Since I've started this blog, I've received lots of questions, all ranging in topic. But the most common one I get is, "Aren't you spending so much money by making something new and different each night?" And the answer to that is simple: No. In fact, I'm actually saving money because, opting to constantly create new meals, I don't eat out nearly as much. My biggest pet peeve is throwing food away. It's wasteful in so many ways. By creating a different recipe each day, I am finding uses for everything and to be honest, that's half the fun. I love a good food challenge and to me, coming home to a pantry and fridge that hasn't been stocked in a couple of days is certainly one. Suddenly I'm exploring uncharted culinary territories to create something unique. It's an adventure and one that I look forward to. Lame as it might sound, it's the little things in life that make me the happiest.
So this state of culinary adventure is where I found myself this evening; rooting through my fridge, searching to see what I could possibly assemble for dinner. And since I had just come home from the gym, I had the added challenge of wanting my dinner selection to be one that wouldn't undo my workout. I first spotted the spinach. That would be the focus of my dish. Next, I noticed that I had a portabella mushroom cap on hand and some feta left over from yesterday's salad...viola! Spinach and Feta Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Cap! Hearty enough to fill me up and healthy as well. I also threw in some breadcrumbs that I made by taking a piece of oatmeal wheat bread out of the freezer (right before bread hits its expiration date, I stick whatever is left in my freezer. That way, I have it on hand in such a situation) and crisped it up in the oven. You'll get the best results if you purposely place the pieces of bread on the exterior of the mushroom cap so that they can get all toasty. After I combined all the ingredients, I baked it until the feta browned a little.
I just have one word to sum it all up: Yum!
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Cap
- A couple of very generous handfuls of spinach (you will be amazed how much this wilts down)
- 1 large portabella mushroom cap
- 1 medium sized shallot, thinly sliced
- A very small slice of butter (I'm talking real small here, like a couple paper thin slices)
- A little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Chicken stock, about a 1/2 cup in total
- 1 piece of bread (any kind works, I used a oatmeal whole wheat)
- About a tbs of feta cheese crumbles
- A couple pinches of freshly ground nutmeg
- A couple pinches of dried rosemary
- A couple pinches of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by placing the mushroom cap stem side up on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 until it starts to soften (about 10 minutes). On the stove top, melt a butter and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add the shallots and a couple pinches of salt. Caramelize the onions on medium low heat until they start to soften and darken in color (about 10 - 15 minutes) Add the spinach to the pan along with a couple splashes of chicken stock, nutmeg, thyme and rosemary. Let the spinach wilt with the shallots. Set aside.
Toast the piece of bread and slice it into small squares. Combine the bread pieces with the spinach mixture and feta cheese. Pour in more chicken broth until the bread starts to get a little soggy. Spoon the spinach mixture into the portabella mushroom cap, making sure to push the stuffing deep into the cap. Sprinkle with additional feta cheese if you'd like. Return the mushroom to the oven and bake for about 15 -20 minutes or until the bread gets crispy and the feta starts to brown.
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