Sunday, July 13, 2008

Turkey-Falafel Burgers and a Blog Award!

I posted this recipe for Quick & Easy Shaorma back when I first started this blog. These fast and easy patties made from your favorite ground meat (I usually use ground turkey) and packaged falafel mix have really become a staple for me. My friend Natalie came up with the idea/recipe guidelines and now I make them ALL the time; if not every week, at least every other week. I eat them hot on top of cous cous, stuck in a pita as a sandwich, cold on top of a salad and I even occasionally eat one as breakfast in my car on the way to work. I just love the combo of the spices and the crunchy texture from the chick peas in the falafel mix when you pan fry them.

Nothing says summer like a burger, and I found the patties make a wonderful, Middle Eastern spiced turkey burger, when you want something different and a little more exotic. I made a quick and simple Lemon-Yogurt-Tahini Sauce to go with them.

Turkey-Falafel Burgers

1/2 box (about 5 ounces) Falafel Mix (I like the Cashbah brand). Save the other 1/2 of the falafel spice for another time
1 lb ground turkey or ground turkey breast
1 small onion, diced finely
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dried mint
olive or canola oil for frying patties

Following package instructions, combine 1/2 of package falafel mix with 1/2 the water on package directions and let mixture sit for about 15 minutes to set and form a paste. Meanwhile finely dice onion and crush garlic gloves. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except oil and mix together well so everything is combined. (I find much like meatloaf, using your hands to mix is easier and more effective). Form patties out of the mixture. Heat a large pan over medium heat. When hot, add oil and cook patties until browned on both sides and cooked within. Usually 4-5 minutes per side--dependent on size of patty. (These stay together pretty well so you could probably grill them with no problem if you prefer).

Lemon-Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp dried mint
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together well. If sauce seems too thick you can thin it down by adding a bit of water until you reach the desired consistency.

Putting together the burgers:

I used a small whole grain bun, toasted. You can use any roll or hamburger bun or even a pita. I garnished mine with the Lemon-Yogurt-Tahini Sauce as well as lettuce, cucumber slices and red onion. If you don't have tahini paste on hand or are not a fan, hummus or tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce) would work equally well.

A easy and delicious way to shake up your burger routine!


A Blog Award!

"Kahakai Kitchen makes you wish you could move to Hawaii, then move in with Deb and beg her to make you all her good food. Although she's so nice, you probably wouldn't even have to beg."

I was so excited to be given the above Blog Award yesterday from Prudy at Prudence Pennywise. It is my first Blog award and the fact that it comes from such a wonderful and gifted blogger makes it all the better. Prudy's blog and recipes are terrific and I appreciate how she always reaches out to others with such positive comments and feedback. (She's welcome to move in with me anytime--as long as she does some of the cooking too!)

The easy part and the hard part is going to be passing it on to 5 others. Easy because there are so many great blogs out there and hard because there are so many great blogs out there! Although I have just been blogging a few months, I have been reading them for a few years now and there are just so many wonderful bloggers doing interesting and incredible things out there. My 5 awards are going to the following fabulous blogs, all with delicious recipes and pictures that inspire me. The idea is that they will post the award and pass it on to 5 more fabulous and deserving blogs.

Our Adventures in Japan: Having spent some time in Japan myself, I love this Blog about Kat (transplanted local girl from Hawaii) and her husband, Satoshi's adventures living in the Osaka area of Japan. Great recipes, incredible pictures and great writing--this is one of my very favorite Blogs to stop by and check out.
The Barefoot Kitchen Witch: Jayne's blog is a treat, with lots of wonderful recipes, truly excellent photography and entertaining stories. I have to laugh at some of the things that come out of her kids' mouths--they are smart and amazing too!
Ezra Poundcake: Rebecca is a baking and cooking machine and I want to have everything she makes. (Notice I didn't say I want to make it--I am too lazy and she's too good! But I can at least live vicariously through her mouthwatering photos)
Smells Like Home: Tara created the Barefoot Bloggers--need I say any more? OK, I will anyway--this is a wonderful blog full of delicious recipes and living life in Connecticut--which always sounds ever so delightful to me!
Living In The Kitchen With Puppies: Natashya is also a fairly new blogger like me and has the two most adorable dogs; Merlin and Bella (and an incredible pond and home for toads her husband built!). She is a total foodie and I enjoy her delicious recipes and the wonderful pictures on her blog.
Tough to choose out of so many but all 5 of these blogs bring me much entertainment and inspiration. If you are not familiar with them, check them out. Thanks again to Prudy for the award! I will post it proudly!


  1. Oh my! Thank you for the blog award :) What a nice surprise!

  2. Wow! My first blog award! I am so excited, I just finished making hubby run in here and read all the nice things that you said about me. Thank you so much for your kind generosity of spirit.

  3. awww thanks so much Deb!!! you rock! :)

  4. Oh, I've got falafel mix in my cupboard. I'd make some now but we're leaving on vacation, but watch out when I get back. Thanks for your kind words! I read three out of the five blogs that you passed on the award too, so I'm off to read the other two.

  5. The burger looks delish. I have ground turkey in the fridge right now, so I may have to try it.

    I just noticed that you had just read Garden Spells. Did you love it? I found it charming.

  6. Congratulations on your award! Those burgers sound so incredibly interesting! We've been trying out lots of different kinds of burgers since we moved here and I'm excited to have another one to try now! Thanks!

  7. Kat, Natashya and Tara, it is well desrved all of you--I love your blogs!

    Prudy--Have a great time! Thanks again for the Award! I am sure you will enjoy the other two Blogs as well--they are great!

    Webbie--the burger was tasty. I did really enjoy Garden Spells--such a nice story--made me want to start an herb garden too!

    Michelle--Thanks! I hope you enjoy the burger--it is different but really good.

  8. Oh my gosh!!! Fabulous!!! I'm so excited for you!! Haven't been on for a little while, but you make me want to quite work and just be a worldly blogger!! Hope to see you soon :-)

  9. Isla--I want to quit work and do that too! How do we arrange that?
    Loved the pictures of your Mom's place on your site. She must be so excited to get it done!

  10. Those burgers look so yummy! Congrats on the blog award:-)

  11. We'd like to invite you to participate in our July berry recipe contest. All competitors will be placed on our blogroll, and the winner will receive a fun prize! Please email me,, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details. (Click on my name in the message header link to visit our blog. :)

  12. Shreya, Thanks! I checked out your site and can't wait to try some of the recipes.

    Sophie, Thanks! I'll check it out. Got to go back to thinking berries!

  13. This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.



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