Friday, 12 March 2010

FOOD: Healthy Burger and Chips - Mexican Burger with Sweet Potato Wedges

If I'm honest, I'm not much of a chef. Oh, how I envy Nigella - my culinary skills usually don't extend much further than fish fingers and chips, and to top that, diet food can be so boring. I'm attempting to spice up my food and make it enjoyable, hopefully I'll pick up a few skills along the way. After all, my diet should really be a change of lifestyle rather than short term suffering.

There's always something a little exciting about eating "naughty" food, so I've been channelling my inner Gino de Campo and attempted to create a meal that tastes yummy, feels naughty but is kind to the (hopefully shrinking) waistline. And you can't get much kinder than a tiny 360 calories.

I do love a good burger. I must admit, it's usually the take-away variety after one too many vinos. But as we know, diets don't really bode well with post-pub greases so I managed to create some rather splendid (if i do say so myself!) and healthy Mexican burgers, plus some lower carb, high fibre spiced sweet potato wedges.


Here's what you'll need:

Makes 8 small burgers (save some for tomorrow?) or 4 whoppers

450g lean beef mince
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 egg, beaten
2 slices of bread, crumbed without crusts
salt and pepper

Makes enough wedges to serve 4

3-4 sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into quarters (i went for the rustic stabbed look - they're so hard to slice!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
jar of salsa (or you could make your own, but nothing beats M&S)
shredded lettuce

...and this is how I did it:
  • Preheat the oven to 200c ready for your wedges.
  • Mix together your oil, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder.
  • Dip each sweet potato slice into the mixture and lay on a baking tray.
  • Pop in the oven and bake for 40mins.

Now for the burgers!

  • In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 and shape into burgers with your hands. Brush each burger with a little oil (a little tip to reduce oil and fat).
  • Cook on a very hot griddle pan for 4 mins on each side.
  • Dress the burger with a lovely dollop of salsa, lay on a bed of lettuce (that sounded posh) and voilla!
Enjoy! xx

Sweet potatoes are a brilliant source of dietry fibre and are much lower GI than normal potatoes - basically their energy is released slower, so you feel fuller for longer. Woohoo! Did I forget to mention that they're also delicious?! Lovely and soft inside but crisp on the outside. Like a perfect roast potato, but so much easier. I was so surprised how quickly they cooked after I just about needed a hack saw to chop them up!

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