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These MN restaurants are trying to make the best beef and mushroom burger

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Several Minnesota restaurants are reimagining the burger to help the environment.

It's called the Blended Burger Project – a contest put on by the James Beard Foundation (the same group behind the Oscars of the food world).

The goal is to make burgers better by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms. This not only makes the burger healthier (there's less cholesterol, fat and sodium in a blended patty), but it's also more sustainable and can save on the cost of food, according to the foundation and the Mushroom Council.

The five chefs with the most online votes in the Better Burger Project will win a trip to cook at the historic James Beard House in New York City for the annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference in October. (Voting ends on July 31 – click here to vote.)

Here's a look at the Minnesota restaurants participating in the project, and the burgers they came up with:

Blue Birch – Minnetonka

The Mushroom Duxelle Burger is a mix of prime beef and duxelle mushrooms, which surrounds a portobello steak topped with aged Wisconsin white cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion and preserve tomatoes.

Bryant Lake Bowl – Minneapolis

A blended patty of Peterson Limousin beef and duxelle, with sundried tomato, herb chèvre, caramelized onion and arugula on a pumpernickel bun.

Bulldog NE – Minneapolis

The burger is a blend of chopped shiitake and portobello mushrooms, with pomodoraccio mayo, heirloom tomato, garlic chips, black pepper and caper Monterey jack on a caramelized onion bun.

Mill Valley Kitchen – Minneapolis

The burger patty is a blend of bison and minced portobello mushrooms, and a tomato jam.

Red Cow – Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina

Marsala wild mushrooms, blended with angus beef, garlic mayo, fontina cheese and truffled shallots.

Rock Elm Tavern – Plymouth

A blend of barrel-aged whiskey shoyu, roasted wild mushrooms, Simply Essentials beef, topped with crispy, deep-fried kale and lemon grass aoli.

Spoonriver Restaurant and Bar – Minneapolis

The Sunshine Harvest Hamburger is a blend of Midwestern ground beef, crimini mushrooms, shallots and chives. It's topped with red onion and rhubarb marmalade.

SW Craft Bar – St. Paul

The El Presidente is a mushroom blended angus beef patty, refried beans, chihuahua cheese, caramelized onions, roasted sweet peppers, sautéed mushrooms, mayo, bacon and house-made adobo barbecue sauce.

Tado Steakhouse – Welch

Two ban seared patties that are made up of 60 percent ground beef and 40 percent rehydrated chanterelle mushrooms. It's topped with fresh spinach and chanterelle ketchup.

The Third Bird – Minneapolis

The burger is a blend of Peterson Limousin beef and porcini, with carrots, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, colby cheese, all on a house-made milk bun.

This is the second year for the Blended Burger Project. Last year, only four Minnesota restaurants participated.

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