When you crave red meat, try portabella mushrooms, which have a dense, meaty consistency and rich flavor. As summer bbq season approaches, you can grill your portabellas instead of beef at backyard cookouts, and top with all of your favorite burger fixin’s, like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, etc. This recipe can be found in my booklet Simple and Delicious: Recipes for Vitality.

¼ cup water
½ cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 4 pieces
8 portabella mushrooms (about 1 pound), stems removed
4 whole-grain hamburger buns (or a bed of lettuce as an alternative)
Lettuce leaves, or other greens

1. In a shallow dish, whisk together water, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add bell pepper and mushrooms; toss gently to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate, up to overnight).

2. Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Grill bell pepper, skin-side down, until blackened, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin; set bell pepper aside. Grill mushrooms, covered, until lightly charred and tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

3. Divide evenly, and put grilled bell pepper, mushrooms, and lettuce on hamburger buns. Serve immediately.


Serves 4