How can I feed my family and myself bariatric recipes that everyone will enjoy?
I hear this all the time from clients who have undergone bariatric surgery. During those first few months after surgery it can be overwhelming to follow your bariatric surgeon’s dietary guidelines, plus put a delicious meal on the table for your family members. Following a healthy lifelong eating pattern after bariatric surgery can be challenging if you do not have “buy in” from your family.
With this in mind I create bariatric recipes like these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers to help nourish your body after surgery and provide your family with a yummy meal they’ll love. This turkey burgers recipe can easily be prepared on the weekend and stored in the refrigerator to cook up later during the week when life gets busy.
Besides being high in protein these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers have extra health benefits and most importantly taste good. The frozen spinach adds fiber and iron. Spinach also happens to be one of my top 10 dietitian approved foods to eat after bariatric surgery. Sun-dried tomatoes and onions give this burger a Mediterranean twist and an antioxidant boost. Feta cheese adds extra protein and flavor but if you cannot tolerate dairy or follow a Paleo diet after bariatric surgery you may omit this ingredient.
This recipe uses ground flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs to help bind the turkey meat together. Ground flaxseed is good for your gut because it contains both, soluble and insoluble fiber, which can promote bowel regularity. Plus, it contains a small amount of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids as an extra bonus.
I highly recommend topping these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with the dill yogurt sauce included with the recipe. Yogurt has additional live, active cultures that are good for your gut health.
Bariatric Recipes: Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
For Yogurt Dill Sauce
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of dill
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 1 tsp minced garlic
For Turkey Burgers
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or canned bruschetta
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach thawed, with excess liquid squeezed out
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1 large egg
- Mix all yogurt ingredients together in small bowl. Set aside while you prepare burgers to help develop the flavors.
- Mix all turkey burger ingredients in a medium bowl. Make 2-3 oz patties. You can either save these to cook later in the week, or cook on the grill over medium heat to enjoy immediately. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 F (Usually about 5-8 min each side).
- Top with yogurt mixture and more sun dried tomatoes if desired.
If you are in the soft stage of the bariatric diet you can use canned bruschetta in substitute for the sun-dried tomatoes and use onion powder instead onions. If you are in the pureed stage of the bariatric diet you can make the above modifications and then blend in a food processor. You will likely need to add chicken broth to reach the desired consistency. In both the soft stage and pureed stage of the bariatric diet, you can use the dill yogurt sauce as a topping.
Sweet potato fries are a delicious side option for this entree. Your family may prefer to use a whole wheat bun but you could easily wrap this burger in lettuce. As always, pay attention to your satiety index throughout your meal to prevent feeling overly full afterwards. I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe!
Helping you find balance on and off your plate,
Kristin Willard, RDN
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.