The first time I made these mini sliders, my daughter called them “cute”. I think she nailed it! But what are sliders anyway? They’re greasy burgers; the kind they serve at White Castle and your local bar (usually at happy hour). The name was actually dubbed, during World War II, by US Naval personnel who notice hamburger patties slid across the griddle as the ships were tossed about at sea. Now there’s an appetizing thought! Just one of the reasons I am giving the traditional slider a makeover. In addition to reducing the fat content of these sandwiches, I decided that shrinking them would make them a fun party food suitable for lightening up the atmosphere (and the diets) of hungry intense football fans eager for Super Bowl XLVIII.
So how does one make a greasy burger, not so greasy? Well, you must start with the leanest of ingredients. I use extra lean ground beef (93% lean). Then I take advantage of mushroom’s “swapability”. Finely chopped mushrooms can lighten up beef meals without compromising taste or texture. Simply add mushrooms to the meat or replace some the ground beef with them. Finally, cooking method is an important consideration when controlling fat. These burgers were baked, but you could also broil or grill them!
What foods are you looking forward to while watching the superbowl? Have you ever given thought to how you might ‘lighten’ them up?
by Diane Boyd
Ingredients (serves 10)
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1 cup cremini mushrooms (baby bella), chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon oregano
10 mini slider rolls
Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and mushrooms. Sauté 3-5 minutes. Drain. In a large bowl combine mushroom/onion mixture with beef , ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and oregano. Roll into 2 inch meat balls. Bake in a 400 degree Farenheit oven for 20 minutes. Remove meatballs from oven and drain on paper towels. Place one meatball in each mini slider roll. Serve with lettuce, onion, tomato and your choice of toppings.
If you’re a foodie, chances are, you love reading predictions of what will be HOT this year on restaurant menus and in supermarkets. The trend trackers certainly have been busy compiling lists. If you google ‘food trends 2013’ you will find umpteen opinions of what will take the place of kale and cupcakes! I must admit, I have been burning the midnight oil (and I bet other Recipe Reduxer’s have as well) reveling in these lists. This month’s recipe redux challenge is to pick one trend and add it to a pot of soup.
So what predicted ‘food craze’ caught my attention? POPCORN!!! In my opinion, popcorn is already a popular snack. Taste of Home reports, “Americans consume 7 billion quarts of popped popcorn a year. That’s enough to fill the Empire State Building 18 times.”
Yes, that’s billion with a B! But this year expect to see popcorn in a new light. Sweet or savory; as a snack or as an ingredient; marketers, chefs and food bloggers will adopt this trend in a variety of fun and different ways. Today, I am using it as a topping for a hot winter soup. With the big game only weeks away, football fans can enjoy my spicy popcorn on top of another classic Super Bowl food, chili. I hope you have fun looking at the links at the bottom of this post to see what other trends have ended up in our pots!
What food trend are you looking forward to this year?
Turkey Chili with Spicy Popcorn
by Diane Boyd
Ingredients (serves 6)
for the chili
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (baby bella)
1 pound ground turkey
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups low sodium tomato juice
14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1.5 oz can undrained kidney beans (Goya)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup white wine
for the popcorn
1/2 cup popcorn
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
for the chili
Assemble ingredients. Sauté ground turkey in a pot sprayed with cooking spray. Once cooked, set aside. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on high. Add onions, celery, green peppers, carrots, mushrooms, and spices through pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring. Add cooked ground turkey and remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Thin with additional tomato juice if necessary.
for the popcorn
Place popcorn in a small brown lunch bag and fold over twice. Place in a microwave oven and cook on full power for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes for until you hear a pause of 2 seconds between pops. Carefully remove popcorn from microwave and pour into a large bowl. Use a mister to spray with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder. Toss to coat evenly.
Now that the holidays are over, I have been focusing on getting some things done inside my home. (Even yesterday when the weather was nice enough for the beach!) Once a year, whether they need it or not (LOL), I clean out closets and drawers. This is actually one of my least favorite household chores, but it did give me this idea for today’s blog post:
Improve your eating habits (and your kids), by starting in your pantry.
When you cook at home, you use the ingredients stored in your pantry. When your kids are looking for something to eat, they raid the pantry. Yes, you see where I am going! This year, as you declutter and reorganize, consider swapping out some of the canned goods and nonperishables you’ve been habitually stocking in your pantry for some healthier alternatives. In today’s post I am going to suggest 7 changes to make in your pantry that will translate into healthier meals and snacks for you and your family.
1. Stock low sodium chicken, beef and/or vegetable broth instead of regular broth. Unless you have the time to make your own stock, you likely use broth when you make soups, stews and sauces. Broth is also a simple way to boost flavor when cooking sides, such as rice and vegetables. But did you know that a can of regular broth (10.75 oz) will provide 80% of the sodium you should be consuming in an entire day? Stop purchasing these salt shockers and stock low-sodium or reduced sodium broths. Be sure to compare brands and choose the one with lower amounts of sodium. A label that lists 5% or less Daily Value (DV) for sodium is a good choice. A label with a 20% Daily Value (DV) is high in sodium.
2. Stock popcorn instead of potato chips. A one ounce serving of potato chips (if you can stop there) contains 130 empty calories and 8.6g fat. Would you like to spare yourself about 75% of the fat and calories in these chips plus add a whole grain to your diet? Then ditch the chips and start stocking popcorn. I like to make my own, and it takes only a few minutes. Here’s how I make it:
Place 1/2 c popcorn in a brown lunch bag, fold top over twice and place in microwave oven. Cook at full power for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until you hear a pause of 2 seconds between pops. Carefully remove popcorn and place in large bowl. Use a mister to mist with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
If you rather buy it pre-made, look for the new healthy brands such as BOOMCHICKAPOP. One cup of this convenience popcorn has thirty five calories, 2 grams of fat, and only three ingredients: popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt.
3. Stock brown rice instead of white rice. With dietary recommendations set at 3 servings of whole grain daily, one half cup of cooked brown rice will put you one serving closer to meeting these recommendations. Remember some of the many health benefits of whole grains include: reduced risk of stroke, diabetes , cardiovascular disease and an aid in weight reduction/maintenance.
4. Stock freshly ground peanut butter instead of processed peanut butter. Processed peanut butters have unnecessary ingredients including hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers and sugar. The ingredients in freshly ground peanut butter are,…. well peanuts (and maybe some salt) depending on where you shop.
5. Stock white whole wheat instead of white bread. If you are buying white bread because your kids don’t like the taste of whole wheat bread you have a healthier option: white whole wheat. What’s the difference between white wheat and red wheat? The color of the seed coat. You can now have the taste of white bread with the nutrition of whole wheat. Yes, it’s a win win!
6. Stock dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate. It is also is a source of flavanol antioxidants responsible for cardiovascular health benefits. Look for dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa, the ingredient that’s the source of antioxidants. Remember to eat in moderation and only as part of a well balanced diet.
7. Stock bottled water, seltzer water and 100% juice instead of sugar sweetened beverages. There are no nutritional benefits to sugar sweetened beverages including: soda, juice drinks, iced tea, lemonade, and powdered drink mixes. As a matter of fact, this liquid candy is contributing to 16% of our children’s caloric intake and is associated with dental caries, diabetes, weight gain, and decreased bone density. It’s time we change the number one source of calories in our children’s diet to something with health benefits!
Does getting organized help you eat better? What works for you!