Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pizza Burgers and Homemade Healthy Marinara Sauce

These are terrific! The patty is like a huge meatball, smothered with cheese, and topped with yummy marinara sauce all on a wheat bun. Does that sound diet? Let me tell you, no one is deprived when eating this meal. It is delicious! We eat this for dinner and we just love it. This is another Biggest Loser recipe.

1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 tsp. salt
3 oz low fat mozarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Main Event Marinara sauce (recipe follows) or other low-fat, lower sodium, low-sugar marinara sauce
4 whole grain or whole wheat hamburger buns, split

Preheat a grill to high heat.

In a large bowl, mix the beef, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and salt until well combined. Divide the mixture into 4 equal patties.

Grill the burgers for about 2 min per side for medium rare, or until desired doneness. About 1 minute before they are done, divide the cheese slices among the tops and let melt.

Meanwhile, spoon the sauce into a medium microwaveable safe bowl. Microwave on low until hot, 30 t0 60 seconds. Place the bun halves, cut side down, on an upper grill rack or away from direct flame for about 20 seconds, or until toasted.

Place each bun bottom on a serving plate, toasted side up. Place the patties, cheese side up, on top of bun bottoms. Spread 2 tbsp. sauce on each bun top, flip atop the patties, and serve.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 304 calories, 32 g protein, 27 g carbs, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 68 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 605 mg sodium

Main Event Marinara Sauce

This is so yummy and good for you. I now make this for everything. We put it on spaghetti, penne, you name the pasta, we have done it. We put it on the above mentioned pizza burgers. I use it on the baked ziti recipe from the BL cookbook, and everything else you would use marinara sauce for. The whole family loves this. It freezes well for a long time and stores in the fridge for about a week. Once you make a batch, you can use it on just about anything.

olive oil spray
1 cup minced yellow or white onion
2 Tbsp. freshly minced garlic
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp no salt-added tomato paste
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste, optional

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with the olive oil spray and place over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just becoming tender (they should not brown), 4 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and with a wooden spoon stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, honey, oregano, basil, and pepper flakes, until well combined. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour. Season with salt, if needed.

Makes 7 (1/2 cup) servings; about 3 1/2 cup sauce

Per serving: 63 calories, 3 g protein, 15 g carbs, less than 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 156 mg sodium

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