It's been a little while since I've posted about The Recipe ReDux, but if you've been following KISS in the Kitchen for a while, you've seen many a recipe that was a part of the Recipe ReDux. This monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians has been an incredibly fun recipe collaboration to be a part of and after 8 sweet years, it's time to say goodbye. In honor of this 8th birthday, I'm sharing my top 8 Recipe ReDux recipe creations! Each recipe was part of a particular theme and you'll be able to find hundreds of other healthy and delicious recipes by checking out these past Recipe ReDux archives!
It's been so much fun participating in these monthly posts and I've experienced so much growth in both recipe development and food photography since first participating in The Recipe ReDux. I'm incredibly grateful for platforms like these that challenge dietitians and healthy food bloggers to create helpful and meaningful content for their readers. Thank you, The Recipe ReDux for this special opportunity!
I'm excited to partner with Monterey Mushrooms, the largest fresh mushroom grower in North America, for this post. As always, all opinions are my own, and I only partner with brands and products I genuinely love using in my own kitchen.
Fire up the grills or bust out the cast-iron because it's officially "don't-heat-your-kitchen-with-the-oven" season! Whether it's a weeknight meal with the family or you're hosting a backyard bash for a crowd, a build your own blended burger bar is the sure-fire (no pun intended) way to appease picky eaters and get in some honest to goodness good-for-you ingredients! Lots of colorful toppings and a variety of ways to serve your burgers up means everyone is a happy camper.
First things first, let's chat about why blended burgers should be the foundation of your burger bar! If you've been around KISS in the Kitchen for long, you've likely seen many of my Blended (finely chopped mushrooms + ground protein of choice) recipes! Adding finely diced mushrooms to recipes boosts the nutrition, flavor and moisture, all while making your recipe stretch further. There's literally not a single other ingredient (IMO) that can accomplish that stellar combination! Plus it's super easy for anyone to try - even the kiddos or husband can help out! Keep reading for two simple ways to nail blended burgers!
Option 1: Simply use a food processor or sharp knife to finely dice 8oz of your favorite mushrooms (I like to use baby bellas!) and mix into 1 pound of lean ground beef. I've found it takes just 10-15 seconds of pulsing with the food processor. Any longer and the mushrooms are too small!
Option 2: Grab an 8oz package of Monterey Mushroom's Let's Blend finely diced and pre-seasoned mushrooms (pictured below) and mix in with 1 pound lean ground beef. This is a fail proof way to create blended burgers!
KISS Tip: After you've formed your patties, use your thumb to create an indention into the center of the burger patty. It should be a deep thumb-shaped well, but not a hole all the way to the other side. This creates a space for the juices to flow during cooking and helps the burger cook evenly and retain nice level shape!
The topping options are endless, but below are a few of my personal favorite combos! I also love to include a variety of ways to serve your burger. A bed of greens, butter lettuce leaves, slider buns and gluten-free buns are all diverse and fun ways to "wrap" your burger!
For the double mushroom lovers in your life, a blended burger topped with sautéed baby bella mushrooms is an incredible option. These Maple Balsamic Mushrooms are a favorite side dish of mine but could also easily be incorporated as a blended burger bar topping!
KISS Burger Combos:
Blended Burger on a bed of greens topped with guacamole and mango pico de gallo
Blended Burger on a gluten-free bun topped with roasted red bell peppers, feta cheese and a sweet balsamic drizzle
Blended Burger in a butter lettuce wrap topped with freshly sliced tomatoes and sautéed baby bellas
Let me know in the comments what your favorite burger combination is!
KISS Blended Burgers
Time: 25 minutes
1 lb lean ground beef (93/7)
8oz (1/2 pound) Monterey Mushrooms Baby Bella Mushrooms, finely diced or pulsed in food processor
2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions (Stove Top)
1.) Wash and dry mushrooms. Finely dice mushrooms or gently pulse in a food processor (takes around 10-15 seconds, don’t overpulse).
2.) Add 1 Tbsp oil to a medium skillet set to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, cooking 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
3.) Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl.
4.) Add ground beef, salt and pepper and mix with hands until combined. Divide into 4 balls and shape into patties.
5.) Using your thumb, make a deep indention (not a complete hole) into center of patty to help burger cook more evenly and the juices will pool to the middle.
6.) Add 1 Tbsp avocado oil to skillet and cook patties on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes each side or until internal temperature reaches at least 160°.
7.) Choose your bun, slider, lettuce wrap or salad and enjoy with your favorite toppings!
If grilling your burger, follow instructions 1-5, then heat a gas grill on high or if using charcoal, wait until the coals are ashed over and bright orange. Cook blended beef patties for about 4 minutes each side or until 160°.
Burger Bar Topping Ideas: sautéed baby bella mushrooms, avocado, guacamole, tomato, pico de gallo, cucumber, mango, bacon, grilled pineapple, grilled peaches, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, basil, arugula, kale, spinach, bleu cheese, goat cheese, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, hard-boiled egg, fried egg, sun-dried tomatoes, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, roasted corn, refried beans, jalapeños, chili, coleslaw, BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, hummus, salsa
Whole30 is something I never really thought I would partake in. If I'm being completely honest, I used to think it was just a trend (and it is very trendy), but when my doctor recommended I do a Whole30, I agreed. I honestly went in with minimal expectations and was pretty low key about it all. After all, I eat about 75% Whole30-ish on any given day, could the 25% "ish" really make that much of a difference? Well, it turns out it can and I'm pretty excited to share my top 5 revelations from my Whole30 experience!
Before I share these personal revelations, I want to mention that I didn't weigh/measure myself before, during or after Whole30. There was zero part of this that had anything to do with body size/appearance and I honestly couldn't tell you what changes, if any, took place. I'm 10 months postpartum and still navigating the journey of what my body was like then vs now, and I'm at peace with the process.
Revelation #1. I had way more added sugars in my diet than I realized. I'm not sure if I was in denial or just completely oblivious or maybe a little of both, but between coffee creamer, nut/seed butters and granola bars, it was adding up big time! To my point earlier, most of what I eat is "healthy-ish". My coffee creamer is almond milk based, my granola bars are gluten-free, have real ingredients you can see/pronounce, etc. etc., but I was completely overlooking the sugars. I'm not saying you need a sugar-free diet (that's crazy), but I am saying it can add up over the course of a day and I truly realize that now.
Revelation #2. I was rarely meal prepping before Whole30. I can't believe it took me a Whole30 to realize this but I was rarely planning our meals and sticking to that plan. I would have loose idea and then often resort to old faithfuls like breakfast for dinner, gluten-free spaghetti and meat sauce, salad with protein on top, etc. None of these meals are bad but we were honestly in a little bit of a meal rut and not actually using all the produce I was getting for the week. Which leads me to the next thing I learned!
Revelation #3. I hate to admit it, but I was wasting a lot of food. Like a lot. As a busy stay at home/working at home mama and with a hubby who often works nights, there's not a ton of motivation to cook a meal every night. Once Joy goes down, I'm beat and often would resort to a bowl of cereal, breakfast for dinner or sometimes just heavy snacks. All the produce I purchased with good intentions were living a lonely life in the fridge and often times didn't get used, which is just awful! Yes, Whole30 is strict and some take issue with its strictness but for me it forced me to meal plan and stick to that plan. I'm forever grateful for this realization and even post Whole30 I'm meal planning and prepping like a boss (below is one of my favorite simple Whole30 approved recipes- Herb Crusted Sockeye Salmon)!
Revelation #4. I have a mad passion for pecan butter. Seriously, y'all. Honest to goodness no other ingredient pecan butter was slathered on sweet potatoes, bananas, a spoon and medjool dates. If I took nothing else away from my Whole30 other than a pecan butter discovery it would have been worth it. Georgia Grinders is my favorite in case you're wondering! And right now, you can save 20% by using code KISS when ordering directly from the Georgia Grinders site!
Revelation #5. There is so much power in listening to your body. I have a very clinical background and multiple nutrition degrees. I value evidenced based nutrition, but I also think there's high value in listening to what actually works for your body. About 2 1/2 years ago I went on an elimination diet in hopes of resolving GERD (spoiler alert- it worked) and I was super skeptical at the time that gluten or dairy could be the culprit. To make a very long story short, I don't do well with either. I've had every test under the sun to show I don't have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten but I feel completely wrecked after any accidental exposure (I say accidental because I haven't intentionally eaten gluten in 2 1/2 years). Going on a Whole30 allowed me to really pay attention to how I felt on a diet slightly different from my norm and also see how I feel after when I reintroduce certain foods back in.
I'm so thankful for this experience and if you're read this far- thank you! I'd love to know what your biggest takeaways were from your Whole30 or any questions you have about trying one yourself!
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.