Portobello Steak + Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

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I stopped eating meat about ten years ago. In the beginning, just like a lot of transitioning vegetarians, I relied on meat alternatives, like frozen veggie burgers and “chicken” patties. I admit I still have a Morningstar Griller every now and then…gasp.  They do seem to satisfy the primal cravings I occasionally have.

But, they really are processed food and I’d rather get my nutrition from whole foods.  So when I’m looking for comfort food, I love grilled portobello mushrooms. I even season them with a steak rub (I use Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning) and serve them with mashed potatoes and a homemade steak sauce.

For this recipe, I roasted a head of garlic and steamed yukon gold potatoes. For an extra nutrition kick, you could use sweet potatoes. I mashed the garlic and potatoes with Earth Balance and almond milk. Then I made the steak sauce. You could use a store brought brand, but check the ingredients because it probably has high fructose corn syrup — which is just yuck. Next I seasoned the mushrooms and grilled them with the asparagus. I sauteed some spinach in olive oil and then arranged everything on a plate.

So, I think even my diehard meat-eating friends would be happy with this meal. I know I love it!

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Portobello Steak + Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

4 portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed, leave gills intact

6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes

1 small garlic bulb, papery outer layer removed and top trimmed

1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off, bottom half peeled

1lb spinach, rinsed and spun dry

2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine

4 Tbsp almond milk, unsweetened

Olive oil

Steak seasoning

Sea salt and pepper

Ground white pepper

Steak sauce (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place garlic bulb in small ramekin, drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast for about 40 minutes or until softened.

2. Place steamer basket in large pot with about 2 inches of water on the bottom. Heat pot over medium high heat and add potato cubes to basket. Cover and let steam about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

3. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Prepare mushrooms by rubbing with olive oil and sprinkle with steak seasoning and salt/pepper. Drizzle olive oil on asparagus spears and season with salt/pepper. Grill mushrooms until softened and grill marks appear. Grill asparagus until tender and slightly charred.

4. Saute spinach with about 1 Tbsp olive oil until wilted. Season with salt/pepper.

5. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Carefully remove garlic from oven and squeeze it from the bulb onto the potatoes. Add Earth Balance and almond milk. Mash by hand using a potato masher. Season to taste with salt and about 1/8 tsp ground white pepper.

6. Place about 1/4 of the cooked spinach in the center of a plate. Top with mashed potatoes and surround with mushrooms sliced on the bias and asparagus. Serve with steak sauce.

Homemade Steak Sauce

1/2 cup organic ketchup

2 Tbsp raisins, soaked in hot water 5-10 minutes, drained

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 orange, juiced

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp tomato paste

1 tsp cane syrup or molasses

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt/pepper. Transfer mixture to a small sauce pan and heat to a boil to combine flavors. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature and serve.

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