What a time to be alive. For the first time in 71 years, the Chicago Cubs are in the World Series. The city is on fire with a contagious energy and I am reminded daily of how unreal it is that I can forever call Chicago home. Likewise, the Packers are crushing the start of the football season. It feels too good to be true that I am enjoying this small overlap of Packers-Cubs bliss. This is the true definition of sports nirvana, and I would like to live in this moment for the rest of eternity. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I’m thanking the sports gods above me for shining down and granting me this serenity.
That said, this gift does not come without responsibilities. Last Thursday, both my teams were playing at the same time, and the pressure to perform in the kitchen was at an all-time high. It was my moment, and I’d venture to bet I felt the same pressure as Rizzo when he steps up to bat (okay, perhaps on a slightly smaller scale). Nonetheless, I knew this week’s Game Day Grub had to knock it out of the park, while also being a major touchdown. (See what I did there?) Without hesitation, I knew I had to make sliders.
Sliders are a tailgate classic. (Second only to hot dogs – but over my dead body will I post a hot dog recipe on this website.) Nothing says “sports” more than burgers and beers, and you’d be hard pressed to find a sports fan who didn’t embrace a slider from time to time. Unfortunately, those little guys can pack a mean punch when it comes to calories and fat. Keep it lean with ground turkey this game day and add in a few flavorful veggies like jalapeños and onions to work their magic instead. Bada bing, bada boom – you got yourself a skinny southwest slider that can still totally rock your world (and your taste buds)!
The key to sliders is in the flavor, people. Flavor is the spice of life (literally). I know I sound like a broken record, but eating healthy does NOT have to be boring! We’ve come so far from frozen black bean patties that taste like cardboard and unseasoned brown rice and broccoli. We now have options that are zesty, and spicy, and juicy, and tailgate-ready without killing your cholesterol. So here’s to the beer-drinking, rowdy crowd I am writing to today: enjoy these skinny sliders, embrace their bold flavors (in reasonable portion sizes), and let’s all focus on the important things in life, like who looks the best in the cheese head.
Skinny Southwest Sliders
Yield: 12 sliders
- 1 lb ground turkey, extra lean
- 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 12 whole wheat slider buns
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves, torn
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 1″ thick
- 2 avocados, sliced 1″ thick
- condiments and garnishes, as desired
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all patty ingredients thoroughly.
- Using your hands, pat out 12 even portions into patties. When cooked, you’ll want to fill the slider bun completely with your patty, so keep that in mind when portioning.
- Heat grill (or skillet over stove top) on high.
- Grill/cook on high heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
- Serve patty on whole wheat slider bun with lettuce, tomato, avocado and any other condiments and garnishes as desired. Enjoy!