Lamb Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce, Cucumber Salad and Yucca Fries (NOT Strict Paleo)

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Longest title ever. But it was necessary to include all of the deliciousness, as well as make sure you know upfront that this isn’t strict paleo. You can make it strict paleo by cutting out the cucumber salad and tzatziki if you want.

I also made an arugula and spinach salad for the burger to rest on, but I thought that putting that in the title would actually scare people away.

This was a dinner that completely progressed as I made it, so I was really glad to have gone to the 5 o’clock workout so I had plenty of time to cook while TJ trained at 6. I wonder if he has any idea what goes on in that kitchen before he gets home (usually when most of the dishes are washed and dinner is ready).

Speaking of the workout, the one yesterday somehow simultaneously sucked and made me feel awesome. I don’t talk too much about Crossfit on here, especially since most of the people who read this blog (as far as I know) read it for the food and don’t do Crossfit, but every once in a while I feel it is necessary to bring it up. Probably because it’s a pretty big part of my life, what with my boyfriend owning a gym and all.

So the workout was:

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of: deadlifts, bench press and power squat cleans. There is a specific weight for each one (for example the dead lifts are supposed to be 150% of your body weight) but since I am still pretty scaled, my weights were based off of my current ability. It wasn’t nearly as heavy as what TJ did (obviously) but it still kicked my ass. I mean, it was 165 reps total. And it felt awesome to finish. And then TJ got home and told me that my mom lifted way heavier than me, and she did power squat cleans while I stuck to front squats. So I felt a lot less awesome after hearing that. But oh well. I can only do what I can do. I can’t wait to be able to do squats properly again.

Anyways, I was pretty pumped to make this dinner since I haven’t cooked with lamb before. Probably because neither TJ nor I are huge fans, but every once in a while it’s good to have. And I had gotten some at the farmers market I went to over the weekend, so I was even more excited to have some fresh, local lamb to cook with. When I think of lamb, I think of Greek dishes. When I think of Greek food, I immediately think of tzatziki sauce. And cucumbers. And red onion. And arugula (not sure why arugula gets thrown in the mix). So, I used all of those ingredients to make this dinner. The ingredient list is long, so I’ll break it down for each dish.

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For the burgers:

1 LB ground lamb

1 tsp fresh dill, chopped

1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

1 tbsp red onion (I used a shallot)

1 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Mix everything together in a bowl with your hands, form into patties (this made about 4 patties) and cook on the grill or stove until no longer pink in the middle.

For the tzatziki sauce:

(FYI this made way WAY more than we will ever eat)

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced. I grated mine.

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped. I won’t lie, I love dill. A lot. So I put more than 2 tbsp. If you like dill, dial it up a bit.

1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped.

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Same deal here: mix everything together and put in the fridge for about an hour so that all of the flavors mix really well. I read recipe after recipe on how to properly make tzatziki sauce, but I ended up just doing my own thing. A lot of people complained that the sauce got runny and the suggested solution was to extract the water from the cucumbers using salt. Other people said it was the Greek yogurt that made it running and to drain it over cheese cloth overnight. Honestly, I did neither of those things and I thought the sauce turned out great. To each their own.

For the Spinach Arugula Salad:

1 cup spinach

1 cup arugula

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 cup of feta cheese. This isn’t paleo either, but I couldn’t not use feta. Come on, its a Greek meal.

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Put everything in a bowl except for the oil and vinegar. Whisk your olive oil and vinegar in a separate bowl and dump overtop of the salad. Mix well.

For the cucumber salad:

1 cucumber, seeded and chopped

3 tbsp sour cream

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 shallot, diced

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Put everything into a bowl and whisk together. Add chopped cucumber and mix well so cucumbers are completely covered in the dressing. This is also best after it has been in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour.

For the Yucca Fries:

1 yucca root (I opted for the largest one possible)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp garlic

1 tsp ground red pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 415. Take the yucca root and peel it. These are a bit more tough to work with than a potato, but once you get the first layer off it isn’t so bad. Cut your yucca root into fry-like sticks and put in a bowl. Cover with the remaining ingredients and mix until each “fry” is coated. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and cook for about 10-13 minutes. I overcooked mine thinking I was making them crispy, but some of them ended up getting pretty hard. Lesson learned on that one.


2 responses

  1. Pingback: Onion Apple Pork Burgers | Paleo For Beginners

  2. Again, wish this was waiting for me when I got home from the workout! In fact, I want it now. Definitely going to make this, and the picture looks great!

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