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ime for our second installment of “What’s for Dinner?”. This one’s a favorite ’round here, and we enjoy it on a weekly basis. It’s also my go-to for company and always a hit.
We’re talking Beef Patties, Sweet Potato Bites and Salad…a meal that’s loaded with quality fats, veggies and protein. Ain’t nothin’ about this meal that says “cardboard“!
Burgers are a favorite in our home…but, unless I’m making the buns myself, we tend to skip them all together (have ya’ll seen the ingredients in store bought hamburger buns? Don’t even get me started!)…I digress. We usually just serve them up solo, or topped with our usual burger fare, sans bun, and move on with our day. No one even misses the carb envelope, not when they’re seasoned to perfection and grilled up medium rare!
Want to know my secret to the most flavorful patties that stay juicy and tender every time? For each pound of ground beef, add one egg, and mix in your seasonings before forming your patties (almost meatloaf style). No more hockey pucks for this family!
Next, and ya’ll will have to forgive me for not sharing these sooner, are Sweet Potato Bites (if you’re a newsletter subscriber you actually got a sneak peek a few weeks back!)…these little guys are the perfect bite of salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy…in a word? Perfection! I’d love to take credit for them, but I actually saw a photo of something similar on Pinterest while trying to figure out how to “pin” our blog posts…I’m a pinterest loser and could barely figure it out. But I did score the idea for this award winning side dish (who cares that the award came from my husband…that’s even better)!
Sweet Potato Bites are simply sliced sweet potato rounds, oiled up and baked at 425℉ for 20 minutes, flipped then baked for about 10-20 minutes more until golden brown and crispy (but still soft on the inside). Once baked, salt them and let cool slightly (or completely if baked ahead of time…highly recommended to make dinner-time a breeze!). Mash up a couple avocados with some salt, pepper, lime juice and a few tablespoons of homemade salsa (recipe below), then top each sweet potato round with a dollop of guacamole and add a cilantro leaf for both flavor and presentation (total win!).
These also make a killer appetizer or pot-luck side…one that will leave everyone asking you for the recipe and you feeling like Betty-Homemaker!
Throw a large dinner salad together and call it a meal! As you can see, most nights I’m not super creative with our salads. I usually just grab some mixed greens, top with peeled or grated carrot and sliced tomatoes (if I’m feeling extra fancy some diced apples, walnuts and feta cheese might sneak it’s way in), then add some homemade vinaigrette or ranch dressing.
Grab your grocery list and add the following ingredients…this meal is sure to become a regular!
To Make: (The following recipe serves our family of 6)
Beef Patties: Mix together ground beef, egg and seasonings into a bowl (haven’t found a quality, organic all-purpose seasoning yet? Keep your eyes peeled, we may have something special coming your way!), have fun and use your hands! Form 6 patties…we make 2 larger patties for the adults (about 1/4 lb or 4 oz), and 4 smaller patties for the kiddos. Preheat your grill or griddle to about 350℉ and grill until medium rare (or your preferred “done-ness”).
Sweet Potato Bites: Preheat your oven to 425℉ (this is why we’re using avocado oil since it has a smoke point of 500℉). Slice your sweet potatoes into “coins” and place them in a gallon sized zip top bag. Drizzle with enough avocado oil to give the coins a good coating (you don’t want to lose half your sweet potato because it stuck to the pan…that’s sad!), zip up the bag and let your kiddos go to town. Lightly oil your pan (or line with parchment paper) and spread your coins out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes and flip, then bake another 10-20 minutes until golden brown, crispy on the outside, but still soft in the middle.
Guacamole: While the potatoes are cooking, grab a bowl and mash up two avocados with the salt, pepper, lime juice and salsa (be sure to make the recipe below ahead of time!). Once potatoes have been removed from the oven, give them a good salting and add a dollop of guacamole to each coin. You have an option of adding some diced tomatoes at this time, then garnish with one cilantro leaf (don’t skip this step…the cilantro flavor really adds to the “yum” factor!).
Salad: Next, throw together a large bowl of mixed greens, some grated carrots and diced tomatoes and be sure you’ve made up a batch of ranch dressing! (Remember, a healthy meal includes mostly veggies, some quality protein, lots of healthy fats and a small amount of carbohydrates…so be sure your salad fills half your plate! We like to think of our salad as our “main dish” and the meat and starch as the “sides”. We also like to use smaller salad plates for our dinner plates. When filled, they hold more than enough food, and it looks like a huge serving so you don’t feel you’re missing out!)
To Make: Using your blender, dump in all ingredients and pulse until onion, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro are finely chopped. Taste test for seasonings and adjust if needed.
*For a thicker salsa, chop onion, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic ahead of time, so you’re only doing a couple pulses in the blender, allowing your ingredients to stay in larger chunks. Our family likes a thin salsa, so we just throw it all in at once and save ourselves some time!