Top each Moroccan burger with an herbed and spiced yogurt sauce. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Top each Moroccan burger with an herbed and spiced yogurt sauce. (Linda Gassenheimer)

Spice up Memorial Day with these Moroccan-style beef burgers

Serve the burgers with a spoon of yogurt sauce on top and a side of cucumber tomato salad.

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.

Helpful hints:

■ Ground bison can be used.

■ Canola oil can be used instead of olive oil.

■ ½ cup fresh onion can be used instead of frozen.

■ Any type of burger roll can be used.


■ Make salad and set aside.

■ Mix burger dressing and set aside.

■ Cook burgers.

Shopping list:

To buy: 1 carton plain nonfat yogurt, 1 bunch fresh mint, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 1 cucumber, 2 plum tomatoes, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle ground cinnamon, ¾ pound ground 95% lean beef, 1 package frozen chopped onion and 1 package whole wheat burger rolls.

Staples: Olive oil, salt, black peppercorns

Moroccan beef burgers

¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh mint, divided use

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided use

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided use

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ pound ground 95% lean beef

½ cup frozen chopped onion

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ tablespoon olive oil

2 whole wheat burger rolls

Mix yogurt with 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon parsley, ½ teaspoon cumin and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon together and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix beef, the remaining 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon parsley, ½ teaspoon cumin and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in onion, salt and black pepper. Form into 2 patties about 4 inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add burgers. Saute 5 minutes. Turn burgers over and saute 5 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 160 degrees.

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

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 435 calories (30% from fat), 14.5 grams fat (4.7 grams saturated, 5.6 grams monounsaturated), 109 milligrams cholesterol, 42.8 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 5.3 grams fiber, 277 milligrams sodium.

Cucumber tomato salad

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.

Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 83 calories (76% from fat), 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated, 3.3 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 1.1 grams protein, 4.8 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams fiber, 6 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals” and “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table” and “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Her website is

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