So tonight my wife and I are having Hamburgers and Fries. Despite a healthy lifestyle, you can still eat good food, and there is no reason to avoid many foods you are already enjoy. Today’s recipe is quick and simple, and is a good way to end your week and reward yourself. If you are tracking your calories you can plan for this meal and still not go over for the day. If you do go over, remember you can make up for it throughout the week. Shoot for a weekly total of calories, don’t focus just on each day.
So first lets talk about the fries. Homemade fries are easy to make and only have 118 calories. A serving of fries is equal to one full potato. In order to make the fries you can cut them up by hand or use a mandolin. I use a mandolin, and today I cut them in 3mm strips (julienne fries). Now be sure to cut the fries as early in the day as possible. The reason for this is because you need to soak them in water. Soaking the fries will extract starch and increase the health side of the dish. If you can, change the water hourly. If you can’t that is fine and you can leave them in the water for the day.
Now about an hour before you plan on cooking the fries, dump the fries on to a cloth and allow them to sit and dry. With 20 minutes before cooking turn on the oven, set to 350, and season the fries. I season the fries with pepper to taste and a light spray of olive oil. Once the oven is to temp, place the fries on a cooking pan and set in the oven. Turn the convection on and let bake. The time depends on the slice sizes and your choice of crispiness. I like my fries crispy and with the smaller slices tonight we baked for OOOOO minutes.
Now for the burgers! This again is a very simple recipe. I use 85/15 meat. The reason I do not go with 90/10 is because the extra fat helps with flavor and keeps the patties together. Plus that little 5% is not going to hurt you. Now to flavor and season the meat I use a lot of different techniques. Tonight’s burgers are seasoned with Trader Joe’s South African Rub. I grind the rub and add to the meat until I smell enough of the rub to know I can taste it. Smell is about 75% of taste, so if you like the amount of seasoning you can smell chances are you will enjoy the taste. I seasoning everything based on smell and I never measure. After seasoning the meat, I do the whole package, I split into patties of 1/3 pounds. You can go for 1/4 if you want to save on calories. After making patties, I put two patties together in a ziploc bag and repeat until all pairs of patties are zipped up. This way I can freeze the patties in groups of two- one for me, one for my wife. Whenever you plan to have burgers, remove the bag of two patties from the freezers and place them in the fridge overnight.
Once you are ready to cook the burger, turn your grill on and set to high. Do this at-least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Let the burgers sit at room temperature until the grill has heated. Once the grill has heated up for 30 minutes placed the burgers on the grill and close the top. After 4 minutes open the grill and flip the burgers. Once flipped close the grill and wait 3 minutes. After 3 minutes open the grill and top the burgers with cheese, if you wish. At this time you can place your buns on the grill. After 60 seconds remove the patties and buns. You are now ready to serve.
I will go into the homemade buns I use at a later date, but for me burgers I use onion buns. The buns have 211 calories in them. That plus 15 calories for ketchup, 5 for mustard, 70 for cheese, and 310 for the 1/3lbs patty, makes for a burger with 611 calories. That is 250 less than at Five Guys and much better quality of meat. Add the fries, and the entire meal is 729 calories. Still less than 1 burger at Five Guys. Bigger than most meals, but it still left me with 1500 calories to have during the day, and can be less calories based on buying healthy buns or using less meat.