Australia Day is fast approaching and I can hardly believe we are halfway through January already. As many of us make our way back to work (myself included) our minds understandably turn to the summer that was. I don’t know about you guys, but knowing that there is a public holiday right around the corner always helps me get through those first couple of days of early mornings and long days at the office. As I turn my mind to Australia Day I immediately start thinking about how we will celebrate it. There seem to be a few ‘musts’ for us on this particular day, including lamingtons and a barbie (more on the lamingtons later).
The weather is generally rather good on Australia Day, I have memories stretching right back to my childhood of hot summers days around the barbie, eating burgers and snags, followed by a cool dip in the ocean. Since ‘going vego‘ the traditional barbeque has taken on new meaning for me. Gone are the steaks and snags and in their place are meaty mushroom burgers such as the one featured in this post. I love this burger because it is so simple and unfussy, unlike other vegie burgers there is really no advance prep required and they can be thrown on the grill as everything else goes on. To prepare I simply trim the stem so that it sits level on the hot plate, then I just brush with a little oil and rub some garlic into the gills (is that what you call them?). I like to add a little chipotle spice with the garlic because the smoky flavour really adds to the overall taste of the burger but it can be left out if you’d prefer.
Throw the mushroom on the barbie and cook until soft and golden, flip it a couple of times to ensure you’ve got a good even coating. Then put it together as you would a regular burger – a soft burger bun, a little tomato relish, a few pieces of a crispy, fresh lettuce, some beetroot and tomato, then your mushie. You could throw in some cheese here but it seems like overkill, I like to add a dab of spicy mayo but hommus tastes pretty good here too for an awesome vegan creation.
The best bit about these burgers is that they are much better for you than their meaty counterparts, mushrooms are low in salt, fat-free and low in kilojoules. Mushies are also one of the only non-animal products to be packed full of Vitamin D – something which many of us are quite low in, vego or otherwise. To give you an idea of the difference consider your traditional beef or lamb burger pattie – they weigh in at a little over 1000 kilojoules, and that’s not before you’ve added the bun, maybe some cheese and the mayo. You’ll also be taking in a whopping 7 grams of saturated fat (the average daily amount should be around 10 grams)*. Compare this to your mushroom burger, coated with a teaspoon of oil and you are looking at a total of 305 kilojoules and only 2g of saturated fat (and that’s just from the oil). As an added bonus they taste awesome; a big meaty mushroom will have a similar texture to your beef or lamb burger, and the salty umami properties of mushrooms mean that you’ll still get that gorgeous savoury flavour you expect from a burger.
So if you’re looking for something a little different this Australia Day, why not try a meaty mushroom burger.
* Source: Calorieking.com.au
- 1 large mushroom - portobellos work well
- 1 tspn rice bran oil
- ½ tspn minced garlic
- a pinch of chipotle seasoning (*optional)
- 1 burger bun
- 1 tspn tomato chutney
- 2 thick slices of fresh tomato
- 3 slices of beetroot (I used canned)
- 1 tbspn garlic aioli + ½ tspn of ground cumin
- 1 tbspn hommus (vegan option)
- Heat your barbie to smokin hot.
- Trim the stem of the mushie so that it sits flat on a plate.
- In a small bowl add the oil and seasoning, then gently brush it over the top and bottom of the mushroom.
- Using your fingers, massage the garlic into the 'gills' of the mushroom.
- Pop on the flat hot plate of the barbie, smooth side down first and allow to brown and soften.
- Gently flip the mushroom and cook for another few minutes, until golden and soft.
- While you are waiting for your mushroom to cook prepare the rest of the burger.
- In a small bowl combine the aioli with the cumin.
- Split the bun in half using a sharp bread knife and then toast the inside on the grill until golden brown.
- Start from the base by adding chutney, then lettuce, then tomato, then beetroot.
- When the mushroom is ready place on top of the beetroot and then top with the aioli.