Wild mushroom and beef burgers. / Linda Gassenheimer/TNS

Looking for a really, juicy burger for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend or for anytime you want a burger? Try this one. Mushrooms add an earthy flavor to lean ground beef. They also make the burgers juicy.

The mushrooms are cooked before they are added to the ground meat. Be sure to cook them until they are dry, with no liquid left in the pan.


— You can use any type of mushroom.

— You can use any type of burger bun.


— To buy: 8 ounces 95% lean beef, 6 ounces wild mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, chanterelle), 1 bottle smoked paprika, 1 package whole-wheat hamburger buns, 1 large tomato, 1 package washed, ready-to-eat lettuce, 1 cucumber, 1 green bell pepper, 1 bottle reduced-fat oil-and-vinegar dressing.

— Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.


Wild Mushroom and Beef Burgers

6 ounces wild mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, chanterelle) chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces 95% lean ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 whole-wheat hamburger rolls

1 large tomato, cut into 2 slices and remainder into cubes

Several lettuce leaves

Wash mushrooms, and chop by hand or in a food processor. Cook 5 minutes or until the pan is dry. Add smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Mix mushrooms with the ground beef. Using your hands, form into two patties. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the center of each patty. This keeps the burgers from puffing up while cooking. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, and add the burgers. Cook 6 to 8 minutes per side. A meat thermometer should read 125 degrees Fahrenheit for rare or 145 degrees for medium. Toast buns in a toaster oven or under the broiler. Place the burgers on the bottom bun. Place one slice tomato on each burger (save the remaining tomato cubes for the salad). Add several lettuce leaves over the tomato. Add the bun top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 448 calories (29% from fat), 16.2 grams fat (4.2 grams saturated, 6.1 grams monounsaturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams protein, 39.4 grams carbohydrates, 6.8 grams fiber, 277 milligrams sodium.

— Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer


Lettuce Tomato Cucumber Salad

4 cups lettuce

1 cup sliced cucumber

1 cup green bell pepper cubes

Remaining tomato cubes from the burger

4 tablespoons reduced-fat oil-and-vinegar dressing

Divide the lettuce between two dinner plates, and add the cucumber, green bell pepper and tomato cubes. Drizzle dressing on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 71 calories (32% from fat), 2.6 grams fat (0.2 gram saturated, 0.7 gram monounsaturated), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 2.8 grams protein, 11.4 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 24 milligrams sodium.

— Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook."