The Best Hamburger Recipe = The Healthiest
An American Classic. What summer gathering would be complete without a good burger. We often serve up this recipe for our summer gatherings. Did you know that using all grass fed ground beef – saves about 100 calories per 6 oz burger? No joke, that’s a big difference. Adding diced mixed veggies and a little bit of Flax Meal, not only keeps these burgers moist and juicy, but it also might make this the healthiest & best hamburger recipe you’ve ever had.
Diva’s Best Hamburger Recipe Ingredients
2 lbs of All Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Flax
1 Tbsp of Worchestershire Sauce
1 Cup of Diced Mix Vegetables
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
Instructions for our Best Hamburger Recipe
Sautee or microwave your diced mixed veggies until they are soft. This is key, they won’t cook fast enough to soften in the burger while it grills.
Dump all the ingredients in a large bowl… I love use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this…. mix until well combined.
Gently form into a ball, about tennis sized, then flatten out. Once you have it flattened, take a second to poke most of your green spots into the beef so they are hidden. Repeat until you have no more meat mixture.
Set aside and grill to your desired “done-ness.” Set on a Whole Wheat Bun and garnish with your favorite fixings.
Makes 8-9 1/4 burger patties.
Tips & Tricks: What is your best hamburger recipe tip?
A Closer Look at Community Supported Agriculture
Today nearly everyone is looking for new ways to eat better. Between busy schedules, fast food restaurants, and junk food at the checkout, there are endless temptations to eat badly.
How about a temptation to eat better? My favorite is Community Supported Agriculture.
Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short, is an arrangement between subscribers (also called members) and a local farm. The members join for a season and make a monetary payment in exchange for a share of the harvest. Typically you receive a weekly box, delivered locally, often to another member’s garage. CSA members share in the risks and benefits of the harvest. This means that in a good year there may be additional bundles of corn while in a bad year, corn may be absent–but there may be extra cauliflower.
Your Community Supported Agriculture Dollars at Work
CSA’s typically offer good value for your food dollar and the foods are often grown without chemical pesticides. By “eating local” you help the local economy, support family farms, and reduce the impact of packaging and shipping cross country. And you get some really fresh, amazing food.
One of the surprising advantages of joining a CSA is that it is a commitment. With one burst of resolve you sign up–and are in it for the season. Since you have already paid for a weekly box of vegetables, you are more likely to eat them. And let’s be honest, if you have a bad week at work, you are going to need something more motivating that a simple commitment to eat better. Sounds challenging, but the (really fresh) produce is so beautiful, it feels like you are getting a weekly present.
Beyond the food itself, joining a CSA may offer additional benefits. Often there is a newsletter with healthy recipe suggestions and connections to other providers like grass fed beef producers. There may also be farm events like canning classes or member parties, where your kids can see a real, live chicken. I’ve had a great time and gotten delicious recipes at my CSAs annual harvest party.
Most CSAs are getting ready for the new season and signing up members now. If you are serious about eating better, this is one of the best commitments you can make. To find one near you, check out the Local Harvest website.
Let Us Know About Your Experiences with Community Supported Agriculture!
Do you dream that your children – or in my case husband – will ask this question at the dinner table?
You’re not alone – It’s just a dream in my home too! Do you know that ideally we would consume 9 – 1/2 cup servings of fruits and vegetables a day and should have no less than 5! Some of my friends seem mystified by how many vegetables my children eat, so I’m giving away my secret.
Many people are familiar with hiding puree’s in your food. I do use this technique, but need it less and less as my children eat their vegetables without me having to hide them.
My secret is diced mixed vegetables. Every week I dice up a giant dish full of mixed vegetables – this mix typically contains onions, red pepper, green pepper, zucchini, and celery. Sometimes I will add grated carrot or diced yellow squash. Really you can add almost anything.
Once you have this mix – add it to everything you cook that week at the end of 5-7 days cook up whatever is left and put it in the freezer for use on a day when you are out of the fresh mix.
We use this mix to up the veggie count in spaghetti sauce (1/2 vegetable and 1/2 meat), shepherd’s pie, tuna noodle casseroles and other comfort foods. I put it in mac & cheese, quesidilla, enchilladas, burritos, rice pilaf, soups, ready made spaghetti sauces (my kids never met a noodle they didn’t love!) and eggs. Basically if I’m cooking – there are mixed vegetables going in.
Once the mixed vegetables are in, I also add chopped frozen spinach to most dishes and other vegetables that are part of the dish. For example, in our home peas are part of shepherd’s pie and tuna casserole.
It’s also a good idea to add flax meal to any dish that will hide it’s dark color, 1-2 tablespoons in the sauce. A tablespoon in the pancakes or french toast egg mix. You won’t taste it, but you will amp up the nutritional value.
So there you have it. You are hiding vegetables, but they still know they are there.
Some of you may find your eaters pick around the vegetables (I’m OK with this, they can’t get them all) and in my experience they will eventually give up with most dishes. My daughter used to pick around the vegetables in spaghetti sauce and after enough nights of “you can’t have more noodles until you eat the sauce”… the sauce is now eaten with the noodles.
We just need to be more persistent and consistent than they are.
By Tania Reuben
Tuna Casserole is a staple in many American kitchens. Comfort food.
Lil’ Diva hasn’t met a noodle she doesn’t like, so this mama has had to master the art of making some American favorites just a little healthier.
We use lots of vegetables, less cheese, whole wheat noodles and flax meal in the topping to increase the nutrients in this staple recipe.
See if this one works for your family!
3 Cups of Diced Mixed Vegetables
1-2 6 oz Cans of Tuna
1-2 Teaspoons of Grapeseed Oil
1 Teaspoons of Italian Seasonings
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
1 Cup of Milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
3/4 Cup of Frozen Peas
1/2 Cup of Spinach
1/4 Cup of grated Sharp Cheddar
1/4 Cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 Tablespoon of flax meal
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
1/4 Cup of Parmesan
1/4 Teaspoon of pepper
1 lb Whole Wheat Spiral Noodles
Boil Water – Cook Noodles. Set aside.
Saute Mixed Vegetables in grapeseed oil until the vegetables are soft, add seasonings. Mix in flour. Add broth and allow to simmer and thicken. Add tuna, peas and spinach until they are cooked. Pour in the milk. Once warmed add the Cheddar.
Set oven to broil.
Combine all the topping ingredients.
Put the noodles in a casserole dish, combine with the sauce. Cover casserole with topping. Set under broiler until the topping is toasted.
Crockpot Chili is perfect for serving a crowd or feeding your family and still leaving leftovers to freeze for another meal.
This recipe is as comforting and delicious as it is good for you.
I prepared this for a weekend getaway in Seattle a number of years ago and apparently they are still talking about this recipe.
2 Cups Dried Black Beans
2 Cups Dried Kidney Beans
40 oz of Tomato Sauce
28 oz of Diced Canned Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of Grapeseed Oil (divided)
2 cloves of garlic (or 1 teaspoon pre chopped)
1-2 lbs of Lean Ground Meat (we use turkey or 94% lean ground beef)
4 cups of diced mixed vegetable mix
1 cup corn kernals (we use frozen)
1/2 cup of chopped frozen spinach
2 Tablespoons of Flax Meal
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Molasses
1 Teaspoon of Agave (or sugar)
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
Salt to taste.
Rinse and Drain the Beans together in the crockpot (power off), cover with water, let soak for a while (5-6 hours).
Rinse the beans then cover with water 3-4 inches. Cook overnight (6 hours).
Drain and rinse the beans.
Use a fry pan to saute ground meat in with garlic in oil. Add to crockpot. To increase iron content use cast iron. Using the same pan, saute mixed vegetables in oil. Add to crockpot.
Add seasoning, allow to cook the rest of the day. My crockpot only has two settings – Cook and Warm. If yours has multiple settings, use high.
Serve with favorite chili garnish. In our house its cheese and light sour cream, sour cream and cheese, cheese and sour cream.
By Tania Reuben
The inspiration for this recipe came from my friend Samantha. I have tried many recipe’s for turkey meatloaf that have failed for our family.
2 1/2 Cups Mixed Vegetable Mix
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil (enough to saute vegetables)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons chicken stock
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/4 cup ketchup or 8 Slices of Nitrate Free Turkey Bacon.
Preheat oven to 400. Cook mixed vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme until onions translucent. Add Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock and tomato paste. Mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Combine turkey, bread crumbs and egg. Add the sauteed mixed vegetables. I do this using the Kitchen Aid on low which keeps the hands clean.
Shape in log and place on cookie sheet, or place in loaf pan (which is what i did).
Spread ketchup on top OR wrap with bacon.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove Foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until 160 inside the meat.
Total Baking time is 1 hour.
Think you can’t make a cute, appetizing, healthy bento for your young children or preschooler?
It’s easier than you think!Start with a smallish size (200-350ml, or whatever you think is appropriate for your child’s appetite) bento box. This one is metal, with a tight-sealing lid and a divided section.
- I put a variety of fresh fruits in the small section.
- Then line the larger section with a few lettuce leaves for decoration.
- On top of the lettuce I put some homemade vegetarian pad thai noodles. Many kids love noodles, and they are great bento fillers. You can also use whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti or shaped pasta. Do you have any leftover noodles that need to be used?This bento is nice as is, but if you add a little more decoration you might entice your child to eat a few more veggies.
- Use a wooden skewer to poke through some sliced steamed carrots. I used purple carrots.
- For the wings, use some heart-shaped cutters to make two different sized hearts from different colored steamed sweet potatoes. Here I used garnet and satsumaimo (Japanese white-colored sweet potato).
- Place the wings next to the body, and decorate with sliced yellow carrot circles.
- Finally, use a steamed snap pea for the antenna.Suddenly you have a butterfly in your bento.
The veggies I used are suggestions – so when getting ready to make lunch or snack – take a look in your own crisper to see what kinds of produce you have to substitute — beets, broccoli, even tomatoes can brighten up a lunch to make it look more appealing. Select the ingredients you are going to use. Steam the items that need cooking. Then follow the above instructions for assembly
Believe it or not, adding a cute touch will only take a few more minutes of your time. Even my 2-year old daughter will agree to eat a few veggies artfully arranged in a fun bento.
Sheri is a bento artist and mom of 2 living in Northern California. Her goal is to help children discover that healthy and nutritious food can be delicious and fun to eat. She uses the bento box as a means of presenting a balanced meal in a beautiful way…and give the kids a smile at lunchtime. She blogs at Happy Little Bento.
You are excited to try my diced mixed vegetable technique – but don’t want to spend hours getting your veggies into perfect 1/4 inch cubes. I don’t blame you.
I don’t spend hours chopping – I have a chopper that I use. I recommend it – with hesitation – I can’t keep it from breaking. After about 6 months usage the hinge breaks, this is only in the vicinity of 24 uses – not very good – right?
Trouble is – I have tried so many other options and none of them work either. The food processor doesn’t give you the right size or consistency, other choppers have been too difficult to use, and manually just takes me forever!
This one works the best – but clearly it’s not ideal because it keeps breaking. I keep returning mine – hoping the manufacturer will fix the flaw – but so far no luck. I’m open to suggestions!
So with mixed feelings I will tell you I use the Vidalia Chop Wizard. It’s made by progressive. They sell it under the Williams Sonoma name as well, it’s the exact same one, just pricier.