The Blended Burger
Tis the season for grilling! Grilling often involves meat as center stage, but those looking to improve health may opt for less meat and more vegetables. A veggie burger made with beans is an excellent option but is a drastic change for those who love a juicy beef burger. So, let me introduce the “blended” burger. The blend is part ground meat (beef or turkey are commonly used) and part mushrooms. Mushrooms have a ‘meaty’ texture which makes it helpful for substituting part of the meat in a recipe. Mushrooms added to burgers can increase flavor, texture, and juiciness as well as boost nutrition. As a home chef, you can choose whatever meat to mushroom ratio you prefer. Mushrooms can be finely chopped then cooked and mixed in with uncooked ground meat before being grilled. A 50:50 mushroom to beef ratio would cut the calories and fat of a 4 oz burger in half!
In addition to cutting back on calories and saturated fat, mushrooms provide antioxidants, B vitamins and a rich source of the mineral, selenium, as well as a source of potassium. There are many different varieties of mushrooms to choose from. White/button, portabella, cremini, and shiitake are commonly found on supermarket shelves and could all be incorporated into a blended burger. Check out this blended burger recipe as a guide:
If a blended burger takes more effort than you’d like, perhaps having a side of grilled vegetables would work for you. Mushrooms are also great many other ways: marinated and grilled portabella mushrooms, sautéed mushrooms on top of grilled chicken, sliced mushrooms added to pasta or in soup and as part of a variety of grilled vegetables or stir fry.
The blended burger is a great option for those who still want to enjoy meat (just a little less), without sacrificing flavor. How might you boost nutrition in your meals this grilling season?