Guest Post: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I’m so psyched to share this guest post with you today! I’d totally order this if I saw it on a menu too! This is such great timing because winter calls for flavor and decadence. These photos have me drooling. Sign me up. About the author: Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill. Here you go!

I’m an easy meal obsessive. Some people interpret that as ‘lazy’, and they might be right, but I prefer to say that I’m just more efficient. I like my recipes quick and simple, and today’s recipe is no exception.

Lately I’ve been going through a stage of trying to reimagine popular recipes for vegetarians. From breakfast egg pizzas to spicy quorn avocado wraps, I’ve been adamant to prove that meat-free options are in no way inferior to their non-vegetarian counterparts. Perhaps this recipe today is the best example of that: Portobello mushroom burgers.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I tried these at a restaurant in London last week, and at the time the only reason I chose it is because it looked like the only thing on the menu that wouldn’t give me a heart attack. I was right, and having survived I knew that I wanted to recreate this recipe as soon as possible.

It’s been a week and I’ve already made it twice. I’m completely hooked. This recipe is my favourite thing to cook at the moment, and pretty soon it will be yours too.
So what makes this so good? Its beautiful blend of spice, herbs and honey makes it a tangy and sweet blend of pure awesomeness. Plus it packs in haloumi – my favourite meal cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys, so do please let me know what you think! I’d love to know if any of you have made any variations of it, and I’m keen to find out if any of you don’t like haloumi… because I don’t think that such a person exists.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Portobello & Haloumi Burgers

Serves 4

You will need…

1 large avocado
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, stalks trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 thick slices of haloumi
4 burger buns, cut open
Wild rocket leaves, to serve
Mayonnaise, to serve

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Let’s Make This Thing!

Heat up the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. While it’s heating up, mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork or (my personal favourite) a potato masher. Once it reaches a good consistency, drizzle it with half the lemon juice and set aside or in your fridge.
Add the mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, or until slightly softened.
Add a little more oil to the pan (still with the mushrooms in) and add the thyme, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and remaining lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes, coating the mushrooms in the ingredients.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers
Add the honey, vinegar and ½ tsp salt and cook for a further minute, ensuring the mushrooms are as coated as possible. Then remove the pan from heat and set to one side, heat up a second frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the haloumi. Turn frequently and cook for between 2-4 minutes, until golden.
Lightly toast the buns either in a toaster or under the grill. Add the avocado between the bun bases, and top with a mushroom each, as well as the haloumi, rocket, mayo and bun tops.

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Yum. Now, do you want to be a guest blogger? I’d be glad to have you! Feel free to reach out at emily@thethreebiterule.com  

Boursin Crostini with Apple & Caramelized Onions

Of course I love dips, but some parties, or layouts for that matter, call for crostini. They’re also helpful to incorporate a few flavors annnnnd a plate/tray of crostini mean a few people aren’t stationed in front of the dip all night. Note, I’m one of those who can’t separate from the dip! :-) This seems like the season of get-togethers, family meals, and having company which these are perfect for!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions

I prepped the boursin & the caramelized onions in advance. Then it took 5 minutes for assembly! I wanted it to be with pear, but mine weren’t ripe enough.

Crostini with Boursin, Apple, & Caramelized Onions

Ingredients: (Serves 8ish)

4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs (I used a dip mix, or have used Italian Seasoning before)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt & cracked pepper
splash of milk or cream
1 onion, caramelized
1 baguette, slices of Italian bread, or melba toasts
2 apples or pears, sliced thinly
~6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions:

In advance, caramelize the onions & refrigerate or freeze until using.
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, garlic, dried herbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add in a splash of milk to thin a bit to your preference.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Refrigerate until using.
To assemble, toast the bread on a pan in the oven for just a few minutes. Then spread on the boursin, spoon on a some onions, lay on some apple slices, and sprinkle with thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Enjoy!

Loooove that this can be mostly made in advance, but also that the leftover boursin is so great for crackers, on bagels, etc. I made a big batch of caramelized onions the last time and froze them. That was a huge time & prep savor for these. Hey, this is a busy season – buy some boursin from the dairy section of the grocery store- that’ll speed you up even more!

My test one became lunch but I intended these as an app and I’d love these alongside soup for dinner too!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
I have a quick & healthy soup and a cocktail coming up next week! Stay tuned!

Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Quiche

Most quiches I’ve made seem to nicely straddle the line of brunch/breakfast/light lunch. This one takes a firm stand at lunch/dinner. Maybe it is the lack of bacon I often/always add into quiche, but the sun dried tomatoes seem to take it away from breakfast to lunch/dinner for me. I made this to be lunch for a few days but I froze a serving so I don’t over-do it with the same thing on repeat. More on my new lunch tactics to come!

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche

Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche (serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

1 pie crust, defrosted
1 teaspoon butter
~1 1/2 cups mushrooms (I mixed crimini, portabello, shiitake)
1 tablespoon cooking Sherry
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk/cream
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Par-bake the crust in a 9″ pie pan, with a few fork holes poked into it, according to package directions.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and add in the mushrooms to cook for ~3 minutes. Add salt & pepper and stir well. Add in the sherry to deglaze and cook for 2 more minutes. Then remove from the heat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream of tartar, and salt & pepper.
Layer cheeses, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and repeat so everything will be evenly distributed.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
Then pour the egg mixture into the crust – mine had so much filling that I had a little egg mixture leftover.
Bake at 350-degrees for 35 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato QuicheAllow to fully cool before slicing.
Enjoy!

The cheeses & mushrooms could have been in any format for me to love them, but paired with egg was spot on. I went full-in on the filling- just how I like it. It wasn’t dainty, but I cut into 4ths to be very solid lunch meals at work then I froze one to pull out another time when I’m out of ideas.

Another perk of any quiche, is that much can be prepped in advance! I baked the crust, sauteed the mushrooms, shredded the cheeses and literally assembled- without the egg mixture, the night before. I was too tired to do the whole she-bang. In the morning, I whisked the eggs mixture, poured it in, and baked while our normal getting-ready things happened. Ohh, and I snapped a few pictures for you!
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
This quiche is my reminder that any fillings or flavors can go in a quiche, it makes a quick dinner during this busy season, and that it is so pack-able for lunch!

Veggie Calzone with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

I saw some really delicious sounding stuffed shells by How Sweet Eats and decided to turn them into a calzone. I loved the idea of fire-roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and veggies so I put ‘em into a calzone since I haven’t made one in awhile. I’d love these in a baked pasta with penne, or on a pizza, or for a panini! There’s lots of room here for any veggies. Artichokes, mushrooms, and eggplant would be good too!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone

Fire Roasted Tomato & Veggie Calzone

adapted from How Sweet Eats Vegetable Stuffed Shells
Ingredients:

pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2  yellow onion
1 zucchini
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup fontina, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
sprinkle of wheat germ/semolina/corn meal

Directions:

Caramelize the onions: chop and cook in a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil on low, for about 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and a pizza stone- if using one.
Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch disks then into quarters. Roast in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
Roll out the dough, or manually stretch it out between 2 hands working it into a big circle.
Sprinkle some wheat germ/semolina/corn meal onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Next lay the dough out off center, so what will become the bottom is centered.
Assemble with shredded cheese, caramelized onions, ricotta dollops, fire roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and fontina are all spread out, then repeat. Fill it all the way getting close to the edges, and with toppings piled high.
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Fold the dough that will become the top over the insides. Pinch the edge closed, or roll it under the bottom. Poke a knife into the top to create some air vents.
Bake 30 minutes and check the dough has puffed and become golden brown. Then bake 10-15 minutes more, as needed. (Parbake just until set- 20 minutes and then refrigerate or freeze until serving. Then bake remaining 20 minutes until heated through).
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
I loved this one. Ricotta and multiple other cheeses is right up my ally. I don’t often use fire roasted tomato sauce because I’m so obsessed with Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes instead of sauce that I never even think twice, but I loved the smokey flavor in here! Canned tomatoes like my fav, and the fire roasted ones, are so great for pizza or pasta because they’re not loaded up with sugar- like jarred sauce. The tomato flavor is much better and was just like I had on pizza in Naples, Italy. The birthplace of pizza knows a thing or two! For this, I spooned out the tomato chunks so the calzone filling wouldn’t be too watery.

This was also great to prep in advance. I made the caramelized onions and roasted the zucchini first, then later I assembled and par-baked during nap time. That meant just popping it into the oven for dinner. Voila!

Fall Fettuccine

Fettuccine with alfredo, sage, and butternut squash. This felt like a the dinner equivalent of warm socks and a cozy blanket on a brisk evening. I roasted the butternut squash and infused the sage into the alfredo sauce.  It was so fast, and SO addicting! Psssst. It was so fast also because I roasted the squash in advance, and used jarred alfredo sauce. Both made life easier and got dinner on the table ohh-so-fast.

The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine

Fall Fettuccine

Ingredients:

2 cups butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
2 cups alfredo sauce (use a jar, I won’t tell)
4-6 sage leaves (3 to cook in the sauce & 2-3 chopped)
1/2 pound of fettuccine pasta

Directions:

Roast the butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400-degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once.
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta.
Warm the alfredo sauce in a large pot over low heat and drop in 1/2 the sage leaves. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, then remove the wilty sage.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Cook the fettuccine to al dente.
Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
Mix in the remaining chopped sage and the squash.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Enjoy!

This is such a great weeknight meal. I’d totally serve this to a dinner party, my toddler, or anyone. Somehow this week was brought to you by the herb sage. I love it in small amounts but feel like it has serious flavor. Here’s a good use if you bought some for Thanksgiving and need a very different feeling meal before or after turkey day!

#grilledcheeseplease Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese series continues! This grilled cheese has some legit Thanksgiving flavors. They’re healthy, cheap, and quite filling. Win. Win. Win. This is what you need on Black Friday! Forget that 3am shopping shenanigans. Mash up some of those leftover sweet potatoes, chop the sage from the stuffing, and pillage those cheese plate leftovers!

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese

Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

2 slices sourdough bread
1/4 of a sweet potato, cooked and fork mashed
2 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
~3 leaves of sage, chopped chiffonade
2 teaspoons butter

Directions:

Assemble the ingredients and heat a large pan to medium-low heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
Layer the sandwich with a slice of bread, 1/2 the cheese, the sweet potato, and sage, then the rest of the cheese and the other slice of bread.
Spread a little butter on the bread and turn the sandwich into the pan. Cover and cook for ~3 minutes. Spread the remaining butter onto the other slice of the bread.
Flip and cook for another ~3 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
I love the sweetness of the sweet potato with the sharp cheddar and the sourdough bread. My sage plant is going strong so this came locally!

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms

As the only mushroom-eater in my house, I alone can testify that these have such great flavor. The marsala wine is unique and a fun addition to salads, as a side, or anywhere! Mushrooms are like little sponges for the flavor around them so marinating them is perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

8 oz mushrooms
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
In a glass jar, mix together the marsala wine, oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
Boil the mushrooms for 2 minutes then add into the jar.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Refrigerate 6+ hours.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
They pack a punch of legit flavor. I put a few into salads and plan to use the rest in some meatless lunches.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

This mac and cheese is veggie packed while still delightfully cheesey. Plus, the squash adds that iconic orange pop of color! This would be the perfect fuel before trick or treating!

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 pound pasta
1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (10 oz frozen, or 1/2 butternut squash, roasted)
2 tablespoons cream cheese
4 oz Velveeta mini-block
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar

Directions:

Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the pasta in and cook until al dente.
In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the squash puree, velveeta, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Stir until smooth and all combined. Spoon 1/2 – 3/4 of the sauce onto the drained al dente pasta.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Mix well and add in more sauce, as desired.
Add in the shredded cheddar.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Serve hot, or bake with cheese or breadcrumbs on top.

This was a good meal to feel like a treat, like true comfort food, without guilt. The little one loved it. I had some extra sauce so I froze it for a quick dinner another time to throw over some pasta.

Greek Deviled Eggs

Once again, my go-to appetizer that doesn’t need reheating comes into play, with a Greek twist! I love greek flavors and this was a great vehicle for it! I added fresh oregano and caesar dressing to the filling and topped them with cucumber, feta, and tomato.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg

Greek Deviled Eggs (makes 24 halves)

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup mayonase
1/4 cup creamy Caesar dressing
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
salt & pepper
1/4 cucumber, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons feta

Directions:

Hard boil the eggs, then put into an ice water bath and completely cool before cracking the shell. Overnight!
Crack the shells, slice in half, and pop the yolks into a bowl. Add in the mayo, dressing, oregano, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg
Stir well until fully blended, then spoon to a ziplock bag.
Snip the bottom corner and pipe into the egg white halves.
Top with cucumber, tomato, and feta. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Greek Deviled Egg
These were a hit! I think the toppings gave these a fresh element and told everyone what flavors were in here. I loved the oregano and caesar in there. Hmm. What’s next? I don’t have any more in mind right now, but they go quickly at a party and span a bunch of dietary restrictions…plus, they don’t need reheating making them a star.

My other deviled egg variations:
Taco Spiced Deviled Eggs
Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs
Sour Cream & Onion Deviled Eggs

Zucchini, Ricotta, and Herb Pasta

My boss made this for a potluck and it was delicious. I knew I had to whip it up immediately. I liked it warm-ish and it’s great cool. I could live in a container of ricotta, but I also LOVED the mint, basil, and oregano with the lemon zest. It is so easy and so so so full of flavor! Also this is the world’s fastest dinner.

The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta

It seems like everyone has made this, but here’s one more
Martha made a similar one
, though hers uses sliced zucchini & fettuccine.
Food & Wine made a similar one, with zucchini chunks.
Epicurious made a similar one, with fewer herbs.

Zucchini, Ricotta, and Herb Pasta (for 2 entrees or 4 sides)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound short shaped pasta
1 large zucchini, shredded
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup ricotta
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dante.
While the pasta cooks, shred the zucchini and add to a medium skillet with the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt & pepper and remove from heat.
Mix the pasta, ricotta, and zucchini mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
Add in the herbs, lemon zest, and salt & pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
Serve & enjoy, or refrigerate until serving if making in advance!
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini, Herb, & Ricotta Pasta
I like the creamy ricotta. Of course, ricotta is my fav! Zucchini doesn’t have tons of flavor alone, but with the garlic and all the herbs. I think it needed salt and pepper throughout: in the zucchini and mixed throughout. The herbs and the lemon are truly what make this special. Maybe I should turn the same flavors into a pizza!