Health food isn’t just kale juice, but also a juicy burger.
— Elyse Kopecky

This week brought us the first taste of summer weather here in Oregon. With the longer days and the endless sunshine, we’re all eager to get outside and log more miles. More miles means your body needs even more nourishment. For female runners maintaining healthy iron levels to prevent fatigue and anemia can be especially difficult. That’s why you’ll find burgers in our lineup on a weekly basis during grilling season.

Burgers can be surprisingly nutrient-dense if you start with high quality grass-fed ground beef or bison. Red meat is a great source of protein, healthy fats, energizing B vitamins, and blood-building iron.

Burgers are easy to prepare and make for great leftovers that can be repurposed in creative ways. I always double the below recipe so that I have two dinners in one easy swoop. I like to serve leftover burgers on top of rice with veggies for rice bowl night, on top of a salad for lunch, or crumbled into marinara sauce for a quick pasta or pizza weeknight meal. (We have even more awesome tips for creative ways to repurpose leftovers in our next book!)

Summer cooking should be no fuss and fast so that you can spend more time outside enjoying the trails.

Get more time saver tips and an even faster burger recipe in our second cookbook: Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. Available anywhere books are sold on August 14th.

RECIPE

Adapted from Run Fast. Eat Slow.

These burgers are our jam. In the summer, we make them on a near weekly basis. Combining the ground meat with egg, feta, almond flour, and Greek-inspired seasonings results in the juiciest and most flavorful burgers you'll ever eat.

Shalane loves to make them with ground bison (buffalo) when training at high altitude for the iron-rich kick, but they're also foolproof made with ground beef, lamb, or turkey. This recipe is simple enough to double or triple when feeding a crowd (Elyse multiplied the recipe by 8 for her daughter's first birthday).

Greek Bison Burgers (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

•   1 egg

•   1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

•   1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal

•   1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

•   2 cloves garlic, minced

•   1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

•   1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

•   1 pound ground bison (buffalo) or ground beef, lamb, or turkey

•   4 whole wheat pitas or hamburger buns (see gluten-free substitute below), optional

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, feta, almond flour or meal, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the meat and use your hands to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Form into 4 equal-size patties about 1 inch thick.

3. Grill the burgers, flipping once, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F and the meat is no longer pink, 3 or 4 minutes per side. In the last minute, warm the pitas or buns on the grill (if using).

4. Split the pitas or buns open, stuff each with a burger, and top (if desired) with a spoonful of hummus. 

Note: For a gluten-free alternative to buns, serve the burgers between 2 slices of grilled eggplant rounds. Simply slice 1 large eggplant into 1-inch-thick slices, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

 Photo by Alan Weiner

Photo by Alan Weiner

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