Long weekends are fantastic but long weekends in the summer are by far the best! Whether you spend it with family, up at the cottage, in the city by the lake or relaxing at home there is often one thing in common, BARBEQUE!
Now as holistic nutritionists we should be shaking our heads and warning you against Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and all the rest of those chemicals and carcinogens but we’re talkin’ long week here and we want to keep it light!
Keeping that in mind there are ways to enjoy the grill while being mindful of your health or obtaining the same great taste with other methods of cooking. We’re going to focus on the juicy and delicious burgers during this grill talk.
First making your patties vs. Buying store bought allows you to control what’s going in the bulk of you burger. As we always like to say rotate! So here are a few healthier ideas for your homemade burger patties.
The traditional beef patty
*finding a butcher is key when enjoying red meats, they are more educated on where the beef has come from, how it was raised, what it was feed and how it was killed. These are things you want to know! Have a conversation and get in the know of what you’re putting in your body.
- 1 lb Lean ground beef
- 1 free range egg
- 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup bread crumbs (make your own from day-old bread – kamut/spelt/rice are nice options)
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ tsp Fresh cracked pepper and sea salt
The Veggie burger patty
*Jill and my favourite! Recipe is also included in our food journals, please contact us if interested. This is a great way to pack in the veggies and they are baked in the oven!
- 1-2 small beets, grated
- 1 large zucchini, grated
- 1 large carrot, grated
- ½ – 1 small sweet potato, grated
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- ½ cup ground almond
- 1 cup brown rice crumbs
- 2 eggs
- Juice of 1 lemon (roll the lemon on the counter before cutting to get the most juice out of your lemon)
1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions
2. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix ingredient using clean hands and start forming patties
4. Place patties on baking sheet
5. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 10-15min, then flip and bake for another 5-10min. watching for patties to turn golden brown
*If mixture seems dry add another egg or more brown rice crumbs if the mixture is too wet.
Chia Chipotle bean burger
*We talked about chia in our last 2 articles and here is one more great way to get chia into your diet. Chia gel directions are found in last week’s article. Making lentil or bean burgers is a great way to keep your patty low in fat, high in protein, and high in fibre. Play around with using lentil and different beans. We got this great recipe from the book “CHIA the complete guide to ultimate superfood” by Wayne Coates
- 1 15-ouce can black beans
- ¼ cup chia gel (see last week’s article)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup corn kernels or sautéed or cooked vegetables (alternatively, use frozen corn kernels, defrosted, or vegetables leftover from another meal)
- 1 tsp canned chipotle in adobo, minced, or 1 tsp dried chipotle powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Optional: 1 tbsp minced cilantro or parsley
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1. In the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender, pulse the ingredients until blended. Do not over-process; you do not want to liquefy!
2. Heat coconut oil in a frying an over medium heat
3. Cook patties until golden, about fivr minutes. Flip and repeat.
4. Alternate cooking method; Preheat oven to 325F. Place the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cook until golden, 12 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
The Turkey burger patty
*One we haven’t tried but seems like a good one, it is from Dr. Oz’s site, recipe by Chef Spike Mendelsohn. This one cooks using a skillet, keeping it healthy Original recipe and directions below.
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup scallions, diced
- 2 green apples, cored and diced
- 2 lbs ground lean turkey
- 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Multigrain buns, sliced
- 1 bag fresh spinach
Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, scallions and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the turkey, lemon zest, sea salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
To make the patties, roll 6 turkey balls, about 4 oz each, and form each into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover and refrigerate.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining olive oil to cover the entire bottom. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and place the patties into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 1 minute.
SO! We have given you some great burger patty ideas – traditional and ones with a twist. The twists have a healthier alternative that take away from the grill cooking. If keeping with the summertime grill not a problem, use in moderation, be sure your grill is clean, and avoid cooking meats over medium well (or pre-cook in oven first). Cooking away from the direct flame is also helpful. CBC also provides a great tip! “Adding other ingredients — like fruit or soy — can reduce up to 95 per cent of HCA formation. Try adding half a cup of soy mixture or a cup of ground, fresh cherries to a half a kilo of ground meat when you make your burgers.”