7.31.2012

Plant-Based Dinner: Mushroom and Spinach Panini

  

This week is supposed to be Plant-Based Food Week here on the good ol' blog, so bear with me while I share with you another plant-strong recipe.  See the first here

This, my friends, is a mushroom, spinach panini.  (Originally saw the recipe here when we first started our new eating habits, discussed here).  Sounds so simple, but I really think you will be blown away by the flavor and simplicity. 



Here's what you need for 2 sandwiches: 
1 pound of white mushrooms, sliced
1 handful of spinach
4 slices of whole wheat or multigrain bread (we like Wheaty Wheat or the Motown Multigrain both from Avalon)
A bit of vegetable broth
2 stalks of green onions, chopped
A handful of cilantro, chopped
Hummus (try to get an all natural hummus, or if you can't find one, just make it yourself.  All I do for hummus is puree in a food processor the following ingredients, which I eyeball:  a can of chickpeas, tahini sauce, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, a clove of garlic and a bit of sea salt). 

Here's what to do: 
Cook the mushrooms in vegetable broth in a deep skillet.  (If you'd like specific instructions for that...add a bit of vegetable broth (about 1/4 of a cup) to a skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced mushrooms.  Stir to coat.  Cover the skillet and let cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5-10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to the mushrooms.  Let cook uncovered for about 5-10 more minutes, or until the liquid almost fully evaporates).  Take mushrooms out of skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer into a bowl and set aside.  Get rid of any excess liquid in your skillet and turn off the heat.  Layer all 4 slices of bread with a thick layer of hummus.  On 2 of the slices, add cilantro and green onions.    Pile on a bit of spinach and top with a generous helping of cooked mushrooms.  Cover the sandwich with the other slice of hummus covered bread and press down firmly.  Re-heat the skillet over medium heat.  Place both sandwiches in the skillet and put a heavy casserole dish on top of the sandwiches to squish them down.  Cook until brown, for about 5 minutes, on each side.  (Be careful when you flip so all of the stuffing doesn't fall out).  Cut in half for ease of eating.  Enjoy!  



I usually serve the sandwiches with roasted potatoes and whatever vegetable we have on hand. 

See those potatoes in the background?  They're kind of the best thing ever.  So good that I think you should know how to make them.  

The Best Crispy, Roasted Potatoes:  (America's Test Kitchen approved, so you know it's legit). 
Move oven rack to the bottom most position.  Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Slice about 1 - 1.5 pounds of baby potatoes or red-skinned potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place the potatoes in a dutch oven or heavy pot and top with 1 tablespoon of salt and cover with 1 inch of cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Drain the potatoes.  Toss potatoes in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Mix well with a rubber spatula.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and mix together for about 1 to 2 minutes, until fully coated.  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Working quickly, arrange potatoes in a single layer on the cookie sheet (place end pieces skin side up).  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.  After cooking for 20 minutes, gently flip each potato over with tongs.  Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.  Salt and pepper and serve. 

One remix to this recipe that I love is to place a few slices of lemon on the cookie sheet and bake along with the potatoes.  Sure, they'll burn, as you can see here, but the lemon juice lightly infuses the potatoes and gives them a fresh, interesting taste.  


The potatoes immediately above are baby potatoes and the ones pictured at the beginning of this post alongside the sandwich are red-skinned potatoes.  (Alessandro said he liked the red-skinned potatoes better).  I'm pretty sure I cooked them both for the same amount of time, but you can see how the baby potatoes browned up a bit more than the red-skinned potatoes in the same amount of time.  Even so, I would not adjust cooking time and I wouldn't mess with the potatoes when they're in the oven.  Keep the oven closed and trust the cooking times.  There's no such thing as an overly crispy potato is there?



Stay tuned for more Plant-Based recipes this week and next.  I've still got great recipes for delicious vegan pancakes, steel cut oats, lettuce wraps and a kale dish to share.  


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P.S.  I'm fully aware that oil is not plant-based and I feel bad every time I use it.  I have used oil when cooking pesto, hummus and potatoes because I do not see vegetable broth being an appropriate substitute.  But, whenever I think vegetable broth will do the job instead of olive oil, I do use it.  I'm just doing the best I can! 

4 comments:

  1. Anything with spinach and mushrooms is delicious in my book. I will have to try this recipe! Yum-o.

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    1. Yeah, you can't really go wrong with that combination!

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  2. omg, amazing. i love mushrooms so much even though they're so ugly. your pictures make my mouth water!

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    1. Ha ha...so funny that you judge your food's appearance : )

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