EATING well

Healthy bacon burger recipe starts with ground chicken

An indulgent burger can be the perfect treat for the Fourth of July, but it's hard to balance that sentiment with the urge to keep healthy.

That doesn't mean you have to toss out the idea of a real burger in favor of a flavorless low-fat patty wedged between a flaxseed and bran bun. You just need to think moderation.

Our recipe for Southwestern chicken sliders starts with a ground chicken patty, which is much lower in total fat and saturated fat than beef.

We recommend working some seasonings into the meat before forming the patty.

For our toppings, we choose ingredients with the kind of big flavors and textures that allow you to use small amounts with great effect. Shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese is melted over each patty, then sprinkled with a modest amount of real bacon bits.

We make a chipotle mayo by blending reduced-fat mayonnaise with some of the adobo sauce that comes in a can of chipotles. Taste as you add the seasoning to get the desired amount of heat.

And we add some fresh shredded lettuce and sliced tomato, because no self-respecting super burger would be complete without them.

SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN SLIDERS

Start to finish: 25 minutes

1 pound ground chicken

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles, to taste

1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon

8 mini burger buns or rolls

1/4 cup canned french fried onions

1/2 cup shredded Boston lettuce

2 cocktail (golf ball-sized) tomatoes, sliced

Heat a gas grill to high or light a charcoal fire.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground chicken, salt and pepper. Form into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties. Place the patties on a plate and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and adobo sauce. Set aside.

Using a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs, oil the grill grates. Grill the chicken burgers, flipping once, until a thermometer registers 165 degrees at the center, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Top each burger with some of the cheese and bacon, then continue grilling until melted.

Meanwhile, toast the rolls at the edge of the grill.

To assemble, spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the top and bottom of each roll. Place a burger on each roll bottom and top with some of the french fried onions, shredded lettuce and a tomato slice. Top with remaining roll halves.

Makes 8 sliders.

Nutritional information per slider (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 286 calories (129 calories from fat, 45 percent of total calories), 14g fat (4g saturated, 0g trans fats), 61mg cholesterol, 9g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 1g fiber, 524mg sodium.

Healthy bacon burger recipe starts with ground chicken 07/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 1, 2011 5:30am]

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