Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WINTER ... AT LAST ~ EASY BREEZY BLACK BEAN SOUP & GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICH

(Winter is the perfect time to enjoy foods of fiber, color and flavor.)

~ Snow Angel



EASY BREEZY BLACK BEAN SOUP

1 big fat chopped red onion

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3 stalks chopped celery with leaves

4 cloves chopped garlic

1 heaping Tbsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 (32-ounce) organic chicken broth

3 chopped carrots

3 (15-ounce) cans undrained back beans

1 (16-ounce) container fresh salsa

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

bunch of fresh chopped cilantro (reserve some for garnish)

sour cream

Brown onion, garlic, celery, cumin and pepper flakes in olive oil over medium heat. Carefully add chicken broth, scraping brown bits from bottom. Bring to boil and add carrots, beans, salsa, and lime juice. Reduce heat and stir in chopped cilantro. Simmer 30 minutes. Ladle soup into big bowls and top with dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and a side of homemade tortilla chips.

GRILLED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICHES

1 large (wiped clean) Portobello mushroom* per person

2 slices of hearty bread per person (wheat, sour dough, etc.)

olive oil

cracked pepper

thickly sliced red onion

Provolone cheese

fresh basil or baby spinach leaves

pesto sauce, Dijon mustard or Wasabi mayo

Lightly douse mushrooms with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, coating all sides well. Season with cracked pepper and let rest and marinate. Brush bread with olive oil and cracked pepper. Grill both sides until browned. Next, grill red onions that have been brushed with olive oil and set aside. Grill mushrooms belly-side up on medium-high heat about 5-6 minutes depending on thickness. Flip and grill another 5-6 minutes. Turn back, belly-side up, and top with cheese. Cover until cheese melts.

Assemble: Plop mushrooms, cheese side up, on grilled bread. Top with grilled onion fresh basil or baby spinach leaves. Slather bread with pesto, Dijon mustard or Wasabi mayo. Serve juicy sandwich with lots of paper napkins and a good beer to wash it down.

* Note

"Health Benefits: When it comes to health, edible mushrooms are a right up there with other super-foods green tea and broccoli. After all, the first antibiotics were extracted from fungi. Being 80-90% water, mushrooms are low in calories, while still being high in fiber. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium (especially good for those on a hypertensive diet). Here are some other reasons to sneak more mushrooms into your cooking:Mushrooms are considered probiotic, meaning that they help the body to strengthen itself and ward off illness. Part of mushrooms' probiotic ability comes from their high percentage of the nutrient riboflavin. Mushrooms are a great source of potassium, a mineral which helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. A medium portobello mushroom has more potassium than a glass of orange juice or a banana.Phytonutrients found in mushrooms have been at the center of anti-cancer research for decades. In many countries, medicinal mushrooms are used as an adjunct to other cancer treatments."

~ quote from recipesourceonline.blogspot.com "The Mighty Mushroom"

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