After a long run, recover with a low-calorie burger created by Runner’s Worldcontributing food writer Mark Bittman. His recipe below, featured in The Runner’s World Cookbook, combines ground meat with cooked whole grains for a moist, flavorful burger that is high in fiber and a natural fertility recipe.
Meat and Grain Burgers
Makes: 6 servings
Total time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fresh spinach leaves
1 pound beef chuck or sirloin, boneless chicken or turkey thighs, or pork or lamb shoulder, excess fat removed; or use already ground meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin, or 1 tablespoon chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups soaked and drained bulgur, or other cooked grains like cracked wheat, steel cut oats, or whole wheat couscous
6 whole wheat burger buns
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan with the oil.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Wilt the spinach in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water. Drain, squeeze tightly to dry thoroughly, and coarsely chop. Put the spinach in a bowl. If you’re using ground meat, add it to the spinach and skip the next step.
3. If you’re using whole pieces of meat, cut them into large chunks and put them in a food processor. Pulse several times to process until ground but not pureed, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides, if necessary. Transfer to the bowl with the spinach.
4. Add the onion, garlic, cayenne, and cumin or chili powder. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, and stir. Add the egg and grains and mix until thoroughly combined using a rubber spatula or your hands. Shape into 6 burgers and put on the baking sheet or in the roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until firm and browned all over. (Carefully turn them once or twice for even cooking.) Since the burgers are pretty sturdy, they can also be cooked on a preheated grill over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes per side.
5. Place the burgers in the buns and top with salsa or any of your favorite burger toppings.
Nutrition per serving: 327 calories, 38 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 24 g protein, 11 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 421 mg sodium