Add heat to Memorial Day with Moroccan burgers

A Moroccan beef burger is served with refreshing cucumber tomato salad. (Tribune News Service)

Here’s a way to spice up your Memorial Day burgers using Moroccan-style spices.

Ground cumin, ground cinnamon, fresh mint and parsley may seem unusual additions to burgers, but they add an intriguing flavor to them.

Ground spices can lose their flavor after a few months. If yours look gray or have lost their aroma, it’s time for new ones.

MOROCCAN BEEF BURGERS

Servings: 2

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh mint, divided

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 pound ground 95% lean beef

1/2 cup frozen chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 whole-wheat burger rolls

Mix the yogurt with 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the beef, the remaining 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in the onion, salt and black pepper. Form into 2 patties about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add the burgers. Sauté 5 minutes. Turn burgers over, and sauté 5 minutes more. A meat thermometer should read 160 degrees.

Place each burger on the bottom half of a roll, and spoon the yogurt sauce on top. Close with the top half of the roll.

Nutrition information per serving: 435 calories (30% from fat); 14.5 g fat (4.7 g saturated, 5.6 g monounsaturated); 109 mg cholesterol; 42.8 g protein; 30.0 g carbohydrates; 5.3 g fiber; 277 mg sodium.

CUCUMBER TOMATO SALAD

Servings: 2

1 cup sliced cucumber

1 cup diced plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serve sliced cucumbers topped with diced tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving: 83 calories (76% from fat); 7.0 g fat (1.0 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.1 g protein; 4.8 g carbohydrates; 1.5 g fiber; 6 mg sodium.

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