Oven Roasted Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

Portobello mushrooms lend that satisfying meaty texture.  This sandwich is one of my absolute favorites.  With the sweetness from the red bell pepper sauce, the savory pesto, and the tangy mushroom marinade, it’s the perfect blend of flavors sandwiched between rustic focaccia rolls. Portobello’s are also natural sources for vitamin D!


(yield: 3/4  cup)


1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried italian herbs or 1/4 cup fresh

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. salt

dash pepper

1 tsp. mustard, dijon or yellow

2-4 portobello mushrooms (there is enough marinade to cover 4)


1. Whisk together all ingredients into a small bowl and emulsify. In a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, place the portobello mushrooms and pour the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate mushrooms for 1 hour or more. After marinating, place into oven at 350 for 1/2 hour, or until mushroom is tender.


(yield: 1 cup)



1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup white onion

3 small cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium sized tomato, diced

salt and pepper to taste

4 Tbsp. of water


1. Saute onion and bell pepper in sauté pan until soft.  Add garlic and tomato and and sauté for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Place all ingredients into a blender along with 4 Tbsp. of water, and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Return to sauce pan and keep warm.


(yield: 2-4 sandwiches)

You will need to prep or buy some pesto (see pesto post).  You will also need some dark leafy greens and focaccia rolls. I like to use spinach. To add even more veggies, I will sauté some extra onions, red bell, zucchini, and yellow squash.


2-4 focaccia rolls

pesto (pre-made or store bought)

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 zucchini

1/2 yellow squash

1/2 cup onion

1 cup spinach leaves

salt and pepper to taste


1. Toast focaccia rolls.  Set aside. Sauté bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, onion.  Season with salt and pepper .

2. Spread bell pepper sauce on one side of roll and pesto on the other. Fill sandwich with sautéed vegetable blend and place marinated mushroom inside along with spinach leaves.




GF Black Bean and Vegetable Empenadas

Empenadas; little pockets of goodness!  Having originated from Spain, these pastries are extremely popular throughout Latin and South America, and are often compared to the “hot pocket” of America.  Traditionally, they are often filled with meat, raisins, and olives. However sweet ones do exist , and are often made with guava and cream cheese, or fruit filled. Normally, they are fried.  I like to oven bake mine to make a healthier version. I chose to fill mine with black beans and a medley of diced vegetables.  They are so versatile, you can use the dough and fill them as you like. They are normally fried, but I like to bake mine to make them healthier.



Yield: 12 empenadas



2 1/4  + 1/3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill all purpose GF flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup of Spectrum organic shortening

1  cup of water

2 Tbsp. of egg replacer from EnerG

* Parchment Paper and a sheet pan for baking.


1. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 1/4 cup flour, egg replacer, and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Use a fork to stir in water a few Tbsp. at a time, until the mixture forms a ball. Add the remaining 1/3 flour to make certain the texture is correct. Pat into a ball, and flatten slightly.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Make filling while dough is refrigerating.





2 Tbsp. of olive oil + 1/4 cup (set aside 1/4 cup for brushing onto finished pockets)

1 small vidalia onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups of precooked black beans

1/4 cup yellow squash, chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 pinch of sea salt

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup organic raisins

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1/8 cup of fresh chopped cilantro


1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until tender.  Add the squash, black beans, garlic, paprika, cumin, and black pepper. Cook. Stir frequently.  Add raisins, lime juice, and cilantro. Adjust salt as needed.

3. Take the dough from the refrigerator.  Form the dough into 2 inch balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball out into a thin circle. Spoon some of the filling onto the center. Fold into half moon shapes.  Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers or by using a pastry crimper.  Lay finished stuffed and folded pockets onto parchment paper.

4. Brush with additional 1/4 cup olive oil, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.