Monday, July 19, 2010

Veggie Meat

No, not Vege-MITE – that’s Erin's job. I’m talking about vegetable meat…the Portobello mushroom!

I have always loved burgers and Portobello mushrooms. Problem is I never made a mushroom sandwich for myself before a year ago. That’s because I’ve always preferred to make myself a beef burger.
I started experimenting with those big mushrooms when I committed myself to eating healthier. And, I learned that not only is it super easy to grill/sauté a mushroom, but it is super delish! Plus, here’s the cool part, I don’t feel so heavy and weighed down as I would after eating a burger! Thus, this meal has become a staple in our house. (Not sure the kids have caught on yet, but there's hope.)
Plus, here are some fun facts about mushrooms:
  • 1 medium Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
  • Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
  • Research shows that people who swap out beef for a mushroom consumed 400 fewer calories.
  • Mushrooms contain 80-90% water and are very low in calories.
  • They have very little sodium and fat, and 8-10% of the dry weight is fiber.
  • Mushrooms are the only known vegetable that contains Vitamin D in edible form.
  • Mushrooms provide you with lean protein.
  • They are rich in calcium and iron.
  • Do you need anymore reasons to give mushrooms a try?

    Whatcha need:

    -1 full Portobello mushroom or 3-4 mushroom slices (Depends how your grocery store sells them.)
    -1 whole grain hamburger bun
    -A slice or two of roasted red peppers (drained and patted to remove excess liquid)
    -A handful of greens (I like spinach or a spring mix)
Optional items:
-A spread (I often use Almond-Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.)
-A slice of mozzarella cheese (Despite my vegan tendencies, this is actually reeeeally yummy with it .)
Whatcha do:

1. Wash the mushroom and pull off the stem.
2. Brush both sides with ~1 tsp of olive oil.
a. Saute in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. (You can tell that it’s done when it starts to feel “soft” and gets a bit darker in color.)
b. Grill on the BBQ for a similar amount of time. (This is pretty tasty.)
4. Put all of the above ingredients together to make a sandwich.
5. I’ve been known to add the following as sides:
a. Grilled corn on the cob
b. Green salad
c. Sweet potato fries
d. Apple slices

Tip: Chopped Portobello mushrooms also make a GREAT pizza topping!

What is your favorite way to eat Portobello mushrooms?
Cheers, Jeannie
PS: So sorry that I've been out of touch with you all. I have been working more than usual and we had family in town for almost two weeks. I hope I can get back in the game this week! Stay tuned.


  1. These look yummy. I will have to try them again ... I made mushroom burgers once and it's the only time that Eric has had difficulty choking down one of my experiments :) Perhaps slicing the mushroom rather than leaving it whole would help him!

  2. Erin, maybe chopping them up for a pizza topping would help? He might be able to stomach them that way. ;-)

  3. I'll try this, it looks good!!
    We actually just had portobellas this weekend - I made a big veggie only dinner and grilled a bunch of veggies on the BBQ. Portobellas are good if you drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them, a little salt and pepper, grill them and at the end sprinkle some parmesan cheese on them.

  4. Kelly, sounds delish! I will try those on them too.
    We grilled sweet potatoes on the grill this weekend...Danny drizzled olive oil and soy sauce on them, which was actually pretty good. Grilled veggies - yum!

  5. Jeannie, I love grilled slices of portobello mushrooms. Brush them with olive oil and cook them in the grill thingy that's like a pan but with holes in it. Sprinkle generously with salt. Like french fries for grownups! Shoot, I'm sorry I don't have some to put on the grill tonight!

  6. Hey Parsnipgirl - do I know you?! Everyone, meet my sister-in-law, Christine. She is a whiz in the kitchen! Thanks for the ideas. We can grill some in LI or at your place next month. Yum!

  7. I am already starting to think of how I am going to cook for my near-vegan relatives. :) ps not trying to hide behind parsnipgirl but that's my login from a long way back. But works for a food blog, no?

  8. jeannie, it sounds like you and parsnip-sister are poised to create some healthy eats together and blog about it ... i love it!

    if i ever get around to making this recipe for green bean quinoa salad that i found, i will share it with the entire class.