I really love a good burger. Half because of the burger, and half because of the French fries that tend to accompany it. Who are we kidding, it’s more like 30/70. I’ve made a lot of burger variations that will probably eventually make a cameo on this site, but when I recently decided to cut back my meat intake a bit, I decided it was time to try a portabella burger. And I’m not saying it’s going to replace my other burger recipes, but it has definitely earned a place in the rotation.
These were SO easy to make and would be a simple addition to your summer bbq’s to please your vegetarian friends. First create the marinade with herbs, garlic, balsamic, and olive oil. Put the mushrooms in a zip lock container and let them soak up the marinade for a good 30 minutes.
While that is working, get going on your sweet potato “fries”…I use the word fries lightly because these ones are baked…but still amazingly fry-like. Cutting sweet potatoes is a process and a workout. Cut them into what ever shape you prefer your fries. I like them on the thin side but wedges would work too if that’s your thing.
Drizzle the fries with olive oil, then sprinkles with salt and chili powder. I’m not into the whole putting sugar/cinnamon on your sweet potatoes because they’re already so amazingly sweet. That’s why I try to pick something with a kick to get the sweet/savory flavor contrast going. Toss the fries around so they’re evenly coated and spread out on your baking sheet. Try to make it so the fries don’t touch. The more you spread them out, the crispier they get.
Alright, 30 minutes has passed and your fries just went in the oven. Time to cook those burgers. I used my George Foreman because it wasn’t really outdoor grilling weather yet and because I hate cleaning grill pans, but either of those could work just as well. Please ignore the meat burger on the left. Fine, I admit it…my name is Marissa, and I have a carnivorous boyfriend.
When these just about done, put some crumbled goat cheese into the cap so it will begin to melt. And then assemble your burgers. I put spinach, tomato, and a little avocado on mine, but feel free to use your favorite toppings. And guess what…the carnivorous boyfriend I speak of tasted my burger and thought it was great! Let the conversion begin…
Nutritional highlights: Portabella mushrooms might not be as vitamin rich as say, spinach, but they are definitely good for you…full of fiber, iron, protein, and potassium. The real highlight of this dish though is that between that bun is a low calorie, low fat mushroom rather than a greasy patty of who knows what kind of ground meat. For comparison sake…one portabella mushroom is 30 calories, where a 3 oz (pretty small) hamburger has about 250. And that’s without the bun and the toppings. And then for the sweet potato fries. The center for science in the public interest ranked sweet potatoes as the NUMBER 1 best food for you. They have carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber and they taste amazing so it wont be difficult to incorporate these into your diet.
Portabella Burgers with Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato “fries”
For the burger (adapted from allrecipes.com):
3 large Portobello mushroom caps
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the fries:
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into fries
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and chili powder to taste (I’m sorry I just always forget to measure spices)
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Create marinade for the mushrooms by mixing all ingredients except goat cheese. Put mushrooms and marinade in a bag and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
3. Prepare sweet potato fries. Toss in oil and seasonings and spread out onto a baking sheet/shallow roasting pan. Don’t crowd the potatoes or they won’t get crispy. Put them in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning fries after 10. (Longer for thicker fries)
4. Heat up grill/george foreman/grill pan.
5. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Add goat cheese and grill for another 2 minutes.
6. Assemble your burgers, and pull out those fries and enjoy!