Tag Archives: grilled

Individual No-Fat Barbecued Pizza

I’ve spent a lot of time lately cooking outside on the grill while I wait for my new oven to arrive.  Fortunately, I benefit from my college-age son’s vast experience at this.  He has taught me that if you are really doing it right, barbecue  can be the centerpiece activity for your family or your guests  Don’t just cook outside, party outside! Take your time. Don’t try to do 5 other things. You wait until the coals are really ready. You gather your people in comfortable chairs by the grill so they can enjoy the smells and watch the lusciousness emerge. Everybody loves to help, even if it is just to offer advice!

To really pull people into the scene, I love to do individual pizzas, where everyone assembles their own from an assortment of ingredients. For an easy crust, I use Basson Pita Bread.  It stands up to the coals well without charring, and crisps up perfectly after 20 minutes on a low grill.  You can use any sauce you like, but I like a raw sauce where the flavors are bright and stand up to the smokey grilled flavor of the crust. I also enjoy using a good no-oil barbecue sauce.  Spoon your finished sauce onto the pitas, lay out your array of ingredients and let your eaters make their masterpieces.  Grill for about 20 minutes on low heat, covered, checking often to be sure your coals are not too hot for the bread. Use the indirect method of grilling if possible, discussed here at BBQ University. With this pita bread and the correct low heat, you will not need to oil the grill, making this an Esselstyn diet success.

Quick no-cook tomato sauce:

1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 TBSP agave or maple syrup
1 tsp salt
dash ground chipotle or black pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth.

Set out your pizza toppings. For the most part, be sure you have pre-cooked the toppings, since they will not be on the grill long enough to cook. I’ve found a couple successful exceptions: finely chopped garlic, thinly slice red onion, and of course, fresh sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes.  Some of my favorite combinations are here:

BBQ sauce with Smoked Tomato Field Roast, pan-grilled onions, broth-sautéed sliced sweet potato/yam, sunflower seeds and fresh chopped basil

Tomato sauce with fresh sliced tomato, broth-sautéed sliced fennel root, chopped garlic, steamed snow peas, fresh chopped parsley and toasted walnuts

Sun-dried tomato (water packed or re-hydrated dried), chopped artichoke hearts and toasted walnuts w/fresh chopped herbs (basil, mint, parsley)

Tomato sauce with sautéed wild mushrooms and fresh herbs

Grilled Stuffed Portabello with Spinach, Garlic & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Grilled Portabello Stuffed with Spinach, Garlic, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Grilling without fat is my new puzzle to solve for the summer. I’ve got a winner this week with my no-fat vegan stuffed Portabello.  The ingredients I’ve used are succulent, but the real trick with this one is to grill it over some natural mesquite wood charcoal.  There are a lot of whole hardwood lump charcoal brands available.  I used Best of the West Natural Mesquite Briquettes, which I got at Fred Meyer.  A small 8 Cup tower of them burned to “ready” in 20 minutes and lasted perfectly for my batch of 4 mushrooms.

This mushroom can certainly be done in the oven, but it is a whole different animal after spending 20 minutes intimately mingling with hardwood smoke on my Weber tabletop grill.  This recipe is an adaptation of one from the Weber’s Real Grilling cookbook.

Grilled Stuffed Portabello with Spinach, Garlic and Sun-dried Tomatoes

6-8 C Chopped fresh spinach
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 C halved fresh cherry tomatoes
1/2 C water-packed or re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. capers, drained and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 or 4 medium portabello mushrooms
2 C fresh bread crumbs (Dave’s Goodseed or your favorite no-oil vegan bread)
1 clove peeled garlic
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro

Instructions

1. Prepare the grill.  Make a stack of charcoal, enough for a single layer under your mushrooms, and light.  After 20 minutes, the coals should be ready to spread out in a single layer under the grate.

2. Gently rinse the portabellos and remove the stems. With a spoon, scrape out the black gills and discard.  Marinate the caps for 15 minutes with a few splashes of seasoned rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

3. Make the filling in a saucepan.  Put the first 7 ingredients together and heat over medium heat, covered with a lid, until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally and adding a small  amount of water when necessary to keep from sticking or burning.

4. Prepare the breadcrumbs in the food processor.  I use 2 slices of bread and 2 peeled clove of garlic.  Process and toast at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.  Chop your fresh herbs and set aside with the breadcrumbs.

5. Grill your mushroom caps for 10 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill and stuff each cap with your filling.  Return to the grill (which should now be on a low heat- maybe 300 to 325 degrees) for 15 to 20 minutes, closing the lid and allowing the wood smoke to mingle with the mushrooms.

6. Remove the cooked portabellos from the grill.  Cover each cap well with toasted breadcrumbs and sprinkle with chopped herbs.