Around the World Sliders

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No need to pack your bags or buy a plane ticket to enjoy the foods and flavors of Morocco, Argentina and Korea. Today’s supermarkets are filled with spices, seasonings and ingredients from practically every country around the world, so simply venture into your kitchen or out to the grill. Start eating globally by making nutrient-rich mini-burgers, a.k.a. sliders, for your next tailgate party or fall celebration.

Slider buns are readily available in the bread aisle of your grocery store. Try the sliders on 100% whole wheat or multigrain slider buns for a dose of whole-grain goodness.

Korean Pork Sliders

The ingredients in Korean Pork Sliders mimic those in bulgogi, also known as Korean barbecued beef. Sometimes spelled pulgogi, it’s a traditional dish of thin, tender beef strips marinated before grilling. The marinade features the five harmonized flavors of Korean cooking: salty, sweet, sour, hot and bitter. To create sliders, these same five flavors are blended with ground pork (though you can also use ground beef or turkey).

These small burgers contain plenty of nutrients, too. Asian pears offer fiber and vitamin C, while Chinese cabbage varieties are an excellent source of vitamins C and A, both antioxidants. Pork is an excellent source of numerous B vitamins, phosphorus and protein, and a good source of potassium and zinc. If you can’t find lean ground pork, don’t worry – all foods, including higher fat ground pork, are perfectly fine occasionally and in moderation. Besides, that extra fat helps make a flavorful slider!

Argentinean Beef Sliders

Similar to mandatory ketchup on American burgers and hotdogs, chimichurri is a must with Argentine-grilled meats. It’s a thick herb sauce – traditionally green – made with olive oil, vinegar, finely chopped parsley, oregano, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Red versions of chimichurri are served, too, and they usually contain smoked paprika, crushed red pepper and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Argentinean Beef Sliders with Chimichurri Sauce showcase the country’s signature sauce and their main meat, beef.

The leaner the ground beef, the better it is for your heart and health. I prefer 85% lean, 15% fat maximum for my grilled burgers. This blend provides optimal flavor, juiciness and tenderness over a leaner beef. But for ground beef to qualify for the lean designation according to the USDA, it must contain no more than 5% fat (95% lean). (Overall, more than 29 cuts of beef qualify for the USDA lean designation!)

Moroccan Chicken Sliders

Always the dedicated dietitian, I was determined to see fruit on this slider menu somehow, someway. Morocco mastered the challenge with its love of many dried fruits, especially dates. Moroccan Chicken Sliders feature chopped dates and walnuts.

For true authentic date enjoyment, choose fresh Medjool dates (from Morocco typically) rather than prechopped, packaged dates. Medjool dates are sold in portioned, small containers or by the poundin bulk. You’ll usually find them in the produce department. Fresh Medjool dates can be finicky to cut and chop because they’re so sticky. Use a very sharp knife, straight or serrated blade, and toss the chopped pieces with a smidgen (¼ to ½ teaspoon) flour to keep them from sticking together. They’ll blend with the ground chicken better and stay separated, too. Dates are a good source of fiber and contribute potassium and iron, along with health-promoting antioxidants. Plus, they’re a tasty and nutrient-rich way to satisfy a sweet tooth!

For the final Moroccan touch, stir a mixture of eight traditional spices and seasonings into yogurt to create an earthy, sweet and spicy slider sauce.

Safe and tasty travels to all!

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