I never want to eat meat; however, when everyone else with whom I am eating is eating meat, it can be kind of a pain, so I often look for easy alternatives I can make quickly without disrupting the flow. My family was having hamburgers, and my adjustment was easy and delicious. I think sometimes when one loves food, meals tend to get over thought (I am guilty), but they don’t have to be. On hamburger night, think portobello and grilled veggies sandwich.
I recently purchased a stovetop cast iron grill, which is annoyingly heavy and difficult to clean, but it makes tasty food, so I deal. To make my life easier, I spray the grill with cooking spray and add a sprayed piece of foil. The foil does not ruin that grilled flavor, but it does help keep the beast clean. With that done, I warm the grill up but keep the temperature low because 1. it gets really hot regardless, and 2. lower temperatures help keep the smoke inside down.
I prepped some portobello slices, thin slices of zucchini, and some strips of red onion. In a bowl, I mixed fresh and finely chopped cilantro, parsley, and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I added in the vegetables, making sure each one was well coated in the mixture and then simply laid them out on the grill. They cook up quickly and take on rustic and rich flavors. As they cooked, I sliced some tomato, avocado, and dill pickle, and set them aside with a couple leaves of lettuce. I happened to have ciabatta in the house, so I cut roll in half and hollowed out the inside before spreading mayonnaise, coarse grain mustard, and ketchup (yes…hey it was burger night). Of course, you can add the condiments of your choice. Then you just pile everything on top and throw some frozen fries (baked, of course) on the plate, and you have a very easy, very fast, and relatively healthy vegetarian meal because, hey, sometimes even people who love to cook are too busy to go fancy.