Grilled Portobello Mushroom & Veggie Stack

I hope all my fellow Canadians enjoyed their long weekends and Canada Day. We had a great few days off, enjoying the beautiful weather and extra time to spend with family and friends. But today – my first day back at work – was extremely busy; and I foolishly didn’t plan any meals for the week while I was soaking up the sun the past 3 days. My exhaustion ended up with us going out for a bite (and a drink) after work. Which I didn’t really mind – we ate at a restaurant with a sunny deck; and our own deck doesn’t welcome the sun except for late at night and during the early morning hours, so sunny al fresco dining is a treat for us.

This got me thinking that I should share another speedy recipe for everyone. One that is perfect for the summer grill, plus the ingredients are readily available at any grocery store (and gluten free!). A giant juicy portobello mushroom is grilled alongside some tasty veggies that get stacked on top – sort of like an open-face burger…or not…because there wasn’t any bun. Well, that’s not entirely true: Kyle did wedge his veggies between a thin, toasted bun. But I preferred mine just as is.

This whole dinner will only take about 20-30 minutes to get from grill to table – a perfect amount of time to throw on some quinoa to serve along side your veggies. Oh, and I found out some exciting Gluten Free news: the roasted chickens at our local Co-Op are Gluten Free! A bonus for speedy meals when my hunger overcomes my ability to think clearly.

Balsamic Grilled Portobello Mushroom & Veggie Stack

1 red pepper
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned & stem removed
2 – 3 thick slices of red onion (with all the rings still attached – does this make sense?)
2 – 4 thick tomato slices
3 – 4 Tbsp goat cheese
4 large basil leaves

Preheat grill to medium-high. (you can use this time to prepare your veggies)

When grill is heated, place the red pepper directly on it (no need for sliced or oiling). Grill the pepper for about 15-20 minutes, until the outside is blistered and charred, and the pepper is soft. Remove from grill and place in a bowl covered with a plate or plastic wrap. After a few minutes, you can peel the skin off, slice the pepper in half and discard the stem and seeds.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the mushrooms, onion slices, and tomato slices with the vinegar mixture. Grill the mushrooms and onions for approximately 10 minutes; and grill the tomatoes for approximately 5 minutes. You want char marks on the veggies and for them to soften up slightly, but try not to overcook them.

When all the veggies are grilled, prepare your veggie stack: start with a portobello mushroom, top it with the goat cheese, a slice or two of tomato, some onion, 2 basil leaves, and half of the grilled (roasted) red pepper.

Serves 2.

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