Totally Terrific Turkey Burgers

Courtsey of Chef and Author Marlene Koch of "Eat More of What You Love"

Totally Terrific Turkey Burgers


The problem with most turkey burgers is that they are either healthy, but don’t really taste good-or they’re tasty, but not really healthy (restaurant turkey burgers clock in at about 1,000 calories!). To cook up a totally terrific lean turkey burger every time is not hard, it just takes a few tricks. Trick number one: start with the right meat (see “Marlene Says” below). Trick number two: add egg and breadcrumbs to the meat for extra moistness. Trick number three: add seasonings to seal the deal for a turkey burger that puts a plain hamburger to shame! Here I share my basic turkey burger mix, but feel free to alter the seasonings to your own taste. Oregano will add an Italian flair; a touch of Worcestershire or Montreal steak seasoning, Steakhouse style; and a sprinkling of chili powder and cumin, Southwestern sass.


Makes 5 servings


1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1 green onion, finely minced

1 large egg white

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Lettuce leaves

Sliced tomatoes

5 white whole-grain hamburger buns (like Pepperidge Farm brand)


1. In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, breadcrumbs, green onion, egg white, garlic salt, and black pepper until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

2. Evenly separate the turkey mixture into 5 balls and flatten well to form burger patties.

3. Heat a grill or spray a non-stick grill pan with cooking spray and place over medium high heat. Add the patties to the pan and cook the turkey burgers about 4 minutes per each side or to 165ºF.  


Marlene Says: Ninety-three percent lean turkey breast offers the best blend of good health and great taste with 68% less fat than regular ground beef. Eighty-five percent lean ground turkey includes dark meat and a whopping 68% of its calories actually come from fat, while healthy 99% lean ground turkey is simply too lean to produce a moist burger. Jennie-O is the brand I use.


Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 Burger)

Calories 290 Carbohydrate 18g (Sugars 2g) Total Fat 10g (Sat Fat 2.5g)

Protein 29g Fiber 2g Cholesterol 90mg

Sodium 510mg

Food Exchanges: 4 Lean Meat, 1 Starch

Carbohydrate Choices: 1

Weight Watcher Point Comparison: 8


Recipes reprinted with permission from Eat More of What You Love © 2012 by Marlene Koch, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.



Farmer’s Market Potato Salad


This delicious farm-fresh potato salad will have your guests sitting up and taking notice. Roasting the potatoes rather than boiling them adds another layer of flavor that combines perfectly with crunchy celery and the tangy, slightly creamy mustard dressing. Corn, zucchini and basil add a fresh burst of summer. If you are a potato-mayo salad fan, look for my Red, White and Blue Potato Salad in Eat What You Love (page 188), or better yet, make them both for an extra special backyard celebration.


Makes 6 servings



1 1/2 pounds red potatoes cut into large (about 2-inch) chunks

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then cut in half

2 cups sliced red onion (about 1 small)

1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen/thawed

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped celery


2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

¾ teaspoon seasoned salt or more to taste

½ teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium bowl and toss. Pour potatoes onto the baking sheet in a single layer and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, stir the potatoes, and bake another 10 minutes.

3. While the potatoes are baking, place the zucchini and onions in the bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon oil. After 20 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven, stir, and push to one side of the pan. Add zucchini, onions and corn. Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

4. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place the cooked vegetables in a large bowl with tomatoes and celery. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate to let the flavors meld.


Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 cup)

Calories 160    Carbohydrate 26g (Sugars 4g)    Total Fat 6g (Sat Fat 0g)

Protein 3g    Fiber 3g    Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 310mg

Food Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 1 Fat

Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2   Weight Watcher Point Comparison: 5


Recipes reprinted with permission from Eat More of What You Love © 2012 by Marlene Koch, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.


Frosty Caramel Frappe


If you love the McCafe Caramel Frappe at McDonald’s you’re in for a treat. My taste testers and I found our take on this popular Frappe just as creamy, sweet, and addictive as the original. In fact, the only thing missing is 75% of the calories and 90% of the original sugar and fat. I’m loving it!


Makes 1 serving


1/2 cup low-fat milk

1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/4 cup light, no-sugar-added butter pecan ice cream

1 tablespoon sugar-free caramel syrup (like Smuckers)

2 teaspoons granulated no-calorie sweetener (or 1 packet)

1/2 cup crushed ice

Light whipped cream (optional)


1 Place all the ingredients, except the ice, in a blender. Blend to mix.

2 Add crushed ice and blend on high until the ice is completely incorporated. Top with a squirt of light whipped cream, if desired.


Dare to Compare: Not loving it - a medium Caramel Frappe with 550 calories, 24 grams of fat (15 of them saturated), and 71 grams of sugar, packs more saturated fat and calories than a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and more sugar than five Hot Apple Pies.


Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories 120 Carbohydrate 21g (Sugars 6g) Total Fat 2.5g (Sat Fat 1g)

Protein 4g Fiber 0g Cholesterol 5mg

Sodium 110mg

Food Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate, 1/2 Low-Fat milk

Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2

Weight Watcher Point Comparison: 3


Recipes reprinted with permission from Eat More of What You Love © 2012

by Marlene Koch, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.



Unbelievable Whoopie Pies


Oh my, whoopie pies! I must give credit where credit is due. Betsey, a kind reader who bakes for Meals on Wheels, shared with me how she converted my Unbelievable Chocolate Cake into whoopie pies for her clients. She was thrilled with her results and so was I -and now you will be, too. I have taken Betsey’s variation even one step further to offer you an enticing Red Velvet variation.


Makes 12 cookies


1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated no-calorie sweetener

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 1/4 cups cake flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (like Hershey’s European)

1 Recipe Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a baking sheet, parchment or silicone liner with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and egg for 1 minute until the mixture is frothy. Add the vanilla, brown sugar, and sweetener. Beat with a whisk for 2 more minutes until the mixture is thick and smooth. Whisk in buttermilk. Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the batter

3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter onto the cookie sheet for each cookie, rounding off edges, if necessary. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cookies should be soft.

4. Store cookies in an airtight container. To fill whoopie pies, make frosting according to directions. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of frosting on one half and top with another. Cookies are best eaten the day you bake them. To store when filled, wrap tightly and place in the fridge.



Basic Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting


Like a perfect white shirt, this frosting goes well with everything! When I was searching for a frosting base that was not too high in fat or sugar, I lucked out when I thought of using cream cheese. The result is a light, fluffy frosting graced with the great taste of cheesecake. This frosting stands tall all by itself and elevates everything it touches.


Makes 1 1/2 cups


1/2 cup tub-style reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup nonfat cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons granulated no-calorie sweetener (or 6 packets)

3/4 cup light whipped topping


1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheeses with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sweetener and beat for 1 minute longer.

2. On slow speed, beat in half of the whipped topping until fluffy and just combined. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the remaining whipped topping.


Marlene Says: To make a delicious Touch of Honey Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting, replace 1 tablespoon of sweetener with 2 teaspoons of honey and beat in 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.


For Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting, add 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract to cream cheese mixture.


Nutrition Information Per Serving (2 tablespoons)

Calories 20     Carbohydrate 1g (Sugars 1g)    Total Fat 1g (Sat Fat .5g)

Protein 1g    Fiber 0g    Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 40mg

Food Exchanges: 1/2 Fat

Carbohydrate Choices: 0

Weight Watcher Point Comparison: 1

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