Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meatless Dinner #1

Since my husband, Sean, made his pledge last Sunday to go meat free for the month of October, I made a pledge to cook good vegetarian alternatives for dinner. On Sunday night I made a list of meals for the week that I thought Sean would like and went to the grocery store after work on Monday to get all of the ingredients.  I may have gone a little bit overboard because I got so much food that Sean had to come meet me at Whole Foods to help me carry it all home.  Unfortunately, I worked so late that by the time we got home from the grocery store it was too late to cook a big meal. Sean ended up having a bowl of cereal and I had rice and beans. Monday was meatless but I would hardly call it a success.

Tuesday afternoon I got an email from Sean saying he had meat for lunch.... well that sure didn't last long. He promised to re-commit himself starting with dinner. So, on Tuesday night I made stuffed Portobello mushrooms with Brussels sprouts.

Sean's comment after his first bite was "it's interesting" followed by "it's good".  He said he would eat the stuffed mushroom again as is but I personally thought the stuffing had too much lemon juice and needed a bit more spinach. They were certainly a good alternative to meat though and were very filling. I thought the brussel sprouts were OK... not sure I would make them again with so many other recipes out there to try.  They weren't Sean's favorite either but then he doesn't love brussel sprouts in general. I thought maybe the sauce would win him over but he said he would have preferred green beans.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
*I initially was going to make the stuffed mushroom recipe from Forks Over Knives but I ended up making so many substitutions and adjustments that I don't even want to say it's adapted from that recipe... so I will just say that it was the inspiration for my recipe.  I would like to try the recipe in the book in the future.  I will let you know how it turns out.
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
5 white mushrooms (caps and stems)
handful of basil leaves
1 cup of spinach
1 clove of garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon (I used juice of 1 lemon but I think it was too much)
4 TBSP fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 TBSP panko bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
Clean mushroom and de-stem.
Combine first 7 ingredients and 2 TBSP of parmesan cheese in Cuisinart.
Sauté panko bread crumbs in olive until golden brown.
Stuff mushroom caps and then top with panko bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until mushroom is tender).
Top with remaining parmesan cheese.
Serve hot.

Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts
By Chef AJ
Page 165 of Forks Over Knives- The How-To Companion to the Feature Documentary Forks Over Knives
1 1/2 pound brussel sprouts
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP tamari
1 TBSP arrowroot powder
Finely diced bell peppers, optional (I omitted this)
Chopped walnuts or pecans, optional (I omitted this)
Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Cut the stems off the Brussel sprouts and discard, then cut the sprouts in half. Cook the sprouts in the boiling water for 2 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water.
In heavy nonstick sauce pan, sauté the shallots in a small amount of water or vegetable stock for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the boiled brussel sprouts and saute for 4 more minutes. Whisk together the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, tamari and arrowroot powder in a small bowl. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the Brussel sprouts and cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Garnish with bell pepper or nuts if desired.

TIP: the first step of cooking and cooling the brussel sprouts can be done in advance.

Stay tuned for more updates and vegetarian recipes!


  1. sounds good! can't wait for more recipes! can you come cook for nel and me? every night? thanks! :)

  2. yum!!!
    we try and do meatless a few times a week and one of my go-to's is

    I use whole grain pasta and add more pepper than called for. it is so good and so filling - carrie (audino)

  3. Carrie- Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try that pasta recipe. Hope all is well!

  4. this is great! i was just wondering about how to cook brussel sprouts because i love them. the mushroom looks so good! good for sean for trying and good for you for cooking new things!