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Monday, April 23, 2012

Low Carb Sunday Lunch and Dinner

Lunch on Sunday was supposed to be cooked on the grill, but we had some pretty serious April Showers with lightning, thunder, wind, in short, NOT a great day to cook out. I made our burgers and cooked them inside in my iron skillet. I made the patties low-carb by leaving out my usual addition of a 1/4 C of italian bread crumbs, 1 egg, and splash of milk. These burgers were lean, mean, carb banishing machines made with ground sirloin, finely diced onions, a squirt of yellow mustard, 1 pinch of salt, a generous sprinkle of pepper and a few good shakes of my favorite BBQ rub. Avoid the urge to squish your hands dramatically through the raw meat and cackle maniacally over it. First off, over-handling the meat makes for tough burgers and second, the laughing thing freaks out your family and can never be properly explained to the neighbor kid who just came by to see if the girls could play. I heated the iron skillet over medium high heat while I formed the patties. There was some residual oil left in the pan from the last time I had seasoned it, but if you are using a regular pan or a dry iron skillet add a 1/2 TB or so of oil to the pan to prevent sticking. Lean ground beef will stick if the pan is not lubed, fattier ground beef requires no such precautions. Form your patties, place them gently on the hot pan and then WALK AWAY!. Don't be lifting the edges to look at them, or flipping them over and over, don't smash them with a spatula, just walk away! DO IT! I busied myself by adding the macaroni to the boiling water for the kid's side dish, then I sliced half an onion and opened and drained a can of mushrooms to make some sauteed onions and mushrooms for the burger topping. Only then did I go and look at the burgers again. They were seared on one side and easy to lift and flip so I turned them and only then did I press them down lightly with the back of the spatula. I let them cook, but I lowered the heat to medium till they were done. I put the burgers on a paper towel lined plate and then put the onions in the pan, when they were browned, softened and fragrant I added the mushrooms and sprinkled them with a pinch of salt. When they were cooked through (3 minutes?) I took the mushrooms out and took a couple of handfuls of rinsed fresh baby spinach and added them to the same pan. Those wilt in less than a minute. Meanwhile I had some frozen green beans steaming in the microwave. So lunch went thusly, grown up burgers topped with a thin slice of low-fat cheese served on a bed of wilted spinach, topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Side of green beans and salad topped with sugar free vinaigrette (Actually I had a raspberry vinaigrette and a spoonful of the mac and cheese too!). Kids burgers one topped with cheese and one without, both with a side of macaroni and cheese and green beans, one kid opted for a salad, one kid wanted some grapes. All in all it was a pretty successful meal. The dinner schedule by SB Diet was supposed to be baked chicken, but we had enough
leftover rotisserie chicken so we got by with that. For a side dish I adapted a SB side dish recipe and it came out so well that I'd like to share it here. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Peel an eggplant, quarter it lengthwise and then cut the quarters into good-sized chunks (maybe 1/2 inch wide). Place on baking pan. Cut up a handful of miniature bell peppers of many colors or 1/2 of a red bell pepper and half a yellow pepper (or whatever you have on hand.) Cut up 1 whole onion by cutting in half and then cutting the halves in thick slices following the natural lines of the onion. Scatter these amongst the eggplant chunks. Pour over all 1/4 C of olive oil, just drizzled over and around the veggies. Season with a generous pinch of salt, several sprinkles of pepper and a goodly amount of Italian seasoning. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes, pull it out and flip over the veggies with a spatula. Return them to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes then pull them out again. Peppers should be brown and soft, onions starting to caramelize and eggplant softened and small. If they are still not to your liking you can place them under the broiler for a minute or two to finish. But don't walk away while they are under the broiler, unless you adore the smell of burning eggplant and the ambience of smoke in the dining room.
Hubby and I had eggplant and peppers, chicken and salad for dinner. Kids had chicken, macaroni and strawberries for dinner. Hubby had a sugar free Jello for dessert, kids had vanilla ice cream, and I had a hacked off piece of chocolate from the giant Hershey's kiss one of the kids got as an Easter present. I think I got the best dessert. :)


  1. I apologize for the wonky formatting, Blogger has changed and I am re-learning how to use it.

  2. When I make burgers, I put in one clove of garlic (crushed through a press), a pinch of thyme, basil, and rosemary...or whatever I have on hand that feels right. I use a bit of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce instead of salt. And then I always add a pinch of something sweet...either catsup, brown sugar, mayple syrup, or something like Pick~a~Peppa sauce or barbeque sauce (just a pinch).

    It may sound weird, but I get rave reviews. These burgers usually end up reminding me of Greek Keftedes. So sometimes I even squeeze a bit of lemon in there too.

    Oh Lord...now I'm craving burgers!!

    One last thing: I always ALWAYS use the lowest fat ground beef that I can find. I know a lot of people complain that low fat beef lacks flavor. But they are so wrong. I have converted many a nay~sayer by cooking them the recipe above. My husband, a die hard full fat beef guy, now won't eat any ground beef unless it's lean lean lean!