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My dedication to eating whole foods spurs our latest response to requests for natural foods with flair, flavor and plate appeal.  Therefore, assuming the plate is a canvas for the artistry of whole foods, we continue to work with the idea of a Portobello Mushroom Pizza.

We have evolved it to a heartier main course by adding some goat cheese and fresh baby spinach and the result was satisfying, healthful and most importantly, flavor packed!

The Portobello Mushroom Pizza is a great dish but this one takes it up a notch to a more satisfying stand-alone dish.  As a side, we offered a cup of minestrone soup, organic of course, and a couple of slices of homemade sourdough bread toasted with a touch of Asiago cheese for those who enjoy carbs.

End result:  happy diners, happy creators and full tummies.  What could be better?  Pair this meal with a lovely fresh red wine and you have a romantic dinner.

Simple process, not a recipe but a method: de-stem and de-gill two Portobello mushrooms, taking care to keep the cap intact.  Heat the broiler to high.

While the broiler preheats, chop 2 seeded Roma tomatoes into a small dice.  Add 4 small cloves of chopped garlic, 6 leaves of basil chiffonade and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to the mix.  Stir well to combine.

Measure 1 ounce of goat cheese (chevré) mixed with chopped thyme, tarragon, or basil (your preference).  Set aside.

Lightly sauté 2 cups of spinach in a fry pan over medium heat until just wilted.  No oil or butter (translate: fats) necessary if you use a non-stick pan.

Line 2 dinner plates with fresh baby spinach sprinkled with Balsamic Vinaigrette (homemade if possible).  Chill the plates in the refrigerator while you broil the mushrooms.

Place the mushroom caps on a foil lined baking sheet.  Rub just enough oil on the caps to cover both sides, about 1 teaspoonful.  Broil, gill side down, just until the cap begins to shrink and yield its juice.  Remove from oven and turn gill side up.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Line the cap with the wilted spinach.  Top with the tomato-garlic mixture.  Dot with half the goat cheese and repeat for the other Portobello mushroom.

Return the mushrooms to the broiler, on the foil lined baking sheet, and broil until the goat cheese sizzles and begins to turn color.  Remove immediately, transfer to the spinach lined plates and serve while hot.

Enjoy!

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Pizza doesn’t get any easier or simpler than this!

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

Four 6″ Portobello Mushrooms, rinsed, stems removed and degilled

1 cup of chopped yellow tomato

1 cup of chopped red tomato

1 garlic clove, minced

1 leek, thinly sliced

3 large basil leaves, chopped

Panko bread crumbs, about a ½ cup

Low-fat mozzarella cheese or reduced fat jack cheese, grated, about 2 ounces

Procedure:

Simply degill four 6″ portobello mushrooms.  Broil them, with the gill side down for 5 minutes on a foil lined baking sheet.  While they are broiling, you can proceed to make the stuffing.

Chop and combine the yellow and red tomatoes with the chopped garlic, sliced leeks, basil, and panko.  Add the low-fat mozzarella or reduced fat jack cheese and mix well.

Remove the broiled mushrooms, turn them gill side up and discard any accumulated liquid.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff each mushroom with one-quarter of the stuffing mixture.  Broil again for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Serve with balsamic vinegar and a side salad and you’ve got Dinner with a capital “D”!

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