Portobello Steak with Mixed Green Spaghetti Squash

I’ve had a George Foreman grill for years.  When I ate meat, I probably used it… twice ever.  Just in the last 4 months, I’ve used it close to 10 times.  Why?  I discovered the joy of cooking portobello mushroom caps on it.  After they’ve been marinated and grilled, they’re easily one of the tastiest things I can make at home.

A word about spaghetti squash – it doesn’t taste like spaghetti, so don’t get your hopes up, if you haven’t had it.  That’s usually the first question people ask me when I tell them I had some of it for dinner.  It’s a squash, and it tastes like one.

Anyway, I hadn’t been on a serious grocery shopping trip in close to two months.  I went out of town for Thanksgiving, then for work, then Christmas showed up pretty quickly, and I went out of town again for New Years.  So, yesterday, I did the first half of my grocery shopping.  I decided to make something new with my spaghetti squash, and that lead to this!

ingredients

Ingredients: spaghetti squash, portobello mushroom, beet greens, kale, Beyond Meat chicken-free strips, lemon, garlic, an array of spices, and not pictured: balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (I boil mine, but you can bake them or even microwave them!  Just make sure they’re cut in half first)
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • 4-5 beet green leaves
  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • 1 serving Beyond Meat chicken-free strips
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • however many cloves of garlic your heart desires
  • assorted herbs and spices (I used basil, parsley, rosemary, lemon pepper, and crushed red pepper)
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Boil a large pot of water (large enough for your spaghetti squash. I always just cook the whole thing). If you don’t have a grill, preheat your oven to 450 (for your mushroom)
2. Zest your lemon (set half aside) and squeeze half of the juice into a container that will fit your portobello mushroom. Add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix together, and add your cap, gills down. I always do this in a sealed tupperware so I can flip it around and get the whole thing coated. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes in the marinade. If you’re putting the mushroom in the oven, go ahead and do that right after the 10 minutes is up.
3. Take your leaves, then pile and roll them up to chiffonade (this is a fancy word for “cut into strips”). Here’s a picture:

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4. Sauté your greens with olive oil and garlic. They’re going to need a little time to soften.
5. When the spaghetti squash is done, remove it from the water. I like to place it in a bowl and use my fork to scrape it out. Here’s another picture:

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6. Right about now, I would put my mushroom on the grill. It only needs about 5 minutes on the GF, closer to 15 if you’re baking.
7. Take the scraped squash and drop it in with your greens, and add the Beyond Meat chicken-free strips. Mix them together, and remove from heat. Add the rest of your zest and lemon juice, as well as any spices you want.
8. When your mushroom is done, remove it from the grill or oven, and slice as desired. Plate, and enjoy!

(note: unlike meat, you can use your marinade without heating it and pour it on top of your mushroom.  It’s delicious!  I showed a friend this, and she totally thought I was eating a steak.)

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Sweet Potato Chili Pie

I’ve been eating a lot of sweet potatoes for the last year, if you haven’t noticed.  I love them.  I’ve been experimenting more with different ways to eat them.  Today I decided to try a “shepard’s pie” kind of approach, utilizing the chili I made today (https://jackieisgreen.com/2015/01/05/bean-chili-basics/).  It was awesome.

Ingredients (serves 1 as is, but obviously easy to adapt):

  • 1 serving of bean chili (see link above)
    • Note: I used garbanzo beans, black beans, white beans, and pinto beans, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 jalapeño, cumin, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne, turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon, garlic, parsley, basil, and my favorite hot sauce.
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled and mashed
  • salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic
  • Beyond Beef beefy crumbles

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take the serving of chili and put it in a ramekin, and mix in the Beyond Beef.
  3. Top the chili with the mashed sweet potato.
  4. If all of your ingredients are already warm, it only needs to bake for 8-10 minutes to get nice and hot.  If they’re both cold, you’ll probably want closer to 20 or 30.

That’s it!  If you’ve already made the chili, it’s super quick and east to throw together and make this.

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Bean Chili Basics

Part of my “New Year’s Resolution” is  to update this blog more.  Hopefully, I can stick to it, but be advised, that may mean the only pictures are the finished product!

One of the things I’ve been making for a while now is bean “chili.”  It’s a great option for cold weather, as well as for when I’m broke and can’t afford to buy a wide array of my usual groceries for the week.  I usually have between 5-8 servings, depending on the combination of ingredients that I use.

This isn’t so much a recipe as a method.  Depending on the flavor profile and availability of ingredients, you can make many, many different variations on this basic idea.

The Ingredients:

(The first two are the very basics that I use in every recipe for this chili)

  • 4 cans of beans (I recommend a variety – my standards are black, pinto, garbanzo, and either red or white beans)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

(everything else below is a list of optional ingredients that I may add in)

  • potato (regular or sweet) diced very small
  • onion
  • jalapeno
  • lentils
  • fake meat (“beef” or “chicken”)
  • canned diced chilies
  • corn
  • bell peppers

(this is a list of herbs and spices that I have used; utilize different combinations based off of what flavor profile you’re looking for)

  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • parsley
  • basil
  • tumeric
  • ground ginger
  • cayenne pepper
  • cinnamon
  • hot sauce

The Method:

  • Drain the liquid from and rinse all of the cans of beans and dump the contents into a slow cooker
  • Add the diced tomatoes, and their liquid
  • Add in whatever addition ingredients you may want to use, then spices.
  • Mix everything together!
  • If you’re looking to eat within the next two hours, turn your slow cooker on high.  If you’re making this before work and want to come home to a hot bowl, turn it on low.
    • Note: I’ve left this on low all day and it’s been pretty dried out, so if this is the plan I may recommend adding about 1/2 a cup of water before you leave.  Or, I’ve actually used this opportunity to add a lot of water and make a really delicious soup!

The best part about this recipe is using it in different ones.  Some examples are: chili on sweet potato fries, chili mac and cheese, chili over zucchini fries, etc.  Tonight, I plan on trying something new!