Another day, another recipe. We are having stuffed mushrooms for dinner tonight so I took some time this afternoon to prepare them making sure I measured the ingredients and took a few photographs.
This is my recipe but please make sure you read right to the end for ideas, substitutions and variations.
I bought 3 large mushrooms for this recipe as GMan and I have 1.5 each. The best ones are open but not too flat so that the stuffing is somewhat confined by the edges.
Here are the ingredients I chose before I started.
Using the point of a sharp knife remove the stalks of the mushrooms. Chop the stalks as finely as possible
When I am making something like this, the first thing I do is to look carefully at the finished volume that I am aiming for. Based on my best guess I used the following quantities:
Chopped mushroom stalks
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 heaped tablespoon of besan (chickpea) flour
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 teaspoon powdered onion
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered celery
1/2 teaspoon of homemade ‘tabasco’ sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the above ingredients then add 3/4 cup grated cheese, 10 cherry tomatoes (chopped) and a small piece of capsicum (finely chopped).
The consistency of the mixture should now be crumbly but hold when squashed together.
Press the mixture into the mushrooms.
I will cook these in the microwave for about 8 minutes then top with a little extra flaxseed meal and grated cheese and finish under the griller. They will be served with lettuce cucumber and grated carrot on the side.
Now for the really interesting part – what you can change! Just about everything!
If we strip this recipe right back you will discover that it consists of a container – the mushroom, in this instance, and the filling which can be split further into the bulk and the flavour.
The container – I use mushrooms because we love them and they are nutritous. They are relatively expensive and if you are on a really tight budget I would not necessarily recommend them. Capsicums are another option – especially if you can pick up a bagful at a reasonable price. Although most recipes for stuffed capsicums show them upright with a ‘lid’ at the stalk end I find it easier to cut them lengthwise and serve them filled and open. You could also use a large zucchini/marrow split lengthwise with the seeds scraped out. It would need to be partially pre-cooked before stuffing. Half a butternut pumpkin is another possibility. The pumpkin or large marrow could be cut into wedges to serve rather the individual serves as with mushrooms or capsicums.
The bulk – I choose to use almond meal and flaxseed meal due to the fact that they are gluten-free, we like the flavour and texture and they provide a range of nutrients. They can also be expensive. Other options include quinoa, rice and soft breadcrumbs or any combination you choose that suits your family’s tastes and your budget. If you are using rice, a short grain rice that will stick together would be a good choice.
The flavour – sky is the limit here and you can let your imagination run wild. The main thing is to remember to keep any pieces fairly small so that the mixture will stick together. In addition to the things I used you might like bacon (although smoky paprika is an excellent substitute), chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley or other fresh herbs.
I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to try stuffed vegetables as an addition to your menu plan.
Please let me know what you think.