Friday, August 6, 2010

Real Veggie Burgers

I didn't have a lot of time to cook the other night, so I made what is becoming our new favorite quick and healthy meals: real veggie burgers.  K. and I love burgers but have become increasingly wary of ground beef, not knowing exactly what goes into it, so we've been making burgers with alternative fillings.  My new favorite is using a large portobello mushroom in lieu of the patty (thanks to Adam and Karen for the idea!).  I also grilled some of the japanese eggplant that I picked up at the farmer's market as another patty substitute.
Portobello Mushroom Burger
Eggplant Burger
For the portobello mushroom, I seasoned both sides with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and minced garlic, and wrapped it tightly in foil.  I put the foil packet on the grill to allow the mushroom to steam and cook, and then finished it off by taking it out of the foil and directly on the grill to get some good grilled flavor to the mushrooms.  I cut the eggplant in half and seasoned it similarly with olive oil, salt & pepper and put it directly on the grill. For the last few minutes, we also grilled both sides of the hamburger buns.  For toppings, I sliced half an onion into rings, seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper, wrapped it in foil and tossed it on the grill.  While everything was grilling, I tossed some arugula with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, sliced some castello blue cheese from Trader Joes (I love this blue cheese, so creamy and just pungent enough), and sliced some tomatoes.  I just assembled the burgers with the portobello mushroom, topped with some blue cheese and the grilled onions, with tomato and arugula, and that was it!  It makes for a huge, incredibly flavorful and juicy burger.  All the components really enhance the burger: the rich meatiness of the portobello mushroom or eggplants, with the pungent, creamy blue cheese, soft grilled onions, fresh tomato and fresh arugula, in between nicely grilled slightly crunchy hamburger buns.  It's a great meal; it's fast to prepare and cook, tasty, and relatively healthy.  You don't miss the meat at all!  As a side, we just had the remaining arugula salad topped with rosemary pecans, cranberries, and some blue cheese.

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