Katie's Healthy Bites: My Favorite Burgers

by in Uncategorized, June 28, 2009

Nothing beats sitting in my backyard and enjoying the warm summer air, the view of my garden and, of course, aromas from the grill. Burgers are a favorite at my house, but we tend to steer clear of your run-of-the-mill beef burger, which (though loaded with iron) contains a good amount of saturated fat and cholesterol.

We’re all about building better burgers, and believe me, there are a ton of tasty options beyond just beef. Did you know buffalo or bison meat has less cholesterol than chicken? Bison burgers have just as much flavor as regular beef burgers and, best of all, they taste the same! Turkey burgers, salmon burgers and veggie burgers are also high on my list of non-beef options. Serve them up on a crispy English muffin topped with all your favorite fixins (hold the mayo), and you have a hearty burger for your next cookout.

Here are my tried-and-true bison, turkey and veggie burger recipes.

Buffalo Burger
Servings: 4 burgers

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground buffalo meat (depends how big of a burger you want)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
Fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Separate mixture into 4 equal amounts. Form into burgers and cook to desired doneness. Note: Add 2 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese to the mixture for a tasty treat.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 197; Total Fat: 6 grams; Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams; Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram; Protein: 31 grams; Sodium: 345 milligrams; Cholesterol: 72 milligrams; Fiber: 0 grams

Arugula and Feta Turkey Burger
Servings: 4 burgers

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground white meat turkey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup raw arugula or baby spinach
2 tablespoon feta cheese crumbles
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix turkey and Dijon mustard. Set aside. In a sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add spinach or arugula, and cook until just wilted. Remove from pan and roughly chop. Add chopped greens and feta to burger mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to evenly distribute. Separate mixture into 4 equal parts. Form into burger and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side until cooked through.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 178; Total Fat: 4 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram; Protein: 36 grams; Sodium: 298 milligrams; Cholesterol: 60 milligrams; Fiber: 1 gram

Veggie Burger
Servings: 4 burgers

1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup black beans
1/4 cup whole-grain panko breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked brown rice or millet
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan. Add onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until translucent. In a food processor, combine beans, bread crumbs, brown rice (or millet), parsley, cumin, onion mixture, remaining oil, salt and pepper. Lightly process (do not puree). Form mixture into 4 equal sized burgers and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cook on a non-stick or oiled surface.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 186; Total Fat: 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Total Carbohydrate: 25 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Sodium: 147 milligrams; Cholesterol: 0 milligram; Fiber: 4 grams

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, owns HealthyBites, LLC and is a finalist on The Next Food Network Star, which airs Sundays on Food Network.

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