Blended Lamb Harissa Burgers

Lamb is actually a perfect candidate for Blend and Extend, because it’s a bit fattier than ground beef and has a heftier price tag, which means that substituting part of the meat with finely chopped crimini mushrooms is good for both your waistline and your budget.

Recipe and photo by Isabelle of Crumb: A Food Blog

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 10 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

200g crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped
400g ground lamb
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely diced red onion
1 tbsp harissa paste
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 pita buns (or regular hamburger buns)
Arugula sprouts, for garnish
Garlic-Yogurt Sauce:
½ cup full-fat plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ tsp salt

Method

1. Using a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until very finely chopped.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground lamb, chopped mushrooms, cilantro, onion, harissa paste, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix until well combined, then shape into four large patties. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the garlic-yogurt sauce by whisking together the yogurt, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Preheat a lightly oiled gas or charcoal grill (or, if you prefer, you can use a lightly-oiled cast-iron grill pan or a countertop griddle on medium-high heat).
5. Once the grill is good and hot, cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they’re well-browned on the outside and an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 160F.
6. Serve the burgers in pita buns topped with a dollop of garlic-yogurt sauce and a generous pinch of arugula sprouts.Note: These patties are a little more fragile than a more traditional burger patty, so handle them gently when flipping. I find you get the best results if you only flip them once, halfway through the cook time.

Mushroom Bulgogi

We like to go meatless at least a couple times a week but the food must be not only delicious, but hearty enough for my guys or they will happily eat dinner and then go out for a burger an hour later. I would say this Mushroom Bulgogi certainly fits the bill on all counts.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Carole from The Yum Yum Factor.

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Marinate: 1 hour | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

454 grams (1 lb) of white button mushrooms, sliced

marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2.5 tbsp. of rice syrup, corn syrup or honey
2 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. grated garlic (I used 5 cloves)
1 tsp grated ginger
1 small pear, finely grated 1/2 red onion, finely grated 10 grinds black pepper
2-3 tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced 1/4” slices 1 carrot, julienned
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 slices ginger, finely chopped
1 small Asian eggplant, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced small pinch kosher salt
200g (7oz) enoki mushrooms

optional garnishes: cilantro, scallion, sesame seeds, hot sauce

Method

1. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients – if you don’t want to finely grate everything, you can throw it all in the blender and mix it until it’s smooth – we don’t want chunks in there. Toss the mushrooms with the marinade and leave in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large pan and when it’s hot, throw in the onion slices. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until starting to get brown spots. Add in the garlic and ginger, stir fry for about 30 seconds before adding in the eggplant and carrot with a small pinch of kosher salt and cook that for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the eggplant and onion to a bowl and add another tbsp. oil to the hot pan. Start cooking the mushrooms in batches, removing them with a slotting spoon so that you are leaving the marinade behind, until they get nicely browned and remove them, as you go, to the bowl with the eggplant and onion. Keep drizzling in about 1/2 tbsp. of oil with each batch of mushrooms, reserving the marinade left behind.
4. When the mushrooms are all cooked, throw the contents of the bowl back into the hot pan. Give it a good stir and then add in the reserved marinade, letting it come to a boil and then throw in the enoki mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.
5. Serve the Bulgogi over steamed rice and garnish with a bit of cilantro, chopped scallion, sesame seeds and/or some hot sauce if you like.

Meaty Mushroom Philly Cheesesteaks

I use meaty portabello and white/brown button mushrooms here. It would be delicious with one variety of mushrooms but I welcome the textural and flavour differences that comes from mixing a couple types.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly from The Gouda Life.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40-50 minutes | Makes: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 (354ml) can 2% evaporated milk

Mushrooms Onions & Peppers
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
8 heaping cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red peppers, seeds removed and sliced
1 large sweet onion

To Serve
4 soft hoagies

Method

For the Cheese Sauce
Place a small pot with 1-2″ of water on the stove and place a bowl snugly into that pot ensuring the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water. This is a makeshift double boiler. Add all the cheese sauce ingredients to the bowl and turn stove on to med-high heat. Keep an eye on it and give it a good whisk every so often until the cheese is melted and smooth. Keep warm on low.

For the Mushrooms, Onions & Peppers
Melt the butter and oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the sliced mushrooms, spreading them out as much as you can and let their liquids release, mixing every few minutes. Once the liquid reduces and the pan is dry again, let the mushrooms sit untouched for 5-6 minutes so they can develop a nice golden brown colour. Give them a mix and let them sit again, untouched, for 4-5 minutes or until they are all browned and crisped up. Add salt and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced onions and peppers into the hot pan with another 2 tbsp of olive oil. Let them cook, stirring only occasionally, until starting to turn golden brown. About 6-8 minutes.

Brush your hoagies with some oil or melted butter and toast/grill until light golden brown. Top each with 1/4 of the mushrooms, 1/4 of the red peppers and a few good glugs of the cheese sauce. Squish together and DIG IN. I dare you not to make a mess.

Chipotle Turkey & Mushroom Zucchini Boats

One great way to lighten up the comfort food we crave is by blending mushrooms into your dinners. You can chop them up fine with a knife or food processor and mix them in with ground meat like beef, chicken or, in the case of this recipe, turkey! They’ll lighten up your meal, add an extra serving of veggies to your dish and, they’ll make your grocery dollar stretch further.

Recipe and photo by Denise of Sweet Peas and Saffron

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients

200g/7 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and ends trimmed
6 medium-sized zucchinis
1 tablespoon olive oil
0.5 lb ground turkey
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn kernels
Juice of 1 lime
1 chipotle pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1.5 cups shredded cheese

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Add the mushrooms to a large food processor and pulse until they are small uniform pieces.
3. Slice zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, scoop the insides out of the zucchini, leaving about half a centimeter around the skin. Chop the zucchini insides into small pieces and set aside.
4. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and ground turkey, and cook for 5 or so minutes, until no pink remains in the turkey.
5. Add the mushrooms, chopped zucchini flesh, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook for 5 or so minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through.
6. Add the corn kernels, lime juice, adobo sauce and chipotle pepper. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from heat.
7. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, arrange the scooped-out zucchinis.
8. Spoon the turkey/mushroom mixture in. Top with cheese.
9. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and zucchinis are cooked through.

Notes

For a non-spicy version, omit the chipotle pepper.
Filling can be made a day ahead of time.

Grilled Portobello & Poblano Tacos with Cotija Crema

I took the Blenditarian Pledge because this Blend & Extend concept is seriously legit!  I love mushrooms already, but I had no idea how packed with nutrients they are.  There are so many ways you can incorporate them into meals you already make, like tacos!  I made these Beef & Portobello Tacos with Cotija Crema for my first go at the #blendandextend concept.

Recipe and photo by Julie of Dailytiramisu.com.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 12

Ingredients

3 Portobello Mushrooms, finely chopped
500g high quality ground beef
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin

12 Small Flour Tortillas

Cotija Crema
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

Other Toppings
Corn
Avocados
Salsa
Sliced radishes
Cilantro

Limes, for a fresh burst right before serving

Method

1. Heat an oiled, large deep skillet to medium high heat and add in the onion. Let them soften, about 2 minutes and then add garlic, paprika, cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the beef and mushrooms to onion mixture and cook until the beef has browned. Salt as needed.
2. Make the Cotija crema: combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, garlic and chili powder in a large bowl. Stir until combined and set aside.
3. Wrap the pile of your flour tortillas in foil paper and warm them in your oven (I warm my tortillas for 6 minutes at 350 degrees F).
4. Create your taco: Add the beef and mushroom mixture to the centre of your tortilla. Add desired toppings. Top with the cotija crema and enjoy!
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