Perfect Pizza Portobellos

I think I might be on a sugar high from all of these desserts I’ve been telling you about lately! 13 dozen cookies, the most outrageous layer cake I’ve ever made, Nutella FroYo – is it just me, or can you feel your pancreas begging you to give it and its poor insulin-generating cells a bit of a break? What do you mean, your pancreas doesn’t talk to you? Oh, nevermind…

To hush my internal organs and prevent them from staging an uprising, and to hopefully do the same for any of you with equally unruly body parts, I have something that is not at all a dessert. In fact, it can even be low-carb if you want it to be (as in, if you don’t decide that serving it with a side of warm, crusty Italian bread isn’t an absolutely fantastic idea), so we’re really pulling a 180 here.  You’re welcome.

I’m kidding.

No but really, these pizza portobellos are fabulous and the perfect remedy for a prolonged period of culinary indulgences. As it stands, it’s not vegetarian, but don’t let that dampen your spirits too much, all of my veggie-vore readers. Take out the turkey entirely or swap it with a crumbled veggie burger instead – I’ll bet most people will hardly know the difference. I used a turkey burger because that’s what I had. In fact, I described this dish in my notes as meaty, and I wasn’t even talking about the burger – I was talking about the mushroom. This dish is also kind of warm and comforting, so maybe wait until this heat wave rolls on by (come to think of it, a clean, crisp salad would have made a more seasonally appropriate blog detox than this, but alas, I’m doing the best with the busy hand I’ve been dealt) before hunkering down in your kitchen to make this. The good news is that if you’re not cooking for a crowd, you could totally make this on the stovetop and bake it in the toaster oven, no full oven heat required….which means no excuses. Unless you don’t own a toaster oven. In which case I need to ask why…no, no, that soapbox should be saved for another day.

Two Years Ago: Pizza Muffins

Pizza Portobellos
This dish is versatile – treat it like your favorite personal-sized pizza and add in whatever toppings you like. Make it vegetarian. Stuff it with meat. Either way, dig in and enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

The Ingredients
¼ onion, chopped
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 precooked (turkey)burger, crumbled
1 cup whole peeled tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 large Portobello mushrooms
2 cups spinach
3-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

The Method
Prepare the sauce by adding the onion and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a small sauce-pan and sautéing for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the minced garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in the crumbled burger, 2 minutes, followed by the tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by about one-half to three-quarters. Break up the whole tomatoes as it cooks.

Meanwhile, remove the stems from and clean the Portobello mushrooms. Dry them well and brush with ½ teaspoon olive oil each. Broil for 5 minutes. While the portobellos are broiling, sauté the spinach in a lightly greased pan until it has started to wilt.

Assemble the pizzas by dividing the spinach evenly between the two portobellos, which should be flipped so their undersides are now facing up in order to stuff them properly. Top each with ½ cup of the sauce – you don’t want this to be a particularly liquidy dish – followed by 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of the cheese each. Bake at 350° Fahrenheit, until the cheese has melted.

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