Homemade Organic Grass-fed Burgers (only $8!)

The restaurant industry in San Diego is booming. In the past couple of years, several new “gourmet” burger restaurants have popped up; To name a few, Burger Lounge, the Counter, Eureka. Some of these restaurants have grass-fed burgers and others have “vegetarian-fed” burgers (whatever that means lol).

I love that restaurants are working with the “farm-table” concept and that they are using more sustainable animal meat. However, most restaurants still use cheap industrial seed oils.  Also, the price per burger is pretty expensive with tax, tip, plus add-ons like avocado and fries. On a personal note, when I eat at restaurants, I tend to eat bigger portions than I do at home. I’m totally okay with occasionally spending the money and eating at restaurants but on a weekly basis I prefer to make HOMEMADE BURGERS.

Last night, we had some friends over for dinner. I made these wowmazing homemade burgers and get this…. With all the toppings and sides they cost around $8 per person. As you can see in the picture below, this $8 meal contained: organic grass-fed patties, avocado, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce, whole wheat bun (or you can go naked style with no bun- thats how I roll) and some delicious crispy potatoes.

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Oh and did I forget to tell you that the burgers only take 20 minutes?!

Homemade Burger Recipe

Ingredients

  • Optional toppings/ sides: sweet potato fries, potato crisps, spinach, cheese, avocado, sprouts, sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers
  • 1 lb organic ground grass-fed beef
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, Ghee, or Organic Tea Seed Oil

Method

  1. Prep any burger toppings/ sides prior to cooking the burgers.
  2. Turn on oven to 350F degrees.
  3. Place ground beef, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in mixing bowl. Mix together thoroughly with your hands.
  4. Break the beef mixture into quarters and then form each quarter into a patty with your hands. You don’t want the burgers to be too thick
  5. Pre-heat your grill-pan or cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat. Melt ghee or coconut oil.
  6. Place burgers on the pan for 3 minutes or until the bottom is browned. Then flip the burgers and cook for another 2 minutes. Take a knife and cut into the middle of one burger. Peak inside to see if the burger is cooked through. If not, then place the burgers in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until cooked to your desired temperature. (We like ours cooked “medium” so we only leave them in the oven for 1-2 minutes)

Serves 4

Spaghetti Squash With Garlic and Butter Sauce

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite winter dishes. It is a great gluten-free alternative to regular or whole wheat pasta. Unlike pasta, spaghetti squash is considered a “whole food,” that means that it is unprocessed, more easily digested, and still has all of it’s nutrients.  One other benefit to spaghetti squash is that it is significantly lower in carbohydrates than pasta.

Here is a simple spaghetti squash recipe for you to try. There are some additional suggestions for recipe variations below.

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash
  • 1.5 Tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)

Directions for Roasted Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half (long-way from top to bottom) and scrape out the seeds.
  3. In a large glass baking dish, pour enough water to cover the bottom of the dish until there as ¼ or ½ inch of water.
  4. Place spaghetti squash halves face down in the dish and cover with tin foil.
  5. Bake in the over for 35-45 minutes– until the squash is easy to grate with a fork.
  6. Run a fork down the squash to create “spaghetti-like” strings.

Saute

  1. In a medium pan, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add roasted spaghetti squash to the pan and mix until well-incorporated and heated through. Season with salt and pepper (and optional chili flakes)

Serves 2-3

Chef recommendations

  • Plate the spaghetti squash sauté and add a piece of Wild Tilapia or Grilled chicken
  • Option to add Italian spices like oregano, basil and/or thyme
  • Add a homemade pesto or tomato sauce to the Spaghetti squash

(Raw) Wilted Kale Salad

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Kale has become a new favorite leafy green in the past couple of years. There are plenty health benefits to this dark green celebrity including:

  • Cholesterol lowering
  • Cancer prevention
  • Detoxifying
  • Anti-oxidant with plenty of flavanoids

My favorite technique for a quick kale salad is called “massaging” the kale. This technique takes 1 minute (if you are using dinosaur kale) or 5 minutes (if you are using curly kale). There are several benefits from using the massaging technique:

  1. Better texture
  2. Easier to digest
  3. You get more nutrients
  4. Better flavor

Here is a recipe for a nutritious and flavorful 10 minute kale salad:

photo-52Ingredients
2 bunches kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 Tablespoon dried cranberries
Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp celtic sea salt
2 tsp dijon mustard                                                                                                                                      1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper

Directions

1. Place kale and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into a mixing bowl. Massage salt into kale until for about 45 seconds until it begins to wilt. (It will get moist but you do not want liquid in the bottom of the bowl)

2. Add red onion, roasted pumpkin seeds and cranberries into the bowl

3. Whisk dressing together in a separate bowl. Then pour over salad and serve.

Store salad in the fridge for up to 3 days.

If you would like to get some healthy holiday recipes, I will be teaching a holiday cooking series in San Diego on November 20th and October 23rd.

Get Prepared for a Healthier Holiday Season

Pumpkin croppedIt’s starting to feel like fall here in beautiful San Diego, which means that the holiday season is just around the corner. How exciting! And a little scary…

First, we will kick it off with plenty of Halloween candy, then we will join our families and friends to feast for Thanksgiving, and finally, we will end this year (as we always do) with desserts galore for Christmas/Hanukah and New Years. By that time, we will be ready to set new years resolutions and try to get back on the healthy bandwagon.

imagesWhat if I told you that you don’t have to finish the year off feeling run down, overweight and moody? What if I told you that you don’t have to have the same “guilty” conversation with yourself after “cheating” on your diet?

The point is, that we need to be prepared for the holiday season. We need the tools in our pockets in order to navigate through all the temptations that the holidays will bring. This does not mean that we need to give up sweets and only eat vegetables for three months while everyone else indulges. It means that we can indulge in a smarter and healthier way!

Good news is that I will be collaborating with Marc Sklar from Reproductive Wellness  to teach a healthy holiday cooking series. Join us for three fun evenings full of new recipes, taste testing and nutrition tips to prepare for the holidays.

  1. Halloween: Healthy Treats– Wednesday, October 23rd 6:30-7:30
  2. Thanksgiving: Healthy Sides/ Appetizers-Monday, November 18th 6:30-7:30
  3. Christmas: Healthy Deserts- Monday, December 16th 6:30-7:30pm

Cost is $25 per class or $60 for all 3 classes

Bring a friend and come join the fun. Please e-mail Ana to RSVP: ana@reproductivewellness.com

Classes will be located at the Center for a Healthy Lifestyle in Solana Beach:   533 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, San Diego, CA 92075

Looking forward to sharing the pre-holiday festivities with you!