BURGERS: New approaches to an American Classic
It’s grilling season and burgers top the list of the most popular foods to slap on the grill in summer. Not only is it the quintessential comfort food, it is truly an American classic too. The trouble is, a broiled quarter pound hamburger has 20 grams of total fat, 8g of saturated fat. So can you indulge, without ruining your diet and hard work at the gym? Whether you’re hosting a summer cookout or are a guest at a summer picnic, there are easy ways you can save calories and slim down your burger, and lighten up your recipes without cooking out all of the flavor. Check out these techniques:
1. Mix lean beef with turkey to make your patties.
2. Use whole wheat breadcrumbs instead of white, or try ground hazelnuts or almonds for a healthier filler that is also gluten-free.
3. Add fresh herbs and leafy greens to your burger mixture for a healthy low calorie flavor booster.
4. Make smaller burgers from lean meat.
5. Add black beans or chickpeas to the meat to spice it up and add fiber, or go meatless and make a delicious salmon or veggie burger.
6. Use spicy rubs, hot sauce, chipotle spreads, marinades, and/or salsa, to wake up the flavor of a lean burger, rather than smothering it with condiments.
7. Make your own or buy whole grain buns to lay off preservatives and get your daily intake or fiber.
8. Or go bun-less and try serving your burger in a lettuce wrap, on top of a salad, or between two slices of grilled zucchini.
9. Go easy on the cheese. Avoid fat-free cheese that doesn’t melt and instead do a smaller piece of your favorite cheese, or try grating it.
10. Or, skip the cheese and bacon and heap on healthy toppings like tomatoes, tomatillos, sweet onions, avocado, spinach, arugula, and/or grilled vegetables, to make a delicious recipe loaded with vitamin C, folate and fiber.
This week, I have two recipes. One for my veggie lovers and the other for my carnivores. So, what are you waiting for? Fire up the grill/oven and get your better, lighter burger summer going!
Black Bean and Winter Squash Veggie Burger
Recipe from www.two-tarts.com
• 6 Tbsp oats (ground into grainy sand via food processor)
• 1 1/4 c black beans (cooked)
• 2 cups cooked squash (dry variety like butternut).
• 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
• 1/2 cup frozen corn
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1T olive oil
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp tarragon
• 1/4 tsp coriander
• 1 tsp chili powder
Grind the oats in a food processor until they’re grainy andsandy, with just a few pulses. Mash black beans in a bowl with a fork. Goal is to have about 1/2 mashed and the other 1/2 fairly intact. Dump oat flour, squash, quinoa, corn, onion, garlic and olive oil into the bean bowl. Stir well to combine. Add all the spices. Mix well.
Form the burgers into patties with your hands. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pan fry (3-4 minutes per side on medium heat) or bake them (350 degrees for 15 minutes per side).
German Pork Burger
Recipe from www.simplyrecipes.com
• 2lbs ground pork
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp ground juniper berries (or ½ tsp celery seeds)
• 1 tbsp caraway seeds
• 1 tbsp black pepper
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
• Vegetable oil
• Sauerkraut and whole grain mustard
• Whole wheat burger buns
Using your hands, mix the ground pork with salt and pepper, juniper berries, and the caraway seeds. Then mix in the yogurt and parsley. Form into patties.
Grill 4-5 min each side, until the burgers are cooked through (inside temp of the meat is 155 degrees F). Toast the buns and serve the burgers with sauerkraut, spicy grainy mustard and any other diced colorful vegetables.