Bunless Burger with Mushrooms and Sweet Potato Fries

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Photo by Zac Cain on Unsplash

The past month, we have been focusing on diabetes education. We are finishing this series with a blood sugar friendly recipe. We decided to take a common ‘burger and fries’ meal and make a healthier version.

Let’s start with the burger. Our first modification is to discard the bun. Often burgers are served with white buns which are processed carbohydrates and can cause a dramatic spike in your blood sugar. Not to mention, they don’t have much nutritional value and can be around 250 calories. Even removing half of the bun would be a step in the right direction! You can also try wrapping your burger in lettuce to create a bun. Lettuce wrapped burgers can be messier than using a traditional bun.  Use plenty of lettuce to create the top and bottom “bun” of your burger and go easy on saucy toppings.  Your burger is going to be plenty juicy, you’ll just want to add enough toppings (mustard etc…) to add flavor.  Experiment with different types of lettuce to see what you like best, a personal favorite is butter leaf lettuce.  You can also go for the more elegant solution and use a fork and knife.

When topping the burger, we chose to use roasted mushrooms and 1 slice of cheese. We find these toppings give the burger plenty of flavor. We are not using ketchup as this condiment typically has an excess sugar and sodium. 1 Tablespoon has 3.6 grams of sugar and 6% of the recommended sodium intake! If you really must have ketchup on your burger, look for lower sugar options. Primal Kitchen has a great organic unsweetened ketchup.

We chose sweet potato fries as an alternative to regular fries. Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index, meaning they cause less of a blood sugar spike than white potatoes. If you’ve never tried sweet potato fries, you are missing out.  They are so sweet and flavorful, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner! When you make your own sweet potato fries, you can roast instead of fry, and choose a healthier oil to cook them in. Choose avocado, coconut or olive oil over vegetable or canola.

Sweet Potato Fries

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*Photo by Ela Haney from Pexels
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • additional spice if desired such as cinnamon or a touch of paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Slice sweet potatoes into about 1 cm by 4-inch strips and place in medium-sized bowl.
  3. Drizzle just enough olive oil to coat fries. Add salt, pepper and any additional spices to taste and toss.
  4. Spread fries on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and place in oven.
  5. Bake until tender and starting to lightly brown, about 20 minutes.

Easy Sauteed Mushrooms

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  • 1, 8-ounce package pre-sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder
  1. Warm a medium sized saute pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Warm olive oil and butter in the pan
  3. Add mushrooms and toss to coat
  4. Once starting to cook down, add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  5. Continue to toss mushrooms often until the desired doneness.

Bunless Turkey Burger

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 8 lettuce leafs (romaine, iceburg or bib)
  1.  In a large bowl combine turkey, zucchini, bread crumbs, onion, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until well blended
  3. Divide mixture into 4 patties
  4. In a medium skillet heat up 1 tbsp oil and saute patties until cooked through.  165 degrees with thermometer or around 5 minutes per side.
  5. Serve burgers in lettuce wrap topped with 1 slice provolone cheese, sauteed mushrooms and fries on the side!
  6. Enjoy!