The Best (Tasty!) Burger Toppings for Weight Loss
You can have your burger this weekend – and all the toppings, too.
May 23, 2014
By Jenna Birch
Memorial Day is nearly here, which means lots of cookouts—complete with delicious burgers and hard-to-resist fixings. But unfortunately, some of those toppings can pile on tons of unnecessary calories.
That said, you don’t need to chomp on a completely naked burger to keep it low-cal. We tapped into the mind of flavor genius Tom Ryan, the founder and chief concept officer of Smashburger, a brand well known for its innovative topping combinations. “The key to building a burger is great taste and high-quality, fresh ingredients,” says Ryan. But that doesn’t need to include high-fat ingredients. In general, he suggests sticking to greens, veggies, lower-fat cheeses like cotija and parmesan, seasonings like cumin and sea salt, and low-cal, high-flavor sauces like no-fat Greek yogurt, ponzu and mustard.
Last week, Smashburger hosted a burger and beer pairing dinner to celebrate both the recent opening of their Manhattan location (right next to the Empire State Building) and the start of National Burger Month. Founder Tom Ryan, craft beer consultant Chris Spradley, and filmmaker/ burger aficionado George Motz were on hand to share their knowledge alongside several of Smashbuger’s local specialties paired with beers from their region.
Running one of the nation’s fastest-growing hamburger chains may seem like easy money. Open outlets, sell burgers, rake in cash.
But for Smashburger’s new CEO, Scott Crane, how do you top seven consecutive years of double-digit growth?
By making sure that it becomes eight consecutive years, then going from there. Crane’s plan is to stick to the template that has made Denver-based Smashburger one of the nation’s fastest-growing players in the restaurant segment defined as fast-casual, better-burger.
Category leader Five Guys Burgers and Fries has about five times as many outlets as Smashburger’s 256, but Virginia-based Five Guys has been in business 21 years longer.
Crane, 40, took the reins in November after the departure of CEO David Prokupek. Crane, however, is no newcomer. He has served as Smashburger’s president since the company opened its first location on South Colorado Boulevard at Mississippi Avenue in 2007.