(Continuing with the vegetarian guest posts! Check out Erin's story and portobello mushroom recipe:)
I like to say I was a vegetarian since before birth. When my mom was pregnant with me, she would get sick when she ate meat. Of course she still would do it, because she's the biggest carnivore ever. And yet somehow I came out of her.) Both my parents had parents that were raised on farms, so eating meat was never a question, it was just what you did. But I questioned. I remember as a kid wondering why we ate some animals but not others. It didn't make sense. One day when I was six I saw an episode of The Simpsons where Lisa becomes a vegetarian. After that I finally knew there was a word for me. I excitedly told my mom about my discovery and she told me that wasn't allowed. It wasn't until we got the internet years later, when I was 13, that I discovered peta.org and saw the real truth to how animals are brutally treated before they are mercilessly slaughtered. I resolved to never eat meat again after that and I haven't since! It's been over ten years now, and I fluctuate between vegetarian and vegan. I'm the only one in my family, and I have only a few vegetarian friends, but it's one of the parts of my life that I am the most dedicated to, if not the most dedicated to.
If you want to learn more, I highly, highly recommend the documentary Peaceable Kingdom. I saw it when I was taking an Animal Sociology class, and I still think about it. It's one of the most powerful and heart wrenching accounts for vegetarianism and animal rights i've seen. And it's not too graphic. It's available for rent on iTunes!
Confession time: I don't like ordering portobello burgers at restaurants.
Is that vegetarian blasphemy? I feel like it might be because so many places offer the same old roasted portobello with zucchini and red pepper on a a bun with pesto, and they're all so...boooooring.
So I can never bring myself to order such a thing, when I can make amazing portobellos at home! I make a mean marinade for a portobello burger, but today I thought i'd share a new variation i've been making lately. I can't get enough of it!
To make the best portobello sandwich ever, you will need:
2 portobello mushroom caps
1/2 large red pepper
1 clove of garlic
dash of liquid smoke
splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mrs. dash seasoning blend (it's the best)
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/8 cup finely grated parmesean cheese
and, some sliced cheese for topping, like provolone. i've been using smoked havarti on these and it's amazing. use whatever you have that'll get all melty and delicious.
Preheat your oven to 400.
Clean and de-stem mushrooms. (You can wash them, or, peel the skin off them like I do if you are a weirdo that doesn't trust wiping them down.)
Finely dice the red pepper, zucchini, onion. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced veggies. Cook until slightly softened.
When softened, put the veggies in a bowl. Add the liquid smoke, balsamic, and seasoning. Stir to combine. Add the panko and parmesan and stir once more. you want it to be sturdy, but not too dry, if that makes sense. If it's too crumbly, throw some more balsamic in there. If it's too wet, add a bit more panko.
Take this mixture and scoop it onto your mushrooms. Top with sliced cheese, and place in the oven until the mushroom is softened, and the cheese has become bubbly perfection.
Serve on a toasted hearty bun with some veganaise, and whatever else your heart desires. (I like drizzling a bit of sriracha or barbecue sauce on one side of the bun) but don't forget the veganaise! It's the best ever.
Also, for a vegan substitution, use nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan and use Daiya mozzarella shreds instead of the sliced cheese.