Portobello Tacos with Avocado and Black Bean Corn Salsa – ViSalus Friendly

IMG_0190For my first recipe in the challenge of creating five ViSalus friendly dishes I decided to head south of the border. When most people think of Mexican food the images of refried beans, guacamole, gooey cheese and salt-infused meats pop into their heads; thank you, Taco Bell.  Mexican cuisine is actually a wonderful fusion of Mesoamerican and Spanish/European cooking that varies widely from region to region. Some of the street foods I experienced while in Mexico City were fresh, vibrant in their spices and simple by design, much different than anything I had here in the States. I decided to draw on some of those flavors as an inspiration for this recipe, and while it’s not authentic Mexican, the result is a healthy vegetarian take on Mexican street fare.

 

Black Bean Corn Salsa

  • 2 Tomatoes, medium sized, diced
  • 1/2 cup Black beans
  • 1/4 cup Whole kernel corn
  • 1 Green onion (scallion), chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cilantro leaves, I used dried but fresh is better
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (optional)

IMG_0184Just combine the ingredients in a bowl, give a few stirs and you’re done! Easy right? I suggest doing this a day before hand and storing it in the refrigerator over night just to allow the flavors to get acquainted with one another. I used dried cilantro because that’s what I had on hand and what I was planning on using in the marinade for the mushrooms. Fresh cilantro is always better, but IMG_0185if you’re planning on letting this rest a few hours before serving dried will work just as well. I want to point out that when shopping for the corn and black beans I did a lot of label reading. Pay attention to the sodium content. Some brands really go high with it and I ended up going with an organic brand for a few cents more over the store brand which had almost 4 times the sodium! I like to use citrus in place of salt where I can which is why I only added a pinch after I tasted the salsa. I’d also like to say that if I had only been making this for me, instead of my taste-testers for the evening, I would have added a few chili peppers to add some much needed heat.

Portobellos

  • 3 Portobello mushroom caps, stems trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 tsp Cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp Badia fajita seasoning (low in sodium, no unpronounceable ingredients)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground

IMG_0186I cut the mushrooms into slices about 1/8th inch thick and laid them out on a foil covered baking sheet. Combined the remaining ingredients and spooned the marinade generously over the mushrooms. I let them sit on top the stove while my oven preheated to 375F. Once the oven is up to temperature, bake uncovered for 15 minutes. If you check on them while in the oven, up until the IMG_0188final three minutes it may seem like nothing is happening. I assure you they’ll transform, becoming softer, reducing in size and create drippings from the moisture they expel! When finished cooking, transfer to a serving plate, I use a metal steak platter so I can keep them warm until ready to serve.

Tacos

  • Cooked mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • White corn tortillas
  • Black bean corn salsa
  • Lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Lime wedges

IMG_0189At this point it’s up to you how you’d like to serve this up. I prefer the family style method of placing everything in the center of the table, allowing my guests to build their own. I use white corn tortillas, they’re lower in fat and calories compared to other tortillas or taco shells on the market and they give a much more authentic feel to the dish. I heat them for about 10 seconds per side in a saute pan over medium heat to soften them up. Be careful, as they come out of the bag they’re quite fragile. After heating I take two plates of the same size and flip one on the other to create a place to keep the tortillas warm and trap the moisture. Avocado slices add a creamy texture and are a wonderful source of monounsaturated fats which help reduce LDL, are a great source of B vitamins as well as vitamins E & K. They also decrease triglyceride levels and help increase HDL, in other words, they’re good for you. I used fat free cheddar cheese, which is a little dryer than regular cheddar but works well on tacos. I do have to admit that I tried using fat free sour cream and found it rather disappointing but at this point the decisions are yours, go with what fits into your goals. I found half-fat sour cream is quite palatable. Feel free to pour on your favorite hot sauce or add other toppings that fit your fancy, it’s your choice how you want to own this dish. I serve these with fresh lime wedges to add a little more citrus in place of salt. I kept portions small, adding only a slice or two of the avocado, a teaspoon of sour cream and a pinch or two of the cheddar to each taco – you don’t need to over do it to get a lot of flavor from this dish. Keep in mind, I’m not a nutritionist so my calculations may be a little off here and there but I’ll post the nutritional information below. I really hope you enjoy this recipe and that it fits well into whatever goals you may have, whether it’s the ViSalus 90 Day Challenge or just wanting to eat a little healthier tonight. Please share with your friends and thank you very much for looking!

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Nutrition based on 8 tacos, 2 per serving

  • Calories 262
  • Fat 6g
  • Protein 10g
  • Sodium 525mg (most of which came from the cheese)
  • Cholesterol <1mg
  • Carbohydrate 8g

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