Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bruschetta stuffed portobello mushrooms (and my new favorite health tip!)

I don't think it's a secret anymore so I'm going to come out and say this. I'm obsessed with vinegar. 

Is that weird? 

I think it might be weird. But I can't help myself. I love vinegar. I love the tanginess, the subtle sweetness, and honestly just the light burning feeling of strong acidity. Okay, it's definitely weird. But I just really love vinegar. 

So before we talk about these tempting bruschetta mushrooms, I'm going to share another secret about vinegar. More specifically, apple cider vinegar, (lovingly refereed to from here on out as ACV.)

For those of you who've never heard of ACV, it's just fermented apple. When you take something like apple juice and ferment it, the sugars turn into alcohol. Then they turn into vinegar. See, I totally remember high school bio. 

Well, ACV is just fermented apple. But not just. Oh no. It's so much more than that. 

I heard about using ACV as a health product a few years ago and turned my nose up at the idea. I personally feel like a lot of natural "at home" health remedies are ineffective for me, so I didn't even bother giving ACV a try. But after using it in a farro recipe the other day, I found myself with a bottle of ACV and no reason not to try using some. So I mixed a little with some water and some monkfruit extract (a great no-calorie sweetener without the creepy cancer chemicals), and waited to see what happened. 

You know what happened? My stomach hurt. Badly. For about twenty minutes. But then it felt better, I felt like I had more energy, and for the rest of the day I felt honestly just cleaner, lighter, and healthier. I literally felt healthier. 

Placebo? I'm not sure. But I've been drinking ACV in my water since then and I can tell you my digestion feels better, my energy feels more sustainable, and my sugar cravings, which are usually pretty incessant given my ridiculous sweet-tooth, are gone. GONE. WHAT? I've been trying to make that happen for years.

If you're a skeptic, I understand. I was too. But if you have problems with regulating your metabolism, your energy, or your digestion... all I'm saying is you should try it. It's only been about a week and I already feel noticeably better. Just try it. If you're not into drinking vinegar, don't be discouraged though. ACV also makes hair shinier when you apply it in the shower, makes skin clearer when used as a toner with cotton balls, and even makes teeth whiter. You don't have to drink it to see the benefits. This stuff... seriously great.

Alright, now let's talk mushrooms. Sorry you had to bear with me through that. I'm just really excited. But I'm also excited about these mushrooms. 

They're bruschetta, a favorite appetizer of mine, but without the bread. Don't get me wrong, I love bread... but not as much as I love portobello mushrooms. This recipe is awesome, super good for you, and yes... contains vinegar. BALSAMIC vinegar. Oh the yums. 

We made these as a vegetarian entree, and the mushrooms certainly give it the needed heartiness to be deemed a meal. However, cut these up and they would also make great snacks. 

Either way, they're delicious. 

Bruschetta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

6 portobello mushroom caps
2 tbsp olive oil 
Salt and pepper

Bruschetta topping
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsbp olive oil 
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used 4....)
2-3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tsbp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
6 fresh basil leaves
Crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Combine tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, chopped basil, and oregano in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside. 
3. Brush tops of mushroom caps with olive oil, lightly salt, and place on a baking tray. Bake with insides facing downward for 10-12 minutes
4. Remove mushrooms from the oven, place on serving tray with the insides of, and distribute bruschetta into the mushroom caps. Top each mushroom with a basil leaf and crumbled feta. 


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