Monday, May 31, 2010

Basil Burgers

So, I wanted to make healthy cheese burgers for my family and I wanted them to taste better than traditional burgers. I think I achieved that! Once again, no leftovers afterward which means another successful meal from Lindsey's Kitchen.

I usually make my burger patties from scratch but this meal was all about saving time. I was able to use lettuce and basil from my garden as well as pickled peppers I had just pickled myself. To make them extra healthy I used a new whole wheat hamburger bun made by Sarah Lee. They were surprisingly delicious. I also use Kraft Mayonnaise with Olive Oil. It has half the fat and my family loves it.

What I love about these burgers is that they are loaded with ingredients yet they aren't soggy, won't fall apart and kids can grip them easily. My 22 month old daughter ate an adult size serving without any mess! You won't feel greasy or sickly stuffed after eating them either. Hallelujah!

These are great served with sweet potato fries or baked chips. We wanted to try a new potato chip flavor made by Lays, "balsamic sweet onion". At first they have an interesting taste because they have thyme on them. Then they become addicting. The flavor goes outstandingly well with these burgers.

Basil Burgers

6-8 frozen burger patties (extra lean)
3 Tbsp Sweet Baby Ray's Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce (my absolute favorite!)
6-8 slices American Cheese
8 slices romaine lettuce
2 ripe tomatoes sliced
4 large dill pickles sliced lengthwise
1/4 onion sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pickled yellow peppers
1 cup sliced mushrooms

Grill or fry patties until brown all the way through. Spread BBQ sauce on each side of patty when grilling. Top with cheese slices and melt. Set aside on covered dish to keep warm. Saute mushrooms in remaining oil from patties until golden. Spread mayo on buns. Stack in order of patty, mushrooms, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and basil. Top with favorite condiments. I use a lite amount of ketchup and mustard. Enjoy!!

Leftovers Reborn!

So what to do with 1 week old homemade bread, canned olives that need to be eaten and garden zucchini that's been in the freezer for 2 years? Make an Italian materpiece!

Before I can use my new groceries I always feel guilty if I don't clean out the fridge and use up what's left over. I just can't be wasteful so I have to get creative. It always helps too, when you have a garden growing of fresh herbs. My favorite - basil!

My husband and son who are not zucchini fans gobbled this up in minutes. The pictures don't do it justice. You know you made a good meal when there is nothing left over to put in the fridge.

Mediterranean Melt

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1b (block) of fresh mozarella sliced (the real stuff that comes packaged in liquid)
6-8 slices of thick artisan bread
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
3 ripe tomatoes sliced
1/2 can olives
dash of garlic power
dash of salt
dash of oregano
Sweet Balsamic Syrup (I get mine from Germany. Visit this link to learn how to make your own)

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Arrange slices of bread on sheet and brush the tops with oil. Sprinkle salt, garlic and oregano on top. Arrange cheese slices over tops of bread until completely covered. Top with tomatoes, olives and chopped basil leaves. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes (until bread is toasted). Drizzle balsamic syrup over the top and sprinkle a dash of salt.

Zucchini Parmesan

1 tsp olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
dash of salt
dash of ground pepper
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil

In a skillet add oil until hot. Add all ingredients except for cheese. Fry until zucchini is golden (a toasted appearance) then add cheese. Turn heat to low and stir in cheese until well blended and melted.