Open-Faced Turkey Bruschetta Burgers cut out the calories

03/11/2014 1:00 PM

05/20/2014 7:28 PM

Editor’s note: This column was originally published in 2011. Maybe you’ve already heard of some of the most common food misconceptions: eggs are sky-high in cholesterol, pork is fatty, frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh, and arugula is only for the hoity-toity social elite. Sometimes we get something stuck in our head and it’s hard to shake. That’s why health-based food magazines like Eating Well and Cooking Light have monthly features designed to dispel common dietary misconceptions. A common one: Ground turkey is naturally leaner than ground beef. Seems obvious, right? Not so fast. The problem, diet experts say, is that ground turkey can mean lean white breast or a mixture of breast, fattier dark meat and skin. So it’s important to look for a label that specifies lean ground turkey breast. Meanwhile, there’s more than one way to nip and tuck your next turkey burger. The Star’s Open- Faced Turkey Bruschetta Burger starts with a slider portion of lean ground turkey breast. Sliders are smart because they offer automatic portion control. Go one better by making the burger part of an open-faced sandwich on one half of a split whole-wheat English muffin. Add low-fat mozzarella and tomatoes and you have a tasty morsel that works for an appetizer or a meal. By the way, eggs are high in cholesterol, but in most people very little enters the bloodstream; pork ribs may be fatty, but lean cuts like tenderloin aren’t; frozen vegetables are sometimes fresher than fresh that have traveled long distances and lost nutrients in the process; and arugula has humble origins as a Mediterranean weed. •  Shopping tip: Look for lean ground turkey on the label.

Open-Faced Turkey Bruschetta Burgers

Makes 6 servings

1 slice whole-wheat bread, crusts trimmed

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste

2 medium, ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

Salt, to taste

3 tablespoons shredded low-fat mozzarella

3 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted

Tear bread into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Pour milk over bread, stir to coat well and allow to stand 10 minutes, stirring and mashing bread frequently until the mixture is almost smooth. Add ground turkey, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Mix lightly until thoroughly combined. Shape into

6 patties.

Meanwhile, mix together tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes for flavors to blend.

Preheat grill to medium high or allow coals to burn down. Lightly oil grill grate or spray with nonstick spray. Grill patties about 5 to 6 minutes per side or until lightly browned and internal temperatures registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons shredded mozzarella cheese and allow to melt.

Place one patty, cheese side up, on an English muffin half. Spoon tomato mixture generously over the top of each patty.

Per serving (1 turkey burger patty, one-half English muffin and about 1/3 cup tomato mixture per serving): 235 calories (29 percent from fat), 8 grams total fat (6 grams saturated), 57 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 318 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.

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