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

Girl Talk

On Saturday, all of my bridesmaids came over so we could get everyone measured and their dresses ordered. Since most of them live in the Philly area, we decided to make a day of it and have lunch afterwards. The mall not too far from my house has quite a few restaurant options, so we had a lot to choose from.

We decided on The Cheesecake Factory, since it’s got something for everyone. Even though we were there at about 3pm, there was still a 30 minute wait so we headed to the bar until our table was ready. After perusing the drink menu, myself and two of my bridesmaids ordered a drink called “Girl Talk,” which had tequila, lime juice, strawberries, and other deliciousness. It basically tasted like a strawberry daiquiri, and looked pretty too!

Apparently trying on dresses and getting measured works up an appetite, because by the time we were seated, we couldn’t keep our hands off of the bread they gave us. I wound up ordering their Barbecque Ranch Chicken Salad (sans chicken), with avocado, fried onion strings, corn, black beans, and tomatoes… It was totally delicious! Sorry for the blurry iPhone picture, I was so excited to eat I just couldn’t contain myself! 😉

The rest of the day was filled with more wedding fun, including trying to narrow down a rehearsal dinner location. Have you noticed a trend yet that my weekends pretty  much involve just three things: wedding stuff, homework, and running? Now that the wedding planning for the weekend is out of the way, hopefully Sunday will involve some baking and a nice long run.