Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sausage Stuffed Portobellos

I did my first Paleo cooking day yesterday.  We're going away for a little surprise reintegration vacation and the place we are staying at has a full kitchen.  Instead of getting down there and shopping at unknown grocery stores, I decided to make our dinners in advance and take a cooler of frozen meals down.  They'll defrost on the way (but still stay cold enough on the drive) and we will have healthy meals to eat on vacation.  Win - win for our diet!  Will we eat the best all week?  Heck no!  We already know that we will be eating horrible lunches in the theme park that we will be at almost every day of our trip.  But at least breakfast and dinner will be covered.

One of the meals that I scheduled to eat this week was easily doubled and we will be having it next week as well. The recipe for Sausage Stuffed Portobellos was found in the Make Ahead Paleo cookbook that my hubby recently bought me.  This was a simple meal to put together.

I started by throwing my meat into the skillet with 1 tablespoon of EVOO.  The recipe called for coconut oil, which I didn't use, of course.  You can use 1 pound of Italian sausage, or 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound sausage.  I used the 1/2 lb of each because I screwed up and didn't realize I bought the sausage for this meal and the 1/2 lb of each for a different meal.  Whoops!  Since the store I bought them from only had 1 lb sizes, I doubled the meal for next week and froze the other half.  It was still a win and tasted good.  But I have to go buy more meat for tonight's dinner - quick.

I chopped my green pepper, green onions, and garlic and threw them in the skillet after the meat was cooked.  I cooked them together until the onions went clear, then added my tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and sea salt.  You can see from the ingredients below, I omitted the green olives and pepper.  We aren't big fans of either one.

I stirred that all together and let it simmer for a few minutes.  At this point, half of my mix went into a Ziploc bag for the freezer that had been labeled with the name, and rest of the instructions on how to cook it on serving day.  What we were going to eat I divided between 6 prepared Portobello mushroom caps.  My hubby removed the stems and gills and cleaned them out while I was cooking.  Hey - he started us on this Paleo Adventure, he can help with the meals.

Oven was preheated to 400 and in goes all the caps.  Cook them for about 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the filling is browned.

Verdict:  This meal was a win.  Everyone loved it.  Well, the girl wasn't thrilled with the mushroom, but she hasn't started liking mushrooms yet.  This meal makes 6 mushrooms, and I will say they are on the smaller side.  I probably would have eaten two if I wasn't eating mine at 9:30 last night.  (I had a meeting at church then had to go shopping.  I didn't want to eat heavy that late.)  My hubby ate two and was still hungry.  I told him to cook an extra vegetable with them before I left for my meeting!  I think baked sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini spears, or even asparagus would work.  Something hearty.  But, overall it was sooo tasty and I can't wait to eat it again next week.

Makes 6 Mushrooms
Prep time: 5-10 mins  Cook time: 40-45 mins combined

1 pound Italian sausage (or ½ lb ground beef and ½ lb sausage)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½ cup sliced, stuffed green olives
6-7 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup tomato sauce
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 large Portobello mushrooms – FOR SERVING DAY

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the EVOO.  Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through.
Add the bell pepper, stir, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the green olives, green onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sea salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from heat, let cool for 15 minutes.
Place the cooked filling in an airtight container and freeze it until needed – or continue to Serving Day.

Thaw the filling in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Gently wipe away any dirt from the mushrooms with a damp towel.  Gently remove the stems and gills with a spoon.  Discard or save them for another use in another dish, (like in an egg scrambler.)
Spoon the filling into each mushroom cap, packing it firmly with the spoon.
Place the mushrooms in a glass baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and the top of the filling is browned.

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