Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
I have no inclination to become a vegetarian or especially a vegan at all, but that’s not to say that as a carnivore I can’t enjoy vegetarian or even vegan food. I love mushrooms and don’t make them as often as I probably would because my wife thinks they’re creepy looking, seriously. However, when it comes to looking for something to stuff grains and veggies into, not too many things can replace the portabella mushroom.
When I first finished the plating the mushrooms, I was like, “what the hell did I just make?” It isn’t the most photogenic meal I had ever made and was a bit disappointed at first. Once I began eating it however, my disappointment began shrinking as fast as the mushroom caps did in the oven. The garlic and rosemary that were in the caps when they were roasted, really added depth and the balsamic added extra umami (Japanese food term that describes “meatiness” or “savory”) flavor to an already meaty mushroom. The stuffing, or more topping in this case, was hearty enough to satisfy us without feeling overstuffed and the balsamic glaze added a nice almost sweet element to round out the flavor. The meal was a success in the end and since I started it as a guilt-free dinner, I was sure glad to end it that way as well.
4 Portabella Mushroom Caps
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Quinoa
3-4 Large Kale Leaves, ribs removed and sliced thin
1 Medium Red Onion small diced
2 Celery Stalk small diced
6 Cloves of garlic minced and divided
2 Branches of Rosemary
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
3/4 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
My wife and I went over a friend’s house recently and I watched them prepping dinner, which included dicing an onion. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to sound pretentious, but watching the onion being massacred, not to mention how dangerously it was done, made me cringe. Below I included a simple diagram for proper onion dicing for those who would like to know.
Next prep the caps. Take a paper towel and wipe off the caps to remove any excess dirt. Next pull the stems out and dice them. Now with a teaspoon, scoop out the gills and add them to the diced stems. Scooping out the gills will give you more room for stuffing and instead of just throwing them away we will just make them part of the filling. Take the mushroom caps and divide 3 of the minced cloves of garlic between them. Place half of 1 branch of rosemary in the center of each cap, sprinkle some balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with about half of the olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 375º while you begin the filling. In a pot with a lid, add the rest of the olive oil and sauté the onions and celery for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the garlic and the mushroom scraps and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, kale, wine and water and season everything with salt and pepper. Cover with the lid and cook for about 15 minutes until the liquid is gone and the quinoa is cooked through. Add more water by tablespoons if necessary to finish the quinoa.
While cooking the filling, roast the mushroom caps for 12 – 15 minutes. I roasted the caps for about 20 minutes and they shrunk and flattened out way too much. They tasted fine but learn from my mistake and pull them out sooner. Remove the rosemary branches.
Turn the oven down to 200º. Divide the filling between the four mushroom caps and place back in the warm oven. Put the rest of the vinegar in a small pan and heat over medium high and keep cooking until the vinegar is reduced and syrupy. Plate the mushrooms and drizzle the sauce over the top and on the plate.
I would especially love to hear back from any vegetarians or vegans on what they think about this recipe. I look forward to hearing from you!