Category Archives: Rick Schaden

My Burger Blog: Instead Of A Hamburger Bun, How About…

If you’re like me and you enjoy a good hamburger, check out my burger blog. It’s called Every Man’s Foodie at http://www.rickschadenburgerblog.com.

My burger blog

My burger blog

Now on to food talk. I’ve been seeing more and more out there about hamburger bun alternatives.

You don’t have to be gluten-intolerant to want to skip the bun. Maybe you just want to cut down on your carb intake. So, here are a few ideas out there to replace a traditional hamburger bun with a healthier, gluten-free alternative.

Thought I’d try these, just for a change:

1. Grilled yams or sweet potatoes

Root vegetables like sweet potatoes or yams are a good alternative to hamburger buns. They’re full of flavor, they’re packed with vitamins and nutrients, and they have a substantial enough structure to support a hamburger patty and toppings without crumbling or collapsing. Plus, they can cook on the barbecue at the same time as your hamburgers. Choose large yams so that your burgers will fit between slices. Then slice into rounds with the skin still on, and grill. You can also bake them in the oven if your grill is too small to fit both burgers and yams.

2. Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms replacing meat-based hamburger patties is nothing new. But turns out they’re equally effective stand-ins for hamburger buns due to their large size and firm texture. Their earthy flavor is also a good complement to beef. To prepare Portobello “buns,” it’s important to remove as much of their moisture as possible to help them stand up to a cooked burger patty. Brush several mushrooms caps with olive oil and bake in a 400° F oven for 20 minutes, starting gill side up and flipping halfway through cooking. If your oven has a convection option, use it, as the circulating air will help dry out the mushrooms even more. When the mushrooms are cooked, let them rest for a few minutes on paper towels to drain off any remaining juices.

3. Lettuce

You may generally top your hamburgers with lettuce now. So the idea of wrapping the entire burger in lettuce instead of using a bun shouldn’t be much of a stretch. Choose a firm, large-leafed lettuce, like romaine, so that you can easily wrap an entire patty with just one or two leaves. If you’d like a more vitamin-rich option, try using collard greens.

 

Jessie’s Homes for Families

Over the years, Jessie’s Homes for Families has become known as a dedicated supporter of the homeless community in the Denver area. Led by philanthropist and entrepreneur Jessie Schaden – who happens to be my daughter – the organization is currently working with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless to build affordable housing in Denver.

 

With your help in donating to Jessie’s Homes for Families, this beautiful building will take homeless families off the street.

With your help in donating to Jessie’s Homes for Families, this beautiful building will take homeless families off the street.

The new housing units will be located at Renaissance at North Colorado Station, and residents will have easy access via train or shuttle to the Stout Street Health Center, which provides medical and dental care, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services. To accomplish its mission of giving children and families a stable environment in which to live and thrive, Jessie’s Homes for Families encourages members of the community to make donations of any size to the project. Once the organization reaches its goal of $150,000, it will have the equity necessary to begin construction on nearly 130 transitional housing units for families experiencing homelessness.

You can learn more at http://jessieshomesforfamilies.org.

America’s Road Home Helps Homeless Families

When we drive around urban areas, it’s not unusual to see homeless individuals. Sometimes I see them so often, it becomes second nature to tune them out. Today I’m not going to do that. Instead, I wanted to spend a few minutes reflecting on a specific homeless demographic that may surprise you, and offer just a little bit of good news about homelessness in our area.

Statistics tell us that the majority of today’s homeless individuals are people in family groups with young children. Affected by the serious economic downturn, they are people who have lost the ability to pay rent regularly and must often live in their vehicles or on the streets. Some sources estimate that more than 1.5 million children will experience homelessness in any given year in the United States.

America’s Road Home (ARH) is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that works to end homelessness among our nation’s families, striving to fund programs connecting homeless families with the resources they need to become self-sufficient.

America’s Road Home works with government and nonprofit agencies to call attention to successful programs striving to end homelessness or alleviate its effects. Through a model of “causal capitalism,” ARH assists in fostering connections between donor funds and hundreds Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 2.42.15 PMof organizations around the country that deliver direct services to families.

ARH has lent its support to groups like Urban Peak, which focuses on offering vital services to homeless and at-risk youth in Denver, as well as Nexus C.A.R.E.S. in Dallas, which serves young women and girls trying to break habits of substance abuse.

America’s Road Home supports a number of projects in our own communities, including the Aromor Apartments in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Officially opened in May 2009, Aromor Apartments provides supportive housing for adults and families experiencing homelessness. The development began with a donation of $1.5 million from America’s Road Home.

Encompassing 66 housing units, Aromor Apartments is designed to support recently homeless individuals and address the special needs of its residents. Residents have a minimum monthly rent of $25, and they spend no more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. Aromor Apartments also offers residents a broad range of services and amenities, from community rooms to a lending library and computer lab. Residents can also benefit from case management services, as well as counseling for mental health and substance abuse issues.

I’m grateful for the many positive things in my life and, too, I’m grateful for the opportunity to support organizations that help those who need more positive things in their lives.

Watch for These Three Burger Trends In 2015

Given how versatile and ubiquitous burgers are in America, it’s always fun to guess what will emerge as the next big thing at burger restaurants. According to industry pundits, burger lovers should watch for the following three burger trends over the coming year:

– The return of the cheeseburger.

For 2015, experts are predicting a return to simpler burgers, with a focus on the quality and preparation of the meat. The classic cheeseburger is the ideal vehicle to lead this trend. It’s expected to head up menus and pique customer interest at burger joints across the country this year.

Burger trend - the cheeseburger

– The importance of pickling.

Focusing on simplicity doesn’t mean that inventive toppings are out of the picture. Recently, the home pickling craze has extended into the burger world, introducing customers to all sorts of house-pickled toppings. In 2015, that burger trend is going to get even bigger, with pickled vegetables from cauliflower to jalapenos overshadowing the traditional lettuce and tomato.

Inventive toppings

– The growth of veggie options.

The popularity of meatless burgers has come a long way. No longer tacked on to the bottom of menus like an afterthought, meatless burgers are now taken seriously by burger bars, who are expected to create even more inventive and delicious non-meat burger options in the coming year. The reasons behind this fast-growing burger trend? One is that more and more meat-eating customers are likely to sample non-meat options as well. Another reason is that the price of beef is expected to rise in 2015, thus making meat-free burgers a more economical, as well as delicious, choice.

The Weird World of Hamburger Ice Cream

I’ll admit it. I’m in the middle of a serious case of spring fever. I’m ready to have people over, fire up the barbecue, make ice cream sundaes for the kids. We’re going to have to wait a few more weeks (I’m being optimistic here) for the official outdoor fun season, but we don’t have to wait any longer to talk about burgers and ice cream. Continue reading