Fortunately, my motto in life is to find both the upside and the humor in everything, so it didn’t take me long to realize that…
- … I now ate healthier and would, therefore be healthier
- … Since I now ate healthier, my family would also be eating healthier
- … This was a challenge that I could either be overwhelmed by or it was a challenge I’d meet head on, with wooden spoon in hand. Yeah, I went with the latter.
The complete and utter shake up this caused in my cooking and baking presented me with one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had and, I’m not kidding, it was.. and is.. kind of a rush. Finding ways to make old favorites just as good now (and many times, even better) is pretty darn cool. It was a shot in the arm in terms of creativity – especially when it comes to sandwiches and burgers.
Only recently have gluten free buns and breads become a glorious thing. If we’re being honest, for a while there, they were barely edible! During that time, I enjoyed my sandwiches/burgers either wrapped in lettuce or flat on a plate.
Funny thing is, I quickly realized that the burger (or whatever meat is in hand… literally) is the true star and, if you season and prepare the meat right – it’s actually far better without bread. Seriously.
With the calories you save from not having bread, you can have another helping of beans, fries, or salad. Or even a second burger – I won’t tell!
The Zesty Sauce here is a simple combination of some of my own favorite refrigerator residents. When making a special sauce for your burgers, pull from your own favorite cast of characters and see what you come up with.
Zesty Sauce for Burgers
1/4 cup mayo
1 TBS whole-grain mustard
1 TBS yellow mustard
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 TBS chopped hamburger pickles (use relish if you’d prefer)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 shallot (or sweet onion), finely diced
1-2 tsp diced pickled jalapenos
dash of Kosher salt
Combine everything and let the flavors mesh for at least 30 minutes before using. I happen to love a chunky sauce on my burgers, so I’m all about coarsely-chopped pickles. However, using a pickle relish, instead, is a time-saver and it also adds a little sweetness to the deal.
The whole-grain mustard is a personal obsession, you can feel free to leave it out – if you do, you may want to add a little more yellow mustard. If you don’ t have a scallion on hand, feel free to use diced onion – as much or as little as you prefer.
Basically, there’s no wrong way to go about this. Experiment until you find your very own personal “House Burger Sauce” – if you start tweaking and testing now, you can have a masterpiece by summer!