Vegetable shopping at my local green grocer is one thing that I enjoy very much. It is pleasing to see fresh and colourful fruits & vegetables arranged beautifully. The seasonal goodies take the prized spot in the front of the stores and demand to be picked up.
My haul, today, included crisp apples, mushrooms, pumpkin and carrots. The mushrooms especially were fresh and I just couldn’t resist picking up some. I am glad I did because I was able to dish out these awesome stuffed mushroom cups.
These make great party canapés, lunchbox fillers or a snack. In this recipe, mushrooms serve as an edible cup filled with sautéed vegetables topped with cheese.
Mushrooms are low in calories and are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. For those of you on a low GI or low calorie diet, mushrooms are ideal as they have negligible amounts of fat and carbohydrate. For vegetarians and vegans, mushrooms are a good protein source. A little Google research also suggests that a mushrooms contain a specific type of protein called hydrophobins, which are exclusively found in mushrooms; it hydrophobins that render that beautiful texture to mushrooms. Cool, eh?
Here’s how you make these delish stuffed cups of goodness.
Serves: 6 to 8
- Mushrooms – 12
- Onion (Medium) – 1
- Garlic – 3 cloves
Capsicum – ½
- Oil – 2 tspns. + 1 tspn
- Butter (optional) – 1 small knob
- Grated cheese – ¼ cup
- Pepper powder – ¼ tspn
- Chilli powder – 1 tspn
- Garlic salt /plain salt/ flavoured salt – As required
- Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tblspn
- Chop onion, capsicum and garlic finely. It is important to chop them real fine because chunky pieces even after they are cooked may be hard to stuff in the mushroom cups.
- Clean the mushrooms well.
- Cut the stems and the bottom bits of the mushroom and keep them aside. Do not discard them.
- Using a melon baller or a spoon carefully scoop out the insides of the mushrooms without breaking the mushroom ‘cups’.
- Keep aside the scooped mushrooms along with the stem and the bottom bits.
- Now, finely chop the parts of mushroom that has been kept aside.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add butter to it.
- Now toss in the chopped garlic and onion. Sauté it well for about 30 seconds.
- Since the vegetables are finely chopped, they tend to burn if not carefully tended to.
- Add the chopped capsicum and keep stirring until capsicum is slightly cooked.
- Finally toss in the finely chopped mushroom bits and give it all a good mix.
- At this stage, add the pepper powder, salt, chilli powder and a sprinkle of grated cheese.
- Mix well to combine the ingredients. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
- Avoid adding water as mushrooms contain some amount of moisture that will soften the mixture quite a bit.
- The cheese will also help in binding and keeping the ingredients together.
- Turn the stove off and transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
- If you are serving immediately, spoon some of the veggie mixture that has been cooked into the mushroom ‘cups’.
- Use the same pan that the other vegetables were cooked in, and heat oil on slow flame.
- Gently place the stuffed mushroom cups in the heating pan.
- Top each mushroom with grated cheese and some chopped coriander leaves.
- Cover the pan and allow the mushroom cups to cook for about 2 minutes.
- Turn the stove off and carefully transfer the stuffed mushrooms to a plate.
- Serve with a side of salad or wilted greens (as I have done in this picture).
- Note: If you are making this ahead, it would great to have the prep done. However, stuff and cook the mushrooms just before you intend to serve it. This will keep the mushroom from turning soggy.
- For the stuffing, you could add/omit vegetables and spices according to your preference.
- If you are watching your calories or have dietary restrictions, skip the cheese.
- I used button mushrooms, you could do the same with larger mushroom varieties like the Portobello.
- If you are not particularly fond of mushrooms, you could do the same with tomatoes or capsicum. It would however be good to note that cooking times may vary for tomato and capsicum.