Phase One, Day 3 – Spicy Turkey Burgers

With summer quickly approaching I decided it was time to take the “Fat” out of “My Big Fat Italian Life.” It’s not that I’m fat, because I’m not, but I want to start feeling better about myself and overall, healthier. I joined a gym again and decided to start the South Beach Diet. I started almost two weeks ago and by the first Friday I was still doing OK, but for a girl who eats a lot of carbs (and I mean a lot), this has been a shock to my system. My dad even asked me if I was going through withdraw symptoms because I am a carb addict. During Phase one on the South Beach diet you also have to cut out all alcohol and fruit from your diet. The fruit I can handle. The alcohol has been a challenge as being social in Chicago pretty much requires drinking. So, in response I have holed myself up in my apartment and plan to do so until I complete phase one.

I was worried that I would get bored with the food I was allowed to eat in phase one, but after making these Spicy Turkey Burgers, my attitude changed. I decided this was actually going to be fun and something I could incorporate into my blog! I altered the original recipe a bit, as I didn’t have all of the ingredients, and they were still delicious! I even froze a few and had them for dinner a few days later.

Phase One Spicy Turkey Burgers

South Beach Diet Phase One Spicy Turkey Burger


1 tbsp cumin
1 dash pepper
1 dash salt
3 tbsps olive oil
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup chunky salsa
3 tsps hot sauce

Mix ground turkey (lean if available), 1/2 cup mild or medium chunky salsa,  3 tablespoons oil, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Shape turkey mixture into four 3 1/2 to 4″ diameter patties on wax paper. Heat cooking spray in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add burgers; cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Do not move around burgers until they have browned or they will fall apart. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan and sauté burgers for 2 minutes. Cover and sauté until burgers are cooked through  – another 2 minutes.

The picture of the turkey burger may not look that delicious, but trust me, it was. I was so glad I came across this recipe and not just because it helped to get me through the first week without carbs. It was delicious. I can’t wait to make these again and I will even recommend that my family and friends make these even while they are not on the South Beach diet! They were that good. I can’t even imagine how they would have tasted with cheese, ketchup and a bun!

Stay tuned for more yummy South Beach diet recipes! I promise, as soon as I am back to my “normal” self, the yummy pasta recipes will be back! Life is all about a healthy balance…and I’ve been off kilter for a little too long!

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