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Vegetarian Mushroom Burger With Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

We don't bother with any fake patties here!
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Veggie burgers may seem like safe havens for nonmeat eaters and calorie counters alike, but the shocking truth we discovered after years of analyzing restaurant nutritional information is that vegetarian burgers offer little to no refuge from the onslaught of calories, fat, and sodium found in beef burgers. We don't mess around with fake patties in this mushroom burger recipe either; instead, we go straight for a meaty portobello cap, rubbed in olive oil and balsamic, and topped with a crown of melted mozz. Even if you're a beef buff, we think you'll like this meatless burger.

Nutrition: 370 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated), 540 mg sodium

Serves 4

You'll Need

2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1⁄4 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
4 large portobello caps, stems removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
Salt and black pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella
4 slices red onion
4 potato rolls or whole-grain buns
A few handfuls of mixed greens, arugula, or other lettuce

How to Make It

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, red peppers, and garlic. (For a uniformly red mayo, puree in a food processor.)
  3. Rub the mushrooms with the olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.
  4. Grill, top side down, for 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and immediately add the cheese.
  5. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are fully cooked. While the mushrooms are cooking, grill the onions until browned and toast the buns.
  6. Top each bun with greens, grilled onions, mushrooms, and the red pepper mayo.

Eat This Tip

Regular mayonnaise is boring; you just don't get a whole lot of flavor in exchange for your hefty calorie investment. By cutting the mayonnaise with ingredients like minced or roasted garlic, chipotle pepper puree, or roasted red peppers, you kill two birds with one stone: You up the flavor quotient, while simultaneously lowering the caloric density of the mayo itself by bolstering it with healthier ingredients. Other great ingredients to flavor mayonnaise include balsamic vinegar, capers, fresh herbs, and wasabi powder. Just be sure to start with olive oil mayonnaise as your base; it's lower in calories and has a richer flavor.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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