Sunday Recipe: Burger in a Bowl with Tostones

Burger Bowl


This is a favorite recipe for us when we’re in the mood for a burger and fries. While I prefer to cook this up during the summer months out on the grill, frying up your beef (or turkey) burger patties in a pan certainly will work just fine. On that note, feel free to use your “burger” of choice here – for these pictures I got some grass fed ground beef from JM Stock Provisions and made some very simply seasoned quarter pounders.

In this recipe I’m making a warm bacon vinaigrette and caramelizing my peppers and onions; however, you can feel free to use a dressing of choice and any combination of raw/cooked vegetables that you like.

For the tostones, we buy them as green/yellow as we can get them because we prefer them to be more starchy than sweet. In this context, we’re using them as a potato substitute rather than a dessert treat. If your tastes are different, feel free to go the more ripe direction 🙂

Burger in a Bowl with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette (for 2):
Salad Greens (I love spinach, or 50/50 Spinach/Spring Mix for this)
4 Strips Bacon
1 Small Onion, 3/4 sliced, 1/4 chopped fine
1 Red Pepper, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped fine
Cider Vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
Coconut Oil

  1. Rinse and dry salad greens, set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In a large (preferably heavy) skillet, fry up the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels while reserving the rendered fat. Reserve about 2 Tbs of the fat in the pan and transfer the rest to another container.
  3. Set heat to medium and add the chopped onion to the pan and saute until translucent.
  4. Add the chopped garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant (~30 seconds).
  5. Deglaze the pan with cider vinegar, approximately as much volume as fat in the pan (~2 Tbs). Be sure to scrape up as many of the brown bits as possible, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in dijon mustard and thoroughly combine.

Reserve this bacon vinaigrette in a ramekin or bowl and set aside (you’ll want to microwave it to warm it back up before adding to your salad).

  1. Return reserved bacon fat to the pan and add enough coconut oil to make about 1.5 Tbs.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add sliced peppers and onions. Stir occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are nicely caramelized and softened. Remove and set aside.
  3. Return heat to medium and cook your burgers to desired temperature.

When the burgers are done, microwave or otherwise warm the vinaigrette. Add as much as you prefer to the salad greens and toss to combine (I used about the whole thing for two large salads). Plate the salad, placing the burger on top and then finishing with caramelized vegetables and crispy bacon. Enjoy!

Plantains (approximately 1 per person)
Coconut Oil

  1. Heat your largest skillet on medium/high heat with about 2 Tbs coconut oil.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and slice the plantains in to 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Add plantains to hot oil (you may need to reduce to medium heat) and fry until golden on both sides.
  4. Remove and drain plantains. Using the bottom of a glass or mug, smash the plantain pieces into thinner medallions:


Add more coconut oil to the pan as needed. In batches, return the newly smashed plantain pieces to the pan and cook, again browning on both sides. As they are done, drain on a paper towel and immediately season with salt and pepper (they will stick better while there is still some hot oil on the plantains). Serve alongside the burger bowls, or just as is!

If you would like to time these two recipes to come out together, I suggest prepping the plantains while the peppers and onions are cooking. To fully cook two plantains takes a little longer than cooking up two beef burgers, so if you start to fry the plantains you can start the burgers around the same time and you should be OK:

20140110_182720Special thanks to Lex for her expert tostones skills! Usually we tag-team this meal and I’ll make the salad while she’s making tostones. This definitely makes the timing a little easier as you can get both done at the same time while still having a watchful eye on the level of doneness.

That’s all for the first post of the new year! Please keep the submissions coming and I’ll do my best to keep these posts on a regular schedule. As always, have fun and enjoy!

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