Friday, September 25, 2009

{Burgers with Hidden Veggies}


If time allows, make the burger patties ahead of time and chill them for an hour before grilling so they're firmer and easier to handle.

- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Purple Puree (see below for recipe)

- 1/4 cup oat bran, plus additional as needed
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound lean ground beef or Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken
- 4 hamburger buns or English muffins, preferably whole grain
- Optional extra boost: lettuce, tomato slices, or grilled onions and mushrooms
Also, I like to add lots of seasoning to my burgers. You can season as you wish!

> Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and spray with oil.

> In a large bowl, mix tomato paste, Purple Puree, oat bran, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing with your hands until well combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more oat bran.

> Using damp hands, shape mixture into four 1/4-pound patties. At this point, the burgers may be prepared a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator or frozen. If you are not freezing for future use, proceed to the next steps.

> Spray both sides of the burgers with oil and place them on the prepared grill. Cook for 4 to 7 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.

> Serve on whole grain buns

Purple puree:
Makes about 1 cup of puree

- 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves*
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons water

*note: I prefer raw baby spinach to frozen spinach for this recipe (more mild flavor); if you must use frozen spinach, only use 1 cup of it.

> Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

> Fill the bowl of your food processor with the spinach, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

> This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

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