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If you’re craving a burger, a salad usually won’t be a satisfying replacement. But if you turn the burger into a salad by getting rid of the bun, increasing the proportion of toppings — especially lettuce — and serving the whole thing in a bowl, you can make a Paleo- and Whole30-compliant meal that’s low-carb and still satisfies the most persistent burger craving.
A lot of burger bowls call for the ground beef to be delivered in patty form and tell you to just lay the cooked hamburger patty on top of your salad bowl and call it a day. This loaded burger bowl recipe has you crumble the ground beef before cooking it. The choice makes a lot of sense for a bowl, because you’re more likely to get a bite of beef in every bite with crumbled beef, and you’re also less likely to need a knife to cut your burger into pieces to eat it with the rest of the bowl. If you don’t want beef, you could also use any other kind of ground meat, like chicken, turkey, pork, buffalo, or whatever you like.
To begin, season your ground beef with some salt and a generous helping of garlic powder, then cook it in a skillet with avocado or coconut oil, making sure to break it up into little pieces with a spatula while it cooks, so you get a big pan full of crumbled, browned ground beef.
Take the beef out of the pan and use the same pan to cook some chopped onions. Don’t clean out the pan, though — any browned bits left in the pan will just add bonus deliciousness to the onions. While that cooking is going on, use the time to chop up some tomatoes, pickles, and bacon. Basically, the classic burger toppings are becoming salad components here. You can even add sliced avocado or a quick, homemade guacamole.
Fill the bowl with romaine lettuce, then top that with the ground beef, then the tomatoes, pickles, onions, and guacamole. It does not have a bun, but aside from that you’re 90 percent of the way to burger flavor already. To finish the bowl, drizzle the whole thing with a “special sauce”-inspired dressing made of mayonnaise, ketchup, dried onion, dill pickle relish, and maple syrup. (To make a Whole30-compliant version, swap the maple syrup for some coconut aminos.) It’s a great way to get those familiar burger flavors in a satisfying bowl you can make ahead for lunch or dinner.
Get the recipe: Loaded Burger Bowls from 40 Aprons
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