I learned to appreciate healthier food during my college experience in the Sunshine state of California. Believe it or not, one of my absolute favorite dishes, and last memories of barbecue, was a barbecued salmon dish. This of course was well before my knowledge of Farmed Fish and how it can offset our blood pH, causing skin, weight and health issues.
Inspired by a past life in California, and my present living arrangements in Texas, I hope you enjoy this updated version of healthier but authentic “barbecue”. I am soy-free, but there is also no oil, added sugar, or animal products. That said, the mighty mushroom, sweet bell peppers and spices sure did impress.
(Don’t let this photo fool you. The finished product disappeared too quickly for photographs).
Lauren’s Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 cup 365 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 8 minutes
- 1/2 cup medjool dates, soaked till soft (remove the pits), drained
- ¼ cup sundried tomato “soaking water”, discard the rest
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 ½ tsp chipotle powder (I used chipotle peppers. Remove the seeds and soak to hydrate, or run under warm water for 5 minutes)
- 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
(Double up this recipe and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for 7 days).
- 3 pounds portabella mushrooms, sliced (about 12 portabella caps)
- 4 leaves fresh sage
- 4 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 4 raw garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 5 tbsp raw coconut aminos, or gluten-free tamari
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large casserole dish lay out mushroom slices. While oven is preheating, combine all barbecue sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour sauce over mushrooms. Toss, and let mushrooms marinate while you prepare your other ingredients. The longer the mushrooms marinate, the better the flavor so this dish can be prepared the night before and allowed to marinate over night in the fridge. Before baking, add remaining ingredients, except for the bay leaves and sage, and toss until well combined. Lay bay leaves and sage on top of mixture and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and discard leaves. Serve it up!
(Tip: You may place the casserole dish back into the oven on warm before serving.)