I made these marinaded and grilled portobello mushroom steaks last night for dinner and they came out delicious! Alongside a pot of fresh vegetable soup and crusty, homemade Italian bread, it was a feast worthy of a king – but 100% vegetarian. Let’s get cooking!Jump to Recipe
What Is a Portobello Mushroom?
Portobello mushrooms are large brown mushroom caps, but, strangely enough, they’re really just the mature form of the cremini mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) and another stage of the button mushroom! It’s amazing but yes, if you leave the little button mushroom alone, it grows into a cremini, and then a portobello. All the same mushroom, just different stages of growth.
Mushrooms on the Nutritarian Eat to Live Diet
I’ve written about this in the past, but a quick refresher for those who may have stumbled on this blog post and aren’t regular readers of my blog. A few years ago, a family member was diagnosed with severe high blood pressure, and at the urging of our family doctor, we embarked on the nutritarian lifestlye. If you aren’t familiar with the term nutritarian, it is a term coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of the book Eat to Live.
The Nutritarian Diet
The premise of the nutritarian diet is simple: flood your body with nutrients and the body will heal itself. This means a diet heavily based on plant foods: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, seeds (G-BOMBS is an acronym you’ll see a lot in nutritarian circles). The diet is based on all types of healthy, non starchy vegetables, with unlimited amounts of beans, onions, garlic, and mushrooms allowed, as well as unlimited whole fruit. Sugar, oil, fat, meat, refined grains, and dairy products are eliminated or reduced to less than 10% of the total calories.
I have had excellent success with this way of eating. We have all lost weight, feel better, and now enjoy a mostly vegetarian diet. All of us eat low salt or no salt to ensure we all maintain healthy blood pressure and have limited our cholesterol intake to less than 200 milligrams per day (most of the time it’s zero or under 50) (we know because we track it all carefully!)
Health Benefits of Portobello Mushrooms
So why mushrooms? Mushrooms confer many health benefits. Dr. Fuhrman recommends them for their anti-cancer properties, but they also contain a type of fiber that lowers cholesterol. They’re low calorie, high fiber, and packed with antioxidants. Mushrooms are also rich in B-vitamins.
The Recipe: Marinaded and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Steaks
Now, on to the recipe. I love mushrooms of all kinds, especially portobello mushrooms. But they’re kind of bland. To liven them up, I made a sweet-tart marinade combining balsamic vinegar, red wine, garlic, oil, and mustard.
- Choose the largest portobello mushrooms you can find if you want to enjoy them as steaks.
- This marinade is enough for two large caps; double it for four, etc.
- Brush mushrooms off rather than wash them to remove dirt.
- I use a George Foreman grill to cook portobello mushroom steaks. The Foreman grill has a slant to it. Once you put the caps into to grill, check them a minute later as they tend to slide down the incline. Use a spatula and poke them back up without opening the grill top.
- Make the marinade and place the caps in it several hours before you intend to cook them. It’s fine to leave them for a longer period of time in the marinade, but don’t shorten the marinading time. They won’t absorb the flavor if you do.
- You can eat these alone (we did) like a steak – after all, they are grilled portobello mushroom steaks – or place them on a hamburger bun with all your favorite fixings. We enjoy topping them with pickles and ketchup for a vegetarian yummy burger!
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Portobello Mushroom Steaks
- 1 George Foreman grill I love cooking these on my Foreman grill and they cook fast, but you can use a conventional grill, too.
- 1 package large portobello mushroom caps
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon dry powdered mustard
- 1 clove minced garlic
- dash pepper
- Mix all marinade ingredients: balsamic vinegar, wine, olive oil, spices, minced garlic.
- Brush the mushroom caps. Remove stems carefully by pulling and twisting or slicing out. (You can use the stems in another dish if you'd like).
- Place caps, stem-side up, in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over them, filling the cavity where the stems were and pouring marinade around the mushrooms. Gently tip the caps to allow excess liquid to run out of the cavity but leave some in for moisture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Remove mushrooms from the refrigerator and turn in the dish to ensure the entire cap is marinaded. Preheat George Foreman grill or grill for 15 minutes until hot.
- Remove mushrooms from marinade. Place on grill. Grill 6 minutes, total, in a George Foreman grill, or if using conventional grill, 3-5 minutes on each side until done. Remove, serve.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.