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Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit Burger and Massaged Kale Salad

Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit Burger and Kale Salad
Melissa and Alane
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Episode 10 of Cooking with My Friends was filmed in Nashville, Tennessee with lifestyle blogger Melissa Haithcock of A Happy Healthy Heart. Melissa wears many hats including recipe developer, food stylist, writer, speaker and photographer just to name a few! In Melissa’s beautiful home in Nashville, Alane & Melissa made the Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit burger and a massaged kale salad.

“Not only is Melissa an amazing home chef, but she’s so talented as so many things! It was so fun to learn about all that she does.” -Alane

Watch the Episode

You can view the full episode and see just how to make the Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit burger on YouTube.

Why eat the Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit Burger?

Zucchini is a great vegetable to mix into burgers because the flavor and texture tend to disappear, becoming almost invisible to those picky veggie eaters. This summer squash is full of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, iron, and niacin. We all know drinking a glass of milk is a great way to get calcium, but our green leafy friends are often overlooked when it comes to this bone-building mineral. One of these burgers supplies 81g of calcium! The other star vitamin in spinach is vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin E needs fat in order to transported through the body, and this burger is an excellent vessel.

Get the Recipes

These recipes are super easy to prepare and you’re going to have a blast making them!

Massaged Kale Salad

This massaged kale salad is a favorite of Melissa Haithcock, creator of the A Happy Healthy Heart blog.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Appetizer, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond, kale, strawberries
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 23kcal


Cutting board
Large bowl
Sheet pan



  • De-rib and chop the kale, then place into a bowl.
  • Add some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and massage them into the kale with your fingers.
  • Add chopped strawberries to bowl.
  • In a small bowl, add sliced almonds, maple syrup, and salt. mix it until the sliced almonds are coated.
  • Place almonds on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and toast them in the oven for 1-2 minutes at 350°.
  • Add almonds to salad.
  • Sprinkle with salt to taste.


Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @GetBurgerFit or tag #getburgerfit!
Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit Burger and Pasta
5 from 2 votes

Zucchini Pesto BurgerFit Burger

One summer at our home in Tennessee, we had a huge garden. I had so much basil that I made my own pesto and stored it in the freezer in ice cube trays for the rest of the year. I was constantly throwing my pesto into recipes to add a little lagniappe (something extra), and that is how this BurgerFit burger was created.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, BurgerFit, Easy, healthy, pesto, quick, simple, spring, Summer, zoodles, Zucchini medallions, Zucchini Pesto Burger
Servings: 6 Burgers
Calories: 335kcal
Author: Alane Boyd


Measuring spoons
Utensil for mixing
Food processor
Large bowl



  • Heat a skillet on medium heat. Cut the zucchini into cubes and saute in skillet with 1 tablespoon cooking fat and ½ teaspoon salt until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. For the last couple of minutes, add the spinach into the skillet to cook with the zucchini.
  • Once the zucchini and spinach are cooked, add the zucchini, spinach, and 1½ tablespoons pesto to the food processor (or finely chop). Taste vegetable mixture and add more salt if desired. Depending on the pesto you use, this might be too salty: If it is, use less than a teaspoon of salt when adding to the ground beef in the next step. Let the mixture cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground meat and remaining teaspoon of salt. Gradually incorporate vegetable mixture into the ground meat. Add as much as you can while still being able to form your burgers as normal.
    *If you end up adding too much vegetable mixture, don’t worry! Just form your burgers and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Cook burgers 5 minutes each side or cook to your preference. Cooking times vary depending on your what time of meat you are using.
  • Add Spicy Sprout Mix from SunGarden on top for extra flavor and extra nutrients.
  • Optional: Eat with leftover sauteed zucchini over a spinach salad.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 663mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 23.3mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2.6mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @GetBurgerFit or tag #getburgerfit!

Tag us in your #getburgerfit creation on Instagram if you liked this recipe! 

Meet the Hosts

Alane Boyd headshot

Alane Boyd

Host of Cooking with My Friends

Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!

Melissa Haithcock

Melissa Haithcock


Melissa Haithcock is a blogger, photographer, writer, recipe developer, stylist, and speaker that lives in the Nashville area.

How We Met

Just looking at Melissa’s Instagram feed, I was immediately blown away by what all she is able to do while taking care of her son! I love her bright and happy photos of what she cooks and the time she spends with her family. I am always inspired seeing moms that are so organized in their home and their business while still raising their children. She really does do it all and with elegance. I was super excited to meet her in-person, see her beautifully decorated house, and shoot an episode with her (and her chickens in her backyard!).

Alane Boyd

Alane is the co-founder of BGBO Co, a business consulting company that helps business owners achieve their biggest goal and overcome their biggest obstacle. She is also the creator of BurgerFit and the host of Cooking with My Friends. Both were started to inspire people to eat healthier.

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