Friday, April 28

Cheesy Beef Sliders

Juicy cheeseburgers are the perfect quick dinner and sliders are even faster. Perfect kid food. Perfect weekend sit around the tv cheering on some basketball playoff games. Perfect hurry home from school and sports practice, do your homework and off to church or other weeknight activities and not be late. 

These little cheesy beefy gems are also healthy. You know how I am always trying to make things a bit healthier.... these are packed with nutrients. AND even better the "healthiness" is impossible to detect. This scores high with me and the somewhat picky little smiles in my house. 

This recipe comes from the book the sneaky chef to the rescue. It rightfully boasts that it contains 101 recipes and sneaky tricks for creating healthy meals that kids will love. So far I have tried 2 recipes and both times my oldest CLEARED his plate, AND both times he was eating a vegetable I know he hates with a passion - but had no clue. Seriously amazing. So until his taste buds mature a little bit because truthfully some veggies are unfortunately an acquired taste and have a bitter edge for kids' sweeter taste buds... this little trick will be up my sleeve. This author knows her stuff... here is my adaption of her slider recipe: 

 Cheesy Beef Sliders
Makes at least 12 slider burgers 

1/2 cup of green puree (see recipe below)
1 Tb ketchup
1/4 cup of wheat germ
 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional - I put it in everything)  
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 lb lean ground beef 
12 soft whole wheat dinner rolls
your favorite cheese, sliced - only need 1/2 slice per slider
optional garnishes - lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mustard, mayo, avocado, more ketchup, ect...

Directions (the easy part): 

1. Mix the first 6 things together in a large bowl. 

2. Grab a large plate and start forming the 12 patties as you can see I didn't grab a large enough plate lol. 

3. Pan fry with a little non cooking spray or olive oil the burgers or grill them inside or outside for about 2-3 minutes each side over medium heat. They are small. I did them inside in a pan and was able to do 5 or 6 at a time. 

4. While the sliders are cooking cut your cheese, slice the garnishes and heat the dinner rolls

5. Serve warm topped with the cheese. Goes really well with watermelon, crunchy veggies and dip, or even a frozen vegetable heated on the stove since no one will be able to tell that there are veggies in their burgers. 

The green puree
So the magic of this burger is the healthy green puree that you are thoroughly mixing into the meat. This is a green 3 vegetable mixture that you are blending together until its so super smooth. The brilliant thing about this, is that if you do have picky kiddos like me, you can make this puree ahead of time. It keeps really well in the fridge and the freezer. Thus you can make sure they don't see you, using the vegetables they think they don't like. See that. Think of these kids and perhaps husbands as overthinking it. We eat with our minds and our eyes first its a survival thing... but in this case its a disservice to getting some cancer fighting, cold butt kicking, energy delivering nutrients that they need to fuel their daily activities. Its good for you too. Us moms need a bit of help from our food too. Trust me if I could live on just coffee I would but yeah it hasn't worked yet. 

So try this:
Steam 2 cups fresh broccoli until tender takes about 10 minutes. In the last 2 minutes add in 1 cup of peas. 

Add the broccoli and peas to a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Add 2-3 Tbs of water and 2 cups of fresh baby spinach. Blend on high. Occasionally stop and stir if needed and if necessary use 1-2 Tbs of water.

My Notes:
I used leftover broccoli from the night before to save time. I just planned it that way. Since leftovers are given the evil eye and not one of my kids or husband enjoys leftover veggies it was brilliant. I used regular spinach because thats what I had in my fridge. Whatever you have totally works. I used 2 cups of peas instead of 1. The amount of water is an estimation. Start with 3 Tbs of water in your blender with the veggies and add 1-2 Tbs at a time until your blender has gotten it so smooth there are no chunks at all. Should be absolutely smooth. This puree felt much easier to make than I thought it would be. I have used it for 2 meals so far and figure I can get 2 more out of it. Nice. 

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