If I could eat one thing for lunch every day, it would probably be a good grass-fed burger with a side of greens and avocado...topped with hot sauce, of course.
The mushrooms in this recipe, which some of you might despise, lend zero mushroom-y taste; instead, they make the burgers soft and juicy (and nutritious)--qualities that any good burger must possess.
Many of you that still follow conventional wisdom when it comes to nutrition and health might find my practice to be "unhealthy" and a risk for heart disease.
According to Mayo Clinic, grass-fed beef contains more omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (a type of fat that's thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks) less fat, and more vitamins than conventional beef raised in confinement where genetically-modified grain was the main food source.
If heart disease, and other chronic disease, is a concern, you should more worried about the vegetable oils you are consuming than any grass-fed animal or saturated-fat food.
One study showed that as participants replaced high-saturated fat oils like coconut oil and butter with vegetable oils high in omega-6s but low in saturated fats, their serum (bad) cholesterol levels lowered but there was an increase in death from heart and coronary artery disease.
This leads to the question of whether cholesterol levels truly play into determining optimal health when it comes to heart disease.
My approach is eat real food harvested from animals and plants, raised in a natural environment without pesticides, antibiotics, and the like, and optimal health will surely follow suit.
Don't be afraid to eat beef in an organic and grass-fed form. Conventional wisdom and "science" told us to eat margarine instead of butter for years to improve heart health, only to see a drastic increase in the rates of death from heart disease during this period.
In addition to the beef, the shiitake mushrooms I've added to this recipe come with a plethora of health benefits, including, but not limited to:
-chemical compounds that protect your DNA from oxidative damage
-all 8 essential amino acids (including the essential fatty acid linoleic acid which aids in the building of lean muscle, weight loss, proper digestion, and reduction of food sensitivities)
-improves gut immunity
-improves metabolic conditions like diabetes, obesity, etc when combined with a high-fat diet
-phytonutrients that improve blood pressure and circulation
Moral of the story: eat real food. It's amazing for you.
Needless to say, I think we've landed on a good lunch option that can be made in bulk on a Sunday and warmed up through the week for quick lunches. Pair these burgers with any salad, quinoa side-dish, potato, or the like for an exceptionally nutritious and tasty meal.
As a side dish, I recommend roasting some sweet potato chunks in duck fat and a few spices like salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.
Grass-Fed Shiitake Burger Patties
Makes 4-5 patties (easy to double this!)
1 lb Grass-Fed Beef
3/4 cup shiitake mushrooms (destemmed and diced)
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3/4 T Coconut Aminos
1 tsp each: black pepper, paprika, garlic salt
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Form 4-5 patties and let them sit for 30 minutes while you heat up the grill.
Grill as desired and serve with homemade sweet potato, avocado or guacamole, and a simple green salad.