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The burger is stuffed with a layer of

The burger is stuffed with a layer of crisp bacon and topped with cheddar cheese. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

Bacon-stuffed Cheeseburger

1 1/2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

6 strips bacon

2 ounces thinly sliced reduced-fat cheddar

4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, sliced onion (optional)

1. Combine the beef, salt and pepper. Form into eight very thin patties.

2. Cut the bacon across in half and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.

3. Top four of the patties each with three pieces of the bacon. Add a second patty on top of the bacon and pinch the edges of the meat closed to enclose the bacon in the center of the burger.

4. Heat the bacon drippings in the pan over medium high; add the burgers and cook 4 minutes. Flip them over and top with the cheese, cook 2 minutes. Cover the skillet and cook another 2 minutes, until burgers are cooked to desired degree of doneness.

5. Serve the burgers in the toasted buns with any combination of tomato, lettuce and onion. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 404 calories, 35 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 20 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 838 mg sodium

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Caprese Burger

4 -inch thick slices beefsteak tomato

20 basil leaves, plus 4 small for garnish

4 1-ounce slices fresh mozzarella

1 1/2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

1. Top each slice of tomato with five basil leaves in a spoke pattern. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of the leaves and set aside.

2. Combine the ground beef, salt and pepper. Form into four 4-inch patties and form an indentation in the top center with your thumb.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the burgers and cook 4 minutes. Flip and top with the tomato-basil-cheese stack; cover the skillet until the cheese melts and the burger is cooked to the desired degree of doneness, about 4 minutes. Top each with a small basil leaf as garnish and place in the hamburger buns. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 400 calories, 33 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 21 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 581 mg sodium

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The Moo, Cluck, Oink Burger

1 1/2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices bacon

4 eggs

1. Combine the beef, salt and pepper and form into four 3-inch wide patties. Indent the top of each patty by pressing with your thumb.

2. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet; transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. When cool, break each slice into several pieces.

3. Add the patties to the pan; cook 4 minutes per side, or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and drape with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

4. Add the eggs to the skillet and use a spatula to push the whites in toward the yolks: you want each egg to begin to set in a circle about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. When the whites are set, place each burger on the bottom half of a bun and top with bacon; top with a fried egg and close the sandwich to break the yolk. (Or leave the top off to the side and let Dad do it when he is ready to eat.) Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 394 calories, 37 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 18 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 743 mg sodium

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