Tag Archives: mushrooms

Greek Stuffed Portobellos


Meatless Monday is kind of a silly concept in our house since every day is meatless for us. However, I like being able to share recipes for people out there who are joining the Meatless Monday phenomenon and don’t want to eat tofu, tempeh, seitan or Boca.

I make a trip to the grocery store each week at the beginning of the week to check out the fresh produce (our fresh produce days are Monday and Tuesday) and pick up anything that might look good. From that, I try to plan out what meals I can make for the week while also picking up anything else I might not already have. A big thing with my menu planning now is making sure whatever I make will reheat well for REB on days he gets home late from class.

So last week I happen to walk by the mushroom cases and noticed how good the portobellos looked. I was instantly taken back to the summer when we grilled them outside and enjoyed eating al fresco in our new house.


Then I looked outside and saw the snow coming down.

Then I cursed silently to myself because I knew I had to shovel the damn driveway and sidewalk when I got home.

So I ended up picking up four portobello caps because I wanted to make something that tasted like summer and might make me forget that it’s in the low 20s all week.

Totally worked.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Greek Stuffed Portobellos
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A taste of summer no matter the season.
Recipe type: main dish, appetizer, sides
Cuisine: vegetarian, Greek inspired
Serves: 2 (2 caps per person); or serves 4 (1 per person as side dish or appetizer)
  • 4 medium to large Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups Panko bread crumbs (or couscous, quinoa, barley, or rice – your grain of choosing)
  • ½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk scallion, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Start by wiping the mushroom caps clean with a damp paper towel. Next, using a spoon, scrape out the gills so the underside of the mushrooms are clean.
  3. Heat a pan or stove top grill on your stove, brush the underside edges of the caps with the olive oil, then grill gill-side down for 3-4 minutes. Brush the tops, then flip and grill the tops for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet gill-side up, and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine Panko, freshly chopped parsley, Feta cheese, Parmesan cheese and dried thyme. Set aside.
  5. In a small pan or skillet cook olives, tomato and scallion until warmed through and tomatoes just start to break down. You shouldn’t need any oil since the Kalamatas are oiled already. When finished, pour into the Panko mixture and mix everything together until combined.
  6. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of mixture into each mushroom cap.
  7. Bake stuffed mushrooms at 350 for 20 minutes. Then turn broiler on high and broil for 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  8. Mushrooms are done when Panko is toasted and cheese is melted.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. Reheating instructions: Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through, or heat in toaster oven for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Serves 2 (2 caps/person) or Serves 4 (1 cap/person as side dish or appetizer)


Easy Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho


If any of you follow the weather or look at your smartphones at the weather map, you already know that it has been ridiculously cold throughout the country this week. With wind chills in the negatives and the highs in the single digits, this January weather has not made my morning commutes all that pleasant.

My coworker Rob and I ride the same bus in the morning, and our mean bus driver refuses to drop us off closer to work like other buses do. She has no pity for us and she isn’t a morning person. With our transit center in town being rebuilt, the buses are lined up across the street from it. Not a huge deal, except it adds about 2 minutes of walking to our normal walk to the office. Also not a big deal, except when it’s -6 degrees with a windchill of -20, so by the time you do get to the office, your legs are nonexistent, as is your face.


And hey, I dress for cold weather. I live in Michigan, I’m not an idiot. But no matter how warm you dress, or how many layers you wear, or how tight you have your scarf, nothing can prepare you for that cold that hits your face gets when you step off the warm bus. Then when you get home your dog, who has a double coat and is made for weather like this, wants to play outside. And since the light is staying out longer each day, you feel guilt if you don’t play fetch with him in the backyard before you feed him.

Routine, people. I’m getting used to it. Cold weather. Also getting used to it. I have to come to terms with the fact that we most likely will not have an unusually warm winter like we did last year. Sad truth. But there are things you can do to help.


And that’s to make soup. Not just any soup. Vietnamese soup or Pho. So that’s exactly what I did. I’ve never made pho before but I have had it and if I didn’t live in Ann Arbor – the city where hippies and yuppies coexist harmoniously – I might not be able to find decent vegetarian pho that isn’t made with meat broth. There are several places that make some decent pho around here, but I decided to try making it myself.

And you know what? It was PHOnomenal. See what I did there?

Try it. It’s delicious and while I did use a shortcut to make this version, it turned out great, reheated great (for REB after class), and kept me warm while watching Full House reruns. Don’t judge me. I’ll never tire of Uncle Jesse and the whole gang.


Vegetarian Vietnamese Pho
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Easy Vietnamese noodle soup to warm you up this winter.
Recipe type: soup, noodle soup, vegetarian
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Asian, Soups
Serves: 4
  • 1 carton (4 cups) Vegetarian Pho soup base (Pacific natural foods brand or similar)
  • 1 small ginger root, peeled and cut into discs
  • 2 Serrano peppers (jalalpeno is fine), sliced into discs
  • 2 tablespoons Lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 12 oz. Shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and sliced
  • 8 oz. (half a block) extra firm tofu, sliced thin into strips or squares
  • 8 oz. Stir fry rice noodles
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • Garnishes: cilantro, basil, Serrano peppers and lime wedges
  1. Start by bringing a large pot of water to boil – about 20 minutes
  2. While the water comes to a boil, pour the entire carton of soup base into a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, ginger discs and sliced Serrano pepper and heat through stirring occasionally.
  3. In a separate pan or skillet heat the olive oil.
  4. When it is hot, add the sliced mushrooms and cook until browned and tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  5. Remove the mushrooms, transfer to small bowl and set side.
  6. In the same pan, add the tofu slices and cook until browned on all side, another 8-10 minutes.
  7. When cooked, add the tofu to the simmering broth
  8. When the water is boiling, remove from heat and add the rice noodles. Let them sit/soak in the hot water for 8 minutes until softened.
  9. When done, drain and rinse noodles under cold water.
  11. Divide noodles among all bowls.
  12. Ladle some of of the broth over noodles, enough to slightly submerge them.
  13. Top bowls with tofu slices and mushrooms (about 2-3 pieces of tofu per bowl, a few mushrooms)
  14. Add your garnishes and squeeze lime wedge before serving
  15. Enjoy!


What foods are keeping you warm this winter?





Cashew-Mushroom Pâté

Made this tonight for the big game in addition to some other dips. We saw this recipe on the same site as the Seitan Piccata from the Vegetarian Times. We made a few changes, but it tasted really good! I’ve never had pâté but that’s probably because it’s usually spreadable liver of some animal or something. I never thought it could be made vegetarian! I’m not even sure this is really a pâté, but it tasted good which is what mattered.

One change we did was instead of baking the cashews, we just dry roasted them in a pan on the stove. I MIGHT have kept my eye off them too long – whoops – but it didn’t make the pâté taste bad or anything. The other change was that we didn’t use vegan margarine. We used normal unsalted butter. The recipe also called for curry powder but I don’t have any of that in the house. I just had garam masala so I figured that would be OK and it worked great actually!

Lastly, the original recipe called for 4 cups of sliced mushrooms since it served 12. We didn’t need nearly that much, so we just cut down on certain ingredients so it didn’t make quite as much.

The end result was really good! I’m glad we tried it. We paired ours with cracked pepper crckers, carrots, celery and pretzel thins.

Here’s what you need:
•2 1/2 8-oz. cartons of baby bellas, sliced (2-to-2 1/2 cups)
•1/4 cup whole cashews, toasted
•1/4 cup onion, chopped
•1 teaspoon minced garlic
•1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry powder if you would rather use that)
•1 tablespoon butter
•1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon cumin powder
•1 teaspoon cooking sherry
•1 1/2 teaspoons chunky peanut butter
Start by toasting your cashews either on the stove or on a baking sheet in the oven.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic salt, cumin powder, garam masala and cook through until the mushrooms are golden brown, tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Then add the sherry and cook another 1 or 2 minutes, or until all the alcohol has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the cashews and peanut butter and pulse until smooth and creamy. Pour into a dish and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. Garnish with parsley and red bell pepper and serve with crackers or vegetables. Serves 6.

What snacks did you make for Superbowl Sunday?

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Truffle Mac and Cheese

It was fancy dinner night in our household. REB found a recipe for truffle mac and cheese and so we tried it out. Now, I’m not a huge mushroom person. I’m warming up to the taste of them, but it’s a slow process. However since we’re vegetarians, we need to find protein in other forms, which mushrooms fulfill.

The recipe he found was out of Maxim magazine in a segment about “foods guys can cook”, or whatever. The chef is Graham Elliot Bowles from Chicago, IL, and this dish actually tasted great. We changed it up a bit, but for the most part, it’s great as is.

What you’ll need:
•2 cups pasta (we used Cavatappi, my favorite kind of pasta!)
•1 can cream of mushroom soup (I bought the low fat, low sodium variety)
•1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (more like 1/2 cup for us :-X oops)
•1/4 cup Provolone cheese, grated (more like 1/2 cup of us :-X oops)
•1 tablespoon white truffle oil
•12 Cremini mushrooms, whole
•1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

If you noticed, the star ingredient in this dish is white truffle oil. So what the heck is it?

Truffle oil is basically a cop-out move to add truffle flavor with olive oil, rather than spending a whole lot of money to buy real truffles. And believe me, you can buy real truffles. I saw them in a locked up box in Wegmans store in upstate New York. Crazy stuff. Anyway, I bought this bottle which will last me forever because I have no idea what else I’ll use it for, but oh well. Another pretty something to add to my pantry. It’s a smooth flavor though and believe it or not, we could taste it in our dish.

So start by boiling the water for your pasta. While that’s going, heat up the cream of mushroom soup in another saucepan. No need to add water, let the soup just kind of warm away on low heat. Once it’s heated through and it starts to kind of bubble, whisk in the cheese and the add the truffle oil. You want to whisk and/or stir until the whole thing is smooth in texture. Then take it off the heat and set it aside.

While all this is happening, heat oil in a large saute pan. Add some regular olive oil to the pan and wait until it’s screaming hot (almost smoking), then add in the mushrooms. Now, this recipe calls for 12 whole Cremini mushrooms (baby Portabellas). However if you remember, I said I’m still getting adjusted to the taste of mushrooms, so I sliced a few up. The end result was having some texture to the dish, which is always a plus!

Cook the mushrooms for about 7-10 minutes, then add the sherry vinegar and let it cook an additional 2-3 minutes. The smell. I can’t even begin to describe the smell in our kitchen. It smelled so, so amazing.

Once the pasta is cooked, we scooped out about a cup of pasta water in case we needed it (we ended up not needing it), drained it then tossed the pasta into the mushroom sauce and then added the whole thing to the saute pan to mix with the mushrooms.

For a girl who isn’t 100% sold on mushrooms, I absolutely loved this dish. It was the perfect serving, full of protein and flavor and made me appreciate mushrooms just a little more. Of course, I didn’t eat any of the whole ones, but I did love eating the ones I sliced up!

Add some Parmesan shavings and cracked pepper on top and enjoy!