Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Burgers", "Fries" & "Fro-yo"

The meal I made tonight is a healthy take on the traditional burger, fries and shake that you get at an all-american diner... But this is much more flavorful, nutrient-packed, and guaranteed not to have touched dirty hands, floors, or griddles (unless you don't keep your own kitchen clean- that's on you!)
The "burger" is meatless, but full of spinach and other good stuff.  I found the recipe here, so go to the link for the whole deal.  The only change I made was using fat-free feta instead of shredded cheese (although I generally dislike cheese, there is something I like about spinach and light feta together). 

Start by thawing a bag of frozen spinach, and make sure you squeeze ALL the water out.  Tonight I reached a point where I wanted to stop squeezing the spinach because it was still cold from being frozen and my hands were going numb, but I'm glad I kept going because the burgers came out perfect.  If you're smarter than me, you'll use a kitchen towel to squeeze out the water and save your hands from turning blue.  Anyway, here's what my mixing bowl looked like once I added all the other ingredients to my thawed/drained spinach:
Mixed together:
Artfully manipulated into 4 pretty patties on my griddle:
Nice and browned after about 8 minutes on medium heat for each side:
And placed between buns (I like Trader Joe's honey wheat burger buns), with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard:
My "fries" were not fried.  I peeled 2 large yams and cut them into long skinny sticks, like so:
I gave them a few healthy squirts of cooking spray (I used organic olive oil spray), then I sprinkled salt and pepper on top.  I baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turned the oven up to broil on high for 2 minutes, and they came out like so:
They definitely got skinnier under the heat.  Be sure to watch your fries while they bake, making sure you're not over-cooking them.  They may brown up faster depending on how thin you cut them.

And now for the sweet end to this meal...

If you know me well (or even a little), you probably know I used to love going out for fat-free frozen yogurt at Penguins on a daily basis.  This habit was great when you consider that I saved myself from devouring cartons of fatty ice cream in the freezer, but it was not so great for my wallet (nor for Justin's wallet).  So I've created some great homemade alternatives that satisfy my fro-yo cravings without adding to my waistline and emptying my wallet.  This is one of them:
It's so cheap and easy to make this.  All you need is 3 ingredients (not counting the food processor):
Unsweetened almond milk (I like unsweetened vanilla by Almond Breeze), Vanilla syrup (I use the sugar-free Torani kind from Cost Plus World Market), and 1 banana that's been chopped into little pieces and frozen overnight (or longer).

I throw the frozen banana pieces into the food processor with 1 tablespoon of almond milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar-free vanilla (you can sample as you go and add milk/syrup depending on how thick you want your fro-yo).  And it magically turns into this:
Take that, Penguins!  

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