This past week I started my latest foodie quest to try one month of eating only vegan food, essentially just for the fun of it! Lately, I have been reading up on the quality of our food in our local grocery stores, mainly in chickens, beef, etc., and it got me thinking. Not that I’m making any grand statement here, as I love a good juicy rare steak from time to time, and most of my dress shoes are leather, but thought I would challenge myself to a “cleanse”, in a sense, of a vegan-diet, more-so to see how I felt at the end of the challenge.
The other night, I was combing through on the hunt for some “pinsperation”, as I call it. I had two Portobello Mushroom caps to use, and after some searching and mental preparation, I came up with the follow ridiculously delicious dinner that you simply have to try!
To prep, I mixed up a little bowl of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, and dried rosemary + thyme. I mixed that all up and coated the inside of the mushroom cups, leaving them to marinade for about 15 minutes. While that was happening, I sliced up some raw sweet potatoes and a yellow pepper. I then sliced up a lime, because that’s what all the cooking shows seem to do. And it looks good in photos.
Time to grill! Just before I put the mushroom caps on the grill, I drained off any extra marinade back into the bowl, added a little more olive oil, and used that to coat the tops of the mushrooms. I also coated each side of the sweet potatoes in a little olive oil to crisp them up a little. As you would a burger or steak, I closed the lid, walked away, opened up a bottle of wine, had a sip, and came back to flip the mushroom patties and vegetables. I remembered about the sliced lime and squeezed it all over the vegetables, which caused the flames to roar and look just like it does on television.
In 10ish-15ish minutes, everything looked good and grilled. It was finally time to plate my meal, document my glorious efforts at eating a vegan-approved meal, and dig in. Even as I’m writing about this, my mouth is beginning to drool reminiscing about what happened next.
BAM! The most delicious mushroom vegan burger I’ve ever tasted. The layers: I started with a handful of mixed greens and drizzled on some Olives On Tap Lemon Herb Olive Oil. Then place down the grilled Portobello, spread a layer of pesto-hummus, sliced a Roma Tomato, and topped with the yellow pepper. The sweet potato slices were placed on the side, and then everything was drizzled with my favourite mustard-based balsamic glazé (PC brand… which I used on almost everything!). Given that this had the same flavour profile as a traditional burger, I served this alongside a juicy Australian Shiraz. The peppery notes and the flavours from the grill went hand in hand with the rich black berry fruits and peppery notes of the Shiraz.
So there you have it – just one example of how even eating a Vegan-diet can still allow you to join your friends and family around the grill this summer.
On to the next challenge. Enjoy!