Beef-zucchini burgers with camembert & honey-dijon dressing

Beef-zucchini burger There is a pretty common stereotype about the poor burgers being unhealthy, high in fat and calories generally related to fast-food and diet causing high blood-cholesterol. This statement may be right facing the burger which is made of...

Beef-zucchini burger
Beef-zucchini burger

There is a pretty common stereotype about the poor burgers being unhealthy, high in fat and calories generally related to fast-food and diet causing high blood-cholesterol. This statement may be right facing the burger which is made of fatty beef, cheddar accompanied with mayonnaise dressing and cripsy, but oily chips. It would not be objective though if I forgot about a "tired" slice of tomato, cucumber and "almost sleepy" lettuce. I haven´t grown up in a world of McDonald´s, and my mum would probably never have taken me there if having a Happy Meal wouldn´t seem to be a life-important thing at that time . Even now I´m not a special fan of McDo´s (unless it 's 3 a.m., we're walking from a club and  it's the only place that is not already closed, so in these cases I´m lovin´ it!).

But have you ever thought about changing the stereotype and making burgers healthy? (or at least healthier ;) When I thought about this, a whole-wheat bun was obvious and not surprising at all. The patty was, however, harder to transform into its "better sibling". I definitely didn´t want it to be vegetarian and the less caloric poultry would kill the flavour and we would lose juiciness. So I replaced one part of beef with zucchini and I must say that others almost didn´t notice the difference. Zucchini even added juice and the nice beefy taste was retained thanks to the neutral flavour of the zucchini. Adding herbs and spices improves the digestibility.

The dressing is made without mayonnaise using plain yoghurt, spicy Dijon mustard which again makes the meat easier to digest, and honey to contrast flavours.

Maybe this isn't to your liking, but I rarely if ever serve potatoe chips with burgers. The bun serves as a sort of "side dish" so really, there's no need of a potatoe. If friends come over and it's their desire, I may bake them a potatoe but a healthier way to go might be grilling some celery or carrots. You may also serve a salad. I recommend coleslaw.

I´m sure you can come up with other ideas for healthy burgers according to seasonal ingredients. I leave that to you.

Good luck!

Martina

Beef-zucchini burgers with camembert & honey-dijon dressing

For 6 Patties

Ingredients:

  • 400 g minced beef
  • 250 g zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bigger clove of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Handful of breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt

    Zucchini
    Zucchini

Honey - dijon dressing

  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of liquid honey
  • 130 g plain yogurt
  • 1 big ripe tomato
  • Lettuce

    Tomatoes
    Tomatoes

Onion marmelade

  • 3 onions
  • 10 g of fatty bacon
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Preparation:

1. In a pan sauté chopped onion and sliced garlic. Add grated zucchini and sauté for additional 2 minutes. Pour off any the exceed liquid.

2. In a bowl mix together minced beef, zucchini mixture, breadcrumbs, egg and all the spices. Put in the fridge for at least half an hour to let the flavors incorporate.

3. Preheat a pan to maximum heat. Form the beef patties about the size of your palm approximately 1 cm tall and put onto the preheated pan. The pan should be very hot at first, causing the patty to shrink immediately. After a minute turn the patty over, wait for additional minute and  lower the heat to medium. Continue frying the patties for about 5 minutes in all.

Burgers
Burgers

Onion Marmelade on a bun
Onion Marmelade on a bun

 

4. For the dressing, just mix the yoghurt, mustard and honey together.

5. Making the onion marmelade, chop the onion and bacon into 0,5cm dices/cubes and cut bacon into cubes of the same size. Put in a pan together with honey and salt and sauté on a low heat until tender. You may add some oil if your bacon isn't fatty enough or onion seems to be burning.

6. Finally it´s time to complete our burgers. Take a bun, cut in halves and put on a grill or a dry pan to make it crispy.

7. Spread the honey- mustard dressing on both halves. On the bottom half spread also a layer of onion marmelade.

8. Now it is time for a patty and a lenghtwise slice of camembert, it melts nicely on a warm patty. Then a lenghtwise slice of tomato, onion rings and a leaf of lettuce. You can actually change the order, however it is recommened to keep the lettuce away from the warm patty as it would fizzle.

Onion rings  are optional but let´s admit it, "Who can resist the tease of a crispy onion ring" Even those who are not fans of fried food would secretly grab one.

Onion Rings

Ingredients:

  • 3 big onions, cut and separated into rings
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g plain white flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 75 ml water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Oil for frying

Preparation:

  1. Let the onion rings soak in a bowl with water for at least 30 minutes.
  2.  Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. While mixing, gradually add the egg and water until the batter is smooth.
  3. Dry onion rings in a kitchen towel and put into the batter.
  4. Preheat oil in a bigger pan and put rings coated with batter into preheated oil one by one.
  5. Fry for about a minute from each side.

Oh! What a meal....... Enjoy!