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Quick meat patties – (and how to sneak in some extra greens!)

Spaghetti & meatballs, burgers with all the fixins, Mama’s meatloaf with bacon… my family really loves these meals. But sometimes I don’t have time – or all the ingredients to make them fully. No problem – we can make a quick variation on the above by using similar ingredients. The result is usually the same – I hear lots of  ’mmmmm!’s around the table.

Start with ground meat. Really, you can use anything – chicken, turkey, pork, beef – even lamb. Remember that buying meat from a local source – pasture-raised is best.

Next, think of something to use as a filler. This is nice because you can make your meat stretch this way, as well as absorbing the flavor of your other add-ins. Stale bread  (tossed in a food processor with a bit of salt and herbs), leftover rice, cooked lentils or beans are all good options.

Next, focus on flavor. I almost always use sauteed onion and garlic. Sometimes – if I’m in a rush -just some garlic powder/salt and dried herbs. Fresh parsley, basil, rosemary – whatever you like or have in the fridge. It’s fun! Don’t forget salt and pepper. I’m also a fan of adding some ‘umami’ ingredients (read more on that here) – some shredded parmesan cheese, a quick squirt of mustard, splash of soy sauce – even a little squirt of Sriracha sauce will add flavor without the kids noticing.   

Now – here’s when you get to sneak in some superfoods. With all of that flavor you just added – and the wonderful texture of the meat – why not chop up some greens like kale or swiss chard as an add-in? You can chop them reeeeally fine if your kids are picky about texture – buzz them in the food processor and then add them – they’ll hardly notice. Our family likes the texture of kale – so we don’t chop them so finely. The outsides of the patties get crispy where the kale is at – yum!

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Our favorite kale variety: Italian Tuscan Kale (also called Lacinato Kale)

Last – if it’s needed, you can add an egg to bind it together. You really only need this if your mixture is on the dry side.  

I like to mix all of these ingredients in my standing mixer – then spoon out enough for patties and put them directly into the skillet to cook. We coat our cast iron lightly with grapeseed oil.

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These patties were made with ground chicken, leftover rice & lentils, chopped kale and herbs – oregano and fennel seed. (a squirt of mustard went into the patties for flavor)

These only take a few minutes on each side to cook through – just cut one open to be sure.  You can serve yours on a bun, or wrapped in lettuce – but we like them as they are – with mustard on the side.

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Enjoy!

 

Show Comments


 

  • I love to this with leftover salmon. Never thought about meat . . . will now!! Thanks Reply
    sheila February 13, 2014 AT 2:19 pm
     
  • these look and the recipe sounds great Will be trying these soon Reply
    Shirl February 14, 2014 AT 6:29 am
     
  • Great idea, we love stretching our mince this way for meatballs and burgers. I find that stale homebaked bread does the job and binds nicely. I also add an egg. The chicken kale variety look like a moreish finger food! Reply
    Renee February 15, 2014 AT 3:21 pm
     
 
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