Taking the ham out of the burger

The first time I had a portabello “burger” was at The Cheesecake Factory in college. I’m not sure what made me pick that off the menu, but it was delicious. At the time, I didn’t realize just how meaty portabello mushrooms are, and what a great meat substitute they make. Even people that aren’t huge mushroom fans will likely enjoy a portabello.

So, with the weather being so nice the past few days, I really wanted to grill up some vegetables, and thought portabellos would be great. Of course, just the mushrooms themselves weren’t enough, so I made them into “burgers” with marinated zucchini, and red peppers on a roll with of course, gouda cheese. Throw in a side of curried sweet potato fries, and you’ve got perfection.

Balsamic Grilled Portabello Mushroom “Burgers”
– Serves 2 –

2 rolls (I used Kaiser)
2 medium sized portabello mushrooms
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced
1 medium red pepper, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic, diced
2 slices of smoked gouda cheese (or your favorite cheese)
1/2 small red onion, sliced

1. Heat grill on medium-high heat
2. Combine the garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Add the vegetables, making sure to coat them completely.
3. Using either a grill basket or aluminum foil, place the vegetables on the grill. Cook on each side, about 10 minutes until there are grill marks and they are cooked through.
4. Layer the cheese on the bottom of the bun, followed by the portabello mushroom, zucchini (about 3-4 slices), and red pepper. Top with raw red onion, and enjoy!


Curried Sweet Potato Fries
– Serves 2 –

2 medium sweet potato fries
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Peel and slice potatoes, to look like french fries
3. In a medium bowl, toss the fries with olive oil and curry powder, making sure to coat evenly
4. Spread on a greased baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes

Delicious Fridays

Friday afternoon, my company had it’s third annual Thanksgiving feast during lunch. Everyone brought in a recipe, and at the end we voted for winners. I decided to make Not Your Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie. While I had lots of compliments, I didn’t win. That’s okay, though, because I devoured a whole lot of deliciousness; broccoli casserole, stuffing, corn salad, pumpkin dumplings, cumin and cayenne mashed potatoes with caramelized onion, and topped it off with some peanut butter brownie mousse parfait. I scored the recipes of almost everything I liked, and can’t wait to make it!

Needless to say, I was stuffed (and lethargic) all afternoon. So when I got home, for one of the first times, I wasn’t ravenous for dinner. Eventually, though, I was hungry enough to make something. Having one sweet potato left over from making the pie as well as an avocado and typical Mexican fare (cilantro, tortillas, cheese), I racked my brain for a solid 20 minutes. Eventually I went with a chili cheese burrito and a side of spicy sweet potato fries. It was quick to make and really delicious. A perfect simple Friday night dinner to accompany watching Millionaire Matchmaker and What Not to Wear… guilty pleasures for a Friday night home alone!

Chili Cheese Burrito
– Serves 1 –

½ can of your favorite chili (I used Amy’s Organic Spicy Veggie Chili)
1 flour tortilla
½ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
½ avocado, sliced
¼ cup scallions, diced
¼ cup cilantro
2 tbsp sour cream

1. Heat chili over medium heat until bubbly, remove from heat
2. Place sliced avocado, diced scallions, and half of the cheese on the tortilla, followed by chili, sour cream, and remaining cheese
3. Roll and enjoy!

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries
– Serves 1-2 –

1 sweet potato
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp cumin seeds

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Peel and slice potato long ways, coat in olive oil then sprinkle with spices
3. Spray a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, flip, then bake an additional 10 minutes
4. Enjoy!