If you'd like to eat healthier, save cash, and protect the environment all at the same time, there are a few things you can do. You can buy from farmers' markets. You can skip super-processed meals for whole foods. You can live in an underground bunker until the end of days, surviving mainly on canned goods and whatever fungus sprouts in the cold, damp corners of your darkened lair.
And you can cut down on your meat.
The impact of American meat consumption—on our pocketbooks, cardiovascular systems, and planet—is well documented. Fortunately, strategies for reducing our collective intake can be found everywhere on the interweb as well, from Mark Bittman's Minimalist columns to Serious Eats' own Meat Lite series.
One oft-mentioned tactic is simple substitution. Tofu, seitan, and tempeh are popular options, but personally speaking, I prefer portobello mushrooms. Meaty and substantial, they take well to a range of flavors. I've used them in stir fries, pastas, and as stand-ins for burgers.
This quick and easy recipe for Blue Cheese Portobello Mushroom Burgers is a good example of that. Salt, pepper, and a little Worcestershire sauce help evoke a beef patty, while a healthy dose of pungent frommage gives the dish a kick in the pants.
Add some lettuce, a dab of Dijon, and a whole wheat bun, and you've got yourself a main course. It may not make you forget about a Big Mac, but it'll sure as hell be better for everyone involved.
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium portobello mushroom caps, wiped free of dirt
- 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 2 whole wheat hamburger buns or rolls, cut in half
- A few leaves lettuce (optional)
- A slice or two of onion (optional)
- A few dabs Dijon mustard (optional)
Preheat your broiler. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, combine Worcestershire, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk.
Brush both sides of mushrooms caps with mixture. Place them gill-side-up on your baking sheet. Broil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from broiler. Sprinkle evenly with blue cheese. Broil about 2 more minutes, until cheese is browned a tiny bit melty. Remove from broiler, place on a plate, and set aside for a minute.
Place buns cut-side-up on pan. Broil about 30 seconds, until slightly browned. Remove from broiler. Place on plate. Stack mushrooms on buns with lettuce, onion, and Dijon (if desired). Eat. Rock out with your socks out.