Burgers with Sriracha Mayonaise and Homemade Pickles

We LOVE burgers!  So we make them as healthy as possible, allowing us to eat more of them! :)  Last night we made burgers using half ground chicken and half ground venison.  Of course, you can use whatever type of meat you want, ground chuck works great if you want to go the beef route.  We also like to use bison meat as a healthier alternative, but it is pretty pricey in our grocery store.  When we do use chicken, or any other meat with a lower fat content than beef, I like to add some vegetables to the meat to keep the burgers nice and juicy, otherwise they tend to dry out when cooking. 

I also made some quick homemade pickes which gave a nice punch to the burgers!  These pickles go great with a lot of things and you can make a lot of different variations depending on what seasonings you put in the pickle brine.  The recipe below will make spicy vinegary pickles which help cut rich things, like burgers or pulled pork sandwiches.  If you like sweet pickles, use equal parts honey and vinegar.

Burgers   (Makes 6 large burgers)
1 lb. ground chicken
1 lb. ground venison
1/2 onion
1/2 sweet bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce  (I finally learned how to spell this!)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

I used a small food processor to chop the onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Feel free to add or substitute any other vegetables you have on hand (I like carrots, mushrooms, and hot peppers too).  You could also chop the vegetables by hand, but make sure you do a very fine chop, otherwise larger pieces of vegetable could cause your burgers to fall apart on the grill.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and gently mix together without overmixing.  Preheat your grill to med-high to high.  We used a charcoal grill at about 400 degrees.  Pat out your burgers into 6 equal portions.  Spray some olive oil cooking spray on the grill racks and grill the burgers for about 7 - 10 minutes on each side until they feel firm and juices run clear.

Homemade Pickles
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon pickling spices
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon hot curry powder

Mix together all of the ingredients except the cucumbers in a bowl.  Add the sliced cucumbers and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.  You can keep extra pickles in the fridge for a few weeks and they just get better with time!

Sriracha Mayonaise
1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce (found with the Asian ingredients in the grocery store)
1/2 cup low-fat mayonaise
1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt
3 piquillo peppers

Sriracha Mayonaise Spread on Bottom Bun
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.  If you like things really spicy, just add more sriracha, but be careful, it is HOT!
We melted a thin slice of manchego cheese on top of the burgers and served on toasted whole wheat buns.  Spread the mayonaise on the bottom bun, add a piece of lettuce, top with a burger and a few pickles (and some more mayonaise if you like!).  And ta da!