Lisa’s Corner – Market Fresh Burgers with Smashed Turnips

The farmer’s market located right outside of Hammer Health Sciences Library, has officially opened for the season. To give these free-range, grass fed burgers a seasonal flare, I topped them with smashed turnips. Turnips are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamins A and C, and calcium. The fresh, standout flavor from the turnips complements the beef nicely.

This is the first time that FPOP has featured meat in one of its recipes. Whether or not one chooses to consume animal products is a personal choice. We believe that a vegan diet as well as one that includes appropriate quantities of meat can support an obesity- and overweight-free lifestyle. The meat used in this recipe is local, grass-fed, and free-range. Beef raised in this manner is more environmentally friendly than meat produced in a conventional manner (1). Furthermore, beef cattle raised on a grass-based diet rather than a grain-based diet have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid precursors (2). Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Several studies have also suggested that grass-based diets elevate antioxidant levels as well as Vitamin A and E precursors (2). Beef is also an excellent source of iron, Vitamin B12 (which is only found in animal products), and protein. Grass-fed or grain-fed beef does contain a large amount of saturated fat relative to plant-based foods. Saturated fat has been shown to increase risk of coronary heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels. However, eaten in appropriate quantities, (think small and infrequent), beef can make a delicious and healthy addition to a meal full of veggies and whole grains.

Smashed Turnips

Recipe credit: Parker-Pope, Tara. The Meatball Shop Goes Vegetarian. New York Times Well Blog. November 14, 2011.

1 bunch turnips
2 tsp. dill, to taste
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, to taste
1 small purple spring onion, diced
½ cup sour cream (I used fat free)
salt, pepper to taste

Wash and cut turnips into large chunks. Boil for 25 minutes until soft. Smash with a potato smasher or fork. Add sour cream, herbs, and seasonings to taste. Ready to serve.

Market Burgers

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp salt, to taste
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning, to taste
2 tbsp Worsterchire sauce, to taste

If frozen, thaw meat overnight in refrigerator. When thawed, mix ground beef with salt, Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Form burger patties. Place patties onto heated pan; cook (you can also grill or broil the burgers). I used buns from Trader Joe’s that you can bake in the oven yourself. Whole-wheat buns boost the fiber and vitamin E content of your meal. To assemble the burger, spread a liberal amount of smashed turnips onto the patty, and top with lettuce, purple onion, tomato, and whatever else you enjoy.


1. Nestle, Marion. What to Eat.  North Point Press. New York, New York. 2006.
2. Daley, C.A., et al. A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010;9:10.

Post by Lisa Cole 7/3/12


2 thoughts on “Lisa’s Corner – Market Fresh Burgers with Smashed Turnips

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