Hamburger and Eggplant Fries

hamburgereggplantfriesH I felt like something particular for dinner. I even knew what I wanted before I went to the grocery store to do the shopping. A hamburger and fries was the only thing I was in the mood for. Now as you know I attempt to be a little bit more health conscious about my food choices, so I made sure I grabbed extra lean ground beef and whole wheat buns and all the veggies a good burger needs!

hamburgercloseAs for the fries I decided on a less starchy veggie to use than good old fashioned potatoes. I instead went and grabbed a rather large eggplant. Eggplant fries are something I enjoy as much, if not more, as the potato version. Eggplant has less starch (ie carbs), calories, and if you use a healthier oil (such as olive oil), even breaded, you can feel a less guilty when you are busy stuffing your mouth full of them!

My hamburgers are pretty much along the same lines as most people's, I suspect, but I do add a few things to the meat mix that others might do differently. I like lean beef for my burgers (I've heard bison is very lean and much healthier than beef and tastes almost the same, but I have no idea as to where to get it nor have I ever had it). I put the meat in a large bowl, minced garlic (approx. 2 cloves) and salt & pepper to taste. I then take about 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and mix it in to the meat. This makes it so I don't have to put cheese on top and I believe the fat from the cheese helps make the beef juicier, but I'm not entirely positive :).

hamburgereggplantfriesVDivide the burgers up and make them into patties. I don't remember where I read/saw it, but after you make the patties up use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle (be careful not to go all the way through or you'll end up with hamburger donuts!) and it'll help the hamburger patty from shrinking rather than use your spatula to flatten and let all the juice out.

From there cook and add condiments and veggies as you like.
Eggplant fries are something I just found out about approx. half a year ago, and I'm so glad I heard about them! I was actually looking for something with less carbohydrates than potatoes and I stumbled upon a vegetarian site where they had a recipe, so I looked up a few more and through trial and error I came up with one that works good for me.

Take a large eggplant, 2 eggs, flour and bread crumbs (I use puffed wheat cereal that I pulsed in a food processor till it's fairly broken up). Cut the peel off of the eggplant (I found that it's tough when cooked this way) and cut the rest into pieces that are good fry size for you (try to keep them the same size so they cook evenly). Put the flour in a bowl adding salt and pepper (this isn't needed if you season it after cooking or put a lot more into the bread crumbs). Beat the eggs with a little water and put to the side. Bread crumbs need to be in yet another bowl with some salt and pepper, adding in some parmesan cheese if you like, and mix well. Set up your breading line as follows: Flour > eggs > bread crumbs > pan with oil to fry the eggplant in. Be careful to not let your oil get too hot (medium heat was perfect for me). Cook and watch to make sure nothing burns because that's just not any good! If you run out of eggs, don't want to use eggs or don't have bread crumbs, you can just use flour to bread it with then put it straight into the oil. It actually looks more like French fries when done that way, but I like the added texture with the crumbs.
By the way for those of you who have other people to feed, the little one didn't complain and ate this quickly (fries and burger) which to me means he loved it. A day with out a complaint at the table is a good one. The hubby on the other hand said and I quote, "I could eat eggplant like this all day long!"


Bonnie said...

I tried this one also. The egeplant fries were different. The kids did love them. So did your sister and I.