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M is For Mushroom

Vegetables from A to Z

By Hannah Marcotti

Pizza night in a house with gluten- and dairy-sensitive individuals looks a bit different than the standard dial-the-phone-for-delivery kind of approach. Luckily my crew loves mushrooms, in all shapes and sizes. Portobella pizza has become a favorite in our dinner rotation. The best part: My husband has perfected it and that means a  night off of cooking for me.

April-Cupcakes-M-is-for-MushroomsMushrooms have become a secret weapon in cooking with many chefs, lending that “umami”  or fifth taste to dishes. Umami is intense flavor; it lingers and makes you long for the next bite. Examples of this would be Pasta Puttanesca, Portobello Pizzas, Chicken Marsala (with mushrooms) or a simple pasta tossed with olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. When you use umami as a guide, your food seems to have it all: texture, flavor, and balance.

Portobellas make a great vehicle for stuffing just about any filling you can whip up. I made the Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms the other night in an attempt to use up the bits of vegetables remaining in my fridge at the end of the week. They would be great with a mixture of lentils and brown rice or some chicken and cauliflower seasoned with curry. Take a chance with those in your life who have declared mushrooms their enemy and make a batch of these Portobella Pizzas!

Portobella Pizzas

4 portobella mushroom caps, wiped clean with a damp cloth

1-2 cups leftover Bolognese pasta sauce

¼ cup parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)

¼ cup ricotta or feta cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Place mushrooms on baking sheet, divide and fill with sauce, top with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until mushroom is soft and cheese is melted. Serve with salad or roasted vegetables on the side.

Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

2 portobella mushroom caps, wiped clean with a damp cloth

1 cup grated zucchini

1 carrot, grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

½ cup chopped pecans

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoonground cumin

2 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, combine veggies, nuts, and seasonings. Mix together, add olive oil, and mix to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff filling into the mushroom caps, pressing down and filling to the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Allow to cool, serve alongside wild shrimp and a green salad.

Hannah Marcotti is a Holistic Health Coach who helps women, and their families achieve and maintain their ideal weight, find more energy for their lives, figure out the food that works for their body type and ease family meal time chaos! She leads individual and group programs, as well as workshops on request. For more health tips and recipes sign up for her free e-newsletter at  Hannah’s Harvest, (www.hannahsharvest.com).

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