What you’ll need:
• Portobello mushrooms
• Olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar
• Marinara sauce
• Ricotta cheese
• Refried beans
• Tin foil
Making healthy substitutions for typical foods found in everyday meals is a great way to cut out excess carbohydrates and fats.
Using mushrooms as a replacement for meaty flavor has been recommended as part of a healthy diet.
This week, I will be using portobello mushrooms as a substitute for pizza dough in a rich and savory pizza-like dish.
I would probably eat this as a heavier appetizer (when you’re in the mood for more snacking and less of one main dish) or a healthy dinner.
This is a dish that does not keep well but makes a large amount. It’s definitely something to save for when you have a large, hungry group to feed.
The first thing to do when you are using any sort of produce (especially mushrooms) is to clean them very thoroughly. Run them under cold water while you scrub them with your fingers. There is always plenty of dirt left on them that needs to be scrubbed off before cooking.
Avoid dehydrating mushrooms. If you heat a mushroom without any additional liquid, it may become overly dry. Also, make sure all of the stems have been removed before you start, as this recipe requires filling the mushroom.
Before I put mushrooms in the oven, I coat them in a mix of half balsamic vinegar and half olive oil. You’re only looking to dampen the mushrooms, not saturate them.
Once lightly coated, put the mushrooms on an oven-safe tray covered with tin foil (bend up the sides so you can avoid having to scrub the tray).
Put in the oven set at around 300 degrees for 10 minutes. While this is in the oven, grab some ricotta cheese and refried beans in equal quantities to make the filling. This mixture is filled with lots of good proteins and healthy fats that really fill you up.
Take the mushrooms out of the oven and stuff the portobellos with the mixture. Drizzle marinara or other tomato-based sauce before putting it back in the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the filling is fully cooked and starts to bubble over. Once you take the mushrooms out of the oven, feel free to add toppings or any additional seasonings you like.
I would recommend cumin (the secret to making flavorful salsa and guacamole) and slices of avocado for a southwestern flavor. This is another tasty dish that can be made to fit any flavor preference.
Hint: because of the high protein and fat content, this would be great with a lot of spice.