Greek Spinach Burgers


Things have been getting super serious here in Graduate School Land. Since my last post I finished my collecting data on my field study (last field season for this project ever!), getting back into lab (I work in three different labs to prepare my samples), writing my dissertation, taking my last class (ever!), and looking for jobs. Hence my absence. I also had a small injury in the beginning of August---I strained my rotator cuff---so I haven't been cooking as elaborately because I've had trouble lifting and using my right arm (I am right handed...I couldn't chop for a while). My arm is feeling a lot better so I've been getting back into the kitchen little by little.

Aren't they cute?
After that huge list of tasks I posted above, I had a comparatively huge craving for some comfort food. Therefore I indulged in a burger, fries, and a soda....Paleo/Primal-style, of course. I had a craving for the flavors of Greek food, so I whipped up these burgers flavored with oregano, sun dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. I topped them with homemade tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt sauce). My bun was rounds of iceberg lettuce. My fries were long green beans and crudites, and my soda was kombucha. Check out these cute kombuchas I found at my local store!:

This recipe would also make tasty meatballs to top veggies or as an appetizer. Adding the spinach helps stretch expensive meat and of course helps get more veggies into your meal.

Greek Spinach Burgers
Printable Recipe

For the burgers:
1 lb ground beef
1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess water, and chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp olive oil (only necessary if your meat is lean)
salt and pepper, to taste

For the toppings:
1 small cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated 
1 7-oz container Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2%)

1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp dried dill
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lg head iceberg lettuce, outside rounded edges cut into bun-like rounds
1 tomato, sliced

1. In a bowl, combine all the burger ingredients and shape into 6 patties.
2. Add the oil, if using, to a skillet and brown the patties on both sides.
3. Meanwhile, make the garnishes. For the sauce: place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add to a bowl with the yogurt. Mince the garlic, then add a pinch of salt on top of it and use the side of your knife to rub it into a paste. Add to the yogurt along with dill, salt, and pepper.
4. Place one round of lettuce on a plate. Top with a burger, tomato slices, sauce, and another lettuce round. Serve.

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