High in fiber and low in fat, this lunch is also a terrific dinner—it makes your RealAge 4.2 days younger.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 large Portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound)
Garlic flavored cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quick cooking barley, such as Mother’s brand
2 cups low salt chicken or mushroom broth
3 cups packed arugula leaves, separated into 1 cup and 2 cup “groupings”
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Place vinegar in a small non-reactive saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil gently uncovered until reduced to 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, remove stems from mushrooms; chop and set aside. Coat mushroom caps with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Grill over medium coals or broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source 4 to 5 minutes per side or until tender. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray; add chopped mushroom stems and stir-fry 1 minute. Add barley; stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 2 cups of the arugula until wilted—about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to serving plates. Arrange grilled mushrooms over barley mixture; top with remaining 1 cup arugula and pine nuts. Drizzle reduced vinegar over all.
Chopping and then cooking the mushroom stems adds flavor to the grain—make sure you include them, except for the very tough end, which you can save for compost or stock.
Toasted chopped Brazil nuts may replace the pine nuts and baby spinach leaves may replace the arugula.