Healthy Burger & Fries Meal Prep
Buffalo Protein Burger Meal Prep
For the burgers:
- 2 pounds of ground buffalo/bison or 90:10 ground beef
- Just under half a medium size red onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup of canned black beans drained & rinsed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
For the fries:
- 2 medium size russet potatoes sliced into ½ thick wedges
- 3 medium size sweet potatoes sliced into ½ thick wedges
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
For the kale salad:
- ½ a bunch of black lacinato kale, stems removed & finely sliced
- ½ cup of uncooked white quinoa
- 2 carrots peeled & grated
- ¼ cup pecans chopped & toasted(optional)
- ¼ cup pitted medjool dates sliced or raisins
- ½ cup seedless cucumbers cubed
For the salad dressing:
- Zest & juice of half an orange
- Juice of just under ½ a lemon
- ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Couple cracks of fresh pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cook’s Note: If you can’t find ground buffalo/bison, you can use ground beef. Make sure it’s 90:10 ground beef, meaning 90% beef to 10% fat. I will provide marcos for both types of meat below.
For the burgers, place the ground buffalo in a large bowl and add the onion and next 3 ingredients. Make sure the black beans are thoroughly rinsed and strained, then add them to a small bowl. Season the beans with a ½ teaspoon each of the smoked paprika, onion & garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix well and add the beans to the meat mixture. Use your hands to mix the meat with all the ingredients, making sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Divide the mixture in 5 equal portions. To help make the patties all the same size and shape, use an old mayonnaise lid or any wide lid and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of it. Add a portion of the meat to the lid and use your hands to pack it evenly. Pop the plastic out so the burger patty comes out easily and then your hands to flatten the patty and make sure it’s even all around. You don’t want your burgers too tall otherwise they may plump while cooking and cook unevenly. Repeat this process with the remaining meat mixture and place the formed patties in the fridge until ready to cook, at least 20 minutes. If the patties are room temperature, they will break apart and the texture will be mushy when you cook them.
For the fries, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F with 2 metal sheet trays inside. Cut the russet potatoes into ½ inch thick wedges and place in a large bowl. Fill that bowl with ice cold water and let sit for 10 minutes. This will help remove some excess starch, which will make your fries super crispy when cooked. Meanwhile, cut the sweet potatoes into ½ inch thick wedges also, place in a large bowl and season with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 generous teaspoon of salt, and a couple cracks of pepper. Mix well. Remove the hot sheet tray from the oven and carefully lay the sweet potatoes in one single layer and gently shake the pan a few times, this will help prevent them for sticking. Place back in oven for 35 minutes. By pre-heating the sheet trays you start the cooking and browning process immediately. Vigorously stir the russet potatoes with your hand to get any last starch out and drain all the water. Place the potato wedges on a clean kitchen towel or use few paper towels, and thoroughly pat dry making sure all the water is gone. Place the dry potato wedges in the same bowl you used for the sweet potatoes, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 generous teaspoon of salt, and a couple cracks of pepper. Mix well. Grab the other sheet tray from the oven and carefully add the potatoes in one even layer. Gently shake the pan a few times and place in the oven for 35 minutes.
The fries will be cooked in 35 minutes but most likely will need more color and heat to make them crispy. Turn the broiler on high and start with the sweet potatoes about 6 -8 inches from the broiler and let cook for 2-4 minutes, watching them the whole time because they can burn easily. Once they looked nicely browned, remove from oven and do the same thing with the russet potatoes. If some of the potatoes are sticking to the bottom of the pan, use a spatula to get them off.
For the salad, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add the quinoa, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 17-20 minutes with the lid off. All the water should be absorbed and the quinoa will be fluffy. If it looks uncooked towards the end, add another 3 tablespoons of water. Remove from the heat and fluff well with a fork. Make the salad by combining the kale and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing by adding everything but the olive oil to a small bowl. Whisk well and add the olive oil while whisking, Keep whisking until the dressing thickens up. Check for seasoning, you may need a little more lemon juice or agave nectar. Combine the salad with the dressing either right before you are going to eat it, or the morning of, otherwise it will get soggy.
To cook the burgers, pre-heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Only season 2-3 of the burger patties, keep the others in the fridge, with a generous pinch of salt and pepper on one side. Add a small shot of olive oil to the pan, wait 30 seconds, then place the burgers seasoned side down. Use your thumb to make a shallow dimple on the top side of the burgers in the pan, this will help prevent them from plumping up like a football. Immediately season the top side of the burgers with another generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip, and cook another 4-5 minutes. Only flip once and resist all temptation to smush or touch the burgers, or you will ruin the crust. Remove from heat and cook the remaining burgers.
Assemble your meal prep containers with a burger that’s been cut in half, some fries, and some salad. Enjoy!
922 calories per meal using bison, 936 calories using 90:10 ground beef
49.6 grams of protein per meal
43 grams of fat per meal, 43.8 grams of fat using 90:10 ground beef
92 grams of carbs per meal
12.2 grams of fiber per meal