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Savory Midafternoon Snack

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been using this season's fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs to create new recipes but today I balanced them with something more filling: a succulent portobello mushroom. Since I made it to the farmer’s market this week, I also had the sweetest, ripest, and juiciest tomatoes on hand. Of course I had to make something using some so I made pico de gallo to go with the mushroom “steak”. It took less than five minutes to prepare and the house smelled so good for hours!  

If you are already into mushrooms then you’ll be glad to hear that they’re not only yummy but good for you too! If you haven’t made friends with them, today might be a good day for your first rendezvous.

Health Benefits of Portobello Mushrooms
The dense and velvety texture of the beautiful caps are sure palatable but how well do they score in the nutrition department?
It may sound unbelievable but this mushroom's protein to carbohydrates ratio is nearly 50:50! They’re high in fiber and they almost qualify to be called a B vitamin complex. As an exceptionally high source of niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), copper, selenium, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, potassium, and a very good source of thiamin (B1), folate (B9), vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, and manganese, they’re just an absolute gold mine for vitamins and minerals. They’ll help strengthen your immune system, help protect your nerves and build or maintain strong bones, and safeguard against many types of cancer! Oh, and don't forget the copper's power to fight gray hair! There's more of this trace element in a serving of this mushroom than in a serving of molasses!!! I think that deserves at least an A-, right?

rawherbedportobellomushroomHerbed Mushroom “Steak”
(per mushroom)*
1 portobello mushroom (cap only)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 generous pinch of finely chopped rosemary
1 clove of garlic
salt to taste (you may use nama shoyu or soy sauce, if you’re ok with soy products, and skip the salt)

*I recommend you make 2-3 mushrooms per person.  Multiply the listed amounts by the number of mushrooms you have.

Clean the mushrooms just by brushing them off with your fingers (do NOT wash them). They’re pretty delicate so be careful not to chip/break them. Place them with the gills facing up on a dehydrator tray. Crush the garlic and mix all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle it on the mushrooms. Dehydrate for 3-4 hours at 115 ˚F (46˚C). (If you prefer cooking them, you may place them in an oiled pan and bake them at ~375˚F (190˚C) for 45 minutes.)

Pico de Gallo
(Serves 1-2)
1 tomato
1 jalapeno
couple of slices of red onion
a little cilantro
salt to taste
optional: you may add some lime and/or black pepper

Chop and mix all ingredients and place in a serving bowl.

This is just what I decided to do but either of these will go well with other dishes, as a side. Yumm! : )

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