Wednesday, July 28, 2010

burgers burgers burgers

One recipe per post is going to take me way too long to get caught up on blogging, so today I will showcase all the burgers I made over the long weekend (long as in, we had visitors for an extended weekend).  Four burgers, three days... ready, go!

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Mayonnaise: Lunch Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday for lunch, I made Scott and I Grilled Turkey Burgers with Garlicky Mayonnaise.  This was my first attempt at burgers, and I kind of made a mess.  I used too much egg and not enough oats, and ended up with a gloppy mess of burger that definitely would not hold together.  I also left out the onion, since I didn’t have one and he doesn’t like them.
Instead of putting the burgers straight on the grill, I had to put some foil down on the grill first.  Good thing I did, because one of them definitely fell completely apart.  Oops.  I also made way to much of the garlicky mayonnaise… so both Scott and I had it completely smothered on our burgers and buns.  Guess that doesn’t really promote him eating healthily… oh well.
Scott always toasts the buns on the grill – which is definitely the way to go.  Almost all bread in this earth is better just a little bit toasted, no?

Grilled Veggie Burgers: Dinner Friday, July 23, 2010
M showed up Thursday evening, and is a vegetarian who is currently also gluten-free.  I wanted to make her a few things this weekend, so I went in search of gluten-free veggie burgers.  I came up with gluten-free salmon burgers, and figured that was close enough.  I used my fresh and delicious green beans and snow peas that I picked earlier in the week and cut up some red bell pepper as well.  I had no mushrooms, so they got left out.  I had normal barbecue sauce, but not honey-mustard flavored, so I combined my normal babecue sauce with some mustard and honey for the glaze/marinade.
 Unfortunately, someone must have messed with the grill and turned the grill on before turning the gas on, or something, because it was just not heating up well at ALL for us.  After 15 or 20 minutes, the salmon burgers were still cold in the center.  So, we had to move our grilled packets onto stones next to the camp fire. 
It's hard to see, but on the right side you might be able to make out foil packets sitting on the rocks.  Yup, that's how my dinner was cooked.  Finally after what felt like an hour of cooking, they were warm enough to eat!  These turned out well, and I particularly enjoyed the flavoring of the barbecue sauce I had put together, although it didn’t have much honey flavor.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce: Lunch Saturday, July 24, 2010
On Saturday, I made Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce for lunch for Scott, a friend of ours (K), and myself.  So, remember that delicious grilled balsamic beef salad I made earlier in the week?  With cucumber?  I completely forgot that I needed cucumber to make yogurt sauce for this recipe, and as a result my yogurt sauce was just yogurt and red onion.  Except I didn’t have plain yogurt either, and I didn’t want to buy a huge tub of plain yogurt… so I substituted sour cream.  Why don’t they make 8 oz containers of plain yogurt?  Oh well.  
I think the sauce turned out just fine this way, and Scott ate it even with red onion bits in it.  He’ll eat veggies if it’s too difficult for him to pick them out, haha.  Otherwise, these turkey burgers turned out pretty well.  They weren’t as much of a gloppy mess as the ones I made Friday, but I still cooked them on top of foil to be safe.  They stayed together well, thanks to grill master Scott.  I should say at this point that while I did all of the food prep for all of the burgers I made this weekend, Scott was mostly in charge at the grill, making sure I didn’t over- or under-cook burgers and flipping them when necessary.
Anyway, I enjoyed the burgers as did Scott and K.  I must admit, though, I’m just generally not that big of a ground turkey fan.  I know it’s leaner/healthier than ground beef, but ground beef just tastes so much better.

Blue cheese burgers: Lunch Sunday, July 25, 2010
Sunday for lunch, K, Scott, and I had blue cheese burgers, with ground beef.  Hooray for ground beef!  Once again, I cooked these on the grill on top of foil, and thank goodness, because some of them fell apart.  I guess I am just not a burger master yet. 
I had to use ground red pepper instead of red pepper sauce and normal mustard instead of ground mustard, but I think it turned out ok.  In terms of taste, I thought these burgers were pretty good!  K agreed; Scott liked them but doesn’t particularly like blue cheese so that was a drawback for him.  Other than that, I have mostly just accepted that I have a lot more to learn in terms of consistency and getting burgers to hold together well.  At least they still turn out juicy and tasty:

So, there you have it  - 4 burgers in 3 days... yum!  Stay tuned for my pescatarian-friendly meals.

I also RAN today.  Yes, I was supposed to run yesterday, and I didn't feel like it.  So I went today.  I woke up at 8 but went back to sleep on the hammock until 10, so it was pretty warm by the time I actually went running.  I ran with the ipod, and I'm starting to think that I was completely wrong about running faster without music.  Sure - music can serve as a distraction from running, but it can also be a huge motivator and help me to push myself even more.  And push, today, I did!  Usually the first few minutes of my runs are a struggle - I'm feeling groggy, my muscles aren't warm, etc.  Not today!  I knew from the first step I took that I was going fast and feeling good.  To be fair, the path I was running starts on a slight downhill, which helps me to get going.  But when I got to the flatter section, my speedy pace continued!  I know about where the one mile mark is on the course.  When I got right around one mile or a bit past it, I glanced at my watch and was pleasantly surprised to see that it read 9:42!  That's super speedy for me.  I also realized around that moment that I was flipping exhausted and had the obnoxious hill coming up soon.  Luckily, one of my favorite K'Naan songs came on to get me to push through the hill, although I did seriously contemplate stopping to walk for a bit!  I made it up the hill and around the corner to where I think is about 1.4 miles and found out that even with the hill, I wasn't slowing down much - my average pace after the hill was 9:53!  I was definitely exhausted but forced myself to keep going, knowing I only had about 5-6 minutes left of running.  Unfortunately, a bit before I got to the point in the road where I would normally turn around I ran into construction that was completely blocking my path.  So, I had to turn around and cut my run short just a littleb bit... I ended up running 1.85 miles instead of 2.0.  My end pace was almost exactly 10 minute miles, which I'm super happy with.
I've only got one more run up here in the north before I have to head back to the terrible heat I've been hearing about.  I might try to switch it up and go a bit further to savor my last low-humidity run for the next month or two!
Looking back on this morning's run, I think that having gotten up and lounged around for a while might have helped me to run faster.  I ate breakfast and drank water, gave myself time to digest, and gave both my brain and my muscles time to wake up.  I have a feeling some (if not all) of those things helped me to go faster and feel better (at least for the first half of my run, the second half I was TIRED).  I'm still trying to figure out what the ideal time of day is to run, how much to eat before, how much time I should give myself to digest between eating and running, etc.  Any tips, thoughts, or suggestions would be much appreciated!

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