Each month your favorite dishes get a healthy and delectable do-over with tips from Keri Glassman, R.D. This month we're looking at the classic summer BBQ staple: Burger and fries. The good news is that you don't need to forgo this tasty combo if you're looking to maintain your weight. Just make these smart alterations to the dish and enjoy without concern!
Homemade Upgrade: Burger and Fries
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp chipotle seasoning, divided
1 can black beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
2 zucchini, cut into sticks
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 white onion, sliced
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
2 whole-wheat buns, separated
4 slices fresh mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with spray. In a food processor, blend rice, 1 tablespoon seasoning, and beans for 1 minute. Form into 4 patties, sprinkle with salt, and place on half of the baking sheet. In a bowl, coat zucchini sticks in 2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining seasoning. Place on the other half of the sheet and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pan, flip patties and zucchini, and bake 15 minutes more. Meanwhile, saute onions with 1 teaspoon olive oil until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Then saute mushrooms in remaining 1 teaspoon oil for 5 minutes. When done, top each half-bun with a burger, a slice of cheese, and 1/4 of onions and mushrooms. Serve zucchini on the side.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS Per serving: 390 cal, 9 g fat, 60 g carbs, 210 mg sodium, 14 g fiber, 19 g protein
A Winning Combo
Together, rice and beans form a complete protein, which means they contain all the amino acids your body needs—just like a beef patty, but with tons of fiber and a fraction of the fat.
Love On Top
Onions are one of the best sources of quercetin, a chemical that may help fight heart disease and cancer; mushrooms, a top antioxidant source (research has ranked them up there with carrots and green beans), may even help bolster your immune system. Cooked in heart-healthy olive oil, they are a seriously nutritious set of toppers.
Greenify Your Fry
Just by avoiding a deep fryer, you win with these crunchy baked bites. But there's more: Zucchini is full of vitamins and antioxidants, and its high fiber and water content will help you feel fuller longer.
Compared with this makeover, a burger and fries from a restaurant could cost you more than four times the calories, seven times the fat, and—ready?—10 times the sodium.
Watch Cook Your Ass Off!
Keri Glassman, R.D., is a judge on the new healthy-cooking TV competition on upwave on HLN. Purchase the first season on iTunes.