Winter Burgers with Pear, Brie, and Cranberries

Hi everyone! I’m Julie from A Better Life With Burgers where I blog about healthy (mostly homemade) food, fun fitness, and lots of fun adventures. I’m so excited to be writing my first guest post for Jessica’s awesome blog!

When Jessica asked me to share a healthy recipe, I knew I had to go with some of my favorite foods: burgers and fries. Since it’s winter, barbecuing may not be the first thing on your mind, but I’m not going to let weather prohibit me from enjoying such classics. So I thought I would put a winter spin on our burgers, use sweet potatoes for the fries, and add a wintery salad. I hope you’ll try out one or all of these recipes this season – though they’d be delicious in the summer, too!

Winter Burgers with Pear, Brie, and Cranberries

Serves 4

•1 pound ground turkey

•½ teaspoon garlic powder

•Salt and pepper to taste

•1 pear, sliced thinly crosswise

•2 ounces brie cheese, sliced thinly

•Whole wheat buns or bread (we used Honey Whole Wheat bread from Great Harvest) http://www.greatharvest.com/

•½ cup dried cranberries

Place the ground turkey in a medium bowl with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix it all up with your hands and form four patties. Heat a pan or grill pan to medium. Once heated, place the patties on the pan for about 6 minutes on each side. For the last three minutes, tent with foil.

Meanwhile, to prepare the buns, toast lightly (1-2 minutes), then remove from the toaster. Sprinkle ¼ of the cranberries on each bun top; then lay the cheese over the cranberries. Toast/broil for another few minutes, until the cheese looks a little melted.

To assemble your burgers, place the bottom bun, then the patty, then two slices of pear, then the cheese/cranberry/top bun. Add a little Dijon mustard if you wish, and enjoy! I loved the crisp pear combined with the creamy cheese and tangy cranberries.

Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 4

•8 small (or 5-6 large) organic sweet potatoes

•1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

•1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

•2 teaspoons cinnamon

•½ teaspoon salt

•½ teaspoon nutmeg

•½ teaspoon ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes, then slice into fry-sized strips (no need to peel). On a large baking sheet (or two), toss the fries, spices, maple syrup, and olive oil. You want the fries to be evenly moist but not soaked, and preferably very little extra oil on the sheet. Spread out the fries on the sheet so they aren’t touching, then bake for 22-27 minutes, until tender, turning once.

This recipe yields some seriously delicious fries, and they complemented the burgers perfectly! Plus, the maple syrup creates a crunchy glaze that I absolutely love.

Pear and Pecan Spinach Salad

Serves 4

•6 ounces fresh spinach

•½ cup chopped pecans, raw or lightly toasted

•½ cup dried cranberries

•1 pear, diced

•2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

•2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

•Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy! A great way to squeeze in more vegetables and pairs great with the burgers and fries!

I really hope you’ll try one or all of these recipes, and I would love to hear what you think! I found they are perfect for a winter night. Please stop by my blog for more recipes and workouts!

A Better Life With Burgers

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