Wheatless Wednesday – Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

 

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If you are looking for an easy and delicious dinner, this is it!   Lovely and earthy portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a mixture of chopped eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan then baked to melty, oozy vegetable goodness.  I served my mushrooms over a spinach and arugula salad with persimmons, spiced pecans and pomegranate seeds tossed in a light oil and vinegar dressing. ( Will feature on GMD soon).  For a heartier meal, serve over a whole grain like farro or brown rice cooked in vegetable broth.  The beauty of this dish is that there is no sauteeing or pre-cooking any of the ingredients.  Except for salting the eggplant and allowing time for them to ‘sweat’ the excess water out, this is an easy to assemble meal.  Just toss the diced veggies, herbs and cheeses together, stuff the mushrooms and bake. Easy!  If you can’t find good ripe tomatoes, which can be hard to get this time of year, just substitute a can of diced tomatoes.  Drain them and reserve the juice for another meal (or add to cooking water if you are making rice for extra flavor).

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I only had three portobello mushrooms and the stuffing easily made enough to fill six, so I cut the tops off of three bell peppers and stuffed those too.  My husband had one of each and loved them both, although I think he liked the mushrooms a bit better.  However, if you have a mushroom detractor, this is a good option, just FYI. Most people will eat only one mushroom but some will eat two, so this recipe should serve four, especially if you are serving them with a sald or other side dish.

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The mushrooms are stuffed with fresh healthy veggies but the mushroom ‘bowls’ themselves are loaded with nutriion.  Just look at this handy list of their health benefits from Mushroom-Appreciation.com.  You might be surprised at what the lowly mushroom has to offer.

  • Protein – Most mushrooms have a high protein content, usually around 20-30% by dry weight. This can be useful for vegetarians or anyone looking to increase the protein content in their diet.
  • Fiber – Helps lower cholesterol and is important for the digestive system.
  • Niacin and other important B vitamins – As certain B vitamins are found in animal tissue but not plants, this can be another good supplement for vegetarians.
  • Vitamin D – Essential for the absorption of calcium.
  • Copper – Aids in helping the body absorb oxygen and create red blood cells.
  • Selenium – An antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Mushrooms contain more selenium than any other form of produce.
  • Potassium – An extremely important mineral that regulates blood pressure and keeps cells functioning properly. A large portobello mushroom is said to have more potassium than a banana.
  • Other important minerals – Such as phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium.
  • Low levels of fat, calories, and sodium
  • No cholesterol

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TIPS:  The mushrooms can be stuffed ahead of time and cooked when you are ready.  They can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator over night or they are fine resting on the kitchen counter for an hour or so.  If you refrigerate them, allow them to come to room temperature before baking.

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PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS STUFFED WITH EGGPLANT, TOMATOES AND MOZZARELLA

6 large portobello mushrooms
1 small globe eggplant (or 2 japanese)
2 Tbsn Olive Oil (or olive oil spray)
1 medium zucchini
1 large ripe tomato (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz fresh or 1 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tbsn fresh herbs or 1 tsp dried (any combination of basil, oregano or thyme)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

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  • Dice eggplant and place on a layer of paper towels.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes until they ‘sweat’ the water out.

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  • Dice zucchini, tomato and fresh mozzarell, if using, and mince herbs.

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  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine zucchini, tomato, mozzarella, garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix to combie and set aside.

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  • Clean the Portobello caps with a damp paper towel, remove the stems then set them aside.

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  • Brush mushroom caps and insides with olive oil (or olive oil spray) and place them cap side down in a baking dish. If you are using bell peppers instead of mushrooms, par-boil them or microwave them one at a time on high for 30 seconds.

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  • Add eggplant and parmesan to the bowl and mix to combine

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  • Spoon about 1/2 cup filling into each cap, pressing into place.

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  • Bake for 30 minutes. Check at the halfway point and readjust toppigs if they have come loose.  If it looks dry on top, spray or brush with olive oil. Broil for an additional 10 minutes if you prefer a golden brown crust.

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  • Serve hot or warm over warm rice or farro or with a colorful green salad.

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

20151201_195204

6 large portobello mushrooms
1 small globe eggplant (or 2 japanese)
2 Tbsn Olive Oil (or olive oil spray)
1 medium zucchini
1 large ripe tomato
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz fresh or 1 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tbsn fresh herbs (any combination of basil, oregano or thyme)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste

  • Dice eggplant and place on a layer of paper towels.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes until they ‘sweat’ the water out.
  • Dice zucchini and tomato and mince herbs.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine zucchini, tomato, garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix to combie and set aside.
  • Dice fresh mozzarella, if using
  • Clean the Portobello caps with a damp paper towel, remove the stems then set them aside.
  • Brush mushroom caps and insides with olive oil (or olive oil spray) and place them cap side down in a baking dish. If you are using bell peppers instead of mushrooms, par-boil them or microwave them one at a time on high for 30 seconds.
  • Add eggplant, mozzarella and parmesan to the bowl and mix to combine
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup filling into each cap, pressing into place.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Check at the halfway point and readjust toppigs if they have come loose.  If it looks dry on top, spray or brush with olive oil. Broil for an additional 5-10 minutes if you prefer a golden brown crust.
  • Serve hot or warm.

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