Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms & Red Peppers with Feta and Avocado

Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

I like to think of Portobello mushrooms as the steak of the vegetarian world. These mushrooms are thick with a meaty texture and, unlike other mushrooms, they can stand on their own as a complete meal. Or, you can serve them as a hearty side dish or slice them up in a serious salad.

Portobellos can seem a bit intimidating because you clean them differently than other vegetables. This is how I prepare them:

  1. Remove the stem by simply pulling it out with one hand while gently gripping the cap with the other hand.
  2. Scrape out the gills on the underside of the mushroom with a spoon. The gills are safe to eat, but tend to have a slimier flavor and lead to ‘dirtier’ looking dishes.
  3. Use a damp paper towel to wipe down the entire mushroom.

There are some great YouTube videos showing the step-by-step process, too. It only takes a few minutes, I promise!

Why you should eat mushrooms: The benefits

  1. A Portobello mushroom has about as much potassium as a banana.
  2. They’re chock-full of antioxidants – and don’t lose their cancer-fighting power when cooked, so you can enjoy them however you like them!
  3. They also don’t lose their minerals and nutrients when cooked – which include niacin, selenium and copper.
  4. They’re delicious.

Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms & Red Peppers with Feta and Avocado

portos 1

Ingredients:

4 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and gutted as described above

1 red pepper, cut length-ways into four large slices

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp thyme

Crumbled Feta cheese

1/2 avocado, sliced, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Marinate the mushrooms and peppers in the olive oil, balsamic, garlic, rosemary and thyme for  at least one hour (but no more than six or the mushrooms will break down).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  3. Place mushrooms and peppers on an oven-proof pan and cook for about 20 minutes. You will notice that the mushrooms bleed out much of their moisture – this is normal.
  4. Sprinkle feta cheese on each mushroom – I like to put the cheese on the underside of the mushroom to make use of the natural cup shape.
  5. Once cheese is melted, serve. Place one piece of pepper on the bottom, followed by a Portobello and garnished with avocado slices.

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad

The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, which means it’s time for the beach, flip flops and barbeques. This is one of my favorite, Greek-inspired recipes that takes a summer staple and makes a unique and refreshing side dish for an outdoor party.

The combination of ingredients may seem a bit unusual, but the sweet and salty flavors of the fruit and cheese blend naturally, while the mint adds a subtle, refreshing finish to each bite.

I recently served this to my Yia-Yia, who looked surprised and told me, “You know, this looks really odd, but it’s so delicious!” I hope you think so, too.

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad
1/4 watermelon, cubed
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
6-8 leaves fresh mint, cut into small pieces

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Veggin’ Out: Greek (Baked) Fries

Some days, you need a meal that is quick as much as you need one that is satisfying. Cue the Veggin’ Out series – made for lazy days.

Greek Fries

Make frozen fries “gourmet” by baking them as directed until almost crispy. Four minutes before you take them out, sprinkle feta cheese (about 1/2 cup) over the top of the fries. Finish baking. When done, squeeze the juice of half a lemon evenly over the fries – and you have “Greek” fries!

Serve with a Greek salad, or as a side to a veggie burger.