Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lime & Pepper Marinated Portabello Mushrooms

It probably comes as no surprise that enjoying tasty meals at home beats the pants off dining out when you're keeping a close eye on spending. But having fun by experimenting with new recipes - when you're also trying to pare down the grocery receipt bottom line - can be daunting. Often times those glossy recipes found in award winning cookbooks involve well over 10 ingredients and a smattering of herbs and spices that can do some serious wallet damage. However, I'm not about to advocate consuming inferior fare.

Here's a new recipe I've been enjoying lately that's extremely versatile: Lime and Pepper Marinated Grilled Portabello Mushrooms. You can find the nitty gritty details of the recipe I used here, but the basic idea is to marinate a few portabello caps in olive oil, lime juice, and some seasonings (in this case fresh chopped cilantro and serrano pepper, plus salt and pepper) for an hour or so then toss 'em on the grill outside or a George Foreman.

What works well about this recipe is that it's easy to tailor depending what foods you have on hand. Maybe instead of a lime and pepper marinade you opt for garlic or make it easy and use some pre-made dressing as your marinade instead. I sliced up the grilled mushrooms and tossed them into a taco shell with some beans, romaine lettuce, avocado slices, and homemade pico de gallo - but you could use whatever items you have available or are on sale at the store. You don't have to make it a Mexican-inspired dish either: serve the mushroom caps whole alongside some wilted greens and polenta for a home-cooked feeling, make a yummy sandwich or wrap with long slices of mushroom and grilled bell pepper, or top a salad with mushroom bits alongside artichoke hearts and olives.

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