Offset some of the rich holiday meals we've enjoyed with this quick, light, vegetarian meal. Using lettuce leaves instead of flour tortillas creates a fresh crisp wrap for these tacos. I've adapted this recipe from Richard Ingraham's "Eating Well to Win" cookbook. He is a private chef to NBA stars and talked about healthy eating at the Miami International Book Fair this year. In a recent interview, he told me his job is to feed the players a healthful meal, one that gives them the energy they need for a game.
-- Butter lettuce is sometimes called Boston lettuce. Iceberg or Romaine lettuce can be used instead.
-- Any type of onion can be used.
-- To quickly ripen an avocado, place it in a bag in a warm spot. It also helps if you can place it in a bag with a banana.
-- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-- Assemble the ingredients.
-- Make the tacos.
To Buy: 2 portobello mushroom caps, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle smoked paprika, 1 can reduced-sodium canned black beans, 2 small ripe Haas avocados, 1 container cherry tomatoes, 1 red onion, 1 bag frozen corn kernels, 1 head butter lettuce, 1 lime and 1 bunch cilantro
Staples: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.
ROASTED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM 'TACOS'
Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin divided use
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, sliced into strips (about 3 cups)
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
2 small, ripe Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 1/2-cups reduced-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large butter lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and smoked paprika. Stir to combine ingredients. Add mushrooms and toss with the mixture. Spread mushrooms out in one layer on the baking sheet and roast 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil, lime juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin to a bowl. Mix well. Add the avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, onion, corn kernels, black beans and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.
Divide lettuce leaves between 2 plates. Fill the center with the roasted mushroom slices and spoon the avocado mixture on top. Sprinkle cilantro on top.
Yield 2 servings.
Per serving: 613 calories (44 percent from fat), 30.1 g fat (4.3 g saturated, 17.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 21.9 g protein, 76.5 g carbohydrates, 27.9 g fiber, 183 mg sodium.
(Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of "Delicious One-Pot Dishes," featuring 60 recipes designed to be stewed, braised, slow-cooked or steamed, each in a single pot. Additional titles by Gassenheimer include "Quick and Easy Chicken," "Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals," "Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table" and "The Flavors of the Florida Keys." Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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