Turkey Burgers & Drop Bear Beer Tropical IPA

For the second in this series of healthy recipes paired with low calories alcohol free drinks, I decided to go for a burger.  After all, I do love a good burger and I’ll have to cut these out as I try to lose weight to help me round the London Marathon.

Normally a burger is classed as unhealthy and out of bounds if you’re trying to shift a few pounds – kind of like beer.  However, if you make smart choices (like choosing an alcohol-free beer), there’s no reason to miss out on your favourites.  With this in mind, I thought I’d find a burger that had made the smart choices for me and found the Turkey Burgers with Avocado Lime Dip from Christine Bailey.

Each serving is an incredibly low 261 calories.  When paired with the Drop Bear Tropical IPA (21 calories a bottle), you have a beer and burger for under 300 calories.  Awesome!

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Recipe: Turkey Burgers with Avocado Lime Dip

I chose this recipe for it’s simplicity and flexibility.  By using turkey over burger’s more traditional red meat, it makes the burger much healthier.  Plus turkey has several other benefits that are listed with the recipe.

Originally, I’d planned to have this burger with a side (probably homemade sweet potato wedges), but the dip and salad also gave the flexibility to go without a side, which I ended up doing.  Normally a burger on its own wouldn’t feel like an entire meal to me, but  it was after packing it out with the dip and salad.  I always thought a great burger needed chips/wedges with it, but now I’m not so sure.

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Preparation: Fast & Easy 

These burgers and dips were super quick and easy to make as both the dip and burgers only had a few ingredients.  Combining these only took a few minutes so in no time at all I had everything ready to go.  

Yet again I didn’t read the recipe in enough detail before kicking off so chopped both the coriander and spring onions too chunky rather than the “finely sliced” recommended by the recipe.  This made combining the ingredients into patties that bit harder, although they did eventually come together into reasonable burger shapes.  

I also didn’t prepare in advance so there was no time to chill the burgers to let them set.  With this in mind (and my inability to not burn pan fried burgers) I decided to follow the recipes alternative suggestion of oven cooking the burgers.  Whilst this meant the burgers wouldn’t break when flipping, it didn’t give them browned griddle pan appearance that looks so good.

There was another downside to oven cooking them – I took my eye off them as they cooked.  I set a timer in the middle of the suggested times and waited for it to go off.  This was a mistake.  I should have checked on them more frequently as my oven dried the burgers out too much.  I should have kept an eye on them and served them sooner to keep them moist.

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Meal: Tasty & Light Burger 

Despite my best efforts to dry the burgers out, these burger were still incredibly tasty.  The burgers were full of flavour and the dip and salad added a crisp and freshness to the burgers that made the meal feel very light – not normally something I’d say about eating a burger.

The lime in the dip gave a sharpness that complimented the smooth avocado.  The coconut yoghurt added an unexpected silkiness of the dip and it’s a trick I might add to homemade guacamoles in the future. 

I piled the ingredients into a brioche roll and added a generous helping of the avocado dip giving a mouth-watering burger.  Very rarely do I cook and produce something that looks like it could be in a cookbook, but for once I impressed myself just how good it looked.  Inevitably the practicalities of eating a burger piled so high with filling meant I made a complete mess when eating it, but what an enjoyable and tasty mess it was.

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Alcohol-Free Drink: Drop Bear Beer Co. Tropical IPA

With the burger coming in at only 261 calories, I thought I’d go for an especially low calories beer to accompany it.  At only 21 calories a bottle, the Drop Bear Beer Co. Tropical IPA fit the bill perfectly.

Cracking open the bottle, I enjoyed the tropical fruit aromas that radiate from the beer.  These carry through into the flavour of the beer and are accompanied by the rich flavour of the malts that have a hint of dark chocolate.

This has long been a favourite and featured in the Best Tasting Alcohol-Free Beers.  However, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m no beer pairing master and I couldn’t help think I may have got this one wrong.  Instead, when I make this burger again, I’d be tempted to pair it with another  Drop Bear Beer – the Yuzu Pale Ale.  I think the slightly lighter nature of the pale ale and crisp, citrusy refreshment of the Yuzu might compliment the lime of the avocado dip better.

Buy Your Alcohol-Free Beer

If you’re tempted to try the burgers and see which of the Drop Bear Beers work best, you can grab a few from Wise Bartender.  Either go for a case of your favourite or try one of their variety packs.

Just click on the links and use the code GOODSTUFF to get 5% off at Wise Bartender.

Lessons Learned

Every time I cook, I learn something new about the recipe.  There’s always a little tweak or change that I’d make for next time which is why all my cookbooks have hand written notes on them.  I want to share these lessons with you so you can avoid the big blunders I make (i.e. not reading the recipe in detail) or choose to try my subtle changes for the future.

All the lessons learned this time evolve around me now following the recipe properly.  You probably won’t make such a basic mistake, but I’ll list the lessons learned anyway:

  1. Finely chop the spring onions and herbs – having chunky spring onions may be quicker, but they make combining the burgers really difficult
  2. Fry the burgers – I always seem to burn homemade burgers which is why I chose to oven cook them, but I’m sure they would have tasted better and not been as dry had I pan fried them.
  3. Check on oven cooked burgers – if you do choose to oven cook them, check on them before the time suggested in the recipe to avoid getting dry burgers. Also, try flipping them half way through so any juices leaking out go back into the burger.
  4. Make early & chill – the burgers only take minutes to prepare so try to find some time earlier in the day to make the patties and store them in the fridge. This will give them a chance to firm up so they’re less likely to break in the pan.

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Final Thoughts

I’d have never believed you if you’d have told me it was possible to enjoy a tasty burger and great beer for under 300 calories, but with this turkey burger and beer combination it’s possible.  For any beer lover that enjoys a burger (like me), it’s a dream come true.

Incredibly, it’s possible to get these calories lower by cutting the carbs.  The recipe has a couple of suggestions for alternatives to the burger buns.  If you decide to try any of these options, don’t forget to look for a low carb alcohol-free drink to go with it.  Check out our blog Best 5 Low Carb Non Alcoholic Wines – Perfect for the Keto Diet, which also features a list of our lowest carb alcohol-free beers.

The simplicity of both the burger and dip mean I’ll definitely be making them again.  Next time, I’ll probably try the Drop Bear Beer Yuzu Pale Ale to see if the citrus finish of the yuzu compliments the lime of the avocado dip, or maybe it’ll be a clash of flavours.  Either way, sounds like a great excuse to make another burger and enjoy another beer.  Happy Days!

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