Vegetarian Friday: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms

You guys. This might be the best recipe I’ve ever come up with.

Several weeks ago, we had lunch at a great little bar and grill here in Cape. I ordered stuffed mushrooms, which were delicious, but which I am pretty sure also had approximately seven million calories and 42 grams of fat apiece.

I decided to riff on the basic recipe, using ingredients with a little better ratio of protein to fat. This is what I came up with:

Cheese-stuffed mushrooms. These were amazing.
Cheese-stuffed mushrooms. These were amazing.

Ingredients

1 lb. mushrooms
1 pkg. low-fat cream cheese (I used Green Mountain’s Greek-yogurt blend)
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
Handful of fresh basil
Three or four fresh chives
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Wash mushrooms. Remove stems and save in a freezer container for later. (We’re making vegetable stock in a few weeks, so start freezing your veggie scraps.)

Fresh mushrooms are a beautiful thing.
Fresh mushrooms are a beautiful thing.

Snip up herbs with kitchen shears. (If you don’t have fresh on hand, dried will do in a pinch. I pulled these out of the garden.)

After rinsing, I scrunched these up in a paper towel to dry, which also bruised the leaves -- thus releasing more flavor -- and made them easier to snip up quickly.
After rinsing, I scrunched these up in a paper towel to dry, which also bruised the leaves — thus releasing more flavor — and made them easier to snip up quickly.

In a big bowl, use a potato masher to mash together cream cheese, herbs and 1 c. of the mozzarella.

A potato masher makes quick work of this part.
A potato masher makes quick work of this part.

Grease a baking pan (I use a Misto full of olive oil for this). Using a spoon, your fingers, or both, fill each mushroom cap with cheese mixture. Mound it up — the more, the better — and set the caps in the pan.

mushrooms4

Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over the tops of the caps and bake at 375 degrees until cheese melts — about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your oven. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

Serves two as a main dish or four as an appetizer or side dish.

Enjoy!

Emily

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