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Guest Post: End of Summer Portobello Stack

September Cooking Tool of the Month – Grill

Today’s guest post comes from my Twitter friend and recipe tester Marsha (aka the PlantStrongMoma). She recently switched to a healthy plant-based diet and is a new advocate for helping others change their families diets to healthier ones. 

End of Summer Portobello Stack by Marsha

Summer is coming to an end and cooler temps are fast approaching. How better to send out the summer with a little grilling?

This entire summer I’ve tried to cook less indoors and more outdoors. Sure does save on electricity (I, unfortunately have an electric stove) and keeps the house as cool as possible. It may have been hot outside but grilling seems to go so quickly you sometimes barely notice.

Before this summer the grill intimidated me a tad. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Or, I do hope. Maybe I’m just crazy? Maybe the grill is just like any other tool I have in my kitchen. It’s something that I should look to as fun, new, exciting.

It is!

grilling portobello mushrooms

The grill is an amazing tool! You can grill everything. You can even grill romaine lettuce! Who knew? All summer we’ve grilled corn on the cob, black bean burgers, a variety of vegetables, and, my favorite, portobello mushrooms.

I confess, before January (my most exciting month, the month I went plant strong!) mushrooms were not my favorite! I actually thought I hated them. For shame! One day I decided to give the portobello a try. I marinated it and grilled it up just like I would a black bean burger. I slapped it between two pieces of bread and added some fresh veggies and WOW! I was shocked! I loved it. Portobello’s are juicy, meaty, goodness. They pack a great nutritious punch as well. In just one cup of sliced portobello you can find 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of protein. It’s also only 42 calories! Great deal, I say.

Once this summer started to wind down I realized I was bored with just slapping my mushroom between two slices of bread. I still, however, wanted to grill it up. What to do?

Why not use the portobello as the bun? I believe that’s what I can do. How tasty is that? Not only are you eating one scrumptiously delicious portobello but two! Two I tell ya!

Portobello Mushroom Stack

End of Summer Portobello Stack

4 Portobello Mushroom caps, stem removed, black gills removed

3/4 cups balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

Season each portobello (front and back) with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Veggies for stack:

1 yellow bell pepper (red is great too!) cut in 2 inch slices

1/2 a large red onion, cut in 1 inch rounds

1 large zucchini cut in 1 inch thick slices

vegan pepper jack cheese (optional)

Handful of fresh basil


Whisk the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Place the mushrooms in a large Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Gently shake the back around, be sure to coat all the mushrooms. Place the bag, flat, in the refrigerator and marinade for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut up the vegetables for the stack and set aside. When the mushrooms are done marinating, remove them from the bag and place on a plate. Add the vegetables to the bag and toss to coat. This way the vegetables are coated in the same marinade as the mushrooms.

Put the vegetables in a grill basket.

Once your grill is heated add the mushrooms directly on the bottom shelf of the grill. Grill the vegetables at the same time. Grill until the vegetables are starting to blacken, this will vary based on size and how black you want them. For the mushrooms, grill on each side 4-5 minutes.

To stack:

Place a mushroom cap side down on a plate; add bell peppers, zucchini, basil and cheese. Top with remaining mushroom cap. Enjoy!

As a side dish I made up a quick quinoa salad. Quinoa, in my opinion, goes so well with this dish. So tasty!

Quinoa Salad

1 cup tri-colored quinoa

2 cups water

1 medium carrot, small dice

3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally, thin slices

1 yellow bell pepper, julienned then cut like confetti

1/2 English cucumber, small dice

1 tablespoon, mixed, basil, parsley and thyme

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Green onion, for garnish


Make quinoa according to package directions. Be sure to rinse it first. Let the quinoa cool in the refrigerator. Once cooled add all the vegetables and dressing (see below) to taste. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette

1 large red bell pepper

3 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Dash of cayenne or more to taste

3/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

10 basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste


Roast pepper over open flame on your grill or in the broiler. Roast all sides until blackened. Place in a Ziploc bag and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from back and discard the blackened skin. Seed and remove stem. Break into pieces and add to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil, basil, and salt and pepper. Blend until it begins to smooth out. Then slowly pour in the olive oil while the processor is running. Once that’s incorporated stop the processor and add the basil leaves. Pulse until they’ve broken up. Taste and season accordingly.

*Note: You can put all this in the quinoa salad or most and save a little to drizzle on your portobello stack.

I actually can’t believe cold weather is coming, can you? This summer sure has taught me the grill isn’t a scary tool. It’s, in fact, a useful tool especially when the temps rise! Wonder if I can make a winter soup on the grill? Now, that would be fun.

Cheers and happy eating!

Marsha is an up and coming plant-based personal chef out of Tucson, Arizona and loves to blog about food! She aspires to write a cookbook one day and loves to spend as much time as possible in the kitchen. Marsha is a mom, bonus-mom, and wife who loves having fun with the family. She loves music, movies, and being outdoors. FInd her at A House Full of Health.

Grill Posts This Month

Grilled Cauliflower with Za’atar seasoning

How to Grill The Vegan Way by Kim

Smoky Grilled Eggplant by Jamey

Taste of India Grilled Tofu and Lemon-Pepper Tofu

Pomegranate Marinade for Veggie Kabobs by Rachel

Interview with John Schlimm, author of Grilling Vegan Style

Garlicky Grilled Polenta with Warmed Great Northern Bean Bruschetta by Cadry

Tattooed Watermelon and Party on South Peach Salsa by John

Wild Rice Pilaf with Grilled Pineapple and Zucchini

Posted in Blissful Bites Cookbook, Cooking, Recipes on 09/28/2012 11:35 am

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