As a kid, I grew up having burgers on the grill because we lived up in the sticks and well, it was convenient and much more fun. Our family would sit outside for dinner and enjoy a good barbecue. I never once thought what it would be like to live in an apartment or condo complex that didn't allow BBQ grills. I had a five year dose of what it was like when Madelene and I started living in a condo. During the summer months, I was always itching to BBQ...but how? I wanted BBQ food, but but but... I even tried the George Foreman grill. Ugh, not only did it burn everything you plopped on there because it ran off a generalized heating mechanism, but that bitch was hard to clean! I would always cook so I wouldn't have to clean. Then my creative juices started flowing. "Screw it", I said, grabbing the frying pan and hoping to manipulate the burger into a diner-like cuisine.
Madelene and I don't eat burgers with buns. It's not that we're watching our carbs, it's just too much. We usually make a ton of veggies with a salad and sometimes even a potato, but still - even that's too much. I usually sauté onions and mushrooms in a little olive oil. I add my spices like, salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper, parsley, a tiny bit of sugar in the raw, some white wine and at the end, a touch of bread crumbs to give it a nice 'crunch' to the candied onions. Lately, I've been incorporating squash to my dish - adding new flavor and colors to the 'gourmet burger'. Let me just say that having squash either on your burger or just on a bed of squash is. just. amazing. The squash takes on the taste of whatever you're cooking.
While your veggie mix is still brewing in one pan, plop your burgers in another, with only adding a shot glass of water, a pinch of salt and a few raw slices of onions if you want. You don't need any olive oil or butter --- the burgers cook better this way in my opinion. I usually get the 80% chop meat because anything more than that is going to taste like a hockey puck. We like our burgers well done but not dry, so we keep frying the burgers on a low/medium heat for 20 minutes. Ten minute on one side, ten minutes on the other. They come out perfect.
Make it fancy - create a colorful salad on the side or you can always opt for the baked potato, but believe me, that's why most people over overstuffed after eating a meat & potato type of meal. This gives you that perfect "I'm full but not bloated" feeling.
So whether you have your burger on a bed of veggies, or you topple your burger with the goodness, it's all good. You can add cheese or not...it's up to you.