Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue Cheese Hamburger - It's Diet Food

Jackie had a request.  

Low Cal.

I want to dedicate this post to Biz over at BIGGEST DIABETIC LOSER.  Biz is doing the near impossible, which is signing up at Weight Watcher and trying to reboot her weight loss journey during the holidays.  Weather sucks, so it is harder to get out and exercise, around every corner is someone bringing treats from home, parties and party food and she reads food blogs (sometimes I gain weight just thinking about what you all post!).  She's laid it out for the world to see and doing her best.  

So, Biz... This post is for you (and I sincerely wish you well).

So, back to Jackie; she has had her share of me baking cookies and pizzas; office party and party food and her co-workers are bringing treats in daily.
While neither one of us have chained ourself to the scale, there is one sure way to know that the creeping gain is starting.  Put on the jeans that make your butt look good.  Well, you know where this story is going, so I did my best...

I had hamburger I needed to use up.  But I decided no bun would at least do a bit.

And if you are going to have hamburger, shouldn't chips be on the plate?  But not on a diet plate.  How about fried sweet potato straws.  Sure, they are fried, but no salt, no brown sugar or maple syrup, just the veggie.  I decided that would at least help a bit.

And if you are going to have a burger, I want a cheese burger.  Now, I refuse to eat low-fat cheese.  It's just wrong on so many levels.  Not the least is taste.  I would rather have a half an ounce of a great flavored cheese than a full ounce of low-fat cheese.  So, I had a great piece of Stilton blue cheese that just demanded to be on my burger.  I crumbled the paltry 1 ounce piece on the two burgers I made (one for me, one for her), 1/2 an ounce each (and I did weigh).  And there's a little tip for you, while you make your burger, put the cheese on at the end of the cook, cover the pan for a minute and the cheese melts perfect.  Oozed into ever nook and cranny.  I decided the flavor and the small amount would at least help a bit.

And if you are going to have a burger, I want caramelized onions.  But for that, I use butter and brown sugar. So, let's try something new.  Pickled onions.  Earlier in the day, I sliced some onions thin, stuffed a little jar full of them, added a bay leaf, some "Not your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence" and topped the jar off with some sweet Japanese rice vinegar.  Just the veggies, vinegar and spices, I decided these would at least help a bit.

The meal needed vegetables.  A little corn, mixed with some green pepper (and some sauteed garlic) would make for a flavorful corn salad.  And that corn salad would be a great place to add the other burger staple, a slice of tomato.  In this case, I diced up a tomato and added it to the salad.  The flavor additions to the corn and alternating temperature texture of the hot corn and cold tomato would at least help a bit.

Spice Mixes I Love!And finally... low salt.  I sprinkled a bit of my "Sodom and Gomorrah" salt/sesame seed/garlic flake spice mix in place of an equal amount of ordinary salt.  Just enough salt to bring out the flavors, but also additional flavors that compliment the meal nicely.  Lower salt and complimenting flavors seems like that would help a bit.

And, lest we forget, plating...

Diet food needs to be pretty.  It's a trick, it's psychological, it's mentally manipulative, but it also works.

A blue cheese hamburger patty, topped by pickled onions, resting on a bed of Sweet potato straws and surrounded by a tomato and corn salad just sounds better than a plop of potatoes, next to a plop of corn and a bunless hamburger patty.  Sure, if you examine what I did, it is just a sweet potato, corn and burger... 

But making it pretty, making it full of flavor does help a bit.

And, if you eat sensibly, schedule (and keep) a workout of your choice, maybe all this help will keep you in the jeans that make your butt look good.

And BTW, the sweet potato straws were wonderful.  Crunchy for texture and lots of flavor.  Absolutely the best tasting thing on a plate with everything tasting great!

And very simple to do... 

fill a sauce pan about 2 inches up the side with Canola Oil.
I made the straws by using the little shred setting on my food processor blade.
work in batches and add about 1/2 a cup at a time to the oil.

the oil will bubble and steam while the moisture in the potatoes cooks out.  When the oil has mostly stopped steaming and bubbling, the straws are done...

And drain and crunch away.  Would be a nice alternative to heavily salted commercial potato chips

And BTW, if you ever want to see a great blog always filled with well designed lower calorie, food filled with varieties of flavors, head over and visit Biz's blog, BIGGEST DIABETIC LOSER

So Biz, how many points???



  1. Will you come cook diet food for me please? I've had my third piece of fudge today.

  2. Thanks for the blog love Dave!

    Hmm...not sure what type of burger meat you used (i.e. sirloin, 80%) etc., but the veggies would be zero points, maybe add 2 points for the oil for the sweat potato straws, 2 points for the cheese, and probably 5 points for the pattie - a delicious 9 point, satisfying meal - which I may be stealing soon! :D


  3. I am SOOO with you on the cheese! A small piece of GOOD cheese is way more satisfying than a half cup of crappy cheese. Love these burgers! You did a great job lightening them up!

  4. Drooling over this! What a gorgeous presentation. Excellent use for hamburger that needed to be used. : )

  5. Great job Dave. It looks delicious, even if it weren't "diet" food.

  6. This is perfect diet food Dave and beautifully presented. Love the "fries." I'm off to check out Biz.

  7. Are you snowed in? Can I come live at your house...but without the snow, please. I need a diet that is as tasty as this one. Come on over and join me for Merry, Merry Munchies 2010. There's a giveaway going on:)

  8. Nice way to convert to diet foods, Dave. I like the sweet potato straws....crispy is great.

  9. I so agree - keep the real food and the real flavors - just eat less of it.... And to do that you have to make it pretty and filling. That is a gorgeous plate!