Sneaky Liver Burgers

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I was never really one for fast food, but I did enjoy a good ‘gourmet’ burger every now and then. When I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and realized that I could not have gluten anymore (or any grains apart from a little white rice), I thought burgers would be a thing of the past, as I could no longer have the bun. But how wrong was I? Luckily, there are so many useful and amazing recipes out there that I came across the idea of using lettuce to wrap around the burger like a bun – genius!

For the burger patties, I really like to get the best quality meat I can for two reasons. One, it’s better for your health (think grass-fed, outdoor raised, no hormones etc) and two, it tastes so much better! Luckily, I have an amazing butcher in my town who sells the perfect mince. When I am there, I also like to get my hands on some beef liver. Organ meats are very nutrient dense (but should be eaten in moderation of course!). I have tried to eat liver on its own before, even with various sauces, but it’s never been for me.

So this is how I get the nutrients of the liver: I mix it with the meat! For me, its the best way to sneak some into my diet. Also, I like the combination of hearts of palm and avocado as the creaminess of the two mimic cheese. I can’t have cheese so this feels like a real treat!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Liver is a great source of iron, zinc, selenium and preformed Vitamin A. Vitamin A comes from our diet in two ways, preformed (mainly from dairy, fish and meat, especially liver) or in a precursor form from carotenes. One of the most common is beta-carotene, sources of which include carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. These precursors are then converted by our body into the vitamin A that we need. Liver is a rich source of vitamin A but too much can cause toxicity, symptoms of which include fatigue and liver damage, therefore, it is important to not have liver more than once a week.

By Dianne Rishikof, MS, RDN, LDN
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Sneaky Liver Burgers

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10-15 min
  • Servings: 8 thin patties

Ingredients

1 pound liver

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon oil (coconut oil, olive oil, or fat for cooking)

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 can hearts of palm (drained and cut in half length-wise)

1 ripe avocado (sliced)

Freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

Sea salt (for seasoning)

Instructions

  1. To prep the liver, cut into slices and blend in a food processor until it becomes very fine.
  2. Place beef and liver into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place patties on a parchment-lined tray after forming them with your hands, adjusting the size and thickness to your preference. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put tray of patties in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to make firm.
  5. Heat a large saucepan with the oil over medium high heat. Add patties once oil is heated. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  6. Cook patties until both sides are brown.
  7. To make lettuce “buns,” tear off large-sized pieces.
  8. Assemble the “burger” by placing patty, hearts of palm and avocado between lettuce leaves.

 

Serve with additional toppings of your choice. I like to have these burgers with a side of sweet potato fries, roasted with garlic cloves.

To prep the liver, cut into slices and blend in a food processor until it becomes very fine. Place beef and liver into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place patties on a parchment-lined tray after forming them with your hands, adjusting the size and thickness to your preference. Season with salt and pepper. Put tray of patties in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to make firm. Heat a large saucepan with the oil over medium high heat. Add patties once oil is heated. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook patties until both sides are brown. To make lettuce “buns,” tear off large-sized pieces. Assemble the “burger” by placing patty, hearts of palm and avocado between lettuce leaves.   Serve with additional toppings of your choice. I like to have these burgers with a side of sweet potato fries, roasted with garlic cloves.

Nutrition Information

Per 1 patty: Calories: 252; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 209mg; Sodium: 170mg; Potassium: 572mg; Carbohydrate: 8g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 27g

Nutrition Bonus: Vit A: 355%; Vit C: 11%; Iron: 68%; Calcium: 18%

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