Fireworks. Check. Margaritas. Check. Smokey Pepita Burger. Check!
Is 4th of July Complete Without a Burger?
Probably not. But it doesn’t have to be loaded with bad fats, empty carbs, and wreck your holiday. Have that celebratory drink. Enjoy that burger. Healthy alternatives can taste just as awesome – even better in my book.
Why? Because we’re forced to think it through. No phoning it in… “Yeah, ground short rib, we need you to do all the work to make our burgers taste good. We know you clog arteries, cause weight gain and all, but we can’t be bothered to season our food. That’s hard!”
If we can’t rely on beef, butter, and cheese for flavor, we have to balance flavors and create ways to satisfy ourselves without them.
No worries. We have good fats, like seeds and avocados, fruits, veggies, and delicious lean meats that soak up seasoning like a sponge. The trick? Season them!
Pepitas for Grain-free Gluten-free Burgers
- Pepitas as Binder: This recipe uses the pepitas in the burger as a binder, keeping the burger gluten-free and grain-free. A great option in general to stay away from breadcrumbs/empty carbs in the burger meat, especially if you opt to splurge on any kind of bun.
- Pepitas as Crunch: The salsa recipe highlights the pepitas as a crunch for texture. Great contrast against the creamy texture of the avocado pineapple spread and the burger.
- Let your meat sit with the seasoning. The longer you let your meat sit with the seasoning, the more flavor it will have. Just like marinading. You can mix these babies ahead of time – even the day before. Remember: meat does not season itself.
- No squashing your patties. A Bobby Flay tip, be gentle when forming your patties. You don’t want to aggressively squash them. Give them some room to breathe.
- Temp your meat. Get an InstaRead Thermometer. No one has to prove psychic abilities. You’ll be a superstar every time you cook meat perfectly.
- Leave the roll behind. This burger has so much flavor with the salsa and avocado spread, with some grilled veggies, you’ll be golden. Maybe have the carbs in a drink instead?
- Portion your meat on a scale. This isn’t a weight watchers thing. If my burgers are the same size they should cook evenly. In general, keeping your protein portions to the same size, makes cooking them to the same temp much easier. This assumes that your heat is distributed equally.
Sriracha Lime Turkey Burger Recipe
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Sugar-free, Wheat-free, Soy-free, Nut-free
- 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or bison
- ½ of a large shallot (or 1 small shallot)
- ½ - 1 tsp sriracha
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- 3 TBS lime juice
- 4 TBS pepitas
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- Put shallot, sriracha, cumin, paprika, lime juice, and pepitas in base of a hand blender or small food processor. Blend until only fine bits remain and all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Sprinkle salt on ground meat. Add mixture from blender. Mix ingredients into your meat.
- Form 4 burgers approximately 4 ounces each. The longer you let the meat sit with the seasoning before cooking, the more flavor it will have.
- Cook until golden brown to 165 degrees, about 8-10 minutes.
- Top with Avocado Pineapple Dip and Cucumber Tomato Pepita Relish
How to Make Tomato Pepita Salsa Recipe
- ½ cup tomato, seeded and diced
- ½ cup of a cucumber, diced
- 2 TBS pepitas (raw, unseasoned)
- 2 TBS lime juice
- sea salt to taste
- Clean and seed tomatoes by removing the pulp.
- Cut into ½" dice.
- Wash and cut cucumber into ½" dice.
- Mix together in a small bowl.
- Add pepitas, lime juice, and sea salt.
- Toss and taste. Adjust seasoing as necessary.
Make the Avocado Pineapple Sauce and Spread it on Like Mayo…
- I medium ripe avocado
- ⅓ cup chopped, ripe pineapple
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- ⅓ cup cilantro, packed, unchopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Slice avocado in half and scoop out the insides (of both halves) into food processor.
- Add pineapple, lemon juice, cilantro, and sea salt.
- Blend until all ingredients are smooth and creamy.
- Scrape down sides to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.