Sometimes you just want a burger when you know you shouldn't have one. The craving is something that happens to many people, and in most cases, you'll justify succumbing to the urge to indulge.
"I deserve it!"
"I've eaten healthy all day!"
"If I put lettuce on it, it's like a salad, right?"
But, my friends, I have a solution that's delicious and much healthier than a beef burger: salmon burgers! These are pretty simple to make, and while they don't have the same juiciness as beef, they pack a lot of flavor, and go really well with a wide variety of sauces and toppings. For this meal, I made salmon burgers in pita pockets with avocado, lettuce, and tomato with sundried tomato pesto and kale chips.
The keys to this meal are moisture and dryness. For the burgers, you want to make sure you keep them moist. Salmon can dry out if it's cooked too long, so you want to make sure you mix the meat with an egg and some bread crumbs and then cook it to a nice medium rare. For the kale chips, you want to make sure they dry out fully. Kale has an awesome crispy texture when you cook it right, and the chips make for a great substitute for chips or fries. To go on the burgers, my fiancée bought this Italian sundried tomato pesto from Fairway market. If you want to make your own, you can use for favorite recipe or go here to see a few I've made.
1lb salmon filet, skin removed
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 green onion stalks, the white part and some of the green chopped
1/2 avocado sliced
1 tomato, sliced
Pesto of your choice
1 head of kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
- Use a food processor to chop up to salmon. Make sure not to chop it up too much. You want it to be chunky.
- Mix in the cilantro, green onion, garlic, egg, panko, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands
- Form patties and put in the fridge for 10 minutes to set
- Pre-heat the oven to 350
- Cut the kale leaves from the stems
- Wash the kale and dry thoroughly
- Massage the kale with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread out on a metal baking sheet
- Bake the kale for about 8 minutes and then flip. Keep an eye on the kale in the oven, you want the leaves to be just starting to brown around the edges and be crisp to the touch. They burn quickly, so make sure not to overcook them.
- Take the kale out and try not to eat all of it before your burgers are done.
- Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron pan on medium high
- Cook the burgers for about 5-6 minutes a side
- Slice the avocado and tomato
- Wrap the pitas in aluminum foil and put in the oven for 5 minutes
- Stuff your pita with pesto, the veggies and the burgers, and enjoy with the chips!