1 protein – 1 vegetable – 1 starch
Last fall I skipped a favorite activity that I had been enjoying with my daughter for the previous three or four years–pickling. Every fall, we hop in the car with friends and drive down to Pueblo for their green chili-harvesting season, and it is amazing. The air everywhere smells like roasting chilies, and not only do we buy chilies, but we skip from one farmer’s market to the next and load up on all kinds of fun produce. One year it was pickling cucumbers, and holy cow did I have fun experimenting with pickle recipes. I tried a garlic dill, spicy garlic dill (using those delectable green chilies, of course) and a completely addictive sweet and hot variety (my personal favorite). I was hooked, and it was a scenario we repeated every year.
Except last year. Now, I still went to Pueblo and stocked up on chilies and amazing produce, but I skipped pickling the cukes. I just didn’t want to sabotage my successful weight loss with all that salt and sugar. But now that I’m at a healthy, maintainable weight, I am seriously craving pickles!
Enter this week’s recipe. This is a great summer slider topped with super simple and super quick refrigerator-style pickles made with everyday English cucumbers (the ones in the shrink wrap). I wanted to do something different than the basic dill variety, and since I’ve been more creative with my rice vinegar lately, I thought “what the heck?” As it turns out, I liked these little cukes so much that I pulled out my pickling equipment and made a huge batch for the fridge the next day (with an added pinch of red pepper flake for heat). They are not a traditional cucumber by any means, but they really pack a punch (go easy on the red pepper – haha). I think it was meant to be because when I went back to the grocery store that day, they had English cucumbers priced at 10 for $10. Helllooooooooo cucumbers!
And hello, pickles.
- 1/3 C. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Splenda® brown sugar blend
- 6 paper-thin slices of fresh ginger, removed with a vegetable peeler
- 1 seedless (English) cucumber
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 10 oz. lean ground turkey
- 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 packet of Splenda®
- 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- 2 on-plan hamburger buns
In large zip-top bag, mix vinegar and Splenda brown sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add ginger slices. Slice cucumber crosswise into 1/8 inch thick rounds and add to vinegar mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat. Refrigerate for 4-24 hours, turning bag periodically to keep cucumber coated.
Preheat grill pan to medium-high.
In a large bowl, combine garlic, ground turkey, cilantro, basil, mint, lime juice, Splenda and Tabasco. Combine well and form into two patties. Season with Morton® Lite Salt and pepper on both sides (optional). Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Place burger patties on buns and top with a heaping stack of cucumbers. If they all don’t fit, serve extras on the side.
Spread a small amount of light mayo on the top bun, if desired (if you do this, add the appropriate amount of fat to your plan servings total). Serve with grilled or oven-roasted asparagus sprinkled with a pinch of toasted sesame seed.
Makes 2 servings