When I became a stay-at-home-mom and ranch wife, the kids no longer had to go to daycare every day and were missing playing with other kids. So, we started planning regular(ish) get-togethers, play dates if you will, with our friends. The purpose of the play dates is three fold. The kids have the opportunity to play with other kids and the adults get to socialize with other adults. And we eat great food.
On one such occasion, a friend of ours did something I had been wanting to try, but had forgotten about until I saw her do it. She spread some of the Spinach Artichoke Dip (my contribution to the great food) on her burger. When she reminded me of it, I tried it. And it was amazingly delicious!
Beef is what’s for dinner (or supper) at most of our get-togethers, mostly because it is SO tasty and partly because it is an extremely healthy protein option for both the kids and adults. Beef contains the most easily absorbed form of iron – heme iron. Heme iron is important to cognitive health and development, including the ability to learn and reason (good for the kids), and memory (good for the adults… especially me).
Not only does beef contain the most easily absorbed form of iron, it also helps the body absorb non-heme iron, which is extremely beneficial to the kids, as they are at a higher risk for iron deficiency. In our group of friends, the kids range from infant to the adults and beef benefits all of us!
Don’t forget the rules of food safety! Here is the short list:
- Always, wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
- Never thaw meat on the counter, thaw in the refrigerator, microwave or cool water bath.
- Always wash cutting boards and plates after having been in contact with raw meat.
- Always cook to appropriate internal temperatures. Safe internal temperatures vary based on cut. Hamburger must reach a safe and savory 160 degrees, while steak is safe at 145 degrees.
- 2–8 ounce packages cream cheese
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 generous cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 3 teaspoons Greek seasoning (I use Pampered Chef Greek Rub)
- 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
- 1–14 ounce can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 buns
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl mix together cream cheese, Greek yogurt, mozzarella, garlic, 1 ½ teaspoons Greek seasoning, spinach, and artichoke hearts. Place mixture in a casserole dish, cover, and bake for 15 minutes or until mixture is hot and cheese is melted. Remove from oven, set aside, and keep warm. This makes way more dip than you need for your burgers. Save it and eat the leftovers with chips. It is delicious!
- Preheat the grill with medium-high heat for 10 minutes.*
- Place ground beef in a mixing bowl and add remaining 1 ½ teaspoons Greek seasoning, mix well. Divide ground beef mixture into 3 equal parts and shape into patties.
- Place patties onto hot grill, cook for 3 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the burgers reach a safe and savory internal temperature of 160 degrees. If the burgers have not reached that safe and savory internal temperature, move them to indirect heat and continue to cook, flipping every couple of minutes until they hit that 160 mark.
- Once the burgers have hit that target temp, remove them from the grill and keep them warm.
- Brush the inside of the buns with olive oil. Place the buns, inside down, on the grill and toast lightly.
- Assemble by placing burger on bottom bun. Smother burger with Spinach Artichoke Dip. Add the top bun and enjoy!
- *Cooking temperatures and times are based on a gas grill.