Salsa Verde Portobello Sandwich

Big news!!! Both my sister and I have recently decided to transition into a mostly vegetarian, somewhat vegan diet. New studies and information continue to be published that only support the fact that eating a diet primarily based in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts are some of the only ways to really prevent/stave off heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, some digestive issues and even cancer.

Now I am aware that millions of people already practice vegetarianism/veganism safely and healthily, but I wanted to make sure to do plenty of research in order to be fully informed of the food modifications/alterations/substitutions I’d be making. I also felt that it was important to understand which possible nutrient deficiencies were more common among both vegetarians and vegans versus omnivores**. In my quest to start this new lifestyle change ASAP, I rustled up some mushrooms and concocted this absolutely scrumptious and simple sandwich.

**Possible deficiencies to be aware of: B12, iron, calcium, iodine, zinc, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.**

Ingredients:

– 1 portobello mushroom
– 1 tsp olive oil
– 1 clove garlic (minced)
– 2 tbsp salsa verde (I use Pace)
– 2-3 slices of tomato
– 1-2 tbsp chopped (or whole, whatever you prefer) cilantro
– 2-3 tbsp pinto beans
– 1 baby bell pepper
– 1 mini whole wheat pita

Directions:
1. Always wash any produce you use, in this case I thoroughly rinsed the mushroom, cilantro, tomato and bell pepper.
2. I put a pan over medium heat and added the oil and minced garlic. After about 5 minutes I placed the mushroom in to the pan and covered it with a lid to sauté it a bit.
3. While the mushroom was cooking I microwaved the pinto beans (about 45 seconds). After removing the beans from the microwave I mashed them and added the salsa verde to the bowl, mixing it in with the beans completely.
4. After about 4 minutes, I turned the mushroom and allowed it to cook (over low heat) for another 4 minutes.
5. When the mushroom was done, I took a toasted pita, added the mushroom, bean/salsa paste, sliced tomatoes and pepper to one side, garnished with cilantro and proceeded to stuff my face.

Let me tell you it was an absolute delight and really easy to make. I highly recommend it!

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