A burger salad for cold weather


Ever since the cold snap a few weeks ago, I’ve been drawn to dinner bowls that are basically half salad, half fresh-from-the-stove goodness.

And my most favorite version of this hybrid dinner bowl gets its inspiration from my favorite meal at the now-shuttered Local Burger: The burger salad.

Even though Local Burger shut down at summer’s close, Hilary Brown’s fabulous “World’s Greatest Veggie Burger” have been on sale for quite some time under the brand name “Hilary’s Eat Well.” I used to buy them in bulk back in the day at Local Burger, but now you can pick up two-packs of the yummy burgers at pretty much any Lawrence grocery store (plus nationally at Whole Foods, if you happen to be reading this anywhere but Lawrence).

Anyhow, when Local Burger was open, you could get any burger on top of a salad. It was a great idea that not only upped the satiation factor but also the nutritional value of each salad. Maybe it was nostalgia, or the cooler weather, or both, but for some reason, I wanted to make my own burger salad at home.

After many attempts and combinations, I think I’ve found my absolute favorite. It’s a sweet/salty/hearty mix that’s just perfect for a weeknight fall or winter dinner.

Of course, this recipe works with my own homemade veggie burgers, but I thought when I shared this recipe, I’d share it with the burger that was the inspiration for it.

Fall Burger Salad

1 frozen/uncooked veggie burger

1 small sweet potato

5-6 Brussels sprouts

1 handful baby spinach

¼ cup sauerkraut or kimchi

Coconut oil

Dijon mustard (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. De-stem (cut off the little bottom “nub”) the Brussels sprouts and half them, and peel the sweet potato and chop it into ¼-inch rounds, halving the largest of the rounds.

Rub the tops of the Brussels with a bit of coconut oil and place them, cut side up, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure to line them up on one half of the sheet, as you’re going to use the other half for the burger in a few minutes. Put the sprouts in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the sweet potato pieces in a steamer pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and steam the sweet potato on the stove.

When your 10-minute timer goes off, take the sprouts out and flip them with tongs. Then, before putting them back in the oven, add the frozen burger patty to the open side of the parchment. Set your timer for 5 minutes.

When the 5 minutes are up, flip your burger and put the baking sheet back in the oven. Next, check on your potato. If you can cut through the rounds easily with a spatula, they’re done. Take them off the heat to cool a bit while your sprouts and burger finish.

Check on the burger and sprouts and either pull them out when the timer goes off, or a bit earlier.

In a bowl, put your spinach on the bottom. Next, layer with sweet potatoes and sprouts. Top with your burger, cut into eighths. Add your kraut or kimchi and top with a dollop of Dijon and a bit of black pepper. Mash it all together and eat. Serves 1.