Home Healthy Recipes A Meatless McDonalds?

A Meatless McDonalds?

written by Guest Blogger September 25, 2012

Ooo, I’m so excited! Guest blogger and Flexitarian cookbook author, Bindu Grandhi, has returned from her family trip to India and submitted an interesting and yummy guest post for today. If you`re cleansing and eliminated meat from your diet, you`ll especially love her recipe!   

Holy cow indeed! This is the first time the fast food giant will be opening two vegetarian outlets in India next year. One will be near the much-visited Golden Temple in Amristar, a pilgrimage site sacred to Sikhs and the other at the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Kashmir, a holy site for Hindus.

McDonalds has been trying to establish itself for the past two decades in a market where Hindus consider beef taboo and Muslims avoid pork. I think this is a smart move for the iconic chain to court Indian consumers (who spend nearly a quarter of their income on food) and offer an all-vegetarian menu.

When I was in Bangalore, India last month I ate at a McDonalds. Half the menu offers vegetarian options like the popular McAloo Tikki burger – a fried spicy potato patty, McVeggie and the Big Spicy Paneer (cheese) Wrap along with lean meat options like the Maharaja Mac – Big Mac like but with chicken instead of beef, and the Filet-O-Fish.

The restaurant was quite clean, the service was friendly but not as fast as it is here. Now if you’ve read my blog posts here on Live Lighter, you know that I rarely frequent fast food joints because they’re synonymous with unhealthy choices, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed the McAloo burger, fries and milkshake.

The McD’s menu in India seems to be a healthier version compared to the one in the U.S. Perhaps the lessons from their South Asian operations can be applied here. Going the flexitarian way – offering less meat and more vegetarian options, makes good sense for the waistline, wallet and the world environment.

In the spirit of meatless burgers, try my Mushroom Burger topped with curried mayo!

Spiced Mushroom Burger

The rich-flavored, meaty Portobello is a tasty and healthy substitute for beef. These mushrooms are blended with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and then flavored with spices. The curried mayo adds a creamy punch as a topping (see below).

Spiced Mushroom Burger

Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 4 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 10 oz baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced in half, seeds and pulp removed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp powdered, unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs
  • 8 hamburger rolls (or bread of your choice)
  • Topping: slices of raw onion and tomatoes


  1. In a food processor, pulse the onions and garlic three times. Add tomatoes and pulse two times. Last, add mushrooms and pulse until the mushrooms are chopped. Transfer the contents to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add coriander, coconut, cumin, salt, ginger, and red chili powder and mix.
  3. Add bread crumbs and mix. Using your hands, form mixture into eight patties about ¼ inch thick.
  4. In a non-stick large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil. Place 4 patties into the skillet, and cook on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and transfer to serving plate. Repeat process with the four remaining patties.
  5. On a serving plate, place each mushroom burger on a hamburger bun and top with curried mayo, onion and tomatoes.


The mushroom patties can also be prepared on a barbecue grill.

Curried Mayo:

Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1/8 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp red chili powder

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients and chill.

About the Author

Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.

Mmm… I might start eating at Mc-ieD`s again if they offered some of their Indian menu items here! For now, I`ll be satisfied with Bindu`s Portobello Mushroom Burger with Curried Mayo. Yum! Thanks, Bindu! 🙂

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Karen Boyarsky October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Portabello mushrooms are the bomb! I chopped them up and add them to marinara sauce as well as in meatloaf and chili as a replacement for meat.

Thanks for the great ideas!

Head Health Nutter October 2, 2012 at 1:15 am

Mmm… thank YOU for your great ideas, Karen! Yummy! 🙂


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