Intro to Cooking: Taco Burgers
You read that title right. Taco burgers.
These are a few of my favorite things: juicy beef patties, chips and salsa, avocado on anything, rice and beans. I asked myself the other evening: why not combined these things? It could be… healthy. Okay, hamburgers can be pretty unhealthy, but if you use the right ground beef, the right toppings, and the right hamburger bun, you can have yourself a reasonably healthy meal.
I also wanted to include a recipe that wasn’t good for just one or two people, but something that you could make when you invite your friends over to your summer apartment.
When making hamburgers, I like to start with high-quality, lean ground beef… not the burgers that come in the freezer section pre-shaped. You can always talk to the butcher in the grocery store about the best kind of ground beef to use; they’ll be able to point you towards something leaner and higher quality.
When it comes to burger toppings, I used to be a traditionalist. Cheese, lettuce, ketchup and mustard, maybe pickles… Plain and simple. But in the past year, as I’ve tried to eat healthier, I’ve found that I love a lot more toppings than I thought I did. For these burgers, the two stars are avocado, beans and homemade salsa.
Avocado is one of the healthiest foods out there. It’s high in vitamins K, C, and E, folates, potassium and fiber. Perfect? Yes. However, avocados are pretty high in fat, even if it’s a good fat, so you don’t necessarily want to sit down and eat four avocados by yourself. Probably not a good plan. I’ve written about beans before, but they are a great source of protein and fiber, and a great way to add an extra something-something to a dish. Salsa is, of course, a great way to include fresh tomatoes into your diet and making it yourself isn’t just easy, it’s a great way to cut out unnecessary sodium and preservatives.
Ready to cook!? As a warning, this recipe is a little more involved than other ones I written… but if you try it, you’re in for a definite treat!
Serves 6-8 people
⦁ 1 lb of lean ground beef
⦁ About 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
⦁ 6-8 hamburger buns (if you can buy these handmade from a local market, do so!)
⦁ 1-2 avocados
⦁ 1 onion
⦁ 4-5 tomatoes
⦁ 1 jalapeño
⦁ 2 limes
⦁ 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
⦁ 1 can of corn, drain and rinsed
⦁ 6-8 slices of pepperjack cheese
How to make it…
In a bowl, mix ground beef with a pinch of pepper and your tablespoon of taco seasoning. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat into 6-8 equal servings and form into patties. You can cook these on a grill outside or a grill pan inside. Either way, you’ll want to use medium heat and a nonstick cooking spray before you start. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until well done in the center.
Halve avocados on a cutting board and twist apart. Use a spoon to scoop out the pit. Use the same spoon to gently remove the avocado flesh from the skin. Slice into about ½ inch thick slices. Set aside.
Halve and squeeze the tomatoes to get rid of the excess water. Chop up tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno (be careful of the seeds!). Combine in a large bowl with the juice of 1-2 limes. Set aside.
Rinse and drain your cans of black beans and corn. Combine in a bowl and set aside.
When the meat is done, assemble the burgers. On the bottom bun, add some corn and bean mixture and the cheese, then the burger, followed by avocado, salsa, and the top bun. Enjoy!