Zesty Vegetable Quinoa stuffed Mushrooms

The Farmers Market never fails to inspire cooking. With lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in our house each week, I find myself drawn to the kitchen so I can play around with all the vibrant colored goodies.

The other night I was craving juicy, tender portobello mushrooms. Maybe not a typical craving, but after being at the Farmers Market I couldn’t wait to make a meal out of these babies. So, I decided I was going to stuff them with a zesty, garlicky, vegetable quinoa and top then off with a tahini lemon glaze.

Quinoa contains all eight amino acids which makes it a complete protein, gluten-free, and high in Vitamins B & E, as well as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium. As an endurance athlete (and very active mom), this powerful grain is perfect for providing energy for long periods of time. It’s one of our weekly staples for our toddler too because it is easy-to-digest and has great flavor.

Before you cook quinoa, first rinse it to remove saponin, the bitter coating that is naturally occurring but toxic. Usually when you buy it at the store it is rinsed before packaged, but I like to rinse it again at home. If you don’t have a grain strainer just soak it in a bowl and carefully remove the liquid once you’ve rinsed it thoroughly. If you have a strainer, rinse the quinoa with cold water until the water begins to run clear. Then you can cook it as directed.

This recipe yields 4 stuffed portobellos.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red pepper, chopped
1 cup kale, chopped
1/4 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 lemons, juiced
4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/4 tsp of cumin
1/4 cup tahini

Directions

Pour olive oil into pot and warm, then add the garlic. Let cook for a minute and add the onions and continue to sauté for another two minutes. Then add in red pepper, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Finally, add in the kale to cook another minute before adding the cooked quinoa. Mix all ingredients thoroughly while pouring in the lemon juice. I like the lemon flavor in my quinoa so I usually use the juice from one lemon, but you may want to taste as you are mixing to find what's best for your palette. Simmer for 5-10 minutes while you prep your mushrooms.

While the quinoa is simmering Pre-heat the oven to 350. Then, Mix up the Tahini Lemon drizzle, which is quick and painless. Scoop out the tahini into a bowl and mix it so it begins to smooth. As you mix slowly blend in the lemon juice - again, this is based on your taste preference. The more lemon added, the lighter the sauce gets.

Final steps

Get your portobellos ready by drizzling olive oil over top and dusting each with cumin and turmeric. Scoop out large helpings of the quinoa mixture onto each mushroom and finish by pouring the Tahini Lemon dressing over each. Cook for 15 minutes 350 degrees.

I was busy juggling kids when I made these, so I cooked up the quinoa mixture early and set it aside. That way, when it came to preparing the mushrooms I didn't have to do much. We ended up with leftovers and they were great for lunch the next day, which is a big bonus when you're looking to save money and time.

Enjoy!