Black Bean Turkey Burgers with Guacamole Spread and Grilled Tomatoes

I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of ground turkey. I think it’s a texture thing. But if I’m going to do ground turkey, it’s got to be a burger. With turkey burgers on the menu this week, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to spruce them up… but then it hit me today – add black beans and cilantro and top it with guacamole.  And then, as if that wasn’t crazy enough, add some grilled marinated tomatoes. Now we’re talking.

So if texture was my issue with ground turkey meat, the black beans totally fixed that – it was like the best of both worlds – a lot of the taste of the black beans (I love black beans!), but the turkey held it all together and it was still very meaty (I love meat!). It was the perfect the marriage. I added colby jack cheese, the guacamole spread and grilled tomatoes, and this was seriously one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. Seriously. (I know, I’m doing it again.)

And so here’s my new best friend, Mr. Black Bean Turkey burger. Hope we get to hang out again soon. 😉

Black Bean Turkey Burger


Black Bean Turkey Burger

1 lb ground turkey
1 14.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup green onions, diced (white parts too)
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lime
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
Colby Jack cheese (for topping)
Guacamole spread (for topping, recipe below)
Marinated Grilled Tomatoes (for topping, recipe below)
5 buns

1.) Mix the first 10 ingredients together and form into patties (I made 5 burgers).
2.) Grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side on a preheated grill over medium-high heat.
3.) Serve on a toasted bun topped with Colby Jack cheese, guacamole spread and grilled tomatoes.

Guacamole Spread
1 ripe avocado, diced and scooped out of shell
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped fine
2 tbsp sweet onion, chopped fine
Juice of half a lime
1/4 tsp salt

1.) Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir well, mashing the avocado against the side of the bowl with a spoon until a somewhat creamy texture is achieved.

Marinated Grilled Tomatoes
1 large tomato, sliced thick
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt

1.) Place all ingredients in a bowl and let the tomatoes sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
2.) Grill for about 3 minutes on each side.

Black Bean Turkey Burgers1

Black Bean Turkey Burgers2

Grilled Tomatoes

Guacamole Spread

Black Bean Turkey Burger3

Black Bean Turkey Burger4

Mexican Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice

Last night for dinner, I wanted to try something new with shrimp.  My go-to with shrimp is pasta or scampi, but I was wanting my weekly Mexican fix.  What to do, what to do…  So I decided on  shrimp with Mexican seasoning, sautéed with black beans, corn, salsa, lime juice and cilantro. I served it on top of copy-cat Chipotle cilantro lime rice. If I haven’t mentioned before, I LOVE Chipotle – one of my favorite places to eat. Good quality food, reasonable prices, and right across the street from my office makes it good and dangerous. But I digress.

This meal qualifies for the 30-minute designation, so it’s definitely weeknight worthy.  Since shrimp takes such a short time to defrost, I try to keep some in the freezer and it’s always good for a last minute dinner.  All three of my boys finished their plates with this one so it was a dinner success! Hope you enjoy!

Mexican shrimp 3

Mexican Shrimp with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb shrimp (make it easy – buy it peeled and deveined!)
1/4 tsp each – cumin, chili powder, paprika
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh salsa (I used Publix deli brand)
1 14.5-oz can black beans, drained
1 14.5-oz can corn, drained (or 2 ears fresh corn)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1.) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add shrimp to skillet and sprinkle, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper over it.
2.) Saute shrimp for about 5 minutes, or until shrimp is pink,  stirring well to incorporate all the spices.
3.) Add salsa, black beans, corn, lime juice and cilantro. Continue to cook until heated thoroughly. Remove from heat.

Mexican shrimp 1 Mexican shrimp 2

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 1/2 cup water
1 cup jasmine rice
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1.) Heat water, salt and olive oil until boiling. Add rice, reduce heat and cover. Cook over low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2.) Stir in lime zest, lime juice and cilantro.

Cilantro lime rice ingredients Cilantro lime rice

Mexican Lasagna

I was in the mood for Mexican today, and since I hadn’t made one in a while, I decided on Mexican lasagna.  This is not your typical Mexican lasagna – it’s full of black beans, corn and fresh salsa. This freshness works well with the taco sauce coated chicken and cheese so you’re left with a very balanced dish.  I slow cooked my chicken and shred it, but if you used a rotisserie chicken (Mojo flavor, maybe?) or made the chicken ahead of time, the rest of this dish is pretty simple and could certainly be week-night worthy.  I paired it with my Spanish Rice and it was the perfect compliment.  Since I slow cooked my chicken in stock and seasoning, I felt really smart because I saved it and was able to make the rice with it (I love when that sort of thing happens!). The recipe below ended up being enough for two casseroles, so I put the extra one in the freezer.  The second one was a little smaller than the one we ate tonight. All three of my boys loved this and I, especially, am really looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

10 Mexican lasagna

Mexican Lasagna
Recipe will make 2 casseroles – see below for pictures

3 chicken breasts, shredded (recipe below)
Salt and pepper
16 oz. taco sauce (I used Ortega)
2 14.5-oz. cans black beans, drained (not rinsed)
1 14.5-oz. can corn, drained (or 2 ears fresh corn)
16 oz. fresh salsa (I used Publix deli medium salsa)
4 oz. can of green chills, drained
9 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add about 8 ozs of taco sauce and mix until chicken is evenly coated. Set aside.
3.) In a bowl, combine black beans, corn, salsa and chilis. Set aside.
4.) Spray the casserole dish(es) with olive oil and then add the remaining taco sauce to the bottom of the dish(es). Cut tortillas in half (or quarters) so that they will fit along the bottom of the casserole(s).
5.) Layer the casserole as follows: tortillas, chicken, bean/corn/salsa, cheese. Repeat one more time, ending with more cheese than the first layer.
6.) Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the sides are bubbly.

3 Shredded chicken and taco sauce

2 Bean corn and salsa

4 Mexican lasagna step 1

5 Mexican lasagna step 2

6 Mexican lasagna step 3

7 Mexican lasagna step 4

8 Mexican lasagna

9 Mexican lasagna

Mexican lasagna 2nd meal
This was the second casserole.

How to store casseroles in the freezer
To prevent freezer burn, I always wrap my casseroles with plastic wrap first (making sure there is a perfect seal around the perimeter of the casserole dish) and then cover with aluminum foil. I then write what it is and when it was prepared, because I would totally forget if I didn’t.

Update **Simple Mexican Shredded Chicken**

Boil chicken breast and shred with a fork. Stir in 1 tbsp of Taco Seasoning per chicken breast.

Mexican Shredded Chicken

3 chicken breasts
4 ozs. taco sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1.) Place all ingredients in a dutch oven. Cover and place in a 250 degree oven. Cook for 3 to 4 hours.
2.) Remove chicken from broth and shred the chicken with a fork and knife.

1 Shredded chicken

Black Bean Hummus

Yesterday afternoon was spent working on baby shower prep – one of my favorite things to do! I was joined by two ladies who are co-hosting the shower with me, so of course, we had to have snacks.  Both of them are gluten-free, and one of them is a vegan, so some of my typical go-to’s were out.  I settled on black bean hummus with tortilla chips and either it was really good or we were really hungry because we ate just about the whole thing. This is an easy and tasty recipe that can be thrown together in less than 10 minutes.  Hope you enjoy!

Black bean hummus

Black Bean Hummus

1 14.5-oz can black beans, drained but liquid reserved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
Juice of 1/2 lime (plus more to taste)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1.) Using food processor (or blender), add all ingredients and blend until texture is smooth, about 1 minute.
2.) Add some of the reserved liquid from the black beans to achieve desired consistency, 1 tbsp at a time, and blend a few more seconds.  Add more lime juice, salt, pepper or spices to taste.
3.) Serve with tortilla chips.

Black bean hummus ingredients