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Who says you have to give up your taste buds when you have Acid Reflux? It’s probably the last thing you would expect me, a doctor, to tell you eat.  But my feeling is the less food you have to give up, the easier it is for you to avoid into the temptations of heavy saturated fat & high-glycemic foods.

These are the exact things in a fast food burger and fries.  It’s convenient food.  You get out of work, you’re tired, and hungry.  The last thing on your mind is eating healthy.  It becomes routine and next thing you know, a couple burger combos a week adds up to a couple notches on your belt and heart burn you can’t seem to quell without Tums, Pepto Bismol, Mylanta, Alka Seltzer.  When those aren’t enough, you end up taking a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium or Prilosec to shut down the acid production in your stomach.  In the short run they make you feel better, but you’re stuck on a vicious cycle you can’t break.

I’ve had patients tell me they’ve been taking these medications for years, never once cautioned about the dangers and health issues plagued with long-term usage.  Nor were they told there was a simple lifestyle change they could make that could absolve them of poor dietary habits, their chronic heartburn troubles, and ever reaching for the medicine cabinet again.

So back to the topic at hand.  By skipping the drive thru, you can still savor a great tasting burger.  Yes, the burger above really is a heartburn-friendly food.  How can that be?

It uses grass-fed beef, which is leaner than ordinary grain-fed beef.  Most beef in the US is not grass fed, so you may have to try a specialty food store like Whole Foods.  Trader Joes I believe offers some grass fed beef.  If you’re particularly crafty and culinary, find grass fed chuck and grind it yourself.  The added benefit of grass-fed beef is it contains twice the amount of omega-3s.  Some football teams have their players eat only grass-fed beef because of the health benefits.  That should tell you something!

After cooking this all down, you’ll only have 3 ounces of meat.  But that’s what the grilled portobello mushroom and the blue cheese filling are for.  We’re trimming the fat from the meal but using flavorful ingredients to make it taste as good, if not better than it’s drive thru cousin.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound of lean, ground grass fed beef

Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper.

1/4 cup Roquefort cheese

2 tablespoons of light whipped cream cheese

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

4 portobello mushroom caps

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 kaiser rolls

You’ll need to season the beef lightly with salt and pepper.  Divide it into 4 equal portions and divide those portions again.  On waxed paper, you’ll want to pat them down into 8 thin rounds 4 inches in diameter.

In a small bowl, mash together the roquefort cheese, cream cheese, and chives.  Spread a tablespoon onto 4 of the rounds of beef, with a 1/4 inch margin around the rim.  Take the plain meat rounds and place them on the cheese/meat rounds.  Pinch the edges to seal the cheese inside.

Lightly sprinkle olive oil over the gills of the mushroom, taking care to season with salt and pepper.  Grill the mushrooms gill side down over a hot pan for 3 minutes.  Turn over and cook for 4-6 minutes, until the juices begin to bubble up (yum!).

As you’re doing this, grill the patties for 3 minutes per side for medium rare, 5 minutes for medium done.  Set the cooked burgers aside to let them cool and juices to infuse back into the meat.

While that cools, cut the kaiser rolls in half, scooping out 1/2 inch from the center of the bun.  Feel free to toast your buns for 1-2 minutes at this point!

Now to assemble this lean mean heartburn killing machine!  Place the cooked patties on the bottom bun.  Next, place a mushroom cap gill side down.  Top off with some shredded cabbage and crown it with the top bun.

And there you have it!  It’s a portioned meal that doesn’t sacrifice taste and rids you of acid reflux.  What more could you ask for?  Well, there is a recipe for baked sweet Potato fries.  Stay tuned next week!