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What can we put on hamburgers?

This is a dumb, but simple question...

My go-to lunch and dinner as of late has been grilled hamburgers (no cheese, no bun obviously...) but I wanted to know what, other than mustard we could put on them.

Ketchup has very few calories, but does have sugar.

Mayo is caloric and fatty, but doesn't have sugar.

Is one better than the other? Are both forbidden?

Are there other condiments that people have used? I like hot sauce or buffalo sauce on most things, but not on burgers.

Any suggestions?



The Best Answer

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It'll sound insane, but just try it: an egg. Poached, over easy or sunny-side; anything that'll have the yolk still runny. The warm, liquid yolk acts as the sauce on the burger, you get a little difference in texture from the white and it's pretty much just freaking amazing.

Also, balsamic drizzle. Dump a bottle of balsamic vinegar in a nonreactive skillet and simmer it over very low heat, stirring now and then, until it's reduced down to a thick glaze. I'd probably combine that with slices of tomato and mozzarella for a Caprese-salad-style burger. Disclaimer: I'm a professional cook in a gourmet burger joint. Even so, it's not hard :)

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Aug 20th 2012:

    I've done the egg before. That is really good.

  • Nelly Baird commented Aug 21st 2012:

    I also like a good pesto. Bunch of greens (basil, spinach, parsley, etc etc), olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pine nuts or cashews (leave out the hard cheese for SCD), all to taste and blended up together. Or a tapenade - finely chopped good-quality olives mixed up with a little olive oil, with or without anchovies and capers and whatever seasonings you like. I put chopped roasted red peppers and onions in mine, too. And don't forget the base! What you put it on is just as important as what you put on it. Treat it more like a Salisbury steak than a "hamburger," per se.

    I know my suggestions are fairly prep-intensive, but if you get everything together, it takes about 5 minutes to chop/blend up a batch and the results are SO much more worth it!

  • Nelly Baird commented Aug 21st 2012:

    Almost forgot! My absolute favorite way to eat a burger is nice and rare ("double blue moon," in my restaurant's code :D) on a pile of warmed-up sauerkraut (I make my own; just get the good stuff) with a dollop of homemade mayo on top.

  • Dylan Tomlinson commented Aug 21st 2012:

    Rare is the only way to eat a burger (or a steak or tuna) for that matter. I basically sear it and serve it.

    Today, I did that, and put an egg on top of it with buffalo sauce on the egg. It worked pretty well...

All Answers


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Mustard is good as long as its not honey mustard or any of the sweetened ones. Brown mustard and yellow american should both be good.

Ketchup is a no-no because of its HFCS and one of the tenets of this diet which is NO added sugars.

Mayo is iffy because while its made from eggs and oil (which both are ok in Slow Carb) it is very high in fat and calories. I say add a tiny bit. Make sure you do check ingredients though because some light mayos add sugar to make up for the low fat in taste or can have many other additives.

One thing I've had luck with in burgers are dry spices and rubs, some restaurants do offer them and it really helps to add lots of flavor to the burger. Just make sure it doesn't have added sugar in the ingredients too (see a pattern?)

Relish also has added sugars so its better to avoid.

The only other options are to try to take some spices with you, or a hot sauce you might like on a burger. I've done this a few times, and while some people might look at you weird, it has tremendously helped me at sticking with Slow Carb while dining out.

My personal favorites? Montreal Steak packets, BWW Desert heat, Mrs Dash. No added sugars and add lots of flavor to anything you might eat. Hope it helps!

  • Katie Jester commented Aug 20th 2012:

    You could cut it up in little pieces after its cooked and eat it with veggies like grilled peppers onions and mushrooms


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Saber's breakfast burger

egg and salsa


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I really like to make a garlic mayo. Roasted in the oven and then mushed up and stirred into the mayo with some salt, pepper, and paprika. I like to pair that with lettuce, onions, and some grilled mushrooms and onions.

Another thing is try adding sriracha chili sauce to mayo. Its basically the same spicy sauce a lot of japanese restaurants use in spicy salmon and tuna rolls. Tastes great on a burger!


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Home made pico de gallo is excellent. I know mayo is allowed on the SCD (3 tsp a day). The eggs sounds good too. NO ketchup though.


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I often saute onions, mushrooms and peppers with my burgers. I also picked up a bottle of sugar free ketchup at Whole Foods (check labels for cane juice, agave, etc) - but still use it sparingly.

One of my favorite inventions is a tex mex burger. I smash a small amount of black beans, mix it in with the ground meat - add some cumin and chili powder, form into a patty and cook. After cooking, I I top it with salsa, it's really delicious and easy!

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