BBQ season is upon us so as we continue to try and avoid refined sugars and processed foods I’ve been experimenting with more homemade options and getting a little bit more creative with our grilled meals. Even before we started down this road we had started making our own burgers so over the last few summer’s I’ve worked out a chicken/beef burger recipe that we like pretty well.
I’m a “loose recipe” kind of person so for that reason you’ll never eat the same thing twice at my house. This goes for burgers too. They’re a little different every time because I’m inspired differently depending on my cravings but the principle is the same. They basically consists of ground meat, shredded cheese, chopped veggies, and some spices. I love mixing veggies right into my burger patties because it makes it so much easier for me to get E to eat the meat. She eats fruits and veggies so easily but meat is still a struggle. When I can point out that her favourite veggies are mixed right in she at least tries it no problem and this time around she surprised us by eating most of the meat she was served.
When I was making my menu early this month I decided that I wasn’t going to buy hotdog or hamburger buns anymore, they’re so full of fillers and other junk. I was determined to make them myself. I’ve been making our bread off and on for years now and always really enjoy it, but have never had much success with buns. I think I finally found a recipe I can work with. I did a Google search for whole wheat hamburger buns and came up with a number of options but chose this awesome recipe. I will definitely use this recipe again and will also experiment with it for hot dog buns. I cheated a little and used about 2 cups of unbleached white flour because I ran out of whole wheat but I think they’ll work just fine using only whole wheat flour.
Condiments have been a bit of a challenge as we’ve been striving to eliminate or at least greatly reduce our consumption of refined sugars and processed foods, particularly BBQ sauce. There are no good BBQ sauce options. Sad for us because BBQ sauce was probably the most consumed condiment in this house. So, because my hubby has voiced recently that he really misses BBQ sauce I tried making my own. Again, there is no true recipe here, just the mixing of different ingredients in a bowl until it has the right taste. I basically used crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and liquid honey. It turned out surprisingly well and was a great addition to the burgers tonight. Now if only I could say that we fared as well with the other condiments…sigh. In the fall I am hoping to make relish, mustard we hardly ever use, and with BBQ sauce around Ketchup becomes obsolete here. For now we’re working with what we’ve got and seriously the condiments are such a tiny portion of the meal that I’m not going to worry too much about them for now.
To compliment the burgers I threw together a tossed salad with a smattering of good dressing options and got two thumbs up from the E and the Hubby. Ah success. Even after months of dietary changes it’s still not often that I can say we ate a preservative free meal. This was probably as close as it gets at our house. To top it off I now have a stash of buns to put in the freezer so when we decide to repeat, it’ll be half the work. Was it worthwhile absolutely!