Kickoff the Summer with Burgers

canada day dinner

canada day dinner

Aloha friends!

Canada Day weekend is the unofficial kick off to summer for Canadians, and it's hard to think about summer without thinking about summer grilling, particularly burgers. So let's get to it! We've got three types of burgers (meat, plant-based, fish) that are all quick + easy to make, because let's be real, we know you'd rather be chilling on the patio enjoying your food and drink instead of spending too much time prepping food. 

Beef + Lamb Burgers

If you want a bit of a twist on the traditional beef burger, you can change up the flavour by adding ground lamb to the mix. A friend of ours made these for us recently, and trust us when we say this is game changing. Our favourite topping for these burgers is homemade guacamole. All you need to do is mash together avocados, grape tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. 

Ingredients:

  • ~3 lb ground lean beef
  • ~1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large onion 
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt + pepper
  • Pinch of cloves, pinch of all spice

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions in a pan with a bit of olive oil and cook slowly until the onions turn a rich brown.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. 
  3. Form into 8 patties and grill.
  4. Garnish as you wish!

Serves: 8 people

Sweet Potato Falafel Burgers

We got together on July 1st to celebrate Canada 150 and we walked around downtown Toronto to take in all the festivities. Before heading out to see fireworks in the evening, we retreated back to Kathryn's apartment to throw together a quick meal. We decided to make a plant-based burger instead of a traditional meat burger. For the sides we kept it light and made a green veggie salad and a watermelon + feta salad. This was the first time we had made these burgers and the flavouring was just perfect! The best part? Grilled pineapple sprinkled with cinnamon and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (~2 potatoes)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp BBQ sauce (you can use any sauce, or combination of sauces, you'd like)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender (~20-30 minutes). Time saver tip: Using a fork, prick the sweet potatoes and cook on high for 8-10 minutes in the microwave. Once cooled, peel off the skin and mash the potatoes.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together mashed potatoes, chickpeas, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg, sauce, lemon juice, cumin, salt.
  3. Form patties into ~16 balls and press to flatten slightly to resemble a patty shape.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-to-high heat. In small batches, add balls and cook until lightly browned. Cooking tip: Lower the heat if needed to prevent burning. Once browned, transfer to baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees until warmed through (~8-10 minutes). Confession: We thought we would try to see if it was even possible to grill these burgers. BIG FAIL. We suggest sticking with frying + baking, but even with the grill fail, these plant-based burgers packed a lot of taste!
  5. Garnish burger buns with toppings of your choice and we suggest adding two patties to your bun (if you make the patties small). Note: We added a small splash of mango jerk sauce on top of the burgers that gave a nice little kick to the meal.

Serves: 8 people

Recipe adapted from Canadian Living: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quick-and-easy/recipe/sweet-potato-falafel-burgers

Salmon Burgers

In the event that you are pressed for time, but also want to change things up a bit, why not try a salmon burger? The directions in this case are simple. Pick up salmon from your local grocery store and grill, bake or pan-fry (based on preference) the fish. Garnish burger buns as you wish and add the salmon. As a suggestion, try making a mango salsa as a garnish. All you need are the following ingredients: mango, grape tomato, cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime.

Time saver tip: Cook extra salmon and bake a large batch of sweet potato fries and you can have dinner two nights in a row.

Salmon burger

Salmon burger

We hope you enjoy these recipes. Get outside and start grilling!

xo Michelle & Kathryn

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