Healthful Burger

Creating this burger with some chopped broccoli and zucchini – is one way to get the kids to eat their veggies. (Christopher Prosperi / April 14, 2014)

The burger fits both extremes of the food spectrum: fast food and gourmet. As a grab-and-go meal from a fast food chain, hamburgers are convenient, filling and familiar. At burger joints and more upscale restaurants, where the beef is freshly ground and the patty hand-formed, the sandwich is meant to be savored.

The popularity of this American phenomenon, which got its start in New Haven, has inspired chefs to embellish the burger in all sorts of ways. Purists may take issue with the myriad sauces, toppings and kinds of cheese that top the beef, but the combinations promise some great eating.

Most kids will eat a burger when they might nix some other kind of dish. Rather than take a trip to a fast food outlet, stock the freezer with a more healthful burger that reheats quickly when the craving hits. We mixed the beef with some chopped broccoli and zucchini — one way to get the kids to eat their veggies — and added some ketchup and Worcestershire sauce for flavoring. Because the burgers are cooked before freezing, they can be microwaved and ready to eat in a few minutes.

MAKE YOUR OWN BURGER

>>1 pound ground beef

>>1 cup grated zucchini

>>1 cup finely chopped broccoli

>>2 tablespoons ketchup

>>1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, grated zucchini, broccoli, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Divide mix into 6 even balls. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and flatten each ball into 1/2- to 3/4-inch patties. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 7 minutes or until cooked through. Cool, wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze. Makes 6 burgers.