Balsamic Portobello Burgers and Zucchini “Fries”

IMG_3954This was one of those rare times when “I don’t really feel like cooking anything too involved tonight” turned into a “This is so making it on my blog” meal. That being said, this “recipe” literally came out of nowhere and I didn’t keep track of exact amounts. Ever since starting this blog, I’ve realize how much I think on my feet in the kitchen on my way to creating an incredible meal only to leave the table thinking about how to translate that artistic, and sometimes accidental, plate into a mathematical recipe for exact replication. This will be more of a “non-recipe recipe for one,” but that’s the fun in cooking! Putting your own unique spin on an idea makes the end result that much more rewarding, and the worst outcome that could happen is a funny story of food failure. Mushrooms aren’t necessarily on the top of my list of regular cravings, but I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a classic vegetarian burger using portobellos as the star.  This meatless meal turned out as a perfect combo of satisfying, veggie loaded flavor.

Ingredients
Portobello mushroom cap, cleaned and trimmed

Balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil

Seasonings (garlic powder, S/P, Italian herb mix, paprika, etc.)

~1/2 zucchini, cut into “fry” strips

flour/egg whites/Panko bread crumbs seasoned to taste (estimate – for coating zucchini “fries”)

1/4 onion, sliced

1 large piece roasted red pepper (from jar or homemade)

large handful fresh spinach

Mozzarella and parmsean

toasted English muffin

a couple big leaves red cabbage

Sauce of choice (I used my scratch-made “skinny Caesar”, tomato sauce or pesto would be great)

Directions
Preheat oven to 425.  Coat zucchini strips in flour, then egg white (or egg) wash, and finally Panko. Place and spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes – just watch to prevent burning and take them out when golden brown and crisp.  While zucchini is cooking, caramelize the onion in a pan on low for a few minutes, adding the roasted red pepper and spinach at the end.   Place the mushroom in a bowl and toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices of choice.  After the zucchini have been cooking for about 5 minutes, place the mushroom onto the same baking sheet (go ahead and toss the zucchini around a bit, too).  Flip the mushroom over after a few minutes and top with the cheese to let it melt while it finishes cooking. The fries and mushroom should be done about the same time.  Assemble your ingredients on a toasted English muffin, and try to fit all that goodness into one bite.

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