Bacon & Blue Burger with Sweet Potato Buns

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You may need to wipe up that drool on your face…

Ok, now you can finish reading about how to make this AMAZING burger! Not to toot my own horn, but one of the best burgers I’ve ever made! This would even be good without the blue cheese, if you’re not into stinky cheese.

You may be asking yourself, why does she keep posting food with bacon and blue cheese? Let’s just say I got a generous amount of Iowa bacon (the best) and Maytag blue cheese from my mother in law and went all out! It’s not every day when you can have these brands at your disposal, unless you live near Grinnell, Iowa. So I may have gained a few lbs this week, but it’s been worth it!!

I wanted to stick to my Paleo diet as much as I could (hence the cheese part) and I saw on Pinterest some people making their buns out of sweet potatoes. Genius! Like I said in my previous post, I love anything sweet and savory, and this is it to a T! I actually thought it tasted better than a regular bun, but I could eat sweet potatoes everyday so I am slightly biased. I will say it’s even messier with the sweet potato buns, but every good burger needs about 20 napkins along side it!

A couple of facts to make this burger taste the best:
1.When picking out your sweet potatoes, make sure they are thick and round enough for a nicely sized “bun”.
2. When buying your meat, get 80/20 ground beef. I prefer organic and grass fed, so the only option I had was 85/15, which was still good. For meals like tacos or casseroles you should buy lean ground beef, but for burgers, 80/20 is best. You need that fat to give it the good juicy flavor you want… trust me!

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To start, preheat your oven to 425°. Take your sweet potato and peel it, then slice to the thickest, most round part of the potato. Take a small plate and pour in some olive oil and salt and pepper. Rub both sides of the potato with the olive oil until evenly coated, then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven, turning once halfway through.

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You want to make sure they’re cooked in the middle and crispy brown on the outsides. Mine look a little burnt in the pictures, but they’re not, they are perfectly roasted!

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Take a large bowl and add your meat, seasonings, Worcestershire, Sriracha (trust me), and blue cheese. The best way to mix burgers and meatballs is with your hands, don’t be afraid to get in there! Once everything is mixed evenly, form into patties. When I make burgers, I don’t skimp on size, so mine were about a ½lb. each.

Since I am home while my husband is deployed, I don’t have all of my awesome kitchenware so I had to settle for a cast iron skillet. If you have a grill or grill pan, I would recommend that. If you have a skillet like me, spray with some olive oil PAM and turn on medium high heat. Wait a few minutes and make sure the pan is nice and hot before placing your meat down. For medium burgers cook on each side for 5 minutes flipping only once (this keeps all of the juices in). Depending on your stove and kitchen appliances, cooking times can vary.

If you have bacon already made from a few days before (#fatgirlproblems) take that out and throw it in the pan for a few minutes to get it crispy and hot again. If not, you better make yourself some bacon! Place on a paper towel to soak up excess grease, I also did this with my burgers (this helps the sweet potato buns stay solid, the grease can make them mushy and fall apart).

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Before assembling, take a small bowl and mix together your blue cheese sauce. I didn’t really measure anything, but I can use my own terms. I mixed two spoonfuls of sour cream, two of mayo, about a tbsp worth of crumbled blue cheese and about three long squeezes of sriracha. Just taste it and see how you like it, add more of whatever you think until it tastes just the way you like it!

Warning: You may acquire a major food coma after consuming this burger, but your going to have a very happy belly!

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What you’ll need:
For the buns:

1-2 very round sweet potatoes (I only made 1 burger, so I only needed 1 potato)
olive oil
salt and pepper
For the burgers:
80/20 ground beef ( I prefer organic grass fed) ½lb. per burger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cajun
4 dashes of Worcestershire
a few squeezes of Sriracha (sorry I didn’t really measure!)
a handful of crumbled blue cheese (just judge the ratio of meat to cheese and add more or less based upon that)
Bacon
Greens
For the mayo:
2 spoons of light sour cream
2 spoons of olive oil mayo (Hellmen’s of course, Miracle Whip is just plain sacrilege !! )
1 tbsp or so of blue cheese crumbles
a few squirts of Sriracha, the spicier the better in my opinion, but taste as you go.


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Vietnamese Pho with Beef

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I love Asian cuisine! RJ has been gone all week, and I have been going Asian fusion crazy. He’s not a big Asian food fan, so this explains my serious excitement. I was in the mood for soup, so I found this yummy recipe on the food network website, they never do me wrong! This soup is very easy to make! I could only find the thin rice noodles at the store, so next time I hope to have the thicker noodles for this dish. Beef is definitely the best pick for this soup.

Prepare the rice noodles per package directions.

Place a large pot over high heat, I used my cast iron covered braiser (Giada DeLaurentiis style) . Poke the meat all over with a fork to tenderize it and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a little drizzle of vegetable oil and sear the meat for 2 to 3 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

Add the onion and ginger to the pot and cook about 4 minutes. Add the broth, 3 cups water, the star anise and cinnamon stick, reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the scallions and jalapenos (remove seeds if you want less heat) and tear the cilantro. Thinly slice the meat against the grain, keep aside. Drain the noodles, once drained keep in cold water until you use in the soup.

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Add the fish sauce to the broth and boil 5 minutes. Add your mushrooms and jalapenos (this was something extra I thought would be perfect with the soup!) Throw out the ginger, star anise and cinnamon stick. Remove and slice the onion. Divide the noodles among your serving bowls; top with the broth, beef, scallions, cilantro, bean sprouts and onion.

Simple as that! And soo soo good. I even think my husband would like it!

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What you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces rice noodles (you will find this in the international Asian aisle)
  • 12 ounces lean beef sirloin, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 4-inch piece ginger, unpeeled, halved
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 5 star anise pods (you will find these in the international aisle with the packages of dried seasonings)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, preferably red and green
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce (you will find this in the international Asian aisle)
  • 1 cup fresh been sprouts

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