Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The chili delight you see here is vegetarian, gluten-free, low-fat, high fiber and so good for you that you won't have to feel guilty in the least for how wonderful it tastes. If you make a vegetarian chili, use almost no oil in sweating the onions, garlic and mushroooms, bulk it up with vegetables and make sure it contains a hefty amount of protein even before you add non-plant sources, you have an incredibly healthy dish that will definitely help you on the way to bikini pride. And that's even with a topping of grilled mozzarella cheese (part-skim, of course).

The secret ingredient to this dish is a portabello mushroom. If you grew up on English muffin pizzas, then you will understand how this combination takes the old favorite to new nutritional and weight-watching heights. Instead of the usually fairly empty calories of the traditional breadstuff, we have a similarly-shaped, but healthier substitute, a fungus that contains, for each 3 oz mushroom, 22 calories, approximately one gram of fiber, no fat and 2 grams of protein. Quite an improvement over the muffin!

Portabello Chili Tart

Serves two.


4 medium mushrooms, approximately 4 inches in diameter

1 cup chili

1 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced and cut into small squares.


Wash the mushrooms with a damp cloth. There are two schools of thought on removing the dark gills of portabello mushrooms. If you don't have a preference, why not remove them on half the mushrooms, and let them stay on the other half, and make a final decision later? If you want to remove them, you will find a small teaspoon or a grapefruit knife helpful.

Place all the mushrooms, gills up, under a broiler until you see they are full of liquid, about ten minutes.

Discard the liquid before filling each mushroom with 1/4 cup chili and chopped fresh cilantro.

Top each mushroom with one quarter of the cheese.

Broil until cheese is melted and browned.

Note re chili recipe: This is a large recipe, so you might want to halve it, depending on your available freezer space. Try using cooking spray on the pan and then adding only the smallest amount of oil necessary, rather than using the full 2 tablespoons.

Photos © Bernice Mast

More weight-loss-friendly gluten-free foods:

Vegetable Frittata Recipe

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