Happy Martin Luther King Day! Hope you are all enjoying a day off!
Vegetables, when done right, can be a meal in and of themselves. I find that portobello mushrooms are a really filling and satisfying substitute for meat. Tasty, low calorie, animal friendly - what's not to love?
Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Portobellos (as adapted from Eating Well)
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
Check out these beauties! These are large portobellos that I picked up from Trader Joe's (LOVE that place!) I think they were 2 for $5 and each package contained either 2 large or 3 medium mushrooms. Make sure you properly clean your portobellos - even in their gills - and then remove the stems at the base. If you are careful, the stem will gentle tear from the base using your hands. Pat dry and get as much water out of the gills as you can.
It's time to roast these beauties - 450 degrees, cap side up on a greased baking sheet for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. I think mine only took approximately 15 minutes - my small oven is temperature finicky I guess.
While those mushrooms are roasting, start mixing your ingredients. Throw all ingredients, except the marinara, in a bowl and mix well.
I am a sucker for a really really good marinara sauce - can eat it by the spoonful. This one shown in the picture was a disappointment. It was part of a 3 pack I bought at Costco a long, long time ago, when I actually had a membership. It was a very tomato-y red sauce and it's flavors just didn't do it for me. While I love making my own red sauces now that I know how easy they are, I don't turn my nose up at store brands. I think some of Ragu's chunky sauces are excellent for a quick and easy night. Don't judge me for that.
Side note on red sauces: many, many years ago, I once wanted to cook a fancy dinner for a then-boyfriend. If memory serves me correctly, I chopped up some green peppers and threw it in a saucepan with a jar of Prego. Then I served over angel hair. And probably put some of that green Parmasean cheese on it. Of course the green peppers barely softened and cleared added nothing to the sauce. SO FANCY. I mean, who doesn't love crunchy green peppers in a jar of Prego?
Go ahead and judge me for that one!
Check on your portobellos. I was sad to see mine had shrunk a fair amount while roasting, but that's to be expected. They will probably be filled with water, so carefully tip each one over the sink to drain. Be careful not to ruin the cap OR burn your hands. Pat the tops dry with a paper towel.
It's stuffing time! Are you ready!?
Layer the mushroom caps with a bit of marinara and then a heaping thing of the spinach ricotta mix. Don't be shy - fill 'er up!
Now that's how you stuffed a mushroom cap! Top each with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Finally, put back into the oven and heat for 10 minutes until heated thoroughly and the parm on top is lightly browned.
And VOILA! Instant dinner! This recipe made two servings. One for dinner that night and one for lunch the next day.