Italian Cheeseburgers

  • 1 pound of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Olive oil spray
  • 4 whole-wheat English muffins, toasted
  • 4 handfuls of arugula
  • 1 Roman tomato sliced
  • 4 slices part-skim mozzarella
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh pesto
  1. Mix beef with garlic powder, pepper, Italian seasoning and parsley. Shape into 4 patties.  Cook over medium-high heat, either in a skillet coated with olive oil spray, grill pan or on a grill, for at least 4 minutes on each side.  Add 1 slice of mozzarella cheese to each patty the last minute of cooking.
  2. Divide 1 Tbsp. of pesto between both halves of the English muffin, then top with the beef patty, 1 slice of tomato, and arugula.  Serve with a mixed greens salad.
  3. Note: If you’re following a Paleo diet omit the English muffin.
  4. Note: If you’re dairy free, omit the mozzarella and make your own vegan pesto.

Vegan Pesto

  • 2 cups basil (tightly packed)
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼  cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • Pepper (to taste)

First toast the pine nuts in a skillet until they are lightly browned. It will take about 5 minutes on medium heat, flipping consistently. Then add the pine nuts, garlic, nutritional yeast, and basil to a food processor and begin blending on low speed. Slowly add the oil and pulse until creamy. Then add the lemon juice and pulse again.  Keep refrigerator for up to a week.