I'm not a vegetarian, by a long shot. I enjoy poultry and beef too much to give them up completely. But I am trying to consciously cut down on my meat consumption. As a result, I've become more interested in developing main course recipes that use little or no meat.
These stuffed mushrooms are vegetarian, but if you're a meat-lover, don't let that fact scare you. They are filling enough to be a main dish and tasty enough that you won't miss the meat. Or, you can always use them as a side dish with a simple chicken cutlet or piece of baked, poached or broiled fish.
The spinach and cheese that form the basis for the stuffing are a great combination and a healthy way to get calcium and vitamins A and C. Also, the tomatoes included in the stuffing help you absorb the iron in the spinach.
This recipe uses a toaster oven, but you can use a regular oven if you prefer. In that event, you'll need a small cookie sheet or pan, preferably with low sides.
Stuffed Portabella mushroom caps - 2 servings. Total cost $9.20 (less than $5 per serving)
There is no standard size for large portabella mushroom caps - packages usually contain 2 or 3.
- 2 large portabella mushroom caps (large enough to stuff)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ medium onion (about ⅓ cup)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces fresh baby spinach (smaller, more tender leaves than regular)
- 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese (soft cheese, like cottage cheese but no water or lumps)
- ½ cup tomatoes, chopped (about 6 cherry tomatoes or 8-10 grape tomatoes)
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped basil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup bread crumbs (I prefer Panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs)
- ¼ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
Equipment (besides toaster oven with its own tray)
- Cutting board
- Small spoon - I used a grapefruit spoon (with a serrated edge, handy for cutting out the inside of the mushroom caps)
- Large spoon
- Garlic press
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Medium-large pan
- Cheese grater or shredder For step-by-step directions, including pictures, click here.
Follow Laura Kumin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MotherWouldKnow