Despite my great love for making dessert, we really do try to eat healthy at our house. We also like to shave a few dollars off the grocery budget whenever we can. Those two goals aren’t always compatible, so when I find a recipe that is both healthy–and cheap–and that my family actually loves, I am one happy cook.
Today’s recipe just happens to be one of those. Oatburg is a hamburger substitute made from eggs, oatmeal and, if you’re so inclined mushrooms. I personally like it with the mushrooms; I think it gives it more flavor, more texture and a little more substance. But that’s up to you–and it doesn’t taste like mushrooms, if you’re not a fan.
- 3 eggs
- 1-1 1/2 cups raw oatmeal
- 1 onion, finely chopped and sautéed in a couple of tablespoons of oil
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms, sauteed (I used the food processor)
- Low-sodium Beef bouillion or broth
- seasonings: salt, pepper, mustard powder, worcestershire sauce, garlic, etc., to taste
Mix all ingredients together except the bouillion. Form into patties. Patties should hold together well without being too mushy or too dry. It may take a little tweaking to get just the right consistency.
Mix bouillon and enough hot water to cover burgers in a skillet. Simmer patties in skillet for about 20 minutes. Then, brown patties lightly to dry them a bit.
If you want to eat them as hamburgers, brown them in a skillet with a little oil, turning carefully.
I actually break these up after cooking and use them in casseroles, tacos, etc., and my family has never complained about it.
You can use it by itself or as a ground beef stretcher.
I have also fed them to my children as cheeseburgers and they put them on the “cook these again” list.
This makes about 6 burgers. The pan in that picture up there has a double batch with mushrooms in it.
When I made them this week, it was to use in my husband’s favorite casserole. In my experience this is the perfect use for Oatburgs. I found this many years ago in a magazine, and like most of my recipes, it’s gotten a few tweaks over the years.
Hash Brown Casserole
- 1 package frozen southern-style hash brown potatoes, thawed (yes, you can make your own from boiled potatoes–I do it all the time)
- 1 lb. ground beef (or 1 batch of oatburg).
- 1 pkg. brown gravy mix
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 12-16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup french-fried onions
Preheat oven to 425. Press thawed hashbrowns across the bottom and up the sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350.
Brown ground beef in skillet. Sprinkle with gravy mix and garlic powder. Add water and frozen mixed vegetables. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Stir in 1/2 the cheese and 1/2 the onions.
Put meat mixture in casserole dish over potatoes.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions over casserole. Return to oven for five minutes.
Serves about 6.
I’ve always had a tight budget for meat and have found that stir-fries, soups and sauces with lots of veggies really stretch meat.
They definitely do. I grew up in a house where casseroles and soups were generally the order of the day. And then I got married and learned how much they can stretch the grocery budget and the meat. Oatburg has been a great stretcher as well, especially with a houseful of hungry teenagers who want hearty, “meaty” meals.
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