Blueberry-Beef Burgers and Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Tonight was burger night – I’ve got lots of lean, local, grass-fed beef in my freezer from my meat lady, so I try to plan a meal with ground beef once a week or every other week.  I also always have blueberries in the freezer, lovingly frozen from last summer for fear that I would run out of blueberries, which may cause the world to end.  SO – I thought this recipe looked great AND healthy. We also threw in some Thai seasoning because we like a little spice – add whatever you’d like.  The burgers were really good, very moist, with no hint of blueberry flavor (if you were worried about that).  I assume the blueberries are to just add moisture and healthy filler.  We ate these with a little BBQ sauce and arugula on sandwich thins – we didn’t even use cheese, which is quite unusual for us!

Along with the burgers, we made Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes, thanks to a surplus of sweet potatoes in my recent market bags.  Lo doesn’t really like the flavor of sweet potatoes, but if I make them spicy, he’ll eat them without complaint.  These were great on the grill.  He grilled these first and then the burgers, since the burgers take much less time.  They had just enough spice to make them savory (and less sweet potato-ey).  The grill gave them a nice caramelized outside.

Blueberry-Beef Burgers
Adapted from EatingWell

2 1/2 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces (used 3 sandwich thins)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (ran out, so used 1/2 steak sauce, 1/2 soy sauce)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
16 ounces 90%-lean ground beef

1.Place bread in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. (No need to wash the processor.)
2.Add blueberries, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor; process until pureed. Scrape into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add ground beef and mix well with a potato masher. Divide the mixture into four to five equal portions; form into 1/2-inch-thick patties, about 4 inches in diameter.
3.Meanwhile, preheat broiler or heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high. If using the broiler, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. If using a grill, oil the grill rack by rubbing it with an oil-soaked paper towel. Cook patties until browned and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. A thermometer inserted in the center should register 160°F, if you need numbers to be sure its done. Serve immediately, with toppings of choice – we used BBQ sauce and arugula.

Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed well
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Cover potatoes with cold salted water in a large pot, then bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly resistant when pierced with a sharp small knife, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well. When cool, slice potatoes lengthwise.  The skins may slip off as you cut them – feel free to remove them if you want.  
Mix together salt, spices and apple cider vinegar; add oil in a slow stream. Brush this mixture on sweet potatoes.
Grill potatoes on a lightly oiled grill rack over medium heat, until grill marks appear and potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Serve warm. I dipped mine in a little BBQ since I already had it on the table for the burgers. 

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