I grew up eating mushrooms. My folks enjoyed them a variety of ways including fried, fresh sliced on salads and in my Dad's famous beef stroganoff. With their meaty flavor they were always a way to stretch our meat budget and add flavor to a dish.
Now, as a mom, I add mushrooms to even more of our favorite foods. My lip-smacking, kid-pleasing marinara sauce is full of diced mushrooms, I love adding them to my home fries, they are the center-piece of my holiday stuffed mushroom appetizers and they have even made their way regularly into our meatless Monday meals.
For me mushrooms are a healthy way to cut down on our meat consumption. With grocery bills rising and our family expanding with a new baby, I need to get creative about the healthy alternatives I feed my family. No, we aren't vegetarians, but some days we eat like them. Even my kids get into the act and I have several dishes that I make with them in mind. One I want to share today is our Stuffed Portabella Caps with Leek and White Button Mushroom Filling. I promise, these are so easy to put together and the sweet leeks go so well with the hearty mushrooms.
This recipe was created specifically for my 5-year old son who just a year ago was a picky eater. Today he loves both leeks and eggplant. I don't blame him! When sauteed with butter, a little salt and garlic, they have such a mild and sweet flavor together. Their creamy texture lends itself well to a filling. I just added in some button mushrooms, celery, stock and bread crumbs to round it out.
Saute till tender and then simmer for a minute or two in the stock. Adding the bread crumbs will create a thicker 'paste' that spoons well into the mushroom caps.
Bake this for 20 - 25 minutes until the cap is softened and the top begins to brown. This large Portabella will be enough to share between us, cut into wedges, but these would also make a nice main entree for a larger eater.
Why do I love mushrooms? Here are some surprising facts:
- Always in season
- A Natural source of vitamins D and B
- Rich in antioxidants to boost your immune system
- Texture and umami quality allows them to be a perfect substitute for meat, or as a filler
- Naturally fat-free
- Low in calories - Just 20 calories per cup!
Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
You Will Need:
- 2 large Portabella mushroom caps
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c. eggplant diced
- 2 white button mushrooms, diced
- 1 leek, sliced thin and cleaned
- 1 celery stalk, diced thin
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 c. vegetable stock
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I used Tapioca bread crumbs, but any will do)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
Start by cleaning your Portabella mushrooms with a dry paper towel. Gently knock off any dirt or debris. Remove the stem, chop and reserve. With a spoon gently scrape out the gills inside the caps. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a saute pan, heat the butter and soften the eggplant, button mushrooms, reserved mushroom stems, leeks, celery and garlic over medium-low heat. When soft add the stock and simmer for a minute or two. Taste and salt and pepper as necessary.
Take off the heat and add the bread crumbs till it makes a moist paste. Put mushrooms caps into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and fill the caps with the filling mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cap is softened and the filling is golden brown.
Now you should have all the motivation you need to make some meal swaps yourself and fully enjoy the versatility mushrooms have to offer.
Come join the TWITTER PARTY!
Wednesday, March 20th 8-9 PM EST you will have a chance to talk about mushrooms and why you love them. Use the #MushroomDish hashtag during the party. The RSVP link will go out as soon as it is available It will be a great time with tasty talk and the full dish on getting the most out of mushrooms. I hope to see you there!
Question: Does your family have a favorite mushroom recipe? How do you use them most often?