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Mediterranean Burgers


This morning I talked about take out burgers on the Today show. You don’t always get what you expect in that the gourmet burger from your local cafe can end up being higher in kilojoules than a fast food burger! It certainly can be better nutritionally in that it has better quality bread and ingredients, but often it’s the portion size and added extras that bump up the kilojoules. The fast food chain burgers cry out heart burn to me and the key problem is not in fact the burger (although these vary in quality) but the bread. NOT because it’s carbohydrate, but because it’s highly processed. This means the carbohydrate it contains is rapidly absorbed, provides few micronutrients and practically no fibre. The other issue is cost. Although fast food options may seem cheap, you can create far healthier, tastier and cheaper burgers at home. Here is the recipe for the ones I made for the show this morning, but I make many different options depending on what’s in the fridge. You can add pine nuts and sundried tomatoes, chili sauce and coriander for an Asian style, or cumin, coriander and fresh chili for a real grown up taste. Almost anything goes and it seriously doesn’t take long. Making food at home means you are in control and my burger is pretty much half the kilojoules of the gourmet and fast food options. Enjoy :)


1 tb extra virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/4 red capsicum, finely diced

1 small zucchini, finely diced

4 tb tomato paste

500g extra lean beef mince

pinch salt & fresh ground pepper

handful of fresh basil finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)


  1. Heat half the olive oil in a non-stick fry pan & saute for a few minutes until soft
  2. Add the capsicum and zucchini and saute for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir through. Allow to cool a little.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the mince, the cooked veg mix, the fresh basil and season.
  5. Wet your hands with cold water (helps to stop meat mixture sticking) and make patties with the meat mixture, placing them on baking paper on a plate. (If you have time allow them to set a little in the fridge for half an hour or so – you can also freeze them at this point).
  6. Clean the non-stick pan and heat the remaining olive oil. Fry the burgers for a few minutes on each side. If you like them thick I tend to seal each side and then finish cooking for 10 minutes in a moderately hot oven.

Serve in a wholegrain sourdough bun with sliced avocado, cos lettuce, sliced tomato & relish.

Nutritional Analysis

Energy 1240kJ

Protein 16g

Carbohydrate 29g

Fat 12g

Saturated fat 3g

Fibre 5g

Good source of iron 2.5mg and zinc 3mg

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