Naked Burgers

Now starting to go into the seventh week out of my ten week challenge, it’s surprising to not only discover that some parts are getting easier, but also realise that there are always new and inventive ways to inflict pain on us. For example, last weekend I was too tired to post, as the workout that our trainer Tom (who’s ex-military, by the way) had put us through had been one of the most gruelling experiences I had ever done. It wasn’t particularly complex – in fact incorporating exercises and movements we had all done previously – but it was more about the variation of timing to play with your heart rate, muscles, and most importantly – your mind. At one point, three quarters of the way through I was the closest I’d ever come to throwing up and/or passing out and/or crying, or a combination of all three. (What an image that would be!)

The food side of things is getting easier – most of the time. Before I added the last part of that sentence I had a flashback to earlier this Sunday morning when I went up the street to get coffee, and they had brought out a tray of freshly-baked, fragrant, flaky and buttery apple crumble danishes; and so after I ordered my coffee, I promptly stepped away from temptation!

It’s more about knowing what options are available and what works for your lifestyle. Now that I have a few low-carb dishes under my belt, they’ve been in steady rotation for dinner times over the course of the week, and one of Night Owl’s favourites is these Naked Burgers. She always declares that she feels immediately “better” after having this – whether it made the “hangry”, or iron levels or energy levels better, I don’t know – but I’ll take it as a good sign nonetheless. It’s a wonderfully easy and quick recipe to rustle up after coming home from a day of work and the gym, and kicks an burger cravings to the curb. I think if I actually went back to eating a proper burger in a bun I would struggle through it!

I don’t have a barbecue, so I like to put a dash of liquid smoke into the mince for extra aroma. It will still taste amazing without it though.

You will note I haven’t posted any pictures with this post. I haven’t because it’s such an easy and quick recipe that I’ve never bothered or had the time between things cooking to take out my camera while making it. I will post up one photo though – which is my progress photo at the half way point. Three kilos down and just a little longer to go!

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To serve four, you will need:

  • 4 iceberg lettuce outer leaves washed and trimmed into bowl-shapes;
  • 500g grass fed beef mince;
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, finely chopped;
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped;
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil;
  • 1 large brown onion, finely sliced;
  • 4 large field (Portobello) mushrooms, sliced;
  • 4 slices vintage cheddar cheese;
  • 4 dill pickles, sliced;
  • 1/4 cup mustard;
  • 1/2 cup tomato relish;
  • Sea salt flakes and pepper.

Crank up the grill setting on your oven to pre-heat at 160 degrees.

Put the beef in a bowl and add the herbs and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the liquid smoke if using. Using clean hands, mix the herbs through. Divide the mixture into four even portions and form into patties about 1/2 inch to 1 cm thick.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil to the pan and when hot, add the beef patties. Cook for two minutes, pressing down, then add the mushrooms and onions to the same pan with a pinch of salt. Turn the burgers over and cook for another  two minutes on the second side, or until cooked through.

Place the patties on a foil-lined baking tray, top with cheese slices and put under the grill until it just melts.

Continue to cook the mushrooms and onions for two minutes, or until soft. Remove from the heat.

To serve, place the lettuce leaves on plates. Add the mushroom and onion mixture, and dill pickles. Squeeze over the tomato relish and mustard. Place on the beef patties and serve immediately to enjoy!

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