Monday, September 22, 2014

Shroom With A View Burger

If there is one thing my kids will actually eat, it is vegetables. Yeah, I know. My kids are weird. My wife and I attribute their propensity to scarf down anything they can grow in our backyard to her strange cravings of broccoli and milkshakes during her pregnancy. Somehow, that combination translated as "delicious" to my kids while in utero.

As a kid I never really cared for meat. When the sides would come, I would load up on vegetables. Steak at my parent's house was always accompanied by mushrooms. And while I would force the steak in, I would heartily attack the mushrooms with reckless abandon. Sauteed mushrooms with a little butter and onions...and well, my keyboard is wet from the drool.

The Mushroom Council is celebrating #ShroomTember this month. There were so many things that I learned about mushrooms that I never knew before especially when it came to their nutritional value and their blendability.

Nutrition - Mushrooms bring important nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins and antioxidants to the plate without adding significant calories, fat and cholesterol.

Sodium – Mushrooms are low in sodium, plus their umami counterbalances saltiness and allows for less salt to be used in a dish, without compromising flavor.
  • Umami is a fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Derived from the Japanese word umami, meaning “delicious,” umami is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation. 
  • “Tasting Success with Cutting Salt,” a collaborative report from the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America, recognizes cooking with umami-rich ingredients, like mushrooms, as a way to boost flavor without adding salt.
Gluten Free – Often grouped with vegetables, mushrooms provide many of the nutritional attributes of produce, as well as attributes more commonly found in meat, beans or grains.
  • Like all fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are naturally gluten free, and make a delicious and nutritious addition to a gluten-free diet. 
The only exception when it came to meat for me, was hamburger. It was my grandma's go-to meal when we were coming to visit. With four boys coming with bottomless stomachs, hamburger was always on the menu. Walk through my grandma's kitchen on our first night there and burgers would be sizzling in the skillet while she tried to plant you with kisses.

Come to my house for a barbeque and you are going to get burgers. Want to know how I rate a restaurant? How good is their burger? So when Life of Dad and The Mushroom Council were seeking recipes for #ShroomTember's contest for greatest burger, I felt compelled, nay obligated to demonstrate my knowledge of burgerhood. I give you:

Olive oil
Large Portabello Mushroom caps
1 lb Lean Ground Beef or other meat (see vegetarian option below)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 TBSP chopped garlic
Goat cheese spread
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper
Kaiser rolls

Gently brush off any dirt with a brush or dry towel. Washing can add excess water.
Sprinkle olive oil on the mushroom caps lightly
Marinate balsamic vinegar with meat choice (vegetarian option, use just the mushroom cap)
Using a tbsp of olive oil, saute the onions until caramelized set 1/2 of it aside
Add the garlic towards the end and cook together 2 minutes, set aside
Mix meat and onion/garlic mixture to make a hamburger patty
Warm grill and grill burger and caps. Grill caps with fin side up. Mushroom will tell you when it is ready to be flipped when moisture pools on its surface and bubbles. Flip over to grill other side
Once done, add lettuce/tomato and place burger on bun
Spread goat cheese on top of burger
Sprinkle remaining onion/garlic mixture on top of goat cheese

Vegetarian Option: Grill only the caps, marinated in balsamic vinegar, replacing all meat with portabello mushroom. Toppings are still the same.

**Be sure to join us for the #ShroomTember Twitter party on September 23rd at 1PM EST to learn all about the great recipes and to win some cool prizes**

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad, LLC for the #ShroomTember promotion. Sponsored by The Mushroom Council, the #ShroomTember promotion gives anybody the chance to win a $500 Visa gift card.

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