How to make healthy choices every day

Grilled Portobello Magic Mushrooms

It’s grilling season again, which makes this girl very happy. For years I felt left out at barbeques as I usually ended up with a plate full of gloppy potato salad poorly pretending to be happy: “oh no, I love Miracle Whip!” But since finally getting my creative culinary act together, I finally have some really tasty vegetarian grilling options that make even the biggest carnivore come back for seconds. Hooray for that!

This week’s recipe is a simple one, but for those that have never tried a Portobello mushroom on the grill, it’s a magical experience. Juicy, rich, and super satisfying, portobellos can proudly stand next to any steak, give it the up-down and then jump into my mouth. Huh? I am in a weird mood today. Must be all the mushrooms.

Surprise! The magically nutritious fungus…

Portobello mushrooms are the mature versions of the small, brown crimini button mushrooms that are a little more common in the produce aisle, and their range of vitamins and minerals is impressive. Included in their nutritional arsenal are high levels of selenium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), copper, niacin (vitamin B3), potassium and phosphorus. Selenium is a micro mineral needed for the proper function of the antioxidant system, which works to reduce the levels of damaging free radicals in the body. These powerful antioxidant actions make selenium helpful not only against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from cancer-causing toxins, but in decreasing asthma and arthritis symptoms and in the prevention of heart disease. In addition, selenium is involved in DNA repair, yet another way in which adequate intake of this mineral is associated with a reduced risk for cancer.
Crimini mushrooms are also a good source of iron, which is primarily used as part of hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting and releasing oxygen throughout the body. But hemoglobin synthesis also relies on copper. Without copper, iron cannot be properly utilized in red blood cells. Fortunately, Mother Nature supplies both minerals in portobello mushrooms!

I made these bad boys for a barbeque party last night, along with an Avocado-Basil Mayonnaise to accompany the dish. This is really just a smoother version of guacamole, except with basil and without all the chunky vegetable additions (that frankly, I have just never understood). My instincts tell me that my Mojo sauce would be totally boss with these too, but I figured I should post another little yummy condiment to perk you appetite. Did it work? Go try it!

Grilled Portobello Magic Mushrooms
• 6 Portobello mushroom caps (1 per person, adjust recipe accordingly)
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tsp. dried thyme
• 2 tsp. dried oregano
• 3 coves minced garlic
• Salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash mushroom caps well, carefully removing any dirt. Pat dry.
2. Throw all marinade ingredients together in a large plastic bag, smoosch around making sure it is well combined. Place mushrooms in the bag, seal it up, roll contents around to coat, and let sit in the fridge for up to 12 hours (minimum 1 hour). If you think of it, take the bag out from time to time and roll it around – this ensures that the mushrooms are well coated with marinade.
3. Prepare the grill by heating it up to medium-high. Place mushrooms on lightly oiled grill, gill side up, close grill lid and cook for 5-7 minutes or so, until grill marks appear on the underside. Flip, and repeat gill side down. The mushrooms are cooked when they are warm through and have lost a little of their “plumpness” (but they are also great raw!), so no worries about undercooking them.
4. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings, or slide one into a wholegrain bun or wrap with some fresh veggies. Alternatively, you can slice them up and maybe add them to a salad – spinach with pine nuts and parmesan? YUM!

Avocado-Basil Mayonnaise
•3 ripe avocados
•1 large clove garlic
•juice of ½ lemon
•¼ cup packed, fresh basil leaves
•sea salt to taste

1. Place garlic clove in food processor and blend on high to mince.
2. Add everything else, pulse until smooth and basil is well chopped.

Here’s a joke to tell while you’re standing around the grill watching these juicy babies sizzle away:
“Hey – what do you call a mushroom at a party? A Fun-gi!”


I hope everyone is having a fun and healthy summer so far! I am heading back to the homeland at the end of next week and look forward to posting some recipes from the local produce in Canada. See you all soon!

source: World’s Healthiest Foods

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

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