I was at PCC (the local co-op grocery store) the other day browsing around the vegetables and came across portobello mushrooms. Local and organic, I had to pick some up. I decided to do a little research on the nutrition of mushrooms, as there are so many varieties and thought I would share.
Mushrooms are a type of fungus known as mycelium and have been cultivated for years for food and their medicinal benefits. Hundreds of varieties of mushroom exist in an assortment of different sizes, shapes, colors, flavors, and textures including crimini, white button, shiitake, maitake, porcini, chanterelles, lobster, morels and oyster among many others. Interestingly, I found out that portobello mushrooms are actually crimini mushrooms that have grown to full size. Mushrooms provide a unique flavor to dishes known as Umami, which is known as the fifth taste sense and is Japanese for “savory taste.” They also have a meaty taste and commonly used as meat replacements in certain dishes.
In regards to nutrition, mushrooms are a great low-calorie food while providing many vitamins and minerals. One cup of sliced grilled portobello mushrooms contain 35 calories, 4 g of protein, 5.3 g of carbohydrates, 2.7 g of fiber and 110 g of water.
Portobello mushrooms are a great source of B-vitamins including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, which are important for energy production, antioxidant function and DNA synthesis. In addition, they contain high amounts of selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, and trace amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, and manganese.
Below is a recipe for stuffed mushrooms. I had some canned, wild salmon on hand and decided to create a tasty mixture to use as a stuffing in the mushrooms. The combination of the spices, vegetables, and salmon turned out great.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
When cleaning portobello mushrooms, remove any dirt with a damp cloth. Avoid cleaning them under running water, as this can cause them to become soggy. When storing mushrooms, choose a non-airtight container, as they need air to breathe. They can be stored in a paper bag or in plastic packaging, as long as their are holes to promote circulation and will last about a week in the refrigerator.
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ jalapeño, minced
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- Cajun spice mix, to taste (about a tablespoon)
- Juice of 2 limes
- Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
- 3 portobello mushrooms, stems reserved and cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the onion, jalapeno, zucchini, garlic, and carrot. Add in your favorite Cajun spice blend, the juice of the limes, the chopped mushroom stems, and stir to combine.
Scoop 1/3 cup of the vegetable mixture into each portobello mushroom and place on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake for a half-hour.
Serve warm with a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish, if you prefer. Enjoy!