Friday, July 5, 2013

Tasty Portobello Mushroom & Veggie Sandwiches with Avocado Spread (vegan)

Are you looking for a healthy meal to eat after all of that meat-eating yesterday? I hope you enjoyed your holiday. Greg and I did lunch at a friend's house, and we definitely did our share of meat eating. Hamburgers + hotdogs + pasta salad = all I want is veggies for a week! This portobello and veggie sandwich is completely vegan, and it is super flavorful. I was worried Greg wouldn't like it, because he is not a huge mushroom fan, but he ate it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a very filling and satisfying meal. For the sandwiches, I marinated and broiled the portobello mushrooms and I also roasted zucchini and yellow squash from our garden. I also added some cucumber slices (also from our garden), some jarred roasted red peppers, and an avocado spread. You can put any toppings you like on the sandwich - there are no rules here! I will have some more vegetarian-friendly recipes in the coming days (and some yummy desserts, I never get tired of dessert). Enjoy!

*Some other suggestions for topping the portobello sandwiches are romaine lettuce, baby spinach leaves, arugula, onions (raw, sauteed or caramelized), tomatoes, sprouts, and...*

Recipe for Tasty Portobello Mushroom & Veggie Sandwiches with an Avocado Spread

2 portobello mushroom caps, rinsed, patted dry, stemmed, gills removed
2 Tbsp. of Extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt
1 small zucchini squash
1 small yellow squash
1 small cucumber, sliced thin
Roasted red peppers from a jar
1 Hass avocado
1/2 - 1 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
Several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
A couple pinches of salt
Hamburger buns, lightly toasted
Use any leftover zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumber to serve with the sandwiches

Prepare the mushrooms. Rinse and pat dry, then carefully use a knife to remove the stem and gills. Make sure to keep the cap in tact. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, pressed garlic, black pepper, and coarse sea salt in a small bowl. Place the mushroom caps into a shallow container and pour the oil and balsamic mixture over the mushrooms. Make sure they are coated. Cover the container and put in the fridge. Allow the mushrooms to marinate for 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Drain the excess marinade from the mushrooms. Lightly salt and pepper each side.

Adjust oven so that the rack is the second highest from the top. Preheat the broiler to 475 degrees. Place the mushrooms onto a baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and broil for 2 - 3 minutes per side. Watch the mushrooms carefully while cooking. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the sliced squash in a single layer on the pan that the mushrooms were on and lightly salt and pepper. Cook for about  5 - 7 minutes, flip, and then cook for another 5 minutes (or until desired tenderness has been reached). Remove from oven and let cool.

Toast the buns lightly and then place on serving plates.

While the mushrooms, squash, and buns are cooling, make the avocado spread. It is best to let the veggies and buns cool before assembling so the sandwiches do not get soggy.

Mash the avocado in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well.

Assemble the sandwiches. Spread the avocado mixture onto each side of the buns. Put the portobello mushroom on the bottom half of the bun. Top with 2 - 3 slices of squash, a small amount of jarred roasted red pepper, a couple cucumber slices, and the top half of the bun. Serve with the cooked squash, cucumber slices, and potato chips. Yum!

*Recipe makes 2 sandwiches. Approximately 350 calories per sandwich.*