Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can't help yourself about craving burgers? Try this healthy topping.

I can't help myself; I just love a good hamburger.

I get this yen honestly. Practically until her dying day at age 93, my mother still was calling for us to bring her a good ole juicy burger from Burger Street. Any time previously when I might have been out in the car running errands with my mother in tow, I always knew that a stop for a cheeseburger would be on her list.

Only problem with burgers, of course, is that they are good ole juicy. That usually means lots of artery-clogging, cholestrol-and-sodium-laden elements that have the potential to shorten our lives. (Didn't seem to mess with my mother's odds any, since she lived to be 93, but I'd rather not take my chances.)

So my heart did a flip-flop when I saw this recipe for mushroom burger topping. It looked like a good way to scratch my forever-itch for a good ole juicy burger, minus the bad stuff.

My burger, of course, was made from lean ground turkey, a healthy substitution to which I've grown accustomed. A nice plump pattie cooked on the countertop grill and seasoned with some salt-free seasoning can't hurt anything. Then the simple mushroom topping, which features chopped leeks, was prepared. I'm not sure how frequently in my lifetime I've ever cooked with leeks, a giant-sized version of green onions, but they plus some minced garlic surely kicked up what could have been a run-of-the-mill burger topping, which also could be used atop steaks, fish, or even atop some other grilled veggies such as grilled zucchini or squash.

No need for me to sit around and pine for bygone days of good old and juicy when a recipe such as this one can deliver something even juicier to the table. Mushroom topping with leeks gets my vote for building a better, and healthier, burger.

Mushroom Burger Topping

2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 leeks, white and green parts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut leeks into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Put all ingredients into skillet and stir-fry until leeks and mushrooms are softened, about 6 minutes. Serve on burgers or steaks. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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