Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Marinated Mushroom and Brie Bruschetta

I'm not sure how it came up, the whole vegetarian thing, in passing coversation with an acquaintance the other day. I'm not preachy about the way I eat...I figure it's a personal choice and we each have to make those in one way or another. But still, it did come up somehow and what the man said to me was both funny and a little surprising.

He said, "You must get tired of being hungry all the time."

Let's pause here a second.

As vegetarians, we get used to the judgy: "That can't be healthy..."

or the ever famous "Where's your protein?"

We get used to the quasi-funny, where someone posts a picture of Bambi on your facebook page with a caption under it:  "YUM." (seriously, stop.  That joke has played out and it never really was funny to begin with. So stop it.)

But every now and then someone really does make me laugh about the whole topic. Back to what this guy said about being hungry. It's funny because for one, I have been working on taking off an extra few pounds that have stubbornly hung on after the birth of my last son, so in a way, yes, I am hungry because I'm dieting. Kind of. Not really. I'm a poor dieter. So are most people. But back to the topic.

But also, it's funny because I eat WAY better than when I ate meat. It used to be easy; grab a few slices of bread, add meat slices, cheese...you've got a sandwich... or whatever... (insert standard three portion meal here of meat, grain, vegetable, all with way too much meat and very little vegetable)

But to eat vegetarian, you have to get a little creative with the flavor. Flavor you can actually taste and appreciate now that your tastebuds aren't so overloaded with salt. You can't just take out the meat and call it a meal, you have to replace it with something. Something that is hopefully not fake-meat.

 I'm sure there are many vegetarians who are just getting by on toast and salad, but eventually you either move onto bigger culinary adventures, or you give up out of deprivation. So I got better at cooking.

Maybe I got a little preachy there. Sorry, didn't mean to. What I mean to say is this: I am hungry, but it's only because it is so good to be a vegetarian.

on to the recipe folks:
Mushrooms, brie, red peppers...oh my! Originally I was going to make this as a sandwich, but bruschetta seemed prettier and easier to eat. Creamy, crunchy and savory, all at the same time, this was a very nice late-night dinner for Mr. Garrett and myself.


1 whole grain baguette, sliced
1 package baby bella mushrooms (about 8 mushrooms), sliced
Teriyaki sauce
1 jar roasted red peppers, or 1 fresh pepper, sliced
Double cream brie, sliced into rectangles
Greens for garnish (I used arugula here)

Combine  mushrooms in a bowl and about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. Cover and let marinate for at least an hour, but preferably up to 4 hours.

When ready, drain the excess sauce off the mushrooms, and saute the mushrooms and peppers in hot oil until browned, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, toast the bread slices on an ungreased cookie sheet, in the oven at 350 degrees, about 10 minutes.

Top the bread with the brie, followed by the mushroom mixture and return to oven until the brie is soft and melty, about another 5-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with greens. Serve immediately.