Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.

This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use gluten-free hamburger buns in this dish. Check pre-shredded cheese for flour or modified food starch (best to shred your own).


"A good burger is not a coincidence."
― Bryan Holmes

The refrigerator light goes on...

This is a lovely, meaty, satisfying quarter pound cheeseburger with only 250 calories and only 12 grams fat (including the cheese). You can make this with venison or even ground lamb. If you decide to use lamb, ask the butcher to grind you some from the shoulder so that it is very lean.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are used to add volume to a dish or to help it hold together. When whisking, the proteins in the egg whites bond with each other and form chains that trap air. It is the continued whisking and adding of air that allows the whites to form stiff peaks.

Whisk your egg whites slowly at first. Because of the way the protein is linked, whisking too quickly will incorporate too much air early and the whipped egg whites will have a grainy texture. These will often break down easily and become watery.

For ideal egg whites, whisk slowly at first and increase the speed as you go. Use a softer whisking motion with a slight scooping action at first. This pulls in less air.. As the whites stiffen, increase the speed and lift the whites higher off of the bottom of the bowl.

When using a mixer (which I usually do for meringues) start on a slow setting and increase the speed gradually.

When a recipe calls for whipped egg whites, separating the whites must be done carefully as you don't want to get anything in them. If there is the least little bit of egg yolk in them they will not form stiff peaks. It is also very important that the bowl be clean and dry or the egg whites will not stiffen. (See also Copper Bowl.)


Southwestern Cheeseburgers

Servings = 4 | Serving size =1 burger

Cooking Time = 60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

The pre-cooked burgers keep well for about 24 hours in the fridge. The pre-formed, uncooked burgers will freeze well. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.

Those who are gluten-sensitive will want to use a gluten-free bun. For that reason, the Nutrition Facts do not include the bun.

Serve with Cole Slaw or Parsnip French Fries or Cilantro Lime Slaw or Jicama Slaw

2 small poblano peppers
1 small jalapeno pepper (diced)
1 shallot (minced)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
4 whole wheat or gluten-free hamburger buns

Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the poblano peppers in the oven. Roast for about 25 - 30 minutes. Turn once or twice.

Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a paper bag to cool. When they are cool, the skins will slip off easily. Remove the seeds and dice the peppers.

Mince the jalapeno pepper and add to a medium mixing bowl. Add the diced peppers, jalapeno, shallot, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, cilantro leaves, beef, egg white and olive oil and mix together until well blended. Let stand at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place a large non-stick grill pan in the oven while it is preheating.

While the oven is preheating, form the venison into four burgers. Folding the meat inside waxed paper helps you to make the burgers the right thickness without sticking to the counter.

When the pan is hot place the burgers in to sear. Return the pan to the oven. Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side, then turn.

Cook for about 3 minutes on the other side for rare and longer for medium-rare or medium. Just before the burgers are done, top them with the grated cheese and return to the oven to allow the cheese to melt.

Place the cooked burgers on the buns and serve.

Alternatively, these burgers can be cooked well on the grill. Timing will be similar.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = 1 burger

Servings = 4


Amount Per Serving

Calories 250 Calories from Fat 111
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 12g 18%
    Saturated Fat 5g 22%
    Monounsaturated Fat 5g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 79mg 27%
Sodium 464mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
    Sugars 1g  
Protein 30g  
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 83%
Calcium 11% Iron 19%
Vitamin K 8 mcg Potassium 548 mg
Magnesium 39 mg