Veggie Lovers

Recently, when my husband and I invited another couple over for dinner, I confidently chose a tried-and-true recipe. But when I pulled the eggplant Parmesan out of the oven, I wondered if I’d committed a hostess faux pas by serving a vegetarian dish to a meat and potatoes-loving duo.

Fortunately, our friends seemed to like the meal (and the male guest overcame his admitted fear of eating “anything purple”). Better yet, one of the country’s top foodies predicts that such dining dilemmas are fading. Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor of Bon Appétit magazine, recently predicted that vegetarian cuisine would be the breakout “party food” of 2010.

Why not? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a meatless diet can meet all the recommendations for nutrients, and numerous studies show vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Whether you’re a full-blooded vegetarian or simply want to cook a meatless meal, Sarah Blythe, a culinary arts student at Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville, offers this recipe for stuffed mushrooms:

Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 10)

1/2 cup butternut squash; small dice
1/3 cup carrots; peel and small dice
1/3 cup mixed yellow, orange, and green bell peppers; small dice
1/4 cup parsnips; peel and small dice
3/4 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 tablespoon white pepper

Slurry: 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon mirepoix or vegetable base
2 cups baby spinach; mince in food processor
Mushroom trimmings (peel and stem); mince in food processor
2 small apples (approx. 1/2 cup); peel and small dice
1 small pear (approx. 1/4 cup); peel and small dice
Pan spray

10 jumbo white button mushrooms; peel and remove stems
Olive oil as needed
Seasoning mix (to coat the mushrooms):
3/4 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Feta cheese
Kalamata and green olives, sliced

Grease a half sheet pan with cooking spray and spread out the squash, carrots, peppers, and parsnips. Roast in a 350-degree oven until vegetables are caramelized. Meanwhile, roll mushrooms in seasoning mix and sprinkle a little of the seasoning mix inside the mushroom caps. Blanch in hot olive oil until lightly browned, turning once. After removing the mushroom caps, discard the oil and add the roasted vegetables, seasonings, slurry, water, and mirepoix base to the pan. Let the liquid cook until thickened. After thickened, pull off the stove and add the minced spinach, mushrooms, and diced apples and pears. Stuff the mushrooms with the mixture and garnish with feta cheese and olives.

Previous article
Next article

Related Articles

Latest Articles