A funny/amazing/incredible thing happened to me in 2015: I found my culinary groove. I know it doesn’t sound like some incredible feat, but for me it was an uphill battle that I didn’t win a moment too soon. Throughout my life change and weight loss adventure, taste and flavor in my food often had to take a back seat to a.) what was available and healthy, b.) what my changing body could stomach, and c.) what I could replicate in the kitchen. A big part of finding my way into the Culinary Nutrition world last spring was finding Meghan Telpner, a Canadian based nutritionist who also founded The Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Meghan’s new cookbook, The Undiet Cookbook, has been my go-to source for flavor, ingredient combinations, and technique since it was released last Fall and has exponentially helped me find my ever-loving flavor groove.
I’ll be writing about my experiences with the Academy and with Culinary Nutrition in posts to come, but today I wanted to share an EPICALLY delicious dinner I cooked up Friday night for myself and my husband: Baked Stuffed Portobello Caps.
These stuffed caps are ESPECIALLY delicious because they include a tapenade that’s based on Meghan Telpner’s Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. I’m not a huge fan of olives, so I subbed in roasted red peppers and a few other goodies and made my version of this tapenade one of my favorite accompaniments to any meal…and it was a HUGE hit at both our Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties!
Baked Stuffed Portobello Caps
Serves 4 I Prep Time: 15 minutes I Cook Time: 25 min I Sprout Time: 3-4 days
What You’ll Need:
4 large Portobello mushroom cap tops. Stems and spores removed
2 cups cooked brown rice (I boiled mine with vegetable broth)
2 cups sprouted mung beans, finely chopped (here is an excellent “How To Sprout” video to help you along)
1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
minced Portobello stems, if available
3 heaping tbsp Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade (you can find that here)
1/4 cup + 3 tsp organic tomato sauce (your own or from a jar)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
splash of olive oil or melted ghee
sea salt and pepper to taste
shredded mozzarella or dairy free nut cheese to melt on top
Put It All Together:
1.) Preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Brush off all dirt and debris from the Portobello caps. Cut off the stems (if available) and spoon out the black spores. If the stems are in good condition, mince them and add them to the stuffing. Discard the spores and dirt debris.
3.) Brush the rounded side of the mushroom caps with a few drops of olive oil or melted ghee. Place the caps rounded side down on the parchment paper and bake for 5 minutes.
4.) While the caps are baking, put together the stuffing. Combine the brown rice, finely chopped mung beans, diced roasted red peppers, portobello stems, tapenade, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together evenly.
5.) Remove the mushroom caps from the oven after 5 minutes and divide the brown rice mixture evenly between them. (Menucation Tip: mound the stuffing onto the mushroom caps and then gently flatten with the back of a spoon until the surface is even.)
6.) Bake for 25 minutes. Stick a fork into one of the stuffed mushrooms, pull it out, and touch the tines to ensure that the cap and stuffing is heated all the way through. If it is not, return to the oven in increments of 3 minutes, as the mixture can dry out quickly.
7.) Top each Portobello cap with 1 tsp tomato sauce with your personal cheese preference (or none at all). Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!