Thursday, September 12, 2013

Portobello Paninis

Treat Me Right by Pat Benatar
We all want to be treated fairly, kindly, respectfully.  Every woman I know appreciates Pat Benatar's anthems of justice.  Her gutsy and glorious delivery of every song lifts you to a point of awareness and you suddenly know EXACTLY what you want.  And you find yourself saying, "Yeah!  What she says!!"  For a good while now, though, I've heard this particular chorus being yelled from within.  It's been my body calling out, "Yeah!  What Pat says!!  Treat me right, OK?!  You can't have it both ways!"  And a couple weeks ago I got a fire in my belly and decided I was going to take that nudging seriously.  And today, I'm going to share a recipe that will help you treat yourself right, too.  And, my oh my, it's so delicious!

Weight has been an issue for me my entire life.
As a little kid I was identified by my "short little chubby legs."
People liked to pinch them.
It hurt.
As I got older, the words hurt, too.

I, sadly, never outgrew those chubby legs.
Even after I lost the 30 lbs. of chub between junior high and high school,
I remember walking home from the bus one afternoon and having a neighbor lady, a lifelong friend of the family, yell at me from her front porch,
"Janice, you STILL have those chubby little legs, God love ya!"
Knife.  In.  Heart.

I don't think people meant to be cruel.
As a matter of fact, I could see, beyond the words, that most of these people loved me - quite a bit.
Let's just call it an "era" thing - prior to the political correctness that prevails today.

Throughout my life, the cycle continues.
I lose weight.
I gain weight.
Like I said - a constant battle.

It's been awhile since I lost weight.
And I've found as I get older it's just about the most difficult thing I've ever attempted.
Just like you always hear, it DOES get harder as you age!

Anyway - I recently talked to a sister-in-law who has successfully lost a good deal of weight since January.
She told me about this Mediterranean based diet she has been using and loves.
I have been a fan of Mediterranean cuisine for years.
I bought the book and started to read.
And it just all made sense to me.

I've just started - finished up week 2.
I'm down 5 lbs. - woot!
I have been pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the food!
Light but satisfying.
And this was my dinner the other night!
Now, I've used portobello mushrooms as a replacement for the meat INSIDE of a burger,
but never as the bun!
Oh my!  Oh my!  Oh my!
For one who loves mushrooms as much as I do, this was heaven sent!
Forget wrapping up your sandwich in lettuce when you have this fabulous option!
I might have to invest in a mushroom farm!

And what's best about it is, there's no marinating!
Just scrape out the gills, remove the stem, brush with balsamic vinegar, and grill!

I'm really hopeful this time that, with food like this, I just might get some results!
Do yourself a favor and try this.
Your fillings are up to you.
I stuck with low-fat ham and light swiss cheese - and tossed some green onions in for fun.
And I smacked myself in the head later when I realized that arugula would have been great as well.
Even if you're not interested in losing weight, try this out!

Portobello Paninis
2 large portobello mushrooms per sandwich
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Sliced meats and cheeses for the filling
Sliced green onions

Heat a panini grill to medium high.

Remove the stem and use a spoon to scrape the gills out from the underside of the mushroom caps.
Brush the underside of the cap with balsamic vinegar.  Place in panini press and grill for 2 minutes to soften up the cap.  Remove from the press and fill one of the caps with your choice of sandwich fillings.  
Top with the remaining cap and return to the panini press.  Grill for another 5 minutes or until the caps start to show some browning and the cheese is melty and starting to ooze out the sides.

Remove from press and cut in half.  Get that knife and fork and go to town!
Pair with a side salad and a small stem of red grapes.  Delish!

1 comment:

  1. I've never used the portobello as bread either! This recipe reminded me of a summer staple at our house... Similar to yours, except instead of portobello, we use long thin slices of zucchini (The ones that get crazy big in a garden work best and a mandolin helps keep the slices even) Construct your sandwich as you did and place on panini press-- you have yourself... a zunini. :) Just another option for you!