I came through on my promise from my last post and I am excited to share this delicious recipe with you guys today! My winter pesto is incorporated into this beautiful entree of pesto-stuffed portobello mushrooms.
BTW: is it portobello, portabello, or portabella? I’ve seen it spelled all three ways, so we’re just going to go with portobello since that’s my preferred version. Mmmkay.
You will not believe how simple this recipe is! Quinoa, pesto, and cannellini beans are stuffed into hefty portobellos and then baked until the mushrooms take on a caramelized appearance and meaty, savory flavor. And to make it even more irresistible, it’s topped with Parmesan cheese. Convinced yet? Okay, good. I was beginning to worry.
If you’re not used to meatless meals, this would be the perfect recipe for starters. When cooked properly, mushrooms take on a taste and texture similar to red meat. They are also lower in calories and fat compared to animal proteins. Oh, heyyy low-fat mushroom! Let’s be friends!
Another great benefit mushrooms offer is they contain Vitamin D. We receive Vitamin D through diet and sunlight – it’s not actually in sunlight, but rather our bodies synthesize it from a compound in sunlight. Winter months are most difficult to ensure adequate Vitamin D intake since cold weather means cozying up on the couch instead of going for a walk. For some parts of the U.S. the weather is also cloudy and drab, preventing the sun from spreading its bright, Vitamin D beams. According to this article from the Washington Post, 42% of Americans were deficient in the 2005-6 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (abbreviated as NHANES). One thing we can gather from this is almost half of Americans are not getting enough sunlight and/or Vitamin D-rich foods.
So, it’s safe to say that eating more foods like these pesto-stuffed portobello mushrooms (and fatty fish, dairy, egg yolks, and some cereals) can help supply the Vitamin D our bodies need for numerous functions in our bodies.
On a more personal note, how has your week been? Are you resting, relaxing, eating nutritious foods, trying to get enough exercise and sunlight during this cold, cloudy season? This past week, I have been on a smoothie craze. All I want to do is drink my green smoothie and play with sweet pea (my 14-month old daughter). She started walking BY HERSELF and now it is the only thing she wants to do. She goes from one end of the house to the other squealing with delight at what she has mastered. It’s a beautiful thing to behold as a mom. I also realize I am in BIG trouble. This past week, hubby and I also watched this incredible documentary based on Michael Pollan’s book (LOVE HIM!), called In Defense of Food. It’s free, it’s intriguing, and it’s probably better than any movie out for rent right now.
- 4 Portobello mushrooms
- ½ cup winter pesto recipe
- ½ cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 (15.25 oz) can cannellini or white kidney beans
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon)
- Black pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon)
- Extra virgin olive oil, to taste (about 1 Tablespoon)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Rinse and clean mushrooms, as well as remove the stems. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Combine cooked quinoa, pesto, and cannellini beans in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place mushrooms on shallow baking sheet. Add salt and pepper to each mushroom and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Top each mushroom with ¾ cup quinoa mixture.
- Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and bake until cheese melts and turns golden (approximately 5 minutes). Serve and enjoy!