“DAMN THE MAN! Eat a burger!”

Taken from my iPhone. 'Tis a wonderful contraption, that.

Whoever implied that one couldn’t eat burgers while simultaneously trying to maintain a certain weight was wrong. Utterly, disgracefully, entirely, ridiculously misinformed.  Ugh. Can you imagine all those poor gullible dieters that gave up those juicy, unctuous patties of nom for…a SALAD?! Tragedy. That’s what that is.

The truth is, that salads can be just as calorie-laden as your average burger (you know, sans the grease-dripping bacon, double-cream Gloucester, baconnaise, potato chips, fried foi gras, and a Challah bun [toasted and buttered, of course]…would it be overkill to add fried green tomatoes?). For example, there’s a salad at Champps, the Americana Chopped that’s 1272 calories. To put that in perspective, a Big Mac is only 540 calories. I say “only” as a term of comparison.

If you’re one of those people looking to slim down, the keys to eating are (1) the ingredients, and (2) the method of preparation. If you order that same salad without the dressing, you save tons of calories. If you make a burger with lean ground beef, you’re looking at 130 calories per 4-ounce serving of cow. See? Smart. Add a whole-wheat bun (I go for the Merita 80-calorie buns), some fresh veggies and don’t go crazy on the condiments? Boom. Guilt-free burger.

Makes 1 “tasty burger”

Ingredients

4 oz. Lean (98%) ground beef

Salt and pepper

1 1/4″ slice of Red onion (all rings in tact)

1 big, ole’ leaf of Romaine

2 thin slices Tomatoes (vine-ripened is awesome, btw.)

A few Dill pickles

Mustard, Mayo (I use low fat) and ketchup

A bun. Toasted.

1. Preheat oven to 450 on convection broil (or just broil if you don’t have convection)

2. Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup (redundant? Or would it sound weird if I’d said “1/2 cup measure”?), pack in the beef, ease out of the cup and form into a patty about 1/2″ -3/4″ thick.

3. Season the patty with salt and pepper (both sides)

4. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray (again with the redundancy!) and place the onion slice in the center. Season with salt and pepper and place the patty on top.

5. Broil until desired doneness. I would say start checking after 10 minutes. I like my burgers pinky-red (especially when it’s so lean). For medium-rare-ish, if you poke the center and there’s a give-just in the center…the sides should be firm-the burger’s done.

6. P.S. Add cheese if desired after 7 minutes–make it a thick slice, because it’ll take the 3 minutes to melt it. If it’s a pansy slice, it’ll run all down the sides and on to the pan.

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