Lighten Up: A Healthier Burger and Fries
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Fitness

Lighten Up: A Healthier Burger and Fries

Tired of turkey and veggie versions of what you're really craving? Finally, you can relish the real thing -- without blowing your diet.

Build a Better Burger

Makes: 6 servings

1 slightly beaten egg white
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 pound lean ground beef
6 whole-grain buns
Lettuce, tomato slices, and red-onion slices

1. Combine egg white, water, bread crumbs, carrot, onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

2. Add Parmesan and beef; mix. Shape into six 1/2-inch-thick patties.

3. Grill burgers on an oiled grill rack for 7 minutes. Turn and grill 8 to 11 minutes more, or until no pink remains.

4. Serve burgers on buns with veggies.

Nutrition facts per serving: 232 calories, 18g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 9g fat (3g saturated), 3g fiber

Better Than Cheddar

A slice of cheddar adds 113 calories. Mix Parmesan into the patties for a burst of flavor -- and less than one fat gram per burger, says Susan Mitchell, RD, PhD, coauthor of Fat Is Not Your Fate.

Spread Yourself Thin

Mustard, ketchup, and barbecue sauce are low-cal and fat-free. Mad about mayo? Skip the real deal in favor of a light canola version for heart-healthy fats and a fraction of the calories.

Swap Meat

Just look for "ground round" or "ground sirloin" to ensure you're getting a lean cut of beef, Mitchell suggests.

On a Roll

Before you put those buns in your shopping cart, check that the first or second ingredient is whole grain or whole wheat. Each bun should have at least three grams of fiber.

Produce Punch

Packing the patties with bell peppers, carrots, and onions is a sneaky way to add nutrients as well as juiciness.

 

Fat-Free Fries

What's a burger without fries? Try our easy sweet-potato recipe, packed with antioxidants and containing only 76 calories -- and no fat -- per serving.

Makes: 4 servings

STEP 1: Cut 2 scrubbed medium sweet potatoes into quarters; cut each quarter lengthwise into 4 wedges. Arrange on a baking pan misted with nonstick cooking spray.

STEP 2: Combine 1/2 teaspoon each salt, ground cumin, chili powder, and paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle over potatoes.

STEP 3: Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F., or until potatoes are brown and tender, turning once.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2009.

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