I've seen several articles that tout the health benefits of skipping meat one day a week. The claim is that it cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Going meatless once a week seems like a fairly effortless way to improve my health.
Now, I like meat, but I don't necessarily eat it at every meal. In fact, most mornings, my breakfast consists of toast and peanut butter or Greek yogurt and granola. But other than pasta with vegetables or grilled cheese sandwiches, meatless meals occasionally stump me.
That's why I was so excited to see a portabella mushroom burger on the menu when I dined out over the weekend. I've looked at recipes for this dish before, but I find the idea of grilling a giant mushroom a little intimidating. It's not like cooking a hamburger, where the meat turns from pink to brown to let you know it's done. Instead, the mushroom starts out brown and ends up brown. How would I know when it's time to remove it from the heat?
Still, I'd wanted to try one, so as soon as I saw it on the menu, I knew that's what I would be ordering. When it arrived at the table, it looked a lot like a fancy hamburger (okay, maybe a slightly overdone fancy hamburger).
I took a bite to assess. As I'd seen mentioned in magazine articles, the mushroom had a substantial texture that really made it seem like I was chewing meat rather than a vegetable. With the tanginess of the goat cheese and the tartness of the sun-dried tomato pesto that was slathered on the bun, the "burger" part could have been red meat or a brown mushroom, and I might not have known the difference.
The next time I decide to cook a meatless meal for the family, I'll definitely keep the portabella burger in mind. Of course, I'm still not sure how to grill it myself. If only I could get someone to come over and cook the mushroom for me. Then again, I say that about a lot of my dinners. I should probably just give it a try one of these days. You can't screw up cooking a giant mushroom. Right?