Portabella Pleasure

16 Jun

I love portabella mushrooms. IMG_1720If you don’t, well, I’m not sure if we can be friends anymore…I kid, I kid. I still love you, even if you don’t share my love for the fabulously funky fungus that is the portabella mushroom. But if you don’t share this love, you might not dig the recipes I’m about to share with you – just a heads-up! Last Friday, I got a package of 4 monstrously huge (seriously, these guys are gigantic) portabella mushrooms, and have enjoyed them in numerous forms this week. What forms, you wonder. Glad you asked!

The first concoction I made last Saturday. It was SO amazing, I’ve wanted to share it with you all week, but it hasn’t made it on here until today, but now is the time. My friends, I give you the beauty that is The Mexi-Mushroom (great name, I know). This beauty is basically everything you love about nachos in a portabella mushroom cap (I’ll give you a moment to stop and ponder just how awesome that is). It is SO easy to put together too!

IMG_1719The Mexi-Mushroom (serves one)

Broil one large portabella mushroom cap (cleaned and de-gilled with a grapefruit spoon, of course), sprayed first with a touch of PAM and seasoned with salt and pepper, until it starts to brown/release juices. Flip it and broil the other side.

Fill the cap with 1/2 cup refried beans (if desired, add extra seasonings like cumin, chili powder, or some Epicure stuff) and top with one Velveeta cheese slice (or use any cheese of your choice). Pop it back under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly (see above photo).

After the cheese has melted, top cap with any or all of the following (I went for all): salsa, chopped bell pepper, chopped green onion, chopped canned jalapenos (omit those if you can’t take the heat), chopped fresh cilantro, chopped tomato and sour cream/Greek yogurt. Serve with your choice of side dish (as you can see, I went for kale chips) and enjoy!

I think this would be fun to make as a party appetizer, but in baby ‘bellas, instead of full-size portabellas. And if you are low-carbing it or just trying to cut calories, this would make a great nacho substitute!

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Half a portabella (I told you, they’re HUGE) also made an appearance in the grilled goodness that was Tuesday night’s low carb supper. Since I had hooping, I grilled everything ahead (the mushroom, sweet Vidalia onion, asparagus, a mini eggplant and a mini yellow pepper, and a M&M honey garlic pork chop). I threw the cooled veggies and pork on my salad of lettuce, grape tomatoes, fresh dill and chives and thawed frozen corn.

My dressing was a real winner – balsamic barbeque! I combined 1 tsp avocado oil, a squirt each of yellow mustard, light ketchup and light BBQ sauce, a splash of fat-free Italian dressing, a drop of liquid smoke, cumin, and of course, balsamic vinegar. This dressing was AWESOME! It combined everything I love about ketchup/mustard, BBQ sauce flavour, and of course, balsamic vinegar! Combined with the slightly sweet pork and grilled veggies, it was basically barbeque in a salad – a sure-fire summer winner (FYI cold grilled pork chops are surprisingly juicy).

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As of the time of typing this, I haven’t tried the last portabella option (it’s today’s lunch), but I thought I’d share it with you anyway. I had the thought that I could make one of my favourite at-home paninis (portabella brie) in a to-go version. Here’s how I did it.

I baked one mushroom cap in the oven until tender the night before, spread it with Lemon Dill mustard, sliced some sweet onion, and wrapped it up in foil. I also brought some sliced light brie and 2 slices light bread. On the side, you see a salad I came up with based on what was in my fridge. I also brought a fat-free tapioca pudding and some fresh strawberries to enjoy for dessert.

Are you a fungus fan or do you avoid mushrooms at all costs (Donna, I already know your answer)?

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One Response to “Portabella Pleasure”

  1. realfoodkatiesway June 17, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    I LOVE fungus! You already know that though…

    I grilled a bunch on Wednesday and was planning on making a GREEK stuffed one but was starving and settled on a bella burger.

    They are a miraculous thing those bellas!

    Happy Friday!

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