Health & Medicine

Drs. Oz and Roizen: Building a better burger

When Flint Lockwood’s invention goes sky high and it starts raining hamburgers (buns and all) in the animated movie “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” it was clearly time for him to contemplate building a better burger-making machine. And since this summer, tens of millions of backyard chefs will cook up their version of the perfect grilled meal (84 percent of the time, it’s burgers), there’s no time like the present to come up with a better burger — one that cuts down on the health hazards of a carnitine and saturated-fat-laden, inflammation-producing, over-charred beef patty but still delivers all that flavor and fun.

So here are three burger ideas that dish up great taste and improved nutrition.

Flip No. 1: The turkey-lentil burger: Combine cooked lentils, ground turkey (about 40-60), diced onions, hot sauce and/or Dijon mustard and pepper. Black beans work, too! Top with homemade ketchup (no sugar or high fructose corn syrup; just whole tomatoes, a dash of honey and vinegar, salt, pepper; simmer until thick.) Yum!

Flip No. 2: The homemade veggie burger. Try a ground mixture of well-seasoned, roasted veggies (zucchini, sweet potatoes, onions, etc.), canned beans and shredded, chopped greens formed into patties. Or try a grilled portabella mushroom, topped with a patty made from a pre-cooked mixture of quinoa, mashed cannellini beans, cubed tofu, scallions, thyme and hot sauce.

Flip No. 3: Gotta have red meat? Opt for grass-fed (no corn in a feed lot!), hormone-free, 90 to 97 percent lean buffalo, with sliced tomato and avocado. Now it’s “Clear with a Chance of Better Health”!

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit