Thursday, September 19, 2013

How NOT to Make Turkey Burgers

As Ted and I were cleansing during our family reunion in Bend, we thought we would try to lure some of our family members over to the Light Side (the Cleanse). So we offered to cook them Turkey Spinach Burgers from the Conscious Cleanse book, a recipe that sounded like only a gentle departure from their usual dinner fare. My family enthusiastically agreed, so on Saturday night we cooked.

I tripled the recipe since several family members said they would eat 2 burgers. Ted and I went to Whole Foods and bought 3 lbs of organic ground turkey, spinach, red onion, ginger, and sesame seeds - our main ingredients. 

This made many more than the predicted 12 burgers. We ended up with about 18 burgers for the 7 of us. Oh, did I mention that I forgot to measure out the spinach and red onion? We were so distracted by the piteously dull knives at the rental house that we ended up mixing in two whole bunches of spinach and a whole red onion, which I think was about 2x too much. We also had to pulverize the ginger in the Magic Bullet blender since the knife went limp at the mere thought of having to cut through something so fibrous. 

Aside from the fact that the burgers didn't really hold together, they still looked and smelled pretty good.

Sadly, they were not that good. As my brother said, biting into his turkey burger sandwich, "It's pretty good, actually... until you get to the turkey burger."

The texture was not what you would expect from a burger. My mom described it as akin to the texture of liver. It was oddly silky smooth. Perhaps it was due to the messed up ratio of ground turkey to chopped spinach and pulverized ginger.

Dinner got real quiet as everyone contemplatively chewed their liverized turkey. I went ahead and admitted out loud that this was not what most of our healthy recipes tasted like! (Please don't abandon the prospect of trying out the cleanse!)

Everyone started spouting off ideas of how to improve the burgers: 
  • Reduce the amount of ginger, or maybe if it were actually minced with a sharp knife rather than destroyed in a blender it wouldn't alter the texture of the burger.
  • Maybe we should leave the veggies out, make plain turkey burgers, and serve them on a bed of spinach and red onion.
  • Maybe adding in some spices like cumin or cayenne would take them up a notch.
  • Perhaps there just wasn't enough salt. 

As we tried to think of a way to save these unfortunate burgers, my aunt reached out across the table, and this happened:

That's my aunt picking up the glass, not intentionally spilling the contents. We would never waste wine that way!

It was like a sign from God. Of course!!

We all had a belly laugh over this one.

Moral of the story is, there was no way to save these turkey burgers (even the wine didn't improve the taste). And after trying to choke down the leftovers the next day, Ted and I eventually dumped them. We just couldn't.

Looking back, this might have been the beginning of the end for us... end of the cleanse, of course.

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