Friday, November 2, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, Balsamic Onion & Havarti Burgers... without the BUN!

My Pop was the master of the grill growing up, and although the main attraction was almost always burgers, those burgers still make me drool. 

Those were the "company-inviting" kind of burgers that got Mom wiping down the outdoor furniture and plating up all kinds of yummy burger accoutrement like thinly sliced onions, lettuce, American cheese, and of course, Miracle Whip... oh man, now that brings back memories!

And these days, I still love a good burger, but honestly... we could ALL do without the bun- and the processed cheese.  And yes, I've learned to live without the Miracle Whip!

The secret?  Kick 'em up with a ton of flavor, and believe me, boy- you won't miss a thing!

 So, how do you get started?  Well, I started with some of my favorite ingredients.  Ground beef, some of my favorite spices, Havarti cheese and what could be better than my Balsamic Onions?

But that wasn't quite enough.. I wanted some yummy stuff, stuffed INSIDE the burger to keep them moist, and help me forget about the bun. 

So, I checked out the deli aisle, and was so excited to see my grocer's fresh olive bar- complete with sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes (and yes, I also bought some olives and fresh mozzarella balls for snacking on later, too- one of my favorite low-carb lunches)

The results?  FANTASTIC!  Even my picky "meatloaf and mashed potatoes" guy loved them, And I think you will too.  But feel free to mix it up, change out the meat mixture with different veggies, meats, or even non-meats. Play around with the cheeses on top (or add feta to the meat mix), and even different types of lettuce to wrap it all up in (although iceberg does add the best crunch!) 

Load up on flavors... ditch the bun.

Low Carb Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke & Havarti Burgers with Balsamic Onions

2 lb. ground beef
1 head iceberg lettuce
1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 c. marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 package sliced Havarti cheese
Seasonings to taste (I used 1 tsp. thyme, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, a sprinkle of coriander, salt and pepper)
1 sweet onion, sliced into thin half moons
2 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
Drizzle of olive oil

For the onions: Place onions in a glass pie plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and season with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min. or until caramelized.

Mix the beef, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and seasonings in a bowl.  Form into patties and pan fry or BBQ until cooked through.

The last minute or so, before the burgers are done, add on the cheese to melt.  Place burgers on lettuce leafs and top with the onion mixture and any other fixings you like.

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