I’m not really one for new years resolutions, but I tend to half-heartedly make a few here and there with the beginning of each year. There are your tried and true ones: lose weight (15lbs, which had been 10lbs before the holidays), read more, write more, exercise more often. I’ve also included in that list, “slow down.” I have a tendency to move fast (to compensate for my lack of height) which often leads me to getting caught on doorknobs, tripping on whatever is on the ground, (or on the ground itself), falling into walls, or running into people who don’t realize that yes, I am going to take that corner that hard and that fast (I’m talking about walking here, though I did recently have a unfortunate run-in with a curb that exploded my tire).
But that’s neither here-nor-there. I have another grand old resolution that many other people have: Eat healthier.
My boyfriend has been periodically trying to convince me to go vegetarian (not that he is, but since I prepare most of the food, me going vegetarian would mean that he would also go vegetarian), but my food-loving self can’t give up the variety of foods and flavors that does include meat. But eating MORE vegetarian is not only healthy, it’s also cheaper and a lot more environmentally sustainable, something I’ve also been meaning to work toward in this new year.
So what helps is finding really delicious vegetarian recipes that I crave constantly, and for me and the boyfriend, this portbello mushroom sandwich is #1 with a bullet.
The basic ingredients for this sandwich are large portobello mushroom caps and bread. I like to make my own bread. I’ve found that this rosemary focaccia bread works really well, in part because it’s easy to make at home, and therefore saves money, I can shape the “buns” as I see fit, but that the flavors and texture make for a really hearty, filling sandwich that on the whole, is pretty healthy for you.
Other fillings I like to include: fresh avocado, tangy red onions, swiss cheese, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, grilled zucchini, and a bit of mayo and mustard. When I first started making the sandwiches, the zucchini seemed like a must-have, though I’ve since become lazy and just slice up some cucumbers, pop them in, and call it a day.
However, if you are so inclined to add the grilled zucchini into the mix, here is the recipe:
- 2 zucchinis, sliced to 1/4 inch in thickness
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- fresh or dried herbs to taste (I like rosemary, oregano, and basil)
- Marinate the zucchini in the oil, vineger, and herb mixture. Preheat a large saucepan to medium-high heat.
- Cook about 4 to 5 minutes for both sides, or until the zucchini has become limp. Remove from heat.
Set the zucchini aside with the other condiments for the sandwich and get to work on the mushrooms. Now take a look at these marvelous meaty fungi. Can’t you taste it yet? Well, don’t. Restrain yourself until after you marinate and grill (or roast) them. As I like to say, “Ugh, that’s so good.”
This recipe is just a very slight modification of a great recipe I found for grilled portobello mushrooms on my favorite recipe site, allrecipes.com. The original recipe calls for a grill, but I live in a one bedroom apartment on the third floor of a building. Not a whole lot of room for a grill there, unless I want to risk burning down the entire building by sending red hot sparks onto the wooden roof.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 portobello mushroom caps
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the red bell pepper, garlic, oil, onion powder, garlic salt, and ground black pepper. Spread mixture over gill side of the mushroom caps.
- Place the mushrooms in a casserole pan or baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. After that, broil the mushroom caps for another 7 minutes. The smaller the mushroom, the less time it will probably need in the oven.
Just try to not make these once a week!