Healthy Burger Recipes: Introducing Menu Mondays

Monday, October 1, 2012

This post is Part 1 of 8 in our Menu Mondays series
Cooking Demo: Burger Bar

Demonstration class topics vary—from pizza, Greek and Italian cuisines, to seafood, simple dishes and inexpensive creations.

A healthy diet is crucial during cancer treatment.

To help cancer patients and their family members learn new ways to get proper nutrition (that also tastes good), The Cvetko Patient Education and Support Center hosts cooking demonstrations twice a month open to anyone who can join in.

Cancer Center chefs and dietitians walk you through everything from food prep to cooking tips during the popular demos.

The best part?? You get to sample everything the chef makes.

If you’re lucky enough to have attended one of these culinary presentations, you know just how delicious these healthy dishes are. If not, you’re missing out…

But, wait!  Lucky for you, SammonsSays will be bringing you a weekly helping of these scrumptious recipes.

We’re calling the series “Menu Mondays.” And here’s your first serving….

Bring on the Burgers!

This recent demo explored burger creations that promise to satisfy cravings while keeping a rein on calories.  These new twists on an American classic include seafood, turkey, and vegetarian burgers. Try ‘em out yourself!

Turkey Burger Pitas with Tahini Sauce

Servings:  4   (serving size = 1 filled pita half)


  •  1/2 cup plain 2% Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash of salt
  •  ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas, cut in half
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 4 (¼-inch) tomato slices


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Combine onions, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt, onion powder, and turkey in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ½-inch-thick patty.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan, and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  4. Line each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf; add 1 patty, 1 tomato slice, and 2 tablespoons tahini sauce to each pita half.

Nutrition Facts:
302 calories, 1.9 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 3.9 g monounsaturated fat, 3.3 g polyunsaturated fat), 30.6 g protein, 21.1 g carbohydrate, 2.8 g fiber, 73 mg cholesterol, 2.7 mg iron, 599 mg sodium, 93 mg calcium

** Recipe from

Lentil-Barley Burgers with Fiery Fruit Salsa

Servings: 4  (serving size = 2 patties and ¼ cup salsa)


Lentil Burger

Try this Lentil Burger with Fresh Pineapple and Mango Salsa. It’s so tasty there’s no need for the bun (or the extra calories)!


  • ¼ cup finely chopped pineapple
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mango
  • ¼ cup finely chopped tomatillo
  • ¼ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 serrano chile, minced


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ cup cooked pearl barley
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided


  1. To prepare salsa, combine first 6 ingredients; cover and refrigerate.
  2. To prepare burgers, combine 1 ½ cups water and lentils in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain. Place half of lentils in a large bowl. Place remaining lentils in a food processor; process until smooth. Add processed lentils to whole lentils in bowl.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and carrot; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add onion mixture to lentils. Add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, barley, and next 5 ingredients (through egg); stir well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  4. Divide mixture into 8 portions, shaping each in 1/2-inch thick patty. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add four patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil and 4 patties. Serve with salsa.

Nutrition Facts:
315 calories, 12.8 g fat (1.2 g saturated fat, 6.8 g monounsaturated fat, 3.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 12.8 g protein. 39.2 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g fiber, 53 mg cholesterol, 3.9 mg iron, 539 mg sodium, 60 mg calcium

**Recipe from

Fresh Salmon-Cilantro Burger

Servings: 4  (serving size = 1 burger)

Ingredients:Pink Salmon Burger with Cilantro Lime Spread
Salmon Burger

  • ¼ cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-pound) salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns with sesame seeds, toasted
  • 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices English cucumbers
  • 4 leaf lettuce leaves

Spinach Salad with Asian-influenced dressing

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon chile paste
  • ½ of a 5 oz. package baby spinach
  • ½ cup yellow bell pepper strips
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl; cover and chill.
  2. Place salmon in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients (through ¼ teaspoon black pepper); pulse 4 times or until well blended. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a ¾-inch patty.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 2 minutes. Carefully turn patties over; cook 2 minutes or until done.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture over bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top each serving with 1 salmon patty, 3 cucumber slices, 1 lettuce leaf, and top half of bun.
  5. Spinach salad: Combine 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 teaspoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons water, and 1/4 teaspoon chile paste in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add half of 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach, 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper strips, and 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion to bowl; toss to coat.

Nutrition Facts: (burger only)
341 calories, 11.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 2.9 g monounsaturated fat, 4.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 31.6 g protein, 30.9 g carbohydrate, 1.8 g fiber, 66 mg cholesterol, 2.2 mg iron, 816 mg sodium, 67 mg calcium

**Recipe from

100 Calorie Burger Toppings

(**Nutrition facts & ideas courtesy of

Avocado Mango Tango
2 thin slices of avocado + 2 tablespoons mango salsa + 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Beefy Caprese
1 ounce fresh buffalo mozzarella + ½ teaspoon drizzle extra-virgin olive oil + 2 heirloom tomato slices + 6 basil leaves

Grecian Gourmet
1 tablespoon chopped red onion + 2 tablespoons crumbled feta + ¼ cup fresh spinach tossed with ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Zesty Pesto & Tomato
1 tablespoon pesto + 2 heirloom tomato slices + 1 tablespoon crumbled feta

The Poached Egger
1 large poached egg + 1 tablespoon fresh salsa + ¼ cup green leaf lettuce + 1 tablespoon queso fresco

The American Standard
2 teaspoons ketchup + 3 dill pickle chips + 1 thin slice sharp cheddar + green leaf lettuce + 1 heirloom tomato slice

Healthy Cooking Classes are held twice a month in the cooking demonstration kitchen of the Virginia R. Cvetko Patient Education and Resource Center, Suite 200 in the Baylor Sammons Cancer Center. (Demonstrations are FREE, but registration is required by calling 214.820.2608.)


This blog post was contributed by Jennifer McDowell, Senior Marketing/Public Relations Consultant, Baylor Health Care System.


Series NavigationGluten Free: Is this for Me?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,