Lately, it seems like the hamburger has taken a huge part of the blame for the increase in obesity among the population. Have you ever noticed that when the subject of the news or documentary is obesity, there is almost always someone eating a hamburger?
If we take a hamburger to analyze it carefully we will find:
- vegetables - source of vitamins, minerals, fiber etc.
- beef and egg - source of protein, iron, etc.
- bread - source of energy
The hamburger is pretty colorful! We've learned that colorful food (as long as it isn't artificial coloring) is good for you!
It has the components of a fairly nutritious meal.
Well, I will defend the hamburger! The homemade hamburger!
But when I say homemade hamburger I don't mean buying industrialized buns and patties to "make them" at home.
To make your hamburger a nutritious meal, you can do this:
- homemade wholewheat buns (you will be sure that it won't contain large amounts of sugar, salt, trans fat, and chemicals). You will be able to count on the extra fiber from the whole wheat flour.
- homemade beef patties made with home-ground beef (or, if you prefer to buy ground beef, make sure it is not homogenized with all sorts of bad stuff)
- lettuce, tomato, onion and fresh eggs, preferably organic
- good quality cheese, not the processed kind that looks like polyurethane
- a Greek yogurt dressing with the spices you like will reduce a lot of calories if compared to mayonnaise based dressings.
Quite a difference, huh? I'm sure it is still a quite caloric meal, but at least they are nutritious calories.
They are much tastier than industrialized hamburgers, and they look much more like the ones you see on the ads!
Best of all, they are a lot healthier!
And if you want to make things easier, prepare larger batches of buns and beef patties and freeze them to have on hand when you are pressed with time.
If you got excited, you can find a link to the recipe below. It yields 4 large hamburgers (I couldn't manage to finish one by myself!). Of course you can adjust to the size of your appetite :o)
WHOLE WHEAT HAMBURGER BUNS
(Makes 4 to 6 buns)
160ml warm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp instant dry yeast
100g whole wheat flour
150g all purpose flour (approximately)
sesame seeds (optional)
In a bowl, combine water, sugar, salt, butter, yeast and whole wheat flour. Stir well using a wooden spoon. Add all purpose flour gradually until it gets difficult to stir with the spoon.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough adding more flour gradually until it isn't sticky anymore. You may need a little more or a little less flour (I needed less). Knead a little longer until you have a smooth, soft, and elastic ball of dough.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn the dough around to coat it.
Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Punch the dough down and divide it into 4 to 6 portions, depending on the size that you want.
Make balls with the dough and arrange them on a baking sheet. I used this tartlet pan but you can use just any baking pan.
Cover with a plastic and let rise again until doubled in size.
Spray or brush with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional)
Bake at 390°F (200°C) preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden.
(Makes 4 to 6)
500g ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 onion finely chopped
salt, black pepper to taste (or use your favorite seasonings)
bread crumbs as needed (about 1/4 cup)
Mix everything together with your hand, adding bread crumbs until it is good to shape into patties.
Cook on a grill or skillet on medium heat until done, turning halfway through.
Assemble your sandwich adding lettuce leaves, tomato slices, onion slices, fried egg, cheese and whatever suits your fancy.
In a small bowl, season some Greek yogurt with some mustard, ketchup and finely chopped pickles, or to your personal taste.