Monday, July 22, 2013

portobello black bean turkey burgers

Today Garrett and I leave for Morocco and Portugal, which not only means the next few weeks will be a great adventure, but that I'll return and summer will be over before I know it.  The next few posts will embrace as much summer as there is left to cling to, starting with a great alternative summer burger.

But first, let me mark a milestone for this blog.  As my loyal viewers know, the catalyst for blogging started when one of my best buds, Bree, got engaged last fall.  This weekend I celebrated her wedding day, which reminded me that love and friendships are so much more important that stolen debit cards and $200 parking tickets for expired Chicago city stickers (because that happened to me this weekend, as well).  The bride and groom looked absolutely stunning and incredibly fit, and I hope a few of the recipes on the blog helped them enjoy getting so hot for the beginning of their lives together.  I have to give a little shout-out to Joanna and Chris, another bride and groom whose wedding I was lucky to attend last night.  Both weddings were not only charming, classy, and sweet, but also full of delicious food!

So, if you stuffed yourself anywhere near the extent to which I did this weekend, then here's a good burger recipe that will make you feel good without missing out on any more summer fun.  Really, its all about doing whatever personal things you usually do with your burger, and replacing the bun with some juicy grilled portobello mushrooms.  Yeah, you'll probably need a fork and a knife, but hopefully its of a plastic variety at some backyard summer BBQ.

Ingredients: (makes 5 burgers):
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 10 portobello mushroom caps, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
Toppings (use whatever you'd like, this is what is featured in photos):
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Heat a grill pan (or a grill) over medium high heat.  Toss the portobello caps (and any grilled toppings, like onions) in 1 tbsp. of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Grill until desired grill marks are achieved on both sides.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the ground turkey, black beans, garlic, chives, spices, and seasonings.  Use your hands to crush about half of the black beans into the mixture.
When the mushrooms and onions are done, wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm and juicy.
Form the turkey mix into 5 patties, and grill on each side for about 5 minutes.
When the patties are ready, construct your burger with whatever toppings and accoutrements you prefer.  I found the grilled onion, sprouts, and avocado went will with a chili paste dipping sauce.


  1. THANK YOU, Jenessa, for writing this blog! It was essential for us. If left to our own devices we would have been making vodka sauce or ordering in nightly.

    As you know, Brad and I never like to cut back on tastiness, and we really didn't have to making all of your recipes. From October to now, I went from 116 to 109 and gained a lot of muscle. Brad was the big winner - losing a total of 26 pounds. We really could not have done it without you. We must have made your Italian Wedding soup alone at least 5 times (appropriate I think!)

    Thanks, too, to you and Garrett for being such a big part of our wedding! We had the time of our lives this past weekend.

  2. I made these tonight, and they turned out so well that I helped myself to a second one despite that I was already full from "round one".


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