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Here’s a spin on your classic burger recipe – instead of beef, this recipe calls for lamb plus lots of fresh herbs! The lamb burgers are served with a simple dairy-free paleo & vegan tzatziki. You can use a pan and cook the burgers on the stovetop, or you can try grilling them on your grill. Either way, these burgers are bursting with the flavor of summertime!
Why we love it
Is there anything more refreshing than the smell of fresh herbs?! Herbs are a delicious and phytonutrient-rich addition to all sorts of dishes and drinks. These lamb burgers include quite the collection of herbs: fresh mint, oregano and dill.
Herbs can be incorporated into a diet to boost nutritional status, or herbs can be used acutely when additional nutritional support is needed. Herbs like mint, oregano and dill contain aromatic volatile oils, which may be useful when supporting an acute illness. Mint and oregano are particularly helpful for respiratory or digestive illnesses, while dill is known to have carminative effects (i.e. reduces gas and bloating).
Mint: Mint, also known as Mentha, is a genus of plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family. Some common types of mint include peppermint and spearmint, but other plants in the Lamiaceae family include lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, thyme, catnip, basil and many more.
Mint leaves may be used fresh, in dried herb form, brewed as a tea, or concentrated in an essential oil. Mint is known for antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory medicinal applications due to the phenolic compounds.
Oregano: Oregano has been traditionally used in folk medicine to support conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs, diarrhea, indigestion, stomachache, menstrual disorders, general infections, inflammation-related illnesses and diabetes. The flavonoids and phenolic acids that have been identified in oregano species have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Oregano can be used as a tea, in food, infused in culinary oil and as an essential oil. It is a popular herb in many cuisines including Italian, Turkish, Mexican, French and Greek.
Dill: Dill contains a volatile essential oil called carvone, which is known to reduce gas and soothe abdominal pain caused by bloating. The flavonoids and polyphenols in dill have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Dill can be used as either an herb (dill weed) or as dill seed. Dill has been used in cuisines throughout Europe and Asia, and is a common ingredient for pickling. Since it is in season during spring and early summer, dill is a popular ingredient in fresh, warm weather dishes.
Paleo Lamb Burgers with Dairy Free Tzatziki
- 1 lb grass-fed ground lamb
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, scallions or red onion
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
- 1 tbsp fresh mint finely, chopped
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- Fine grain sea salt
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp olive oil to grease pan
-Tzatziki sauce (make at least 2h before serving!)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled and all but 1 tbsp of the liquid part discarded
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium cucumber peeled seeded, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (from ~1 small lemon)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
To make the Tzatziki:
Make the tzatziki at least 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend and coconut cream to thicken. You can also make it the day before and store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. This recipe makes a lot of leftover tzatziki!
- Open the chilled can of coconut milk – the coconut cream should be solidified. Pour off the coconut water and save it for another use (you can use it instead of water in smoothies!).
- Add the garlic, cucumber, and lemon juice to a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in the coconut cream, dill, salt, and pepper and blend until combined. The sauce won’t be smooth.
- Once blended, taste to see if you need to add salt or pepper. Transfer to a lidded jar or container and store in the fridge until time to serve. The flavors will intensify over time as it chills in the refrigerator.
To make the Lamb Burgers:
- In a mixing bowl, gently combine the ground lamb with the scallions (or the red onion), dill, oregano, mint, red pepper and water. Sprinkle the mixture with fine grain sea salt, then form into 4 equal sized patties. Don’t work the meat too much – just handle enough to form the patties.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle the skillet lightly with more fine grain sea salt.
- Place the patties in the skillet and cook on each side for about 4 minutes, adjusting the heat is necessary to prevent the outside from browning too much. Alternatively, you can grill the burgers or broil them.
- Remove from the skillet and serve over greens, Greek salad, and top with tzatziki sauce. You can also serve the sauce on the side for dipping if preferred. Garnish with more fresh herbs if you like – enjoy!
Serves 4 burgers
Recipe adapted from Paleo Running Momma
Want to learn how to create and prepare recipes like this?
Join our Natural Food Chef Program! Picture yourself in your kitchen surrounded by nothing but organic vegetables, whole grains, top-quality meats, eggs and a range of the more unusual things like pâté, kimchi, kefir and bone broth. If you resonate with the idea of creating delicious meals that are not only healthy but downright regenerative, then join us for our 15-week program!
Daina Rasutis is a recent graduate of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. She plans to use her certification to spark a craving for health through movement, sustainable living and, of course, nourishing food. Follow Daina’s cooking creations and lifestyle tips on her website: https://www.tabletocrave.com/
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