It rained lightly all day yesterday which is a good thing when you are trying to get seeds to sprout. I was looking out my second story window this morning at my raised garden beds wondering if any of my seeds sprouted overnight from last weeks planting. It was too great of a distance for me to tell for sure, but I thought I saw something green so I went out for a look. Sure enough I have several little Arugula sprouts showing off that they have beat out the other seeds for the honor of who sprouts first. I suspect my lettuce crop will show up next and then the beets and basil. Last but not least will probably be the peas of which I planted extra this year since they taste so good and grow so well here in the Spring.
If you haven’t planted a crop this year it’s not to late! Even if you think you don’t have space for such farming think again. Check out the concept of square foot gardening, vertical gardening, and container gardening, where most anyone can grow a bit of produce on their own. Here’s a link to the University of Maryland’s “Grow it, Eat It” article to get you started:
Here’s a bit from their article of one of the benefits to using these methods:
Better control over growing conditions (water, sunlight, nutrients) can lead to higher yields with less work than a conventional garden (10 sq. ft. can produce 50 lbs. of fresh organic produce).
With these types of gardening almost anyone can grow their own vegies and fruit. Just get on out to your favorite garden shop or big box hardware store and load up on the items needed for your space. You could even grow your own mushrooms if you want, but that’s an indoor crop.
Speaking of mushrooms, I made Grilled Portabella Sandwiches last night, and boy are they good! They are just about as hearty as a burger, and super yummy. When you put them on a bun with sauteed onions and bell peppers topped with jalapeno jack cheese it makes a substantial sandwich. Served up with a side of potato salad, or cole slaw, and chips it makes a great summer lunch or dinner meal.
What about the time it takes to marinate the portabellas? Forget that time consuming step, because yours truly, the Fast and Furious Cook has come up with a way that produces a great tasting mushroom without marinating it. This recipe takes all of 15-20 minutes to prepare and cook. Give it a try and see if you agree that this is a great way to eat great tasting food that is quick, healthy and simple. And get that garden planted because Spring is here!
Grilled Portabella Sandwich
4 large portabella mushroom caps( about 4 inches across)
4-5 teaspoons garlic infused olive oil
your favorite steak seasoning salt
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced bell pepper, red or green
1 tablespoon olive oil
To clean the portabellas pop the stems off the mushroom caps, then rinse them with cool water, and wipe the top of the cap only with a kitchen towel. Set aside to finish drying.
Saute onions and peppers in the plain olive oil and season with steak seasoning.
Cook on medium low heat until soft,(about 15 minutes).
Brush top of mushroom caps with garlic infused olive oil then invert on a cutting board or other surface and drizzle the rest of the garlic infused oil on the insides(gills) of the caps.
Dust with the steak seasoning on both sides and grill cap side down/ gill side up for about 8 minutes, see note. Flip caps and cook for about another 6 minutes gill side down. Flip once more and divide sauteed onions and peppers on the gill side and top with cheese.
Continue cooking for about 1 minute until cheese is melted.
You can cook the mushrooms in an oven broiler, but if you do it works best to have a baking pan and rack combo the lets the mushroom juices drain. When using an outside gas or charcoal grill you don’t need to worry about the juices draining except that with charcoal the juices will put out some of your coals if your mushrooms are good and fresh!
Most steak seasonings work well with this recipe as they contain salt, pepper, garlic, onion and other herbs and spices that work well with portabella mushrooms. One of my favorites is McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning blend.
I like to use jalapeño jack cheese, but use whatever is your favorite cheese. I think manchego, cheddar or swiss would be good too!