Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hangin’ Loose with some Teri

One of my favorite things about traveling is tasting local recipes. Sometimes it can be as exciting as trying something you have never tried before, like a new type of fish or exotic fruit, or as simple as a spin on a classic. During my honeymoon in Hawaii the past two weeks I had a little bit of both experiences! One of my favorites that I thought I would share with you was a great Hawaiian classic that is perfect for a family dinner called teri-burgers.

Why have you done a good thing?

Hamburgers get a bad reputation for being a highly caloric, greasy comfort food and they certainly can be. Between cheese, bacon, high fat meat content, and a side of fries, hamburgers can use a makeover. A Hawaiian teri-burger however is loaded with all the flavor and none of the usual suspects. Traditionally, Hawaiian burgers are prepared with local grass-fed beef, substantially lowering the fat content and therefore the calories per burger. Plus beef is rich in iron, making lean beef a great occasionally treat. Instead of cheese and bacon, toppings on a teri-burger include grilled pineapple and sweet onions, packing an antioxidant punch to your burger. Plus the sweetness of the pineapple and onions mixed with savory taste of the meat is sweet/savory heaven! Here’s how you make a teri-burger:

Hawaiian Teri-Burger – serves 4

1 lb 95% lean grass fed beef or bison meat (4 ounces per person)
½ cup low-sodium teriyaki sauce
4 pineapple rings, grilled 
8 slices of sweet onions, grilled
4 slices of lettuce
4 slices of tomato
4 whole grain buns (recommend Arnold’s Whole Grain Buns – 100 calories)

Marinate the beef or bison overnight in teriyaki sauce. Also marinate pineapple and sweet onion in teriyaki sauce in a separate container from the meat. Heat the grill or frying pan on high and cook the beef until cooked through or temperature of 160 degrees with an instant read thermometer. While the burgers are cooking, grill the pineapple and onion. Stack 1 slice of pineapple, onions, lettuce and tomato on each burger and serve immediately!

Don't eat red meat or meat in general? Make a veggie teri-burger. I'm sure it's delicious too! 
**For a great side, serve with baked sweet potato fries or parsnip fries!

This is the perfect meal for a cold fall or winter day. Makes you feel like you are on the sunny beaches of Hawaii. We NY'ers certainly all need that feeling right about now.  So have your family and friends over for dinner.  Share the power (your electricity if you have it and love) of a warm meal together. Do your best to hang loose, as they say in Hawaii, and remember to be grateful for what you have during these hard times. You will shout out a big “mahalo” or thank you while you enjoy your teri-burger. Aloha!

--Amy Santo Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN