The risk of dying from heart disease or cancer is higher if you regularly eat red meat, according to a study published in 2012 in "Archives of Internal Medicine." That study followed more than 120,000 men and women for over 20 years. To keep your intake low, try substituting the meat in favorite dishes like burgers with a low-fat alternative such as portobello mushrooms. A portobello's large, flat cap has a meatlike texture when roasted or grilled. Each 1-cup serving is cholesterol-free, very low in saturated fat and a good source of nutrients like fiber, niacin, riboflavin, copper and selenium.
Prepare the Portobellos
Remove any debris or sand gently from the portobellos using a soft-bristled vegetable brush. Wipe the mushrooms with a paper towel slightly dampened with water, if needed. Pat the mushrooms dry.
Cut the stems off of each portobello. Use a spoon to scrape out and discard the dark gills on the underside of the mushroom caps.
Put the cleaned portobellos into a bowl containing your choice of commercial marinade or a homemade mixture prepared from ingredients such as vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, fresh herbs and spices. Allow the mushrooms to marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature, turning several times.
Grill the Portobellos
Remove the portobellos from the marinade and set them aside, reserving the marinade, if desired. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
Coat the grate of your grill lightly with vegetable oil. Put the portobellos on the grill, stem side up. Close the lid.
Grill the portobellos for approximately six to eight minutes. Baste the mushrooms with the reserved marinade, if desired. Use tongs to turn each mushroom over.
Close the lid. Grill for four to six more minutes, add a slice of reduced-fat cheese to each if desired, replace the lid and cook for two additional minutes. Serve the portobello mushroom burgers with your choice of condiments.
Roast the Portobellos
Arrange the prepared portobellos on a rimmed baking sheet, stem side down. Place the baking sheet in an oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roast the mushrooms until they are tender, approximately 18 to 20 minutes. Place a slice of reduced-fat cheese on each portobello, if desired.
Cook for three to five additional minutes or until the cheese has melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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How to Soften Mushrooms
- Archives of Internal Medicine: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality - Results From 2 Prospective Cohort Studies
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Mushrooms, Portabella, Grilled
- USDA Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center: Vitamin D in Mushrooms
- Recipetips.com: Portobello Mushroom
- Epicurious: Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Peppers
- Meatless Monday: Portobello Mushroom Burgers
- Reader's Digest: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers Recipe
- Real Simple: Portobello Mushroom Burgers With Oven Fries
- If you're short on time, you can simply brush the cleaned portobellos with oil, sprinkle with your choice of seasonings and proceed with grilling or roasting instead of marinating them first.
- For added nutrition, look for portobello mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, portobellos that undergo UV exposure have a significantly higher concentration of vitamin D.
- Store extra portobello mushrooms loosely wrapped in a paper towel or paper bag in the refrigerator for seven to 10 days.
Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis.