How do you please everyone at family meal time? I say give them what they like to eat, within reason of course. If they like burgers and fries, why not make them at home? That way you are serving what you know they like to eat, but you can control the ingredients and the cooking method to ensure it is healthy.

Last week we made quarter pound burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner. My son helped me make a basic burger recipe. We grilled them on the barbeque, added cheese and served them on thin whole wheat buns. Initially the kids complained about the thin buns, asking for the regular ones, but once they tried them there were no more complaints. They asked for regular fries as well, but in the end enjoyed the sweet potato fries.

These burgers were easy, quick to make and tasted great! Basic doesn’t have to be boring. I like to use a basic burger recipe which allows us to be creative with the condiments. My burger was buttered with guacamole and then topped with Romaine lettuce and vine-ripened tomato. Another favourite topping combination is Swiss cheese and carmelized onion.

The sweet potato fries were sweet and tasty, but weren’t crisp like I expected. I will make them again on the barbeque but will have to make some changes. After a little research I found a good suggestion that I will try next time which is to par boil them first. Par boil means boil until they are tender but firm. Then you coat them with oil and salt and put them directly on the grill at medium for about five minutes on each side.

There is often confusion about sweet potatoes and yams. No wonder, what you see labelled as a yam (dark skin, orange flesh) in the grocery store is actually a sweet potato, just a different variety than the light skin, yellow flesh one. True yams aren’t readily available in our super markets although often they can be found in a specialty market.

You may be wondering if this meal is healthy. Let’s compare it to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and medium fries from a fast food restaurant. My homemade Basic Quarter Pound Burger with Sweet Potato Fries has 360 less calories and less than half the fat of the fast food burger and fries. Grilling is something we love to do but we will probably only have burgers a couple of times this summer. I am satisfied it fits into our healthy eating plan.

Overall I enjoyed this meal and it was nice to have my son help me out in the kitchen. Now, if only I could get him to wash the dishes!