kid friendly: turkey-spinach sliders

Hey there.  There are a few souls holding me accountable for posting and the one that calls me Carmel's Gwyneth Paltrow(ha!) is responsible for me finally writing before July is over.  Yes, Jeff,  friendly CRC tennis pro and blog supporter, this one is for you.  Thanks for the encouragement.

Summer team tennis after match cocktail talk can go in several directions.  Many topics are hilarious, but not fit to print.  There are some seriously funny girls on my teams.  One of my teams is almost all moms still in the heavy driving carpool years (clearly not my team that played in the 40 and over bracket) and "What the heck am I going to feed my whole family that they will eat?" is one question they'll throw in that's in the fit to print category.  I'm pretty sure I've discussed that I am not your role model for this.  Sure my kids since I have been writing my blog have been ready for just about anything, but they were 18 and 20 when I started this endeavor.  When they were little people, if all four of us were dining together, Greg and I would eat "grown up food" and the girls would have something similar, but bland or something completely different that I knew they would eat.  My reasoning behind this extra work for myself?  1.  I really couldn't handle "kid food" all the time, 2. I lacked the discipline often necessary to enforce trying new foods or not eating and 3. maybe if they saw us enjoying something different, one day they would eventually join in.  And eventually that's pretty much how it went.

This is a quick idea adapted from Bon Appetit for little turkey burger sliders.  The secret to success is four cups of chopped fresh spinach mixed in with a pound of ground turkey.  The spinach cooks down and the little sliders are the juiciest turkey burgers I've ever made.  No egg or oil blended in.  Love them.  I made the first batch on my cast iron grill pan and the second batch in my oven just to see if the winter-friendly version was as good.  Yep.  Both good. You can also fry them up in a skillet.  The original recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon of cumin.  Both times I've made them I've used smoked paprika instead because it just sounded better with the meals I was putting together.  Experiment with flavoring.  You know how I love the spice blends from Costco:  Sweet Mesquite and Rustic Tuscan and both would be yummy here.  If your kids are big pizza fans, use a teaspoon or so of oregano instead and serve them with mozzarella melted on top and maybe some good pizza sauce on top or for dipping.  You get the idea.  Super easy and delicious.

Turkey-Spinach Sliders

1/2 box or bag of baby spinach, chopped to yield about 4 cups
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 tsp paprika or smoked paprika (or whatever spices your family likes)
1 pound ground turkey
kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
olive oil for the grill pan or skillet
whole wheat slider buns
cheese or other toppings, as desired (read way back and you will find out that I dislike standard condiments, you'll never see me recommend them but please go ahead and eat like normal people)

In a large bowl using a fork or your hands (if you can stand it), mix together spinach, onion, garlic, seasonings (about 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste) and turkey.  Smoosh it all together to blend well.  Form turkey mixture into 8-12 1/2 inch thick patties.

Brush grill pan with a little olive oil and cook, turning once about 5-7 minutes per side.  Or add about 2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and cook over medium high heat on the stove until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.  Or bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through (check with an instant read thermometer and cook until 160 degrees).

Serve on those cute little slider buns.

Serves three or four

ready to mix in the squishy ground turkey
if your kids are going to freak out about spinach, chop it finer but
it's glorious greenness is pretty hard to hide

in the oven

oven sliders all done, who knew they would be so good?
that's why there are no grilling photos

ready for buns


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