Venison burger, sweet potato and spinach salad

Thursday, March 15, 2018. Author Martin Cheifetz

Venison burger, sweet potato and spinach salad

Serves 10

Whether you live alone or part of a larger household, cooking a “mountain” of nutritious food and having a fridge full of healthy leftovers is a great way to manage your nutrition.

Having healthy leftovers keeps hungry hands from reaching for any quick-fix junk that might be lurking in your cupboards or refrigerators and fueling your body with the right types of nutrition will enhance your energy levels and add to your overall wellbeing.

Here’s a nutritious "mountain" of food for you to try.  This should easily feed a family of 5 for dinner and lunch the next day. Serve the dinner hot (except for the salad) and then for the following day's lunch, simply slice the venison burgers and mix them in with the salad and serve everything cold/room temperature.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors and textures depending where you live.  The orange ones tend to be softer and sweeter, whereas the purple ones tend to be more firm and nutty in flavor.  If you enjoy sweet potatoes, try these other great recipes: Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Burgers or Baked Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

Ingredients

3 lbs (1.5kgs) sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil (30ml)
1 Tbsp sea salt (15g)
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper (10g)
1 Tbsp dried rosemary (5g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F)
  2. Cut your sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes (2.5 cm)
  3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet in a single layer
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Give the whole tray a good mix with your hands to ensure the sweet potatoes are evenly coated
    Bake in the oven for 45 mins
  5. If your sweet potatoes are not cooked and golden brown after 45 mins, toss them around on the tray and bake for another 15 mins.  Repeat until they are cooked to the desired color and texture.
  6. Pro tip:  If you do NOT have a dog, try substituting nutmeg for rosemary.  Nutmeg adds a beautiful flavor to sweet potatoes or any roasted root vegetables, but it is toxic to dogs (nutmeg makes dogs hallucinate)….and dogs love sweet potatoes!
  7. While the sweet potatoes are baking, make the venison burgers and spinach salad

Vension and Pork Burgers

Venison is an ultra-lean meat with very little fat and a rather strong taste.  Pork has a higher fat content and a much more mild flavor.  The two combine perfectly and don’t require any “binders” to hold the mixture together (such as eggs or breadcrumbs).  I serve these burgers as meat patties only (no bread), but that’s entirely up to you.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground/minced venison (500g)
1 lb ground/minced pork (500g)
2 tsp sea salt (10g)
2 tsp cracked black pepper (10g)
2 Tbsp dried mixed herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage) (10g)
1 Tbsp fennel seeds (10g)
Optional, depending on your taste:  1 tsp each of paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper (5g each).  These curcumins are delicious and have numerous anti-inflammatory properties, so add them if they please your palate.

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large bowl, using a potato masher or your hands.  Make sure the herbs are evenly distributed throughout the mixture
  2. Take a handful of the mixture and make a ball (somewhere between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball).  Put the ball on a cookie sheet.  You should be able to get 10 evenly sized balls from this mixture. 
  3. Once you have all the balls on the tray and they’re all a somewhat similar size, squish them down a bit so they are in the shape of a burger patty.
  4. Cook the burgers however you normally cook your meat.  My personal order of preference is 1) charcoal BBQ using indirect heat, 2) grill/broiler in the oven, 3) griddle pan on top of the stove. Regardless of your cooking method, you want the venison/pork patties to reach an internal temperature of 74C (165F).
  5. Pro tip:  If you don’t have a food thermometer, they are a very worthwhile purchase! You can stop cooking when the meat is 2C (5F) lower than the desired temperature.  Just remove from the heat, place on a serving tray/plate and cover with tin foil and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.  The covered meat will continue to cook and reach the desired temperature without drying out.

Spinach Salad

Ingredients:
1 large bag of baby spinach
1 cucumber-sliced or cubed
3 carrots-sliced, chopped, or cubed
1 red pepper-chopped
1 head of broccoli-steamed and sliced
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

Instructions:

C’mon….you don’t really need instructions on how to make a salad do you? :-)

Here's a typical mountain of food just off the BBQ at our house :  Venison and Pork Burgers, lamb chops, and sausages

Here's a typical mountain of food just off the BBQ at our house : Venison and Pork Burgers, lamb chops, and sausages

Nutritional profile per serving

Calories: 385kcal
Protein: 23.5g
Carbohydrates: 35.8 g
Fat 16.4g

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