Mushrooms are low in calorie and the fiber found in them help lower bad cholesterol.  Eggplants and squash are both high in potassium which helps keep your heart healthy. And tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content.  Although this recipe does not include any actual meat, the vegetables used here are exceptional and will fill any hunger that you’ll feel like you just ate fillet mignon.


• 1 Eggplant, sliced  ½ inch thick
• 1 yellow squash, sliced  ½ inch thick
• 2 large tomatoes, sliced ¾ inch thick
• 4-6 large Portobello mushroom caps
• Crumbled farmers cheese
• Olive oil, for drizzling
• Sea salt
• Fresh ground pepper


• While heating a grill pan, slice all veggies.
• Drizzle olive oil over all veggies.  Then with the exception of the mushroom, season with salt and pepper.
• Over medium to high heat, cook about 5 minutes on each side. (Some veggies may cook faster than others.)
• Over a bed of baby greens, begin stacking your veggies starting with the eggplant.
• Add mushroom cap, tomato and some crumbled cheese.  (Cheese will begin to melt in between hot veggies).
• Continue stacking with another eggplant slice, yellow squash and top with more crumbled cheese.
• Finish off with a light drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
To make your own simple dressing, you will need:
• ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ¾ cup olive oil

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with garlic, salt and pepper until salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil in small amounts, whisking constantly or place all ingredients in an airtight container and shake vigorously.

Makes 4-6 veggie stacks.

Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website

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