I can not say I am sad to see May go and June arrive. May was one of the craziest, yet fun filled, months! Celebrating birthdays and weddings made studying for finals quite a challenge, and moving out of my apartment was icing on the cake. However, Memorial Day came and went, marking the official start of summer. And the weather has confirmed it-summer is here! Now it's time to slow things down and enjoy the summer months. Hopefully they will go by much more slowly than May.
Unlike most Memorial Days past, I did not spend the weekend at the beach or drinking my way from barbeque to barbeque. Instead, I spent the weekend moving. Boo hiss. However, I'm not one to let manual labor and tedious packing prevent me from celebrating the kick off of summer. Inspired by the thought of the charcoal grills and the first delicious burgers of summer, I whipped up one last meal in my apartment to celebrate as best as I could. I put my grill pan to use one last time before boxing it away and thought about how great this would have tasted if I made on a real grill...
What makes this bite better?
Now, I'm not saying I don't appreciate a good burger. I do. However, I do think there is some room at the summer picnic table for healthier options. Most people do not buy the highest grade hamburger meat (if they even make their own burgers at all) and the processed buns and cheese could use a quality substitute. Meatless options are better for your health and better for the earth. Swapping a hamburger patty for a mushroom burger greatly reduces saturated fat intake and consequently reduces calories. Using rye bread instead of a high-fructose corn syrup filled bun adds nutrients and cuts back on the sugar and processed carbohydrates. Using sun-dried tomatoes and basil as a substitute for ketchup not only adds an exciting zing but tons of vitamins and minerals. The saved calories are better spent on dessert and drinks. It is a party after all!
Portobello Burgers with Feta, Basil and Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade
1 loaf fresh Rye bread
Clean the portobello mushrooms, removing the bottoms and then lightly brush with olive oil. Grill on both sides until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut rye bread about 3/4 inch thick and lightly brush with olive oil and grill on both sides. In a food processor combine fresh basil, sun-dried tomato, garlic cloves and feta in portions to taste. Add a small amount of olive oil and salt and blend. Spread tapenade onto the rye bread and add the portobello mushroom. Serve and enjoy :)