Spicy Jícama Slaw (Phase 2)
HANDS-ON TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes


Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

This snappy slaw gets its heat from fresh ginger and a little bit of garlic, and from some minced chile pepper, if you like. You can make the slaw the day before needed, but be sure to drain off some, but not all, of the excess liquid that leaches out when the vegetables sit.

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
4 cups shredded napa cabbage
1 medium jícama (8 ounces), peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into thin matchsticks (2 cups)
1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 small green bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, and cut into thin matchsticks
1 tablespoon minced serrano or jalapeño pepper, or more to taste (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, and sesame oil. Add the cabbage, jícama, carrot, red and green bell peppers, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper (if using). Toss well to combine.

Nutritional information
Per serving:
47 calories
2 g fat (0.5 g sat)
7 g carbohydrate
1 g protein
3 g fiber
20 mg sodium

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