meatless monday: mushroom kale burgers with seasoned oven fries


It’s back!  Meatless Monday has been on hiatus for most of the past school year because my Monday nights have been occupied by a year-long, once per week class as I work toward my gifted certification.  Since I’m on Spring Break this week (can I get a what what?), I decided to bring it back as a teaser for its fabulous return in mid-May.  Have you missed it?

For my first day of spring break, I woke up around 8 (sleeping in for a teacher), drank coffee and watched the Today Show, went to the grocery store, met my friend Lauren at Pure Barre, then ate popcorn for lunch as we watched Divergent at the movie theater.  I’d definitely call it a success.

I also had some time to peruse Pinterest and found a few different cool recipes for a mushroom kale burger.  The word “burger” is a misnomer here, but the word “patty” just sounds so…unappetizing?  Anyway, if you’re into black bean burgers or other veggie burgers, this is definitely a winner.  Every ingredient is intentional and natural, and it packs a huge nutritional punch.

The oven fries were a personal challenge.  I’m usually averse to baked fries because they just make me wish I had fried fries, but I am now a believer!  These fries are a Skinnytaste recipe, so I should have known they’d be great; Gina never gets it wrong.  I did change a couple of things though, as you’ll see below in the recipe.

Mushroom Kale Burgers

Serves 4

1 bunch kale

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 portobello caps, stems and gills removed, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tomato

1 Tbsp. almond butter

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp. canola oil

Rinse the kale with cold water, then remove stems from kale leaves and give the kale a rough chop into mini bite-size pieces.  Place the kale in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt, then massage the kale leaves with the salt (only about 30 seconds).  At first, you’ll think that this is way too much kale for four burgers, but you’ll see that it wilts slightly with the salt and folds in nicely with the other ingredients.  Quarter the tomato, remove the seeds, and place the quartered pieces in a food processor.  Add the mushrooms, almond butter, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper, then pulse until smooth.  Add the flour and pulse again until smooth.  Fold the mushroom mixture into the kale in the large mixing bowl, then fold in the breadcrumbs.  Divide the mixture into four even amounts and, with you hands, form each amount into a patty shape.  Lightly sprinkle both sides with flour.  Heat the oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, place the burgers in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.  Serve on a bun with any toppings you like–here, I used goat cheese, pea shoots, basil, and some sriracha mayo.

Seasoned Oven Fries

Adapted from Skinnytaste

Serves 2

2 medium potatoes

2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. herbs de provence

zest of 1 lime; reserve the juice for the end

1/4 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Slice the potatoes lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices, then slice each slice vertically every 1/4-inch.  Place the raw fries in a colander over a mixing bowl and sprinkle the 2 tsp. salt evenly; let this sit for about 30 minutes.  This allows for some of the moisture from the potatoes to release, allowing for a crispier fry.  While the fries are dehydrating a bit, add all of the spices together in a small bowl and mix to combine.  When the 30 minutes are up, Combine the fries and olive oil in a mixing bowl, then add the spice mixture and toss to combine evenly.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray, then place the fries in a single layer.  Bake for about 25 minutes, turning the fries at the halfway mark.  When they are ready to eat, squeeze the lime juice over the fries for a kick.

I served these with sriracha mayo, which is just 1 part sriracha to 3 parts mayo (so 1 tsp. sriracha for every Tbsp. of mayo).


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