Building better burgers: you can grill a great burger using beef, but why stop there?

By Joe Bonwich

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Published: Tuesday, April 24 2012 5:56 p.m. MDT

5. Brush the buns with the melted butter and toast on the grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Assemble the burgers, adding toppings (lettuce, raw or grilled onion, tomato) and condiments as desired.

Per serving (made with ground sirloin): 565 calories; 33g fat; 17g saturated fat; 150mg cholesterol; 38g protein; 27g carbohydrate; 3g sugar; 1g fiber; 395mg sodium; 115mg calcium.

— Adapted from "How to Grill," by Steven Raichlen

(Workman, 2001)

'BELLO BURGER

Yield: 4 servings

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 portobello mushroom caps (about 5 inches in diameter)

1/2 medium roasted red bell pepper, stemmed, skinned and seeded

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 pinch ground red (cayenne) pepper

4 thin slices mozzarella cheese, optional

4 large, crusty rolls, such as kaiser rolls

4 lettuce leaves

4 slices ripe tomato

1. At least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before you plan to grill, prepare a marinade by combining the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, ¼ cup olive oil and garlic in a medium bowl. Place the mushrooms in a plastic bag, pour the marinade into the bag, shake to coat and let sit at room temperature. Turn the bag occasionally to saturate the surface of the mushrooms with the marinade.

2. Cut roasted red pepper into several chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Add mayonnaise, the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and cayenne pepper. Process until pureed. Refrigerate until serving time.

3. Prepare grill for direct heat at medium temperature. Drain mushroom caps, discarding marinade. Place mushrooms, gill-side down, on the grill. Grill uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes, turning the mushrooms twice. Top each with a cheese slice, if using, after the second turn. Meanwhile, toast the rolls at the edge of the grill.

4. Place the mushrooms on the bottoms of the toasted rolls and top with lettuce, tomato and dollops of the mayonnaise. Close the sandwiches with the top of the buns. Serve hot.

Per serving: 400 calories; 24g fat; 3g saturated fat; 5mg cholesterol; 8g protein; 38g carbohydrate; 6g sugar; 3g fiber; 935mg sodium; 65mg calcium.

— Adapted from "Born to Grill," by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Harvard Common Press, 1998)

TUNA BURGERS WITH WASABI SLAW

Yield: 4 servings

For the slaw:

2 tablespoons wasabi powder

11/2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups finely shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the burgers:

1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

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