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Kitchen MacGyver: Turkey Sliders

I recently interviewed Devin Alexander, host of FitTV’s “Healthy Decadence with Devin Alexander” and bestselling author of the “Biggest Loser” cookbook series. I asked her how she might remake the classic burger to make it healthier and more figure friendly and, of course, she’d already done it for one of her amazing cookbooks. She shared not only the recipe with me (look for it in the upcoming June issue of Competitor), but also her swap philosophy—replacing higher-fat, higher-calorie ingredients with lighter ones. An overweight food lover as a child, Devin trimmed down by eating the foods she craved, but slimmer self-created versions of her favorite dishes.

Thinking about Devin’s focus on texture, mouthfeel, aroma and, of course, taste, I conducted a taste test of grilled lean beef and white meat turkey sliders. I preferred the mini turkey burgers by a landslide.

Turkey Sliders  

1 package (about 1 1/2 pounds) 98 percent lean ground turkey, preferably hormone-free

1/4 cup light sour cream

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks green onions, minced (white and green parts)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat grill.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey and all ingredients and mix together with clean hands. Form mixture into 2 1/2- 3oz disks (roughly 1/8-inch thick) and put on a plate. The mixture will be sticky and creamy—this is what you want.

Note: You can form the sliders ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, or even the night before. Just make sure to take them out of the refrigerator and set them on the counter so they come up to room temperature before you grill them (about 10-15 minutes).

Grill sliders for about 3 minutes on each side, or until a nice char has developed on the outsides and the meat is white on the inside. In the last minute of grilling, you can add half a slice of low-fat cheddar, colby jack or cheese of your choice.

Serving ideas: You can find tiny hamburger buns in most grocery stores these days, but if you can’t find them, serve these on small dinner roles (whole-wheat rolls are always a good choice, but Hawaiian sweet bread dinner rolls are tasty, too). Split buns or rolls in half and toast on grill for a minute. Serve with grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes and ketchup or barbecue sauce. An incredibly light, lower-carb option: Wrap the sliders in bib or romaine lettuce leaves.

Sabrina Grotewold is a senior editor for Competitor. Christened the Kitchen MacGyver by her husband, she’s determined to persuade people to eat their veggies.