Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burgers and Zucchini Chips

Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burger and Zucchini Chips, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Mouthwatering Mediterranean Burger and Zucchini Chips, Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

 

Tzatziki. Mint. Feta. (Swoon.)  Tonight’s meal was a fantastic last-minute concoction.  It was “burger night” in the AFT household and as I was driving home from work the beau called me to ask if I would pretty please stop by the grocery store and buy him some cheddar cheese.  Apparently, all we had in the fridge was goat cheese, mozzarella, and feta.  That last one caught my attention.  Feta? Oh yeah… I could go for some feta on my burger. Or… IN my burger. With… onion… aaaaand… mint? Yes, mint. Oh man, this is getting exciting.  I happily dreamed up my burger as I made my way to the grocery store.  A dollop of tzatziki, a spoonful of diced cucumber and tomato, and a “schmear” of some Sriracha greek yogurt should finish things off nicely.

And every good burger needs a worthy sidekick. Last night I made sweet potato oven fries, so fries were out of the question.  I mentally sorted through a few healthy side dish options and decided on zucchini “chips”.  Faux fried dishes are a dieter’s best friend, let me tell you.  All the “yum” and none of the guilt? Sign. Me. Up.  (With last night’s sweet potato fries I made faux fried chicken tenders!)

Ingredients

For the burger:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (90% lean, 10% fat)
  • 1 Tbsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse ground garlic powder (feel free to tweak this amount to suit your taste)
  • 1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

For the tzatziki sauce, combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c. plain 2% greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. seeded and diced cucumber

For the Sriracha greek yogurt, combine the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c. plain 2% greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

For the tomato and diced cucumber “salad” topping, combine the following ingredient in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 c. diced cucumber
  • 1/2 c. diced tomato

For the zucchini chips:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

Directions

After you prep the tzatziki and Sriracha greek yogurt sauces, you’ll want to start your zucchini chips.  They need to bake for about 20 minutes which is all the time you’ll need to prep and cook your burgers.

For the zucchini chips:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prep your breading station.  To do this, first crack 2 eggs into a bowl and scramble with a fork.  Then pour 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs onto a paper plate.  Line a baking pan with a wire rack and coat the wire rack with cooking spray to prevent the zucchini from sticking.
  2. Cut the ends off the zucchini.  Using a mandolin, or cutting them by hand, slice the zucchini into thin, round “chips”.
  3. Dip the zucchini rounds into the egg and then coat them with panko breadcrumbs and place them on the wire rack.  Be sure to spread the zucchini out evenly, as you don’t want them on top of each other when they’re cooking or they won’t crispy nicely.
  4. Lightly spray the tops of the zucchini chips with non-stick cooking spray, which will help the panko to brown in the oven. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

For the burger:

  1. Combine all burger ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Form into patties, depending on how big or small you like your burgers. You can make (2) 1/2 lb. burgers or (4) 1/4 lb. burgers.
  2. Heat a saute pan on high heat.  This will give your burgers a nice sear when you first place them in the pan.  Once you add your burgers to the pan, immediately reduce the head to medium.  Cook to the desired level of doneness. I’m a medium-rare kinda girl, myself, so I cooked my burgers for about 2-3 minutes on each side and then set them aside on my cutting board to rest for a few minutes.  When you allow your meat to sit and rest after cooking (as opposed to immediately cutting right into it) you help keep the delicious juices in your meat.  Also, as the meat sits and rest it will continue to cook just a bit more courtesy of residual heat.

Now, build your burger! Toast your bun if you’d like (I like.).  Spoon a dollop of tzatziki sauce on top of the burger and about 1 Tbsp. or so of the tomato and cucumber salad on top of the tzatziki.  Spread some of the Sriracha greek yogurt on the top bun and top off your masterpiece of a burger.  Ta da! Sink your teeth in and appreciate the feta, mint, and onion mixed into the burger.  Savor the cucumber-garlic-lemony tang of the tzatziki and the cool burn of the Sriracha greek yogurt.  Is this what heaven tastes like?  Probably.

Greek Chicken with Tomato, Zucchini, and Artichokes

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that I’ve been on a Mediterranean kick lately.  I love all the salty flavors in this dish: kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese.  It’s light, it’s fresh, and it’s a quick meal to throw together any night of the week.  Health perk: it’s just chicken and veggies!  No rice, pasta, or potatoes, so it’s calorie-friendly. There’s not even any butter in the dish – it’s all flavor and no guilt!  Here’s how to make it:

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Artichokes. Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Greek Chicken with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Artichokes. Photo Credit: Accounting for Taste

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 zucchini (medium to large)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 cups of grape tomatoes (roughly)
  • 1/2 c. kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • 8 – 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 4-5 Tbsp. olive oil (divided)
  • salt and pepper
  • Feta cheese (to garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  While the oven preheats, drizzle 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  2. Chop the zucchini as desired, really.  I cut mine into about 3-inch long sticks but you can just as easily cut the zucchini any way you prefer to eat it. Add the zucchini to the 9×13 pan.
  3. Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives to the 9×13 pan as well.
  4. Nestle the chicken thighs into the 9×13 pan, amongst the veggies.  Season everything with some salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil on top of the chicken and veggies in the pan.  Sprinkle the chopped mint leaves on top of everything.
  6. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the entire mixture in the pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes.  Plate each serving and sprinkle with feta to garnish. Serve immediately.
My chopped zucchini (if you're interested.)

My chopped zucchini (if you’re interested.)

All of the ingredients, nice and nestled in the pan.

All of the ingredients, nice and nestled in the pan.

All of the ingredients, nice and nestled in the pan.

The finished product!

 

The finished product. Enjoy!

Enjoy!