Friday, January 22, 2010

Veggie Burgers and Crunchy Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

Everything in moderation….

I’m trying to lose a few pounds. But, I like to eat. So, instead of going on a diet, I’ve decided to cut back a smidge. Trim a little here and a little there—it’s bound to make a difference, right? I think it’s called a lifestyle change. Yeah—I’ve done it before and lost 50 pounds in the process, but I’m thinking it won’t be quite as easy this time. Since I can’t (or should I say won’t) give up everything that I like to eat. My new motto: everything in moderation.

It helps that the other members of my family are hell bent on healthy eating. We been hanging out in the natural foods section of the grocery store and finding out that food that is good for you actually tastes pretty good (for the most part). I have found, for instance, that I really like hummus. Who knew chick peas could be so tasty? More on that later…

Tonight Pete was craving a hamburger. After much perusing in the grocery store, we decided on a veggie burger instead. The one we chose was a Morning Star brand “Turkey” burger. Hmmm…a veggie burger pretending to be a turkey burger? It didn’t make much sense, but it was made out of tomatoes and avocados---yum! I ended up buying just one hamburger bun since Pete didn’t want one and I didn’t want a whole bag to go to waste. Luckily, there was just one lonely bun left in the bin and it looked really good. A little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, sesame seeds, whole wheat—it was perfect!

Once I got home and commenced to making our burgers, I decided we needed something to go with them. Pete really wanted potatoes of some kind so I ended up quartering a few russet potatoes, boiling them until they were just fork tender and smashing them on a cookie sheet with just a little olive oil (if this looks familiar, I got the idea from The Pioneer Woman's Crash Hot Potatoes-- I just used russet potatoes instead of red potatoes and I topped mine with onions) In the mean time, I cut up two large onions (I heart onions) sprinkled them with a tiny bit of sugar and sautĂ©ed them in a little olive oil for about 20 minutes. Then I topped the potatoes with the onions (saving some for the burgers), some parmesan cheese and some steak seasoning (it’s mostly pepper, garlic and salt).

I baked them in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the potatoes were crunchy and the onions browned. I actually have a “speed bake” option on my oven that I used---it blows hot air over the food while it’s baking.

Now, you have to admit that the crunchy bits of parmesan cheese and onions baked on the bottom of the pan are the best part of this...

Then, I put my burger together. Pete was on his own at this point---that bun was mine! Actually, the bun kind of dwarfed the burger, so I had to top it with a few things to even it out.  A little cheese, some more of the caramelized onions, some catsup, mustard and pickles....I'm getting hungry again, just thinking about it!

And there you have it. Craving solved in a most delicious and somewhat healthier way. Now if only I could motivate myself into dusting off  the elliptical.....

And before I forget...check out my new header! Isn't easier to read? A big thank you to my new friend and fellow Bake-Off® Finalist, Laura Stanke for fixing it up for me. You can find Laura at her very cute blog  Ohmydoodle.


  1. My girlfriend likes those Morningstar things, I've been meaning to try them. Love the potatoes!

  2. beautiful header you got there Cathy :). I really need to do the "moderation" thing...or life style change....non-diet, healthier eating...ugh. But you won't believe what I have planned this weekend? haha...i'm going to try my hand at making whole wheat hamburger buns! LOL. Now I'll have to try a veggie burger just too see what it's all about. and ya, I'm loving your version of crashed potatoes. mmm mmmm good.

  3. Last year my daughter got the bug to make veggie burgers. We followed a cook's illustrated TESTED recipe. It took 3 trips to the grocery store and spent way too much money on ingredients. It wasn't easy finding the dried lentels and bulgar wheat. Anyway after all of that work, nobody liked them! We froze them gave them to our friend who lives on veggie burgers.
    Now we are trying to find uses for our leftover ingredients...

  4. Absolutely delicious-looking, and I bet it tasted even better. Can't wait to give it a try, thank you for posting something healthy that is actually appealing!

    As for the weight thing, I guess I made a resolution (without intending to) of walking as much every day as I can without falling down in a snowbank and getting plowed into the ditch. As I told my youngest son when he dropped me off the other morning three miles from home: "It sure was alot more fun getting out of shape then it is getting back into one."

  5. Love the new header... and really want some of those blueberry pancakes... You had me at caramelized onions! DELISH!!

  6. i'm literally drooling all over my notebook now. the thick meat patty in the burger and those caramelized onion look too indulgently tasty.

  7. What a great idea to dress up a veggie burger. I did alcohol in extreme moderation last year and it did nothing for me. The last couple months we've pretty much knocked out rice/pasta/bread and it's done wonders for my hubby but nothing for me - HRUMPH! But I'm trying to tell myself "imagine what a balloon you'd be if you hadn't" - talking to myself never works out the way I'd like it to.