Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Zesty Superfood Spread on a Portobello Bun + Bean Burger

If you're looking to spice up your meals, lighten up your diet, or just have something delicious, this meal is for you. For me, the key to being successful on a whole-foods plant-based diet is creativity and having quick + easy recipes in my pocket. Using a portobello mushroom cap as a burger bun definitely makes this recipe "creative". I know it sounds strange, but its actually pretty great. Mushrooms don't have a strong vegetable flavor and when raw, they are light and fluffy making them an ideal texture to pair with a burger recipe. I chose to use my favorite frozen bean burger for the "quick + easy" part of the recipe. Right now it is the Hemp & Sage flavor from Organic Sunshine Burgers. They are really tasty (they taste like Thanksgiving stuffing!) and they are made without any added oils, which is great.

I try to avoid using oil, salt and added sugar in my cooking because I can get everything I need from more nutritious sources like raw nuts and seeds, seaweed and fresh fruits. This recipe is completely oil-free and completely delicious too. Start checking your nutrition labels, you'll be surprised how many things have added oils in them!

My Zesty Superfood Spread is heavy on the zingy balsamic flavor, garlicky, creamy and of course zesty. I love having this oil-free spread on hand to use on burgers, sandwiches and even salads throughout the week. Most spreads or dips don't exist to contribute nutrients, they exist to enhance the flavor of dull foods, let's be real. This spread absolutely enhances flavor, but it's also incredibly nutrient dense. With superfoods like kale, hemp and garlic in its ingredient list, you can feel no shame in slathering it on thick.

Zesty Superfood Spread
By Bailey West

1 clove garlic
1 cup baby kale leaves
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup raw hemp seeds
1/4 avocado
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
black pepper to taste

I don't have a food processor at home, so I chopped all my ingredients really fine, mixed them well and then threw the mix into my blender for a little extra cohesion. If you do have a food processor, feel free to just throw everything in there! You can modify the amounts of vinegar and avocado to make this spread as thick or as thin as you like. This recipe can be stored in an air-tight container for 3 - 4 days.

Burger assembly: Use a serrated knife to gently slice the top off a portobello mushroom cap. These two pieces are your burger bun. Next, spread the Zesty Superfood Spread on one of the mushroom caps (or both!) and add your preferred burger and other other toppings you desire. Enjoy!

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