The Kitchen Prep: Easy Balsamic Portobello Tacos

Monday, August 11, 2014

Easy Balsamic Portobello Tacos

Pregnancy has resulted in a funny emotional side effect for me: Abundant euphoria.

I was completely anticipating mood swings like the ones you see on TV; the kind where the expectant mother is happily chattering away one moment and then having a royal hormonal meltdown the next. I was ready for tearful hysterics over cell phone provider commercials and sudden, unexpected fury over my husband eating the last of the hummus.

Luckily for me {and for him!}, that has not been the case at all. If anything, I've been eerily pleasant despite the multitude of new and unusual feelings that crop up daily as this baby continues to take up ample residence in my insides.

My emotions normally range from contentment to pure excitement and joy over nothing especially exciting which -- I must say -- is both refreshing and strange. A cozy Saturday night in comfy pj's watching Dateline with my husband and pup. Bliss! A post-workout shower using my new favorite soap? Rapture! 

I'm ready to be rid of some of the small unpleasantries that come with growing a little human... but can I please hang on to this bizarre jubilance that has washed over me?? How THAT would come in handy during a 2 a.m. feeding...

Even though this unexplained phenomenon has made for a wonderful coping mechanism in the face of any disappointment I may have faced throughout these months, it doesn't mean I haven't had some things to be bummed about. For example, this week alone I'm dealing with a few things. My little sister is moving to Virginia for law school, my grandma is in the hospital again for back surgery and one of my good friends is unexpectedly moving back home far from here.

Though I'm a little sad, my "pregnancy hormone life preserver" has kept me afloat in the sea of all things melancholy. That and food. Food always helps, too.

Comfort food can come in so many forms -- rich, satisfying stews; sweet, decadent desserts; classics that take all day to make. And then there's these: Spicy portobello tacos.

You know why these are comforting? Because they're so quick and easy to make. And because they're filling without being bad for you. {Hello, meatless Monday.} And the one-two punch of flavor from syrupy balsamic glaze and fiery adobo sauce doesn't hurt things, either.

I totally ripped off the idea from some new menu items I got to preview a few weeks ago at Cantina Laredo in Palm Beach Gardens. I enjoyed them so much there that I knew I had to recreate them at home. Especially because drowning my sorrows in their fresh Pineapple Margaritas isn't currently an option. If it were, all bets may be off.

But for now, I'm counting on pregnancy highs and spicy tacos to get me through the hard times. If you ask me, that's a pretty potent cocktail. Cheers to happier times ahead.

Easy Balsamic Portobello Tacos
Inspired by Cantina Laredo
Makes about 4 tacos

3-4 large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1/2 an onion, diced
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons balsamic glaze*
4 of your favorite tortillas {I used a corn/wheat blend}, heated through
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo*
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, divided
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Optional: 1/4 cup queso fresco

1. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a skillet over high heat. Add portobello slices and cook, stirring often, until they start to release their juices. When liquid has somewhat cooked away, add onion and a sprinkle of salt. Continue to cook until the onions have softened and the mixture isn't as wet.

2. Add balsamic glaze and toss to fully coat mushrooms. Cook for another minute or two to let the mushrooms absorb the glaze.

3. Set out warm tortillas. {You can heat them through by wrapping in a damp paper towel and zapping in the microwave for a few seconds or by individually placing them on a heated skillet for about 30-45 seconds on each side}. Smear a little adobo sauce on each one. {Warning: This stuff can be pretty spicy! If you're not used to the heat, you may want to go easy on the sauce.}

4. Place a scoop of cooked balsamic portobello mixture on each tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of goat cheese {and/or queso fresco if desired} and some cilantro, along with any other of your favorite taco toppings.

*For Balsamic Glaze

You can buy pre-made balsamic glaze in most grocery stores, or easily make it at home by bringing about 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil over high heat and then allowing it to reduce down to a few tablespoons.

You'll know it's ready when you dip in a spoon and it coats it like a syrup. If you cook it down too much, just add a little water or extra balsamic and stir until you get the right consistency. You can also add a dash of honey for some extra sweetness if desired.

**Chipotles in adobo last me forever. I simply scoop them out of the can and place them individually on a lined baking pan to freeze, then pop them into a zip top bag and store in the freezer. I toss these into soup, chili, sauces and even rice whenever I want a smoky, spicy kick.


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan said...

Hope you continue to enjoy your happy feelings, pass some over my way for this Monday, ok?! Also, these tacos, I'm going to eat them allll!

Shaina Wizov said...

I'm jealous of your abundant euphoria. Send some my way! :) and while you're at it, send some of these tacos too. Portobellos and goat cheese....YUM!!

Allie BakingAMoment said...

I'm so glad for you! What a nice side effect and what a lovely recipe too! ;)

Christine at Cook the Story said...

Your tacos look amazing!

_sugarmountain said...

I want these tacos right now! I just had my sandwich at work but nope, I need these tacos STAT! Happy to hear the pregnancy is providing you with positive mood swings instead of grumpy/sad ones. Fingers crossed it stays that way, right? :)

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