Better than a Big Mac!

by DanicasDaily on July 9, 2012

Happy Monday all!  I am not sure which was cooler in my day ~ reading all your incredibly nice congratulations on yesterday’s post or seeing the huge debate over how grits should be eaten.  I know I dig grits both sweet and savory so I cannot wait to try all the ideas you all shared. 

Thanks for making my day without even knowing you were doing it ~ I was smiling all day long and laughing as the grits passion going on too!

I have been wanting to try this homemade Blueberry Jam ever since I picked it up at the Farmer’s Market last month.


The Husband uses our jams like you are probably supposed to ~ on toast or sandwiches……

Me, well, I love using them to flavor my fat free cottage cheese, flap jacks and on top of creamy, thick 0% Fage Greek Yogurt. (1 WPA for the jam)


Topped with a champagne mango, berries and an unsweetened coconut sprinkle.


My morning flew by with meetings and I knew I wouldn’t be able to break for lunch until 2 pm.  I made sure to snack on a banana plus an egg to tide me over.


Last night I whipped up a Creamy Carrot, Raisin, Chicken Salad for lunches this week.  I started off with my usual base ~ organic mixed greens, cabbage, carrots & cherry tomatoes.


Then, I layered on 1 cup of my Chicken, Carrot, Apple Salad and topped it with pecans.  It’s light, refreshing and pretty healthy tasting.  I used 0% Greek Yogurt for the mayo, agave and raisins for the sweetness, lemon plus the zest to brighten the flavors and added a whole bunch of crunch with veggies and roasted pecans. (2 WPA)


Late afternoon I snacked on a lite string cheese and watermelon.


On my commute home, I realized I was actually pretty darn hungry.  I had a million thoughts of all the on plan and off plan foods I could shovel in my mouth as soon as I walked in the door when the thought occurred to me……

To satisfy my salty crunchy craving and make up a batch of Kale Chips that are 100% Simply Filling! (I used 1 WPA to add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, but, that it optional)


Yup, I totally put Ketchup on the pan for dipping to eat as I cooked because I am classy like that lol.  The Kale Chips totally taste like french fries when you dip them in ketchup

Seriously, even The Husband ate them which he NEVER does Open-mouthed smile


I have been craving a really good burger lately ~ the kind that is so good, that it drips all over your hands and you can taste every single topping.  For some reason as I was pondering how to make our burgers the Big Mac song kept going through my head.

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, onion cheese, on a sesame bun”

So I went with it and the result was completely phenomenal.  There are very few meals that I eat that are so unbelievably good that I cannot wait to eat them again.  You can make these burgers using any meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, etc.) ~ the secret is definitely in the sauce.

These burgers are definitely better than any Big Mac you will ever buy ~ the added bonus is that these are 100% Simply Filling!




The Burger

  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 sweet red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Emeril’s Original Essence (or sea salt & pepper if you do not have it)

The “Secret” Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Fat Free or Low-Fat Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce, optional
  • 1 Tbsp dill pickle relish


  • 4 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles
  • Sara Lee Honey Wheat Thin Buns (they don’t taste “diety” at all)


1.  Combine the ingredients to make the burger (beef through Emeril’s Original Essence).  Divide into 4 large meatballs and flatten into patties making a small dent in the middle. 

2.  Grill over medium high heat flipping until cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.  Top with cheese and cook for 2 minutes until cheese is melted.

3.  Build your Big Mac by starting with a bun, then, topping with 1 Tbsp of the secret sauce, any toppings you are using and the burger.  Dig in!

Makes 4 Big Mac Burgers, 9 points+ each

Nutritional information per Big Mac Burger, calculated at



Combine all the ingredients to make your burgers.  Divide into 4 meatballs and form into burgers.


Put a small dent in the middle to help them cook flat versus puffing up in the middle.


Grill over medium high heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Top with cheese, if using, and cook for 2 additional minutes until it melts all over the burgers.

A note for those who love American Cheese ~ use it, if you love it since it melts the best.


While the burgers cook, prepare your burger toppers and the “Secret” sauce.


The relish totally makes the sauce.


Build it by starting with secret sauce on each half.


Top with lettuce, onions, tomato….


One super juicy, cheese burger….


Pickles for crunch and tang!


Put a “lid” on it…..


Dig In and let the juices run down your hand as you indulge in this Healthy Big Mac!


I actually grilled up corn too but I was satisfied so I didn’t have any as much as I wanted it ~ Success for listening to my hunger levels, ignoring my taste buds and stopping when satisfied!

STATS (12 am – 10 pm)

  • 2,548 calories burned
  • 6,266 steps taken
  • 3 WPA used, 34 WPA remaining (23 daily points+)

Night all!

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Alison July 10, 2012 at 5:27 am

It’s funny after mentioning grits yesterday (which I have no opinion on but after working at The Cracker Barrel through college know it’s something people have strong feelings aboug!) you mentioned cottage cheese. My husband and I have an ongoing debate about how cottage cheese should be eaten – he likes it with fruit and I like it savory with seasoned salt (yummmm!!!) :-)


Patrick M. November 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

It’s been a long time since you posted but I, too, like it savory (in fact I can’t imagine eating it with something sweet). We eat it with chopped tomatoes (really good ones) and plenty of pepper and salt. It’s a terrific side next to Italian seasoned pork patties (easy to make from scratch).


christine July 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

The burger looks amazing…..could be on my menu this week!! Yesterdays post was funny, spending some time in the south grits is a BIG deal there. Personally love hominy can live without the grits!

Keep up the wonderful progress with your S. F. plan this week.


Tamara July 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

That burger looks seriously yummy, Danica!!


Ellen M. Gregg July 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” Now you’ve got me singing it! LOL :-)

I’m loving your Simply Filling adventure. :-)


Yvonne July 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

I 200% agree with Christine and Tamara.
I’ll be making these burgers this weekend. Thanks!!


Dianna July 10, 2012 at 9:01 am

I am so enjoying your website..Very inspiring..Would love the recipe for the chicken, carrot salad!!


Connie July 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

Cool, burgers are on our menu for Thursday night, so I will be making them like this. That special sauce looks yummy!

On another note: Danica – I made your “Bubble up Pizza Casserole” last night for dinner. OMG it is pretty amazing! My 12 year old didn’t even mind the peppers in it. You and he would get along just fine. He put a huge amount of Siriachi sauce on his plate to dip his casserole in!!



Biz July 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I love Big Mac’s, but they don’t love me back – ha! I’ll have to make this sauce – yummers! Wow, I must like my burgers really rare, because 20 minutes on my grill they would be burnt!


Nancy July 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Please email me the name of the unsweetened coconut sprinkles. I would really like to get some.


DanicasDaily July 14, 2012 at 1:25 pm

HI Nancy,

The brand of unsweetened coconut flakes I use is called Let’s Do Coconut. It is in a green bag and can be found in most health food sections in the regular grocery store and at Whole Foods.



Lauren July 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Can you share the recipe for the chicken carrot apple salad? Sounds delish!


DanicasDaily July 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Rhonda July 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Burgers are my favorite, I will be making this recipe this weekend. Congratulations on your weight loss this week! You are keeping me motivated to cook and try different things. Last night i made pinto beans in the crock pot and mixed them with some brown rice and left over sauted spinach and red pepers. Ate it for breakfast, so good and filling, unlike cereal.


Dawn July 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Made this just now and it was amazing!


Carrot Salad (sans pecans)

So yummy! I love the Simply Filling recipes so much, thank you!


Lisa Hernandez November 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I’m confused by the better than a big mac burger….did you actually have it for dinner that night? Your recipe says it is 9+ points, but at the end of the day, you only used 3 wpa? (Sorry, I am still learning the Simply Filling Technique), so maybe I’m not understanding something. Were the total points you listed for people who are not using simply filling? And using simply filling, this burger would only “cost” 3 wpa’s?? (I hope so, because it looks great, and I can’t wait to try it!)

Great website — thanks for helping all of us!!!


DanicasDaily December 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

HI Lisa,

I list the points+ out for the foods I eat for those not following Simply Filling which is why you see the 9 points+. For those following Simply Filling, I state the WPA used if any for the foods I eat, which means, this recipe is Simply Filling + 3 WPA.

Hope that helps,



Tammy April 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

Loving your website and posts. Lots of great ideas and recipes. I’m doing the Weight Watchers points.


Jo Ann June 1, 2014 at 6:39 am

Love your recipes and your ideas on Simple Filling. Thanks


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