The Chef Within
Healthy burgers that are good for you and good tasting!
For many Americans, ground meat is still the most cost effective and popular meat choice for regular meals. If you are looking for ways of reducing your meat intake or cutting down on red meat you might think about doing the following.
Next time you are making hamburgers for the family try including some vegetables as well. For instance…let’s say you have a family of five and you typically use a pound and a half of burger meat for one meal. Instead of using 1 1/2 pounds of meat start with only 1 pound and to that pound add a finely grated carrot (unpeeled)
and perhaps a smaller potato (skin on) also grated.
Now you have accomplished several good things: You are reducing you meat intake, you are sneaking in vegetables for nutritional benefits and you are saving money. This principle can be taken to any lengths. In that hamburger meat you might also want to add grated or finely minced onion. Maybe some garlic.
Nuts are such a great source of protein so include some of those (chopped or ground quite fine). Walnuts and pecans are good choices there. Ground seeds like sunflower seeds and flax seeds would be fun to try.
Another thought is to include some leftover rice and cooked whole grains in the patties as well. Leftover brown or regular rice or if you eat whole grain cereals and have some leftover from a meal, add that.
One word of caution as you try this. Remember that these changes should occur gradually, especially if you are dealing with children. I’ll never forget, as a young wife and mother, getting carried away with this idea and making a pinenut meatloaf that had more pinenuts that meat in it. You don’t want it to look too unfamiliar. My sons, to this day, have an adverse reaction to pinenuts.
So with that pound of meat instead of getting four 4 ounce portions, you get six!
Make sure the majority of the patty is still ground meat and as you make these more and more frequently you can increase the ratio of vegetables as the family gets accustomed to the change. I think you’ll really fall in love with the idea.