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A lean beef burger is topped with cheese

A lean beef burger is topped with cheese and guacamole. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

GUACAMOLE CHEESEBURGERS

1 medium avocado, coarsely mashed with a fork

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1/2 jalapeño, finely minced

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 1/4 pounds 93-percent-lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar

4 brioche hamburger rolls

4 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices

1. Combine the avocado, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl and mash together with a fork until well blended but still chunky.

2. Combine the beef, cumin and black pepper. Form into 4 3/4-inch-thick patties. Indent the top center of each with your thumb or the back of a spoon.

3. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the burgers and cook 4 minutes, then flip over. Cook 3 minutes longer and top with shredded cheese. Place a lid on the pan and cook until the cheese is melted and the inside is cooked to the desired degree of doneness, another 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Place the tomato slices on the bottom half of each roll and top with the burgers. Spread the guacamole over the burgers, close the sandwiches and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis: for each serving: 458 calories, 35 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 26 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 800 mg sodium

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BARBECUE-STYLE TURKEY BURGERS

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey

1/4 cup chopped red onion

4 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided

2 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 hamburger rolls

4 lettuce leaves

4 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices

1. Combine the turkey, onion, 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs, mustard, chili powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix thoroughly and form into 4 1/2-inch-thick patties. Form an indentation with your thumb or the back of a spoon on top of each patty.

2. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the burgers and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center registers 165 degrees.

3. Place the lettuce leaves and tomato slices on the bottom half of each roll. Top with the burgers and spread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis: for each serving: 409 calories, 35 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 721 mg sodium

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CHEESEBURGERS WITH 'SPECIAL SAUCE'

1/3 cup canola mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon sweet relish

1 tablespoon finely minced white onion

1 1/4 pounds 93-percent-lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 (3/4-ounce) slices Cheddar cheese

4 potato hamburger rolls, split

4 lettuce leaves

4 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices

1. Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and onion in a small bowl.

2. Combine the beef, garlic powder, salt and pepper; form into 4 3/4-inch-thick patties. Use your thumb or the back of the spoon to form indentations in the center.

3. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the burgers and cook 4 minutes; turn and cook another 3 minutes. Top each with a slice of cheese, cover the pan and cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is cooked to the desired degree of doneness,  2 to 3 minutes longer.

4. Spread the bottom half of each roll with a thin layer of the sauce; top with the lettuce, tomato and burger. Spread the remaining sauce on the top half of each roll and close the sandwich. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis: for each serving: 539 calories, 38 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 29 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 1,040 mg sodium

TIP: Be sure not to overwork meat when forming it into patties: Doing so dries out the burger.

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