Grilling Season - it's here! The weather is warming, it is sunny, and the waft of open grills are beginning to infiltrate the evening air. Our grill is definitely one of them! Not only does the grill "save" my kitchen (and house) from diverting the cooling night air, but it also is FAST. We are starting to trial run for a summer where we are out and about all day and having a quick / easy dinner to come home and prepare will be key. As a result, there isn't anything "hard" about this recipe and it offers you a complete dinner (with game plan) from start to sit down and eat with minimal fanfare.
Sustainability Spotlight: Arguably, mushrooms are the most sustainably produced food in the U.S. because they use agricultural waste and compost (recycled materials) as the medium in which mushrooms are grown. According to the American Mushroom Institute, mushrooms have a low water footprint (less than 2 gallons to produce one pound of button (white) mushrooms as compared to ~50 gallon average to produce other produce), and are a low-energy footprint crop (only using 1.0 kilowatt hour (kwh) per produced pound, the same as running a coffeemaker for 1 hour each day). Mushrooms are also grown year round and on average, 1 square foot of space can produce 6.55 pounds of mushroom; this translates into 1 million pounds produced using 1 acre of land! As a rich, low calorie source of fiber, protein and antioxidants, studies have shown that mushrooms may mitigate the risk of developing Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer and diabetes (www.webmd.com). Combine their sustainability power with their health benefits and add in the nice juicy chew of mushrooms, and you are on your way to a natural, whole food alternative to animal products! I buy big bulk packages of various mushrooms, slice, dice, marinate, sauté, and grill my way through the seasons.
3 tbsp avocado oil
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (most are vegan just watch out for honey or worsterchire sauce - I used Lillie's Carolina Sauce www.lilliesq.com)
16 oz shitake mushrooms (sliced & destemmed)
1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
vegan mayo (for spreading)
Romaine lettuce leaves
1 large tomato (sliced)
Whole Grain Buns (highly recommend sourdough!)
Quick Carrot Slaw:
1 cup matchstick (or shredded) carrots
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
Corn on the cob; shucked & cleaned (for steaming)
Destem and slice mushrooms into strips; slice red onion into strips and place both onion and mushrooms into a bowl with oil and BBQ sauce. Combine well and then let marinate at room temperature ~20 minutes.
While your mushrooms marinate: Make your quick carrot slaw by combining all ingredients listed above in "Quick Carrot Slaw" - stir well and set aside for flavors to meld
Once mushrooms have marinated, pre-heat grill. Next, get a large tall sided pan with lid; add filtered water (~4-6 inches). Add a generous shake of salt to the water and add corn. Cover with lid and heat over medium high. Once boiling, cook corn (turning occasionally) until all sides deepen to a golden yellow and you can pierce with a fork into the cob slightly; this will take ~12 minutes). Remove pan from heat and corn from water bath immediately. Set aside to cool.
While your corn is cooking, add mushrooms and red onion to a grill vegetable basket. Grill ~10-12 minutes (stirring at least once or twice) or until slightly crispy.
Once corn and mushrooms are done, it's time to assemble our sandwiches and plates! Sandwich Stack Order: bottom bun, spread of mayo, BBQ mushroom / onion mix, tomato, carrot slaw, romaine, top bun (with more mayo spread if you like).
Serve sandwiches with corn on the cob & enjoy! I hope you loved this recipe as much as we did; I'd love to hear from you!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie