Mediterranean Turkey Burger in a Pita

Maria Steinhauer

Mediterranean Turkey Burger in a Pita

I absolutely love Mediterranean food. I love the couscous, hummus, pita bread, olives & olive oil, etc... I also love chicken and turkey more than red meat. Such lean white meats, like the turkey in this recipe, have great benefits for your colon because of their selenium content. Studies show that higher levels of this mineral are associated with a decreased risk for colorectal cancer. Turkey also gives you lots of protein and it’s low in fat. November is a month where you eat a lot of turkey, and since I already made my “Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers” recipe for summertime grilling, this time I made turkey burgers with a Mediterranean flair-- with black olives, feta cheese & spices.

Pita bread is a staple with Mediterranean cuisine, so I place my turkey burger in a whole wheat pita. Whole grains are one of the best sources of fiber, which is necessary to keep your bowels moving and working as they should. The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet-- and the one which I identify with the most-- so I was happy to include a variety of vegetables in this recipe. Tomatoes + red onions + cucumbers + lettuce = yum! Colorful vegetables such as these are important for colon health and provide other nutrients, like magnesium, which can cut your risk of colon cancer.

Tzatziki sauce is a well-known sauce used for Greek dishes, so I make my own using vanilla Greek yogurt (for a little sweetness & a unique flavor). Greek yogurt is wonderful because it has probiotics to promote good digestive health. Besides a vanilla flavor, this tzatziki sauce also contains dill, lemon and garlic which really seem to top off this tasty turkey burger, like a cherry completes an ice cream sundae.

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1lb raw ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp feta cheese
  • 3 tbsp black olives, chopped
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ⅛ tsp onion salt
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of lettuce, shredded
  • ¼ cup red onions, diced
  • ¼ cup tomato, diced
  • 2 whole wheat pita bread, cut in half & opened

Tzatziki sauce

  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp English cucumber, diced
  • ½ tsp dill
  • ¾ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Start by making the sauce. Combine the Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper in a blender and blend for a few seconds, until creamy. Spoon sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Place raw ground turkey in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the feta cheese, black olives, basil, onion salt, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
  3. With clean hands, form turkey mixture into 4 patties and pat each down so they are about a half-inch thick. Using your thumb, make a small divot in the center of each turkey patty. (This prevents the patties from inflating too much while cooking.)
  4. Place a large pan on the stove, and thoroughly spray the inside with cooking oil. (I used coconut oil spray).
  5. Place patties into the pan, evenly spread out, and cook on medium heat, covered, for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Flip the burgers and cook covered for another 5 to 6 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the center of each burger. (Once it reaches 165 degrees F, it’s done).
  7. Cut each burger in half and then place inside a pita pocket, with lettuce shreds, diced tomato and onions. (Optional: Add extra diced cucumbers and feta cheese). Then, use a spoon to drizzle tzatziki sauce across the opening of the pita.



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