How to Create a Wholesome Burger and Fries Dish

I’m here today to share a simple recipe for crafting a nutritious burger and fries. Making your own hamburgers at home is an effortless task that allows for endless customization options. Plus, the oven-baked potato fries are both healthier and more flavorful than their fast food counterparts. The extra effort involved in creating this homemade delight is definitely worth it!

Why Choose Homemade Burgers?

If you’re not fond of cooking, you might be tempted to rely on fast food for your burger fix. After all, it’s quick and often cheaper than preparing a meal at home. However, continually relying on fast food can take a toll on your health and finances in the long run. Poor dietary choices not only lead to increased healthcare costs but also impact your productivity at work. Investing in better food options now can save you money and prevent health issues down the line.

But aren’t burgers and fries the same, whether homemade or from a fast food joint? Not quite. Here are a few reasons why making your own fast food is a better choice:

Are Homemade Burgers Healthier?

Absolutely! Let’s compare the nutrient breakdown of a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese and medium fries to our own burger with fries. Both start with 4 ounces of raw beef per patty, but the homemade version comes out on top.

Our burger and fries have fewer calories, saturated fat, and sodium compared to the fast food offering. This disparity is a common occurrence when comparing restaurant meals to homemade options. Opting for healthier homemade alternatives is particularly crucial for individuals following low-sodium diets.

By using leaner beef and skipping condiments and refined buns, we’ve managed to reduce the calorie and saturated fat content of our meal. While the McDonald’s burger may have a slight edge in terms of iron, the extra sodium and calories make our homemade option a preferable choice. Additionally, ordering a combo meal with a soda at McDonald’s can skyrocket the calorie count to over 1,000, making it a less filling and less healthy option.

Wholesome Burger and Fries Ingredients

Apart from the nutritional aspect, the ingredients used in homemade meals tend to be of higher quality. If you’re striving to minimize your consumption of ultra-processed foods, cooking at home is the way to go.

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For instance, our oven-baked fries only require three ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning. On the other hand, the ingredient list for McDonald’s fries includes additives and flavorings that may not align with specific dietary preferences or restrictions.

When you order fast food, you might be surprised at the way it’s prepared. It often differs from how you would make the same dish at home, even if the end results appear similar. Fast-food establishments may reuse frying oil repeatedly, affecting the flavor and overall appeal of the food.

Healthier Homemade Burgers

Let’s consider another example: the use of processed cheese food instead of regular cheese on fast food burgers. Processed cheese food, also known as “American cheese,” contains a range of additional ingredients that regular cheese does not.

The ingredients in store-bought cheese can be quite complex, while our homemade provolone cheese has a simple composition: pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, and enzymes. By cooking at home, you have the freedom to eliminate preservatives and ultra-processed ingredients from your meals. It’s important to note that seemingly similar cheese slices can have vastly different ingredients lists.

It’s worth mentioning that substituting processed cheese food and beef burgers with nutrient-poor plant-based alternatives can further worsen the nutritional value. These alternatives often consist of starch and added oils high in saturated fats. While some individuals may need the nutrients found in fast food due to their dietary habits, relying solely on nutrient-devoid alternatives won’t contribute to better health.

Adding Variety to Your Burgers

Choosing your food isn’t just about nutrition; it’s about enjoying the flavors as well. When you prepare meals at home, you have the freedom to customize them to your liking.

For example, my husband loves mushrooms, so we often add sautéed mushrooms to our burger and meatloaf recipes. I, on the other hand, prefer sweet potatoes over white potatoes and would likely choose to make sweet potato fries. Feel free to put your own spin on the simple recipe provided below to suit your taste preferences!

Calorie Information for Burger and Fries

You may be wondering, how many calories are there in a burger and fries? This cheeseburger and fries recipe amounts to 452 calories, 25.8 grams of net carbs, and 32.6 grams of protein. Keep in mind that these values don’t include a bun or any additional toppings and condiments you choose to add.

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The exact calorie count of a burger and fries depends on the portion size and preparation method. As previously mentioned, fast food burgers and fries can be much higher in calories than homemade versions. However, it’s important to note that the reverse can also be true, depending on how you prepare your burger.

How to Make a Healthy Burger and Fries

Now, let’s dive into the steps for creating a Healthy Burger and Chips Recipe!

Make Healthy Fries

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a dark baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wash the potatoes, pat them dry, and cut them into ½-inch thick (1.27 cm) fry shapes. If you’re using thin-skinned potatoes, there’s no need to peel them.
  3. Place the cut potatoes in a bowl and stir in the oil.
  4. Using your hands, spread the fries out in a single layer on the baking sheet. If the potatoes have uneven thickness, place thinner pieces in the middle and thicker pieces on the outer edges for more even cooking.
  5. Sprinkle the fries with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and position the baking sheet on an oven rack located ⅓ down from the top.
  6. Bake the fries for 20 minutes, then flip them and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until they reach your desired crispness.
  7. While the fries cook, move on to preparing the burgers.

Make Healthy Burgers

  1. Lightly spritz a cast-iron skillet with cooking oil spray.
  2. Dice the mushrooms into ¼-inch pieces (0.6 cm) and sauté them in the skillet for approximately 10 minutes, allowing the liquid to cook off. Don’t worry too much about achieving perfect mushroom browning, as it’s challenging to burn them.
  3. Place the raw burgers in a large bowl, add the sautéed mushrooms, and thoroughly mix them together using your hands.
  4. Divide the burger mixture into four parts, roll each part into a ball, and then flatten each ball into a patty.
  5. Cook the patties in the preheated skillet (the same one used for the mushrooms) over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes per side.
  6. Don’t forget to flip your fries if necessary!
  7. During the last minute of cooking, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger to let it melt. Remove the burgers from heat quickly to prevent the cheese from burning.
  8. Plate the fries and burgers, and feel free to add any desired toppings. I highly recommend pairing the meal with a side salad to achieve a balanced flavor profile. Enjoy!
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Storing Burgers and Fries

Leftover burgers and fries can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To reheat the burgers (without the bun), microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes.

If you’re interested in reheating a McDonald’s burger, check out specific instructions for that process. However, note that cooked fries change in texture when frozen and thawed, so freezing them is not recommended.

Alternatives to Fries with Burgers

Looking for some tasty alternatives to traditional fries? Here are a few excellent options:

  • Cauliflower rice or white rice
  • Kale apple slaw
  • Air-fried frozen green beans
  • Vegan spinach salad

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This recipe falls under level 1 (may support fat loss). The calorie count doesn’t include a side salad, dressing, or burger bun with condiments like ketchup. If you’re aiming for a keto or low-carb meal, enjoy the salad and cheeseburger without the fries. In this case, you might want to have an extra burger to ensure the meal remains adequately calorie-rich.

Conversely, young adults and teenagers often require more calories. If you need additional energy, consider adding a whole grain bun to your burger. It’s worth trying Ezekiel Sprouted Whole Grain Burger Buns, which you can store in the freezer until needed, preventing food waste or consuming stale buns in a hurry.

Including a side salad in your burger and fries meal adds volume, color, fiber, and a broader range of phytonutrients. Some fast-food establishments don’t offer salads, highlighting another advantage of homemade cooking: more healthy options are available.

FAQs

Q: Are there other healthy burger recipes for weight loss?

Certainly! Here are a few more burger recipes that can aid you on your weight loss journey:

  • Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
  • Frozen Burgers in Air Fryer
  • Elk Burger

Q: Any other healthy recipes to try?

Absolutely! Here are a few other healthy recipes for you to explore:

  • Kodiak Cake Waffles
  • Kodiak Blueberry Muffins
  • Sugar-Free Apple Crisp
  • Chick Fil A Kale Crunch Salad

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The Disclaimer…

Keep in mind that all recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for your specific needs and preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the best dietary pattern for you.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate offered as a courtesy. Actual values may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients used. Remember that calorie information on food labels can be inaccurate, so it’s best not to obsess over the numbers.

For more information on how the three recipe levels can support your weight management goals, refer to my post on overnight oats without sugar. Let’s get cooking!

Recipe

You can find the complete recipe here.