Nix the burgers and hot dogs this Fourth of July in favor of today’s more healthful, bun-free option.

Hearty portabella mushrooms can stand up to the heat of the backyard grill. In this recipe, they’re artfully topped with a savory tomato blend and garnished with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Prep time is 15 minutes, grilling time is 10 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms

Makes 6 servings (1 mushroom each) 

1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 package fresh basil, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
6 large portabella mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see note below)
Shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Spray cold grill and utensils with cooking/grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Combine tomatoes, garlic and basil in medium bowl; blend well.
  3. Grill mushrooms, smooth side up, 5 minutes or until browned. Turn mushroom caps over.
  4. Spoon tomato mixture into mushroom caps. Sprinkle with nuts and cheese.
  5. Grill an additional 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender.

Note: You can easily toast nuts on the grill. Spray a small, cold ovenproof skillet with cooking/grilling spray. Heat skillet; add nuts. Toss until nuts are golden brown. Remove from heat. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of PAM Organic Cooking Spray