Years ago, California native Ian Bryant, who’s now chef at the Ranch in Malibu, would crave a burger after an eight-hour surf sesh. But to get healthier, Bryant transitioned to veganism. To kill cravings and recover from a day on the water, he now grills up this veggie burger, which features a meaty portabella mushroom and packs less than 400 calories. Take one bite, and we seriously doubt you’ll be asking “Where’s the beef?”

Want to go meat-free more often? Try taking nonmeat foods you already like (such as rice and beans) and mixing in veggies to make them more satiating.


  • 1 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 large portabella mushroom cap, stem removed
  • 1 slice vegan cheese
  • 1 bun
  • Heirloom tomato slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard


  1. Mix coconut aminos, paprika, thyme, maple syrup, cumin, salt, and pepper. Submerge mushroom cap in mixture. Marinate overnight.
  2. Heat grill. (Bryant prefers charcoal for better taste and heat distribution.)
  3. Grill mushroom, cap-side up, for 10 to 15 minutes. Flip; add cheese and grill for about 3 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and mushroom is charred and tender.
  4. Assemble burger on bun with desired toppings.
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