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Portobello Mushroom, Goat Cheese and Walnut Sliders 

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Description:
This bite-size mushroom burger makes a tasty meat-free option at summer barbecues.
Portobello mushrooms, sometimes also spelled portabella, are actually the same species as a crimini mushroom. Generally, the mushroom is called a crimini when small and a portabello when its cap has grown to about four to six inches in diameter. These large brown mushrooms have a meaty texture and can be grilled, roasted or used as an ingredient in other dishes.
One cup of sliced portobello mushrooms, approximately 121 g, makes up a single serving and has only 42 calories. There is 1 g of fat and 5 g of protein in a cup of sliced portobello mushrooms. The total carbohydrate content of a serving of portobello mushrooms is 6 g, of which 3 g is fiber. Water makes up 108 g of the total weight of a 1-cup serving. There are only 12 mg of sodium in a cup of portobello mushrooms, so it is considered a low-sodium food.
A 1-cup serving of portobello mushrooms supplies 31 percent of the daily recommended intake of selenium, or 21.4 mcg. It also contains 30 percent of the recommendation for copper and 18 percent of the requirement for both phosphorus and potassium. Other minerals in portabello mushrooms include iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium and zinc. In a serving of portobello mushrooms, there is 7.2 mg of the vitamin niacin, or 36 percent of the daily recommended intake, and 0.6 mg of riboflavin, or 34 percent of the recommendation for that vitamin. Portabello mushrooms also contain the vitamins pantothenic acid, folate, choline, vitamin B6 and thiamin, also known as vitamin B1. The nutrient betaine is also found in portabello mushrooms.
Mushrooms also contain compounds called purines, which may cause health problems in individuals with gout. People with this condition may want to avoid eating portobello mushrooms.
More antioxidant activity is found in the caps of mushrooms than in the stems. Unlike many other foods, most of the antioxidant level in mushrooms is not destroyed by cooking.


Ingredients:
1 small organic onion, thinly sliced and caramelized (see directions)
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh organic chives
1/3 cup (75 mL) finely chopped raw walnuts
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper
1 4-oz (125 g) package goat cheese, room temperature
4 portobello mushroom caps, 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter
Olive oil
8 small dinner rolls (or 24-inch whole grain baguette, sliced into 8 equal portions, then sliced horizontally)
Green lettuce leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) finely chopped fresh organic rosemary for garnish
Dijon or whole grain mustard


Directions:
Caramelizing onions: In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, cook onion in vegetable oil until caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.



Mix chives, walnuts, salt and pepper and place mixture on a flat surface or cutting board. Remove goat cheese from package and roll over mixture, evenly coating the cheese. Cut cheese vertically into 8 equal slices, cleaning knife after each cut. Set aside.



Remove stems from mushrooms and brush off any remaining dirt. Using a spoon, gently remove gills from underside. Brush both sides with olive oil. Grill over medium heat, gill side down, for 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for 4 minutes. Remove from grill, cool for 3 minutes and cut in half.


Place mushroom on bottom half of each dinner roll (or baguette). Place slice(s) of goat cheese mixture to taste on top of the mushroom. Top goat cheese with caramelized onion and a piece of lettuce. Sprinkle rosemary for garnish. Smear top half of bun with a thin layer of mustard. Serve.


Servings: 8


Special Diet: Vegetarian, Low Sodium


Category: Main Meals


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Recipe
Tuscan Leek, Potatoe & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
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