We went to Costco last weekend with Chris’s mom and sister and we discovered the biggest mushrooms in the world. I had not planned on cooking with mushroom caps, but we couldn’t pass these up.
Is it portobello, portobella, portabello, or portabella? Nobody knows! I looked it up and they are all acceptable variants, but “The Mushroom Council” goes with the double a spelling, so I will, too. I wouldn’t want to cross The Mushroom Council.
Anyway, I think the nutritional value of mushrooms is underappreciated. They are an excellent source of selenium and a very good source of most B vitamins. They contain substances that balance the immune system. That is, they don’t just rev up the immune system, which is bad for people with autoimmune disorders who already have an out-of-control immune system; they actually alter the way the immune system works to encourage appropriate and balanced immune response. They also block production of pro-inflammatory molecules, which can help reduce or prevent chronic inflammation. Double bonus for us!
In addition to all this, mushrooms are a culinary delight. They are simple to cook and they develop a wonderful meaty texture and earthy flavor. While they pack a big punch, they are really low in calories. We are talking around 30 calories for an entire mushroom cap, which can make mushrooms a great choice for people who are actively trying to lose weight.
When we got home with our Costco haul I went to work figuring out how best to use our mushroom treasures, and this is what I invented, loosely inspired by Everyday Paleo’s Basil Pork Burgers, which we have made and loved many times.
Prep your veggie ingredients.
Start with the mayo so you can have it prepped and can keep it refrigerated until ready to serve. I learned to make homemade mayo thanks to Everyday Paleo. Here is her demo. Her basic mayo recipe has never failed me and is one of very few recipes I know by heart! Here I take her basic mayo recipe (already mixed up in the bottom of the food processor) and add in seasoning and fresh basil and garlic.
Now on to the mushrooms. See what I mean? Biggest. Mushrooms. Ever.
This is what they should look like cleaned out. You can still see a little texture where the gills were but most of them have been scooped out.
Here they are ready to go into the oven.
While they are baking, get your beef patties on the stove.
And your wilted spinach.
When the beef, spinach, and mushrooms are all done cooking, assemble!
Then pull your mayo out of the fridge and add a generous dollop. Devour. This is SCD legal food that is guaranteed to make you totally forget you are “on a diet.”
Portabella Beef Stack Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 4 portabella mushroom caps, woody stems and gills removed
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
- olive oil
Wilted Spinach Ingredients
- 5 ounces raw baby spinach
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 slices bacon
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon scd-legal balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Garlic Basil Mayonnaise Ingredients
- 1 egg*
- 1 cup avocado oil (or other mild-tasting oil such as not extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, or a blend of these)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced**
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Garlic Basil Mayo
- Put the egg, lemon juice, and mustard in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined.
- Add the oil, drop by drop. It will take some time but eventually the mixture will emulsify and thicken. Once it does, turn the food processor or blender off. You don’t want to overprocess.
- Add the basil, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Blend again just until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Portabella Beef Stacks
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each mushroom cap, rub it all over both sides with your hands, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place mushroom caps on a rimmed baking sheet (because they will release a lot of liquid as they cook) and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on size, flipping once.
- While the mushrooms are baking, combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and shape into 4 patties. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and sear on both sides, until a thermometer inserted at the thickest point reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the beef is cooked to your liking.
- Heat pan until very hot. Add bacon and cook on both sides until crispy and browned. Remove bacon, tear or crumble it into pieces, and set aside.
- Turn heat to medium and add diced onions. Cook until soft.
- Add baby spinach and chicken stock. Toss a few times until just wilted and remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper until it is seasoned to your liking.
To assemble, place a serving of spinach on each plate. Top with a mushroom cap (hollow part facing upward) and a beef patty. Add a generous dollop of homemade mayo on top, or get fancy and drizzle it across the whole dish.
*I have been eating raw eggs my whole life and have never gotten sick from them. Food poisoning can be especially dangerous for people with IBD, however, so I have recently switched to using pasteurized eggs if I am planning on eating eggs raw or undercooked. If you are serving this mayo to anyone with a compromised immune system, pregnant women, young children, or the elderly, you should really make an effort to acquire pasteurized whole eggs (they sell them at every Sprouts in my area) or look into pasteurizing your own eggs at home, because salmonella can be quite dangerous for these people.
**Combining oil and garlic or fresh herbs can present a real risk for botulism. Plain homemade mayo (without garlic or herbs) can keep for about a week if it is sealed and refrigerated, but once you add garlic and herbs you need to be extra careful about refrigeration and use or discard within 2-3 days. See this article for additional safety tips.