It’s summer time, and that means BBQs. And BBQs mean burgers. I’ve never been much of a burger fan (if you try to take me to a fast food restaurant for one – or for anything off any of their menus – I will run, screaming from the place!), but at a BBQ, there’s just something so tempting about the idea of a great, big, juicy burger, dripping with melted cheese, and sandwiches between two halves of a lightly-toasted bread bun. Even I succumb to that every once in a while.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d try out both the Slimming World burgers which are now freely available, exclusively from Iceland stores. I’ll also be pitting them against my own, home-made burgers, which I do make on occasion, and which are, if I am perfectly honest, completely awesome – the recipe is at the bottom of this post.
The Slimming World burgers were baked in the oven from frozen, in accordance to the instructions on the box, although there are also grilling and BBQ option. I also baked my own home-made burger. I served them with a mixed salad, without a bun, and melted a few light Babybel cheeses on top (from my HEa allowance). My own home-made burgers were started off in the frying pan and finished in the oven, as detailed in the recipe below.
I HAVE NOT BEEN PAID FOR THESE REVIEWS, NOR WAS I GIVEN ANY PRODUCTS FOR FREE – I BOUGHT THEM MYSELF AND ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN
Slimming World Syn-Free Thai-Style Chicken Quarter Pounders
I don’t find the idea of a chicken burger particularly enticing, but I gave these a try anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by them! They have a smoother texture than I am used to from my own burgers (which are quite rough and rustic by comparison), but it wasn’t unpleasant, and the flavour was nice enough too, with just a hint of spiciness to it. I offered a bite to my youngest son (who is 20 months old, and was showing a lot of interest in what Mummy was eating!), and he seemed to like it too. It held its shape and size very well, coming out of the oven pretty much as it went in, with just a little colour to it, but it wasn’t off-putting not to have it darker. If you like more colour to your burgers, perhaps try grilling or BBQing them – I reckon the smokiness of a BBQ would add to the flavour of this burger too.
Slimming World Syn-Free Beef Quarter Pounders
My beef burger shrank and puffed up a fair bit in the oven, so that the difference in size after cooking was very noticable next to the chicken burger, even though they had been the same size going in. The texture is a little rougher than the chicken burger, and it was also a slightly juicier burger. The flavour was very nice, actually, which surprised me, because I’ve always found frozen burgers to be, at best, bland, and at worst, inedible. This was neither of those things, and my youngest liked this one quite well too – it’s definitely a burger I’ll keep in the freezer for when I haven’t the time to make my own from scratch, as it’s really pretty good, and far better than I expected!
My own home-made burgers
There’s no getting round it – I love my own burgers. They’re juicy and flavoursome, and I don’t care how much they shrink during cooking (although they shrink slightly less than the Slimming World Beef Quarter Pounders) – they’re made of awesome and win. Nothing can compare (in my humble opinion), to a burger you’ve made from scratch with your own hands, and it’s fun getting the kids involved to help make their own dinner (most kids love squidging the mince with their fingers!). You will find the recipe below.
My own home-made burgers will always be my first choice, but I won’t mind having an alternative every now and then for when I don’t have time to make them myself, or haven’t all the ingredients in the house. I prefer the beef burgers to the Thai-style chicken burgers, but it’s nice to have an extra choice available for those who don’t eat red meat or who just fancy a bit of a change.
F = Free food (eat as much as you like)
S = Speed food (these should make up at least a third of your meal)
P = Protein free food (eat as much of these as you like!)
HEa = Healthy Extra A (a daily allowance of dairy produce)
HEb = Healthy Extra B (a daily allowance of a product with fibre)
# = a number denotes roughly how many syns are in foods used
- 200g less than 5% fat mince (P)
- half a small onion (S)
- 1 clove of garlic (S)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree (F)
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (F)
- 1/2 tsp cumin (F)
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs (F)
- egg (optional) (P)
- Low-cal spray oil (F)
- Put the mince, very finely diced onion, crushed garlic clove, tomato puree, herbs and spices into a bowl, and combine well, squishing the mixture together with your hands.
- If it’s not holding together well, you can add a little beaten egg at this point, and combine it well with the other ingredients.
- Divide the mixture into two even balls, pressing the mixture together firmly, and shaping it into a rounded patty with a dip in the centre (to help stop it turning into a ball as it cooks).
- Spritz a little low-cal oil spray into a frying pan, then press the patties down gently.
- Let them brown on one side for a few minutes before very gently flipping them over to brown on the other side.
- You can cook them through entirely in the frying pan, or you can transfer them to a pre-heated oven to finish off, but keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out (I usually wrap mine in foil).
- Serve hot, with or without a wholemeal roll (HEb), or cheese (HEa), and with whatever you like on the side.