Tasty Chicken Veggie Burgers

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 11:27 AM

Skinless chicken breast is a good source of lean protein and other beneficial nutrients, but coming up with interesting ways to eat this particular meat may be a bit challenging. A chicken veggie burger, prepared the right way, might well become one of your favorite ways to enjoy the bird.

The nutrients in chicken include niacin, a B vitamin that protects against cancer and mental decline, and vitamin B6, which is good for the heart. The combination of these two B vitamins helps our bodies produce energy. Chicken is also a good source of selenium, a mineral that protects against cancer and helps our bodies eliminate toxins.

Making a Delicious Burger

To please taste buds, Anthony Stewart, executive chef at Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami, created a chicken veggie burger recipe that’s not only great tasting, but also simple to prepare and healthy. Pritikin bases its design on science; this dish helps people lower blood pressure and cholesterol; reduce risk for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and breast and prostate cancers; and lose weight and keep it off.

Skinless chicken breast is naturally low in fat but needs to be cooked thoroughly to avoid the possibility of foodborne illness, a process that can dry out the meat. Chef Stewart solves the problem by including vegetables that add moisture as well as nutrients, and make a well-cooked but juicy burger.

Adding Flavor Without Salt

The burger recipe calls for salt-free Pritikin All-Purpose Seasoning, available here. Or, you can make a batch with ingredients from your local supermarket.

Blend these ingredients to make your own:

1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon salt-free lemon pepper
½ tablespoon paprika

Use this combination as a healthier, no-salt alternative to other seasoning mixes on poultry and other meats. Once blended, keep it in a clean, dry jar or spice shaker.

Chef Stewart’s Chicken Veggie Burger Recipe

Never buy a package of ground chicken, the chef advises, because you can’t be certain that it’s pure skinless breast. Instead, buy skinless chicken breasts and ask to have them ground for you at the market or, at home, use the pulse feature on a food processor to chop the chicken until ground.

Serves 8

1 pound free-range, skinless chicken breast, ground
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup finely chopped carrot
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (Remove seeds if you want to take down the heat.)
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Pritikin All-Purpose Seasoning or your homemade version

• In a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, sauté onions, celery, and carrots until translucent, for about three minutes, and let cool.

• In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, sautéed vegetables, and the all-purpose seasoning. Mix so that the ingredients are evenly distributed and fully incorporated.

• Mold chicken/veggie mixture into 8 patties.

• On a hot nonstick skillet or grill, sear patties on each side, then lower the heat, cover, and let the meat cook throughout. This way, the meat can be cooked thoroughly without drying out.

Enjoy your chicken veggie burgers alone or tucked in a whole-wheat hamburger bun or pita bread full of fresh, crunchy vegetables such as sliced tomatoes, chopped Romaine lettuce, and sliced red onions.

On a whole-wheat bun, this burger packs about 330 calories — roughly half those of popular fast-food chicken sandwiches. Without a bun, the burger has only 150 calories.

The chicken veggie burger really shines as a heart-healthy food choice. It contains only one-half gram of artery-clogging saturated fat, which is somewhere between one-third and one-tenth the amount in fast-food chicken sandwiches.

© HealthDay

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011 11:27 AM
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