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Video: Healthy cheeseburgers! Get the skinny

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    >> in today's kitchen, burgers that are too good to be healthy. we asked viewers to send in their healthiest cheeseburger recipes and we have flown in three finalists to compete for the grand prize .

    >> here they are. [ cheers ]

    >> and doing the tasting registered dietitian and cheerleader joy bauer.

    >> we got bombarded with the most outstanding and delicious recipes. it was a really big deal that these finalists are here.

    >> we're the judges here?

    >> you are. we'll tell you about each one and before we start it's important for everyone to know that a typical cheeseburger in a restaurant is about 1200 calories. full fat cheese a big white starch bun. so you're going to be impressed. we have ronnie's here. this is a bacon cheese inside out turkey burger. she uses ground turkey with grated zuccihni but the best part is the cheese y inside.

    >> it's reduced fat with all natural bacon bits .

    >> how did you come up with it.

    >> i inspire to try to make light recipes. it helped me lose weight. i try to get creative in the kitchen so my goal is to have fun and create fun recipes that people don't think are light but actually are light.

    >> just to let you guys know, without the bun is burger is 225 calories and with the bun, 355 calories. so this is a fraction of a regular cheeseburger.

    >> that is really good.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you.

    >> she is from parker, colorado and this is a naked buffalo burger. i love she has taken advantage of a lean red meat , buffalo or bison. it's lower in calories or fat than fatty chuck. what's cool about this aside from whole grain bread crumbs and egg white she added in chopped jalapenos and dried cherries. an interesting combination.

    >> you can't do that.

    >> can you do that?

    >> and blue cheese on the top.

    >> oh, boy. doesn't the blue cheese take from the healthiness at all?

    >> no. without the bun, 295 calories and with the bun, 425 calories.

    >> very nice.

    >> well done.

    >> well done.

    >> and last but certainly not least, we have ilene from florida. these are greek turkey lettuce sliders. she also drives down the calories using lean ground turkey meet and she pumps up the flavor with a lot of fresh herbs like oregano and mint. one serving is all three. topped it off with this yummy delicious sauce.

    >> if you had a little slice there, it would be a little happy face burger.

    >> great for kids. great for kids. but the sauce is fabulous because it's nonfat greek yogurt with cucumber and red onion . a little lemon juice and dill.

    >> so this one without the bun, all three, 320 calories. with minibuns about 500 calories. could you imagine compared to the restaurant version of 1200 .

    >> do we work together here?

    >> you work together and decide on the winner.

    >> are you guys nervous.

    >> and i think the judge's consensus is number two.

TODAY recipes
updated 8/30/2013 10:07:25 AM ET 2013-08-30T14:07:25

Recipe: Bacon cheese inside out turkey burger

  • 8oz extra lean ground turkey (i had the 99% lean kind)
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (100g)
  • 4 tbsp real bacon bits (28g)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats (60g)
  • Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 the laughing cow mini babybel® light rounds (or an 1 1/2 oz of your favorite cheese

Put all the ingredients in a bowl except the cheese. Mix well. The mixture will be moist.

Separate the meat mixture into 4 equal parts of about 4 oz each. Now take 1 of the 4 oz parts and separate into 2 small patties.

Open a round of mini baybel light cheese, cut in half lengthwise to make two circles. Place one of the cheese circles in the center of a small patty. Top with the other patty and form together. Repeat to make other 3 burgers.

Grill the burgers about 6 minutes a side. They will stick especially if the grill isn't hot enough. Use non-stick spray or rub the grill with a bit of oil to help.

Recipe: Naked buffalo burger

  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 slices flourless, sprouted low sodium bread, toasted and chopped into bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup montmorency dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1tbsp fresh, extra virgin olive oil for burger, and another 1 tbsp for cooking
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • 1tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Finishing ingredients
  • 4 tbsp stilton bleu cheese, sliced or crumbled

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Combine all burger ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the order listed. Using your hands or a large wooden spoon combine all ingredients until well incorporated, but do not over-mix. Divide mixture into four equal parts and gently form each portion into patties. Use your thumb to press a dimple into the center of each patty to facilitate more even cooking.

When skillet comes to desired temperature add remaining tbsp olive oil to the pan to coat and immediately add each of the burgers, dimple side up. Cook for 2-3 minutes until brown, then carefully turn the burgers and add 1 tbsp bleu cheese to the center of each burger.

Cook for an additional 1-3 minutes, or until burger reaches desired temperature (150 for medium, 165f for medium well).

Tent burgers with foil and allow to rest while arranging a bed of arugula, cherry tomatoes and red onion. Place burger on bed of greens and serve!

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Greek turkey lettuce sliders

  • Burger patty
  • 1 lb. Ground turkey meat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced finely or grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • 6 oz. Plain greek yogurt, low or full fat
  • 1/2 cup grated or finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup grated or finely chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • A dash of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Building burger
  • 12 large lettuce leaves, folded or cut in half ( i used baby romaine, but any kind will work)
  • Sliced tomatoes, small ones work best
  • Kalamata black olives, sliced

1. In a large bowl, mix all of the burger ingredients together, being careful not to overwork the mixture. Form into 12 small patties, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare tzatziki sauce by mixing all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, and refrigerating until ready to serve burgers.

2. Preheat grill to 450 degrees. Remove patties from refrigerator, and place on preheated grill. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.

3. Serve patties on lettuce leaves, topped with prepared tzatziki, tomatoes and olives. Enjoy!

Serving Size

Serves 4

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