Sunday, April 3, 2011

Portanini Portabella Mushroom Panini

Grilled Portabella Mushroom Panini
with Roasted Red Peppers 
and low-fat Garden Basil spread
This sandwich special sold out in the cafe at South Jersey Healthcare's Regional Medical Center. Sales were strong, even before 12 noon. At that time we knew this recipe was on its way to being a popular National Nutrition Month grill special. And it was indeed. 

Never having offered this special, my supervisor had me start with preparing 3 cases of portabella mushrooms. They sold quickly - we had to prepare another 3 cases. Everything had to be remade, not just once, but three times! I quickly mixed together another batch of low fat garden pesto spread and roasted another batch of red bell peppers. Some of the PortaniniTM success was attributed to the fact that it was a meatless Friday for people observing Lent.

Recipe and Development

I came up with the PortaniniTM during National Nutrition Month® - a promotion from the American Dietetic Association focusing attention on 'Eating Right with Color' from all the food groups. Each dietetic intern (there were 5 of us) had a chance to feature their own specials during the month. After another intern had success the previous week with a zucchini squash panini, I decided to feature my portabella mushroom sandwich as a panini too.

PortaniniTM Nutrition
The vegetable-packed, portabella mushroom panini provides an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and K, dietary fiber, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, selenium, copper, manganese and iron. And it is a good source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, phytosterols, zinc, magnesium and calcium. The dressing and cheese are sources of sodium, as well as flavor; therefore the seasoning should be used sparingly. 

Eating the recommended daily amount of vegetables is easy with a PortaniniTM. MyPyramid recommends adults consume 2 1/2 - 3 servings of vegetables a day. This panini packs in 2 servings of sliced portabella mushrooms, and 1 serving of dark green spinach.
Putting it all together

Yields 4 servings (note: you can easily use this recipe as a guide and make it for large crowds as we did at the hospital cafe)

4 Portabella mushroom caps
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
5 oz frozen chopped Spinach (or 4-5 cups raw fresh)
3 oz low-fat shredded cheese blend (we used a Tex-Mex 4-cheese blend)
4 slices roasted red peppers
2 Tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garden basil pesto (homemade is the best kind!)
Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning to taste (garlic, salt, onion, black pepper, parsley, red pepper, orange peel, paprika, green bell pepper)
8 slices Italian Panini (or gluten free) bread

Prepare the next 5 steps and then you will be ready to make your Panini sandwiches
  1. Rinse mushrooms under water and rub tops with hands to clean off surface microorganisms. Slice each mushroom into 4-5 slices and place in a large bowl or pan. Drizzle olive oil and San-J dressing over mushrooms and gently toss to coat; set aside
  2. Unthaw spinach and squeeze out excess liquid. Hand mix together the spinach and shredded cheese; set aside
  3. Combine the mayo and garden basil pesto with seasoning and set aside
  4. Roast red peppers, slice (skin on) into 1/4" strips and set aside
  5. Grill or sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until tender. Remove to a holding pan.
Panini sandwich assembly
  1. Spread the basil mayo on each slice of bread.
  2. Arrange 4-5 cooked mushroom slices on one slice of bread.
  3. Top with 2 ounces of cheese/spinach blend.
  4. Top with 4 slices of roasted red peppers.
  5. Grill using a Panini press or on a flat top griddle or cast iron skillet until heated through.
Buon Appetito!

GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: serving size 1 sandwich (266g): calories: 347; total fat 15g; saturated fat 3g; trans fat 0; cholesterol 10mg; sodium 548mg; total carbohydrates 40g; dietary fiber 5g; protein 16g; Vitamin A (73%DV); Vitamin C (58%DV); Calcium (19%DV); Iron (20%DV)

Special Thanks to Janelle, Holly, Victor, Tammie, Art, Joel, Linda and everyone who helped me at SJH!

Related Links
San-J products and recipes
for Vitamin D: Read product labels - try Dole portabella mushrooms with vitamin D. Vitamin D is added the same way that milk gets fortified - by UV light. 
Blog Article and photos Copyright © 2011 D.Wind. All rights reserved. 'Eat Right with Color' is a slogan for the American Dietetic Association's National Nutrition Month®

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