Spa Swiss Mushroom Burgers

This is a recipe that I have developed with carefully chosen ingredients to produce a creative and colorful and healthier twist to a traditional dish.

On the rare occasion I prepare a hamburger, this is my favorite recipe. I like to make this on our sailboat. To adapt this for boating or camping, see my notes below.

These mushroom and swiss cheese burgers can be served on a bun if you’d like, but I suggest serving them on a colorful bed of fresh arugula and a slice of ripe tomato or onion. Not only does arugula taste good but it is a nutrient-dense food rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium, folate, Vitamin K and magnesium.

Have you heard that making a dimple on top of the raw ground beef patty helps prevent it from getting tall in the middle as it cooks? Some people recommend an indent the size of a thumb print but I find that the burgers still shrink. A better way is to make a wide depression that makes the burger look like a plate. This will avoid a tall mountaintop in the middle and shrinkage.

Spa Swiss Mushroom Burgers

Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, preferable naturally-raised, without antibiotics or hormones.

Salt and pepper for seasoning

2 tsp Trader Joe’s Garlic Olive Oil

8-ounce package sliced mixed or cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 slices Swiss cheese

4 cups Arugula

Optional toppings: sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes


Shape the ground beef into patties to your desired thickness and size and make a large indentation in each middle. The burger should look like a dinner plate, lower in the middle with a raised “rim” edge around the edge. If you are packing for a camping or boating trip, pack on the reserved Styrofoam tray with wax paper or plastic wrap in between layers of hamburgers. Put in a gallon zip top resealable bag.

Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly brush the grill grates with vegetable oil, then grill the patties, indentation-side up, until marked on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon garlic olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Flip and cook until marked and slightly firm, about 3 more minutes for medium doneness.

The last minute of cooking, divide the sautéed mushrooms on top of the burgers. Reserve some to put on top of the cheese when serving. Then place a slice of Swiss or Gruyere cheese over them. Cover the grill to melt. Remove burgers when they reach an internal temp of 155 degrees F. Top with reserved mushrooms.

Meanwhile, prepare for serving but putting one cup of arugula on each plate. Top the arugula with the burger and onion and tomatoes if using.

Recipe Notes

Make sure not to overcook your burgers. Use a meat thermometer

Ground beef must be cooked to 160 degrees to be safe. Of course, with carryover cooking, you’ll want to pull your burgers at 155°F (68°C) to achieve the best temp and results. For medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total (135°F). For medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total (145°F)

RV or Boat Recipe Notes

  • Pre-shape the burgers and put in double gallon zip top bags. Plan this meal for one of your first on your trip as you do not want to store ground beef more than a couple days. Pack the hamburger patties in a way that they don’t get squished.
  • Pack 4 slices of cheese and put in sandwich size double zip top bags.
  • Pack a small bottle with 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.
  • Pack a bottle of Trader Joe’s Garlic Olive Oil.
  • Pack 4 cups arugula.
  • Pack a red onion or tomato if you’d like
Share Button

Wild Pesto Salmon and Garlic Broccoli Meal on a Grill

Preparing healthy meals can be a challenge when you only have a one burner gas stove and a small gas barbecue. With some experimentation I have discovered some wonderful recipes and meal plans that I’d love to share with you. Here is one recent dinner:

Hummus and Crackers

Grilled Pesto Wild Salmon

Grilled Garlic Broccoli

At home prepare and pack:

  • Hummus, individually packaged (I get mine from Costco)
  • Crackers
  • Two Frozen Salmon Fillets from Costco that are individually sealed. Keep frozen
  • Pesto, I use Costco’s and portion it into a small glass jars and freeze them
  • Washed, dried and cut broccoli florets in a gallon resealable zip top bag
  • Trader Joe’s Garlic flavored oil (I keep a bottle of this on our boat)

Prep on the boat:

Make two foil “trays” from Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Aluminum Foil.

Pour 2-3 Tablespoons of the Garlic flavored oil into the bag of broccoli. Shake the broccoli in the bag around to distribute the oil. Then pour onto one of the prepared trays. Sprinkle with salt.

Open the salmon fillets, place on one of the foil trays and pat the top with a paper towel. top each fillet with 2 Tablespoons pesto.

Prepare your barbecue. Put the broccoli on first and cook it until it is almost done to your preference, take it off the grill, seal the foil to keep warm and then put the salmon on the barbecue. Have your meat thermometer ready. If you don’t have one. the one I have linked below is the #1 Amazon Bestseller.

Grill the salmon until it reaches an internal temperature of 145. While the FDA recommends cooking fish to 145°F, for a flakier, more moist and tender salmon filet many chefs find that it’s best enjoyed when it’s cooked to medium – 125°F.

Share Button

Phone Nutrition Consults Can Be Scheduled Through April 30th At 25% Off

Phone Nutrition Consults Can Be Scheduled Through April 30th At 25% Off

As the Coronavirus and its impact continue to evolve and develop, I want to provide you with an opportunity to focus on your health goals at a discount. Phone nutrition consults can be scheduled now through April 30th at 25% off.

Nutritional counseling can help you develop and maintain healthy dietary habits to lose weight or prevent chronic illness. Knowing about nutrition isn’t always enough: you have to learn how to apply it to your life and how to change your eating patterns. I can help you do just that.

I am Maria Faires, RD. I am a Master Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Dietitian and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. I own a fitness and nutrition consulting private practice in Sammamish where I provide highly personalized nutrition services and personal training. To see reviews about me and my services search for my Google listing Active Nutrition Fitness and Nutrition Consulting.

Step 1: Get In Touch

Get started with a free 15 minute phone consultation, where I learn more about you and how I can help support you. We’ll discuss how many sessions is right for you and you’ll have a chance to ask questions about how I work and what to expect from the process. Contact me at

Step 2: Set an appointment, fill out paperwork and start logging food

The next step is to set a phone appointment and then I will send you some paperwork to fill out and mail to me. If we have decided in our initial phone consultation that it would be beneficial to have you log food and exercise in an online journal like My Fitness Pal, I will send you personalized settings.

Step 3: Initial Session $180

In our initial 90 minute consultation, we’ll assess your current health & nutrition status by discussing your medical history, diet history, physical activity habits, eating behaviors, and usual food patterns and preferences. With this information, I’ll share essential nutrition information, helpful tips, resources and recipes, and plenty of healthy strategies that will help you get closer to a healthier life. Then, together, we create a comprehensive action plan based upon your unique health and nutrition goals to set you up for nutrition and wellness success.

Step 4: Ongoing Support $114

60-minute follow-up appointments are available to assess your progress and will focus on introducing strategies to help you move towards your goals, working through barriers, and revisiting and adjusting your goals to help you and propel you forward.

How Many Sessions?

New clients may wonder how many sessions are needed. That will depend on your goals, readiness to change, what support systems you have in place, and where your relationship with food currently stands. It is challenging to predict, but I am here for you as long as you find value in our sessions and need support.

Share Button