Ever since I was a kid mushrooms were an absolute no. Not in pasta, not on pizza, not in casseroles and absolutely never in your life on their own – even if they’ve covered in yummy sauce. My mum always said I’d ‘grow into them’ (still don’t really understand how you can grow into a mushroom), but ether way I always stayed absolutely adamant that I would never consciously consume a fungi of any variety. That is, until I turned vegan.
Don’t get me wrong I’m really not a fussy eater; I’ll try anything and there’s really not many things that I actively dislike. But, turning vegan and subsequently upping the amount of fruit and veg I was eating on a daily basis meant that I was keen to try as many different varieties as possible. This, to my mother’s absolute delight, also included mushrooms.
At first it was a real challenge – I nearly gave up. The mushroom had been the arch enemy my whole life, I was having to retrain the way I thought about them and really force myself to give them a fair chance, especially given all the amazing recipes for them out there. Just when I was about to give up and accept the fact that I’d never be a fungi appreciator, I seemed to have a breakthrough. I can’t remember what recipe it was exactly but it was amazing and I was fully aware of the mushrooms in the meal (yes I was actually that excited – as was my mum). Just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off I went and made a whole load of other mushroom-containing meals, and yes, I liked them all. Result!
Today I’ve chosen to share with you guys one of my favourite recipes that I found along my mushroom pilgrimage, which again is an absolute must try even if you’re not the biggest fan – it may just change your mind! The recipe is another from More Vegan Blog and is absolutely delicious and super easy to make.
½ cup dry tricolor quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 Anaheim green chile, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1 tbsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garam masala
¼ tsp. tumeric
1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
½ cup peas
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup pecan pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pot or pan. Rinse the quinoa well and add to the pan. Toast until all water evaporates. Then add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir and return the cover. Keep covered for about 5 more minutes until all water has been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all of your veggies and mash the chickpeas. Measure the spices and combine in a small dish.
Wash the portobellos with a damp paper towel, remove the stems, and use a spoon to remove the gills. Coat both sides with olive oil and place underside up in a glass baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 10 minutes.
While the portobellos cook, heat the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Saute the shallots for about a minute and a half. Then add the green chili, carrots, and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the spices and toss to coat the veggies. Stir in the cilantro and cook for about a minutes. Add in the chickpeas, cooked quinoa and peas and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the green onion, pecans, and lemon.
Remove the portobellos from the oven and uncover. Evenly distribute the quinoa stuffing amongst the mushrooms. Don’t worry about the stuffing that won’t fit or falls out. It will get nice and crispy, perfect for serving alongside the stuffed portobellos.
Return the portobellos to the oven and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
Serve with the crispy excess quinoa and enjoy!
Words: Lizz Gowens | Original Photos and Recipe: More Vegan Blog