Dinner Makeover {Cheeseburger, Fries + Shake}

Happy Monday Everyone!

I am excited to be partnering with Save Mart and the American Heart Association for this post.  I'm not sure about you, but January always brings the feeling of needing a diet overhaul.  Full disclosure is probably appropriate though: as I sit writing this I've eaten two pieces of chocolate.  Don't hate.  We were given candy bars in a Christmas basket, it's a miracle there is any left.

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans?  I didn't.  The basis of a heart healthy diet is to eat low-sodium and low-fat foods.  Being aware of sodium and fat intake can be good for all of us, especially after a season of (most likely) eating a lot of extra junk.

Today I'm going to take a family favorite - but not so good for us - meal, and show you a healthier way to enjoy it.  On the menu is a cheeseburger, fries and a shake.  This is a classic American dish that I think everyone loves, but unfortunately it's not that good for us.  To change it up for a healthier alternative we are instead going to have a turkey burger (with cheese), roasted sweet potatoes and a 3 ingredient non-dairy banana shake.

Let's get cooking shall we?

I purchased everything I needed for this meal at my local Save Mart.

If you are a regular reader you know I am a lover of my local Farmer's Market for produce, but I am happy to say I was pretty impressed with Save Mart's produce selection, especially the heirloom tomatoes...

I did take some time to prepare and photograph this post, but turkey burgers with roasted sweet potatoes is something we eat on a semi-regular basis.  Being a busy person/part-time mom/full time real-jobber/part-time blogger, I like recipes that I can make in a reasonable amount of time after I get home from work and this is definitely one of them.  The banana shake is a new addition, but it was so good (and EASY!) that I know I'll be enjoying it more often.

Let's start with our potatoes.  I used 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.

In keeping with the low-sodium, low-fat guidelines, I used olive oil to coat the potatoes and seasoned them with garlic pepper and crushed red cayenne pepper.

For the burger, I used a lot of fresh herbs which gave it great flavor.

The shake is what I'm most excited about though.  A 3 ingredient milkshake?!  What the what?  I think I just found a way to cure my sweet tooth.  Can I let you in on a little secret?

When you put frozen banana rounds into your food processor, magic happens.  I am totally not kidding.  Banana ice cream.  Magic.

This is really just bananas.  Only bananas and nothing else.  The consistency is like soft serve.
It is truly amazing.  It is truly outrageous.  Jem!
Err.  Sorry about that.  I might have watched Girls Just Wanna Have Fun while I made this.  I'm suffering from 80's brain a little bit.  The banana ice cream is truly outrageous though.

I scooped my banana ice cream into the blender, added 4 large ice cubes and 1 cup of Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk.

Mix it all up and you have a dairy free 3 ingredient milkshake.  It's even OK to have it for breakfast.

When you're done with everything you have a full healthy meal with no additional salt added, low in fat and lots of healthy herbs, fruit and vegetables.  Most importantly, it's just as satisfying as that old cheeseburger, fries and a shake.

I served the burger and potatoes with a couple of juicy orange slices.  Citrus is looking great right now and I have a wonderful tree right in my backyard.

The potatoes turned out nice, crisp and spicy.  I was a little afraid to attempt a recipe with no added salt, especially potatoes, but I was very happy with how these tasted.  I wasn't missing my salt shaker.

I used an Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat bun and topped the burger with fresh avocado, green leaf lettuce, heirloom tomato and sliced red onion.  The cheese was a hard decision   In the end I chose Tillamook sliced Swiss because it was lower in sodium (although higher in fat) than the goat cheese.  This is a fine choice for us, but those on a heart healthy diet will need to make sure adding this cheese won't put them over their recommended daily fat intake.

Overall, it wasn't good or anything.  Just kidding!!

For anyone just learning to cook or looking to avoid sodium and fat, here is my two cents:
  • Cook your own food.  I'm not saying never go to a restaurant again, but by preparing your own dishes, as opposed to purchasing pre-prepared foods, you will easily avoid excess sodium and fat because you know exactly what is going into your food.  
  • Shop the perimeter of your grocery store.  Most of the things you will find in the "middle" is boxed, canned, frozen and/or pre-made and have much higher levels of sodium and fat than fresh items that you prepare yourself.  
  • If you aren't a cook, don't worry.  I'm a strong believer that anyone can teach themselves to cook. With every new recipe you try you will learn something new and before you know it you will have lots of menu items in your repertoire.
Here are the ingredients and how to for each recipe:

Banana Shake

1 scant cup frozen banana rounds*
4 large ice cubes
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)

How to:
Put the frozen banana rounds into your food processor and mix until they turn into an ice-cream like consistency.
Transfer the banana ice cream to your blender.
Add ice cubes and almond milk and blend until smooth.
Pour into your favorite glass, add a straw and enjoy.

*To freeze the banana in advance, peel it, slice it, freeze it.  Freezing with the peel on will cause you problems.  Trust.

Roasted Spicy Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons garlic pepper*
1/2 teaspoon crushed red cayenne pepper*
2 tablespoons olive oil
Spray of canola oil

How to:
Pre-heat oven to 400°.
Peel potatoes and cut into cubes.  Add all cubes to a large bowl.  Add seasoning and olive oil and toss until potatoes are coated.  Lightly spray a cooking sheet with canola or olive oil spray.  Spread seasoned potato cubes across the pan in an even layer.
Cook for 15 minutes, then turn potatoes with spatula.
Cook another 10 minutes.
Turn oven to high-broil and broil for about 5 minutes to crisp the potatoes.
Serve with ketchup or alone.

*I like things spicy and these potatoes did have a bit of a kick.  If you are not a spicy food person, I would start by adding only half of the spices listed here.

Turkey Burger with Fresh Herbs

1lb lean ground turkey (I used Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
1/4 scant cup fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 slice of whole grain bread, ripped into small pieces
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon low sodium Worcestershire sauce (I used Lea & Perrins)
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Oroweat 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
Tillamook Sliced Swiss (1 slice per burger)
Avocado, sliced
Heirloom tomato, sliced (any tomato will do)
Red onion, sliced
Green leaf lettuce
Mayo, deli mustard, ketchup

How to:
Prepare all herbs and seasonings as noted.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl, use your hands to mix everything thoroughly 
Once mixed, prepare patties.  You should be able to get 5-6 full sized patties from the mixture.
Heat a grill pan (or fry pan) on medium to high heat.  Place patty (or patties) in pan and begin to cook.
Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until burger is cooked through.
If adding cheese, place a slice on top of your burger and continue cooking until melted.
Assemble burger to your liking and enjoy!


*I was compensated for this post, however all opinions expressed are completely my own.  

**I shared some or all of these recipes on the following sites:
New Life on a Homestead
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
My Sweet & Savory
hey what's for dinner mom?
Beyer Beware
Delightfully Dowling
Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Real Food Forager
Growing Home
Learning the Frugal Life
Beauty & Bedlam 
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Tasty Alternative
The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Whole Foods Wednesday
Lady Behind the Curtain
We are that family
Frugal Follies
Diary of a stay at home mom
Miz Helen's Country Kitchen
The Nourishing Gourmet
Tasty Traditions
Food Renegade
ann kroeker. writer.
Food Trip Friday
Cybele Pascal
Tidy Mom
Little House in the Suburbs
The Finer Things in Life
My Sweet & Savory
Hey What's for Dinner Mom

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  1. What an awesome post! I love it. Amazing dinner, creative, super thinking out of that dinner box. Great stuff, Sarah. :-)


  2. This meal makes me so hungry, I could sit down and eat all this right now. Have a great week and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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