My mom tells me we never had beets growing up because my dad hated them and my mom was a little nervous of the bright red/plum colored pigment. I knew I didn't like beets, pickled anyway. However, like I tell my patients, just because you don't like one vegetable cooked a certain way, doesn't mean you should write it off forever. There might come a day you actually like that particular food when the flavor is altered. I was determined to see beets differently. Although, mom, that bright pigment never goes away. That's all thanks to the beta-carotene boosters and phytonutrients in beets.
This combination was actually inspired by an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Typically, I'm revolted by the ooey, gooey, greasy, slimy food featured. This cook (sorry, don't remember the place) had made beet sliders that consisted of a neatly pressed grilled beet with an aioli type sauce, and served up 3 strong on slider buns with a slaw. Below is my version, but you could easily make sliders by using smaller mushrooms, and beets. The portabellas give it that nice chewy texture, while the beets are almost smooth and buttery, then mixed with the tang of the sauce, it's a winning combination.
Beet and Portabella Mushroom Burgers
2 medium beets (4” diameter)
1 TBLS olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 medium portabella mushroom caps
4 tablespoons hummus or spreadable goat cheese
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
spinach leaves to top
2 tablespoons vegenaise
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2-3 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut the tops off the beets and cut into ½ inch slices.
3. Roast the beets in the preheated oven until they are easily pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes. Beets have a skin, similar to an onion, peel/cut off when cool and set aside.
4. Preheat the broiler, or maintain the 425 degrees if working with a toaster oven. Be sure to use a pan with a lip, to prevent the juices/oil from smoking and always set the oven rack to the second level from the heat when broiling.
5. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic together in a bowl. Spread about half of this mixture over the ribbed side of the portabella mushroom caps; arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet with the ribbed sides facing upwards.
6. Broil the mushrooms until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and brush the remaining olive oil mixture over the tops of the caps. Return to the oven and broil until tender, about 5 minutes more.
7. Whisk the vegenaise (or mayonnaise if using), garlic, and lime juice together in a small bowl; spread evenly over one half of the bun. Spread equal amounts of the hummus or goat cheese on one mushroom cap. On the same half, pile on the spinach, mushroom cap, and a portion of the cooked and sliced beets. Bring the two halves together to form sandwiches.
Nutrition per serving (makes 4 servings) using goat cheese (hummus will have lower fat/sodium/calorie values): 267 calories; 11g fat; 3g saturated fat; 409mg sodium; 33g carbohydrates; 6g fiber