This recipe for stuffed portobello mushrooms is elegant and completely delicious. Using both lentils and amaranth, these are a great source of plant based protein and packed with many valuable nutrients. Adding roasted peppers compliments the meaty flavour and texture of the portobellos and the tangy, creamy goat cheese brightens the dish. To make this meal vegan, pine nuts would be a suitable substitute.
Cook the lentils and grains first, using water or stock for extra flavour. I think I first learned to cook lentils many years ago from Deborah Madison’s excellent cookbook “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” where she adds flavourings to the cooking water. Adding aromatics to the lentils really supplements their flavour. Seasonings like parsley, thyme, summer savoury, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, bay leaf in whatever combination you have around work well with lentils. Wash lentils, heat along with plenty of water and add aromatics. Heat on medium until the water comes to a boil and then simmer for about 25 minutes or until cooked. Drain and remove aromatics.
In this recipe I used amaranth. Amaranth is an ancient grain that is naturally gluten free. It is also a very good source of good quality protein and has a light nutty taste. Studies show that the quality of protein in amaranth is on par with the quality of animal based protein. Cooking amaranth is easy as it cooks in only 20 minutes. It is a good addition to your morning oatmeal or mixed with rice or other grains to add variety and boost the nutritional profile. For more information on amaranth seek out a reliable source such as The Whole Grains Council.
Lentil and Amaranth Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup cooked amaranth, quinoa, or other grain
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
6 portobello mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together lentils and amaranth. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, herbs and mix well. Gently stir in roasted red pepper, saving a few for the top to add visible colour.
Brush mushrooms to clean or wipe with a damp towel. Remove stem and gently brush inside of cap with olive oil. Fill mushrooms with approximately 1/2 cup filling, dot tops with remaining roasted red pepper, goat cheese, a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley and place on roasting pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool a little in pan before removing and plating.