the food bitch

people call me a food bitch. not because of any gourmet tendencies (i go on a weekly fridge-sniff to see what needs to be thrown away), but due to my healthy lifestyle know-how and big mouth. i have a big mouth when it comes to food.

part healthy living, part recipe showcase, part food review - i do a little bit of everything.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Burgers and Fries (kind of)

Well, what a great day. Seventy degrees, sunny, I woke up early and went to the gym, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. On top of that, the person I'm in love with* called me from Chicago. And he'll be home for Christmas. Now, I can never wait for Christmas, it's absolutely my favorite time of year, but this makes it all the better.

After he called, I took a spritely trip out to the grocery store, and came back to make dinner. Oh, dinner. I haven't had a burger and fries in what seems like a very long time. Well, I haven't eaten red meat in just about two years, and don't plan on eating red meat ever again. But I still like burgers. Frozen veggie burgers are fine in a pinch, but sometimes you've just gotta go it on your own. So I found a Cooking Light recipe that sounded good. Of course, it called for real beef. Scratch that, I'm using Lightlife Gimme Lean. This ground beef substitute is really rather unappetizing to look at, but it's flavored well and makes good meatballs. I've never made a burger out of it, but I figured it was at least worth a try. And success! Combined with a hefty spice rub, this is an incredibly flavorful and filling burger.

This burger don't need no mayo.

Open Faced Burgers with Mushroom-Onion Topping
Serves: 2

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
8 oz lightlife gimme lean, ground beef style
1 thomas' light multi-grain english muffin

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes or until golden. Add mushrooms and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vinegar; remove mixture from pan. Set aside.

Combine the paprika and the next 4 ingredients (paprika through black pepper). Divide the "beef" into 2 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Coat patties with spice mixture. Cook patties in non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place burgers on muffin halves, and top each burger with 1/4 cup onion mixture.

WW Points: 4

What's a burger without fries? I love fries, any fries. Baked, fried, when I was a kid I even ate them frozen. Well, I did it once and learned my lesson. Fries are not to be eaten frozen. I was in the mood for fries, but I wanted to do something a little different. So, another Cooking Light recipe, this one for Crispy Hash Browns. Crispy, indeed. I may have taken my eye off of the oven a little bit too long, but at least I know the recipe doesn't lie. These are a nice, unfried hash brown. If I was eating these with eggs, I might find them a little bland, but matched with the flavor heaven mentioned above, it was a nice side dish.

Crispy Hash Browns
Serves: 4

1/2 pound baking potato, shredded
2 tbsp scallions, sliced
2 tbsp green bell pepper, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder


Preheat oven to 475°.

Place potato in a large bowl, and cover with cold water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain and rinse potato. Dry thoroughly in a salad spinner, or pat dry with paper towels. Combine potato, onions, and bell pepper in bowl. Add the cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and onion powder; toss well to coat.

Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil; coat thoroughly with cooking spray. Place a 3-inch biscuit cutter on prepared baking sheet. Fill biscuit cutter with 1/2 cup potato mixture (do not pack). Carefully remove cutter, leaving potato patties intact. Repeat the procedure with remaining potato mixture. Coat tops of potato patties with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 20 minutes. Turn and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown.

WW Points (per hash brown): 1

So, a good, good day.

*I may or may not be in love with him. He's asked me, and I've told him I'm in something with him. It's something, all right.


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