These tasty little treats were a party staple when I was growing up. My mother would stuff them with savory fillings and we would all devour them! I love that there’s a special day devoted just to them! The recipe I am sharing with you today, Stuffed Mushrooms with Quinoa Veggies and Herbs, is an updated version with a healthier twist. Using quinoa instead of regular bread crumbs, and adding finely chopped veggies, makes them lighter, gluten-free, and really delicious. For an even healthier stuffed mushroom try using shiitake mushrooms, they are packed with nutrition, taste great, and high on the list of Super Foods. As I researched this article I discovered that stuffing mushrooms is a fairly new way of serving them. It originated in America back in the early 20th century when Italian immigrants were hired to help with the cultivation of mushrooms on the farm of J.B. Swayne, who was known as the father of modern commercial mushroom cultivation. Italians had a long history of stuffing vegetables and naturally saw that mushrooms had the perfect shape for stuffing. The rest is history, as they say. People loved these creations and they soon became one of the most widely served favorite appetizers of the 50’s cocktail set. They are still one of the first choices today as appetizers and can be found on menus in casual and “fancy” restaurants. There’s just something so great about a bite size food that you can pick up with your fingers, pop in your mouth. Happy National Mushroom Day and I hope you enjoy making and eating these stuffed mushrooms and sharing them with your family and friends.
Quinoa is a light and versatile grain that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than many other grains. It’s great as a stuffing in your favorite vegetable and is delicious in stuffed mushrooms. This recipe makes a lot of stuffing and is a wonderful side dish if you don’t use all of it in your mushrooms. I like to use bite sized mushrooms, but this filling also works well in larger mushrooms to serve as a first course or veggie main course.
- Mushrooms for stuffing cleaned and stems removed (10 to 25 depending on size)
- 2 Cups pre-cooked quinoa (cook quinoa before using and cool)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ Cup mushrooms (finely chopped)
- ¼ Cup zucchini (finely chopped)
- ¼ Cup yellow squash (finely chopped)
- ¼ Cup assorted or red bell peppers (finely chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro and/ or Italian parsley (finely chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons walnuts (finely chopped)
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons *Bragg Liquid Aminos
- Grated mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a medium large sauté pan add olive oil, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, cilantro, walnuts, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Sauté the veggies over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes until tender. Add the quinoa and Braggs Liquid Aminos and stir to combine. Remove from heat and check to see if it needs more sea salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool a little before you stuff your mushrooms.
- Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Then stuff the mushroom either using your hand or a small spoon. Stuff them a little higher than the sides of the mushrooms and pat the filling down a bit so it stays in the mushroom. You can bake them immediately or keep refrigerated for up to two days, until ready to bake (you may need to bake a little longer if they are cold.) They also freeze well just thaw before baking.
- Place them on a baking tray that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms. They should be a little tender and the stuffing should be brown on top. If you are using cheese add it after they have baked for 10 minutes and continue baking for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and crispy. You can put them under the broiler for about a minute at this point, but be very careful not to burn them! Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Happy Eating and don’t miss my recipe and article February 6 for National Frozen Yogurt Day.
XXX Chef Kate www.chefkatealiveandcooking.com www.koraorganics.com check out my other healthy recipes and articles on the Kora Organics Blog (under Chef Kate)
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