One of the aspects of our new healthier eating style which I'm finding enjoyable is the challenge of revamping some of our old favorites to fit in with our new dietary goals.
The aim, in this initial weight-loss phase, is to keep our menus very low fat, low in carbohydrates, very low in cholesterol and low in sodium, yet high in interest and in flavor.
One thing hasn't changed--- we still live to eat ! :)
Gaucho Steak is one example of an old favorite, which was fairly healthy to start with ~ but it is traditionally made with beef steak, since we're off the red meat for now I substituted large, meaty portobello mushrooms for the steak. And the original version is high in sodium, I eliminated the salt all together this time.
I brushed the mushrooms all over very lightly with olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh minced garlic and cayenne pepper, and freshly ground black pepper then set them on a hot grill (gill/stem side down to begin), then flipped them after a few minutes. By starting stem side down, when you flip them over (cap side on the grill) for the second phase of grilling, the mushroom will 'cup' the juices it releases rendering the mushrooms as juicy and flavorful as can be.
I also grilled thick slabs of super healthy multi-grain sour dough bread until they acquired crispy grill marks, then rubbed each slice with a half of a raw garlic (peeled) clove. The rough toast performs as a micro-plane grater so the garlic absorbs into the toast.
For the Chimichurri Sauce, I kept the proportions relatively the same as in the original recipe, except I cut the olive oil way back to only 1 Tablespoon, and increased the vinegar, lemon juice, and fresh oregano. I added about a tablespoon of water to make the sauce more liquid. I omitted the salt in both the mushrooms and the sauce, but if reducing sodium is not a concern to you by all means leave it in, and follow the directions in the original recipe. (See below for the link.)
To assemble, slice each mushroom (I served one per person), thickly on the bias then arrange on the garlic toast, and spoon the Chimichurri Sauce over, generously. I garnish with lemon rind tendrils. We eat these sandwiches using forks and steak knives. :)
This one received 5 out of 5 stars at our table. It's really satisfying to still be able to enjoy the variety of flavors we're accustomed to while sticking to a healthier way of eating.
If you choose a bread without milk or eggs (easy to find), this one is also Vegan Friendly.
Tip: One of the things I do to replace the flavor lost by severely reducing the fat in recipes is to bump up the other flavors. Instead of red wine vinegar in the Chimichurri sauce I used my favorite Sherry vinegar.
Quality vinegars, lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, no-salt seasonings, pretty garnishes, attractive place settings, fresh flowers, and relaxing music go a long way to make mealtimes most enjoyable. By filling all of our senses, the things we have chosen to eliminate are barely missed.
For the original recipe, including the Chimichurri Sauce, please CLICK HERE.