It’s in the 90’s today, and I truly feel like we skipped spring and went right to summer! Grass is green, garden is growing, skies are blue….and my husband has made sure that the BBQ has had it’s annual scrub and is ready for me! I love meals on the BBQ. Virtually no mess in the kitchen, and you don’t heat up the house using the oven or stovetop. It’s perfect! I must admit, our BBQ is under cover on the back patio, so I use it all year long…but there is something special about using the BBQ on a summer evening.

This past week, I spent some time with my girlfriend, Colleen. I took her to a place called Mod Pizza, where you build your pizza from the crust up and actually watch them put the ingredients on as you tell them what you like. It’s amazing. The crust is thin and crispy, and the pizza size is just right for one person. If you have one near you, be sure and try it. Super fresh ingredients and the pizza is fabulous! The whole reason I bring this up is that while I was sharing a meal with my girlfriend, she told me about a mushroom dish she made. It sounded yummy, so I came home and tried it myself. With a little tweaking to make it my own, and using the BBQ instead of the oven, I ended up with a summer dish that is out of this world! So, I absolutely have to share it with all of you! It’s a meatless dish, so it would be perfect to serve for your vegetarian guests.

California Girl comments: I am all about ditching the carbs but having food that actually tastes delicious and filling. Food just is unsatisfying if it doesn’t taste good. I love this recipe because it checks all of the boxes. Easy, fast cleanup, low carb, low sugar, healthy and yummy. It doesn’t get better than that!  Besides, by making this, I can then splurge and eat some of Ms. April’s fabulous desserts!  See how I did that?  *grin*

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Italian Mushroom Steaks

2 Portabello Mushrooms

6-8 TBSP of prepared marinara or spaghetti sauce

grated mozzarella cheese

6-8 cherry tomatoes, (I use the heirloom cherry tomatoes)

fresh basil

2 TBSP olive oil

fresh garlic (or cheat with the prepared stuff I use!)

sea salt

Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems. Pat dry with a paper towel and place on roasting pan. Stir together 2 tablespoons of olive oil with some fresh garlic that has been through a garlic press, or use prepared garlic as shown in the pictures! Using a basting brush, coat both the tops and the bottoms of the mushrooms.

Place the mushrooms, caps down so they make a bowl shape. Spoon about 3 -4 Tablespoons of prepared marinara or spaghetti sauce into the cap, spreading all the way to the edge with the spoon. The amount you use will depend on the size of your mushroom cap.

Sprinkle generously with grated mozzarella cheese, and cover with sliced cherry tomatoes. Regular cherry tomatoes will do, as will fresh diced roma tomatoes, but I use the heirloom cherry tomatoes for the diversity of color which makes the dish look so amazing when it is done! Now, sprinkle a little more cheese over the top of the tomatoes, but just a little! You don’t want to hide those beautiful spots of color!

Using kitchen scissors, cut 2-3 basil leaves in thin strips and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Now, use a pinch of sea salt over each mushroom cap.

I placed my mushrooms on a silicone sheet in the bbq and baked with the lid down for about 12 minutes. If you have never used one of these sheets in the BBQ, they are worth the investment and you can find one online through Amazon. It keeps your food from burning, and if your food is saucy or is small and would drop through the grates of the BBQ, this product prevents all that and still lets you have that great BBQ flavor! Plus, the food doesn’t stick to the grates, and you don’t have to clean the BBQ when you are finished! Just wash the sheet in hot soapy water. If you use the oven, place on a prepared roasting pan or baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and it is bubbly.

Using a spatula, lift off of the pan and plate! Serve with breadsticks or garlic bread!

California Girl comments: Don’t forget the wine! You want to make sure that you pair this with a lovely glass of red wine. I would suggest the 2010 Casone that you can purchase from Trader Joe’s for $9.99. To read more about this wine, check out our Bargain Wine of the Week post here.

I hope you enjoy! This is a light, low calorie, summertime meal I am sure you and your guests will enjoy!

Have a lovely week! ~Ms. April


  1. That looks delicious!! Such a simple recipe but you make it look so elegant! Thanks for sharing!! Will definitely be trying this one!

    • California Girl Reply

      Thanks for your comment Amanda. Ms. April comes up with these recipes for her large family of all ages and tastes. That’s why we love them and her! Keep on reading for more great recipes, travel and restaurant adventures..

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