Every once in a while, vegetarians crave something ‘meaty’. It might not necessarily be the taste of meat per se but rather its texture and heftiness. Well, my herbivore friends, a nice juicy piece of portobello mushroom is about to become your best food friend and oh, you’re also about to love me for this awesome recipe.
Although steak devouts would probably shake their heads upon me implicating these mushrooms as meat substitute but truth is – they do make far more than an interesting alternative. In addition to their meaty texture and intense earthy flavor, portobellos contain a number of nutrients minus the calories. It’s by far healthier than big slabs of fatty and cholesterol-filled meat.
An I’m telling you, once those carnivores get a taste of this delicious dish, they gonna be shakin’ their heads no more and probably nod for more and more!
shaved Parmesan cheese (omit if vegan/dairy free/low fat)
Marinate mushrooms for 1 hour with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried parsley, salt & pepper.
Meanwhile, start making the marinara sauce by sautéing garlic and onion in a frying pan over medium/high heat until they're very well browned. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to medium. Leave to simmer for about 8-10 minutes (or until tomatoes are cooked) – stirring occasionally. Texture should become mushy.
When done reduce heat to low/medium. Add sea salt, chilli flakes, coconut sugar, garlic powder, basil and tomato paste. Stir for a 1-2 minutes till basil is cooked. Set aside.
Turn the oven heat to 180c. Squeeze excess marinade liquid from the mushroom caps gently with your fingers and place them, gills facing up, on foil-lined baking tray brushed with some olive oil.
Spoon the marinara sauce into the hollow space of each mushroom – dividing the sauce equally between 3 caps.
Sprinkle fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese (if using) on top of the sauce and bake the the mushrooms for approximately 20-35 minutes (see note). Serve immediately when done.
Baking time varies according to the size and thickness of the Portobello mushroom caps so be sure to keep a watchful eye. The thicker and larger it is, the longer it'll take. Remember to go organic as much as you can!