Thursday, October 11, 2012

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Quinoa and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Grilled portobello mushrooms, mushrooms, quinoa
Photo styled and captured by Liv...
While the rest of the country seems to be bundling up in sweatshirts and scarves, San Diego is providing an absolutely gorgeous fall. With temps in the mid 70's during the day dipping into the frigid high 50's over night, I'm still mostly in summer mode. While I may have put my bikini away, I'm still working on dropping a few of those summer vacation pounds, and I'm obsessing a bit with quinoa.

A native to the Andean regions of Peru, quinoa is truly an "ancient grain" (though it is in reality a seed) with a near 9,000 year history.  Once called "The Gold of the Incas", quinoa is not only high in protein, but a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Red quinoa, quinoa
In addition to protein, the tiny seed is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, potentially making quinoa valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Add the fact that quinoa was used by the Inca Warriors to increase stamina and I think I have a winner.

Inspired by a Bobby Flay Grilled Portobello Mushroom recipe, I've swapped out his panko bread crumbs for quinoa.  Adding a touch of sauteed prosciutto and onion, and combining with pesto, Parmesan, and sun-dried tomatoes, we have a meal in a mushroom.

Portobello Mushrooms

Looking at my preparations ever so skeptically, my husband casually commented, "So... is that dinner?" as he looked hopefully around for a piece of meat to join the mushrooms on the grill.  Yes, I had fish to go along with his mushroom, and as he did his best to move the mushroom and filling around his plate, I finally asked if he was actually going to taste it.

Taking a small scoop he prepared himself to say he didn't really like it, but a look of surprise flashed over his face followed by a slight grin, and he took another scoop.  And another, and another.

Cleaning his plate, he casually mentioned that the stuffed mushrooms "Might not be that bad after all...", a sure sign of a winner in our household.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Quinoa and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Photo styled and captured by Liv...

Grilled Quinoa and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Another recipe that is incredibly forgiving.  Adapt the ingredients to suit your taste, more pesto if that is your favorite, or additional sun-dried tomatoes if you so choose.  Leave out the prosciutto for a vegetarian version.
Inspired by Bobby Flay
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4 large portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed
2 tablespoons olive oil, for brushing mushrooms

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped Porscuitto
small handful chopped spinach
1 cup prepared quinoa
3 Tbs prepared pesto
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste
additional Parmesan or grated mozzarella cheese for topping

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Quinoa and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Preheat grill to medium heat.

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean and dry well. Do not rinse under water.  Brush the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil and set aside.

Place a medium skillet over medium heat on the stove.  Add the olive oil and heat.  Sautee the chopped onion and proscuitto until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.  Add the chopped spinach and sautee for 1minute more.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add the quinoa.  Add the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Add the sauteed onions and prosciutto.  Stir to combine.  If mixture is too dry, add a teaspoon or two of the oil from the tomatoes, stir, then salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the quinoa mixture evenly into the cleaned mushrooms, and top each one with a sprinkling of additional Parmesan ** or mozzarella.

Place prepared mushrooms onto the grill, and cook until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, usually about 8 - 10 minutes.  Remove from the grill and serve.

**Liv Life Note:  For topping the mushrooms, choose whichever cheese you desire... Parmesan will end up a bit "crunchier" as it cooks, and the mozzarella will become more "melty".  Sometimes we like a combo of both!

Portobello Mushrooms


  1. I'm trying more veggie recipes as main dishes and I can relate to your husband's comment. These look delicious and may make it to our table. I was just saying that I want to find a climate that is 40-50 in the mornings and 70-80 in the afternoons. Would that be San Diego by chance? :)

  2. These are stunning! I love all the flavors here and I will definitely be trying these out! YUM!

  3. Beautiful stuffed mushrooms! I like to sneak that quinoa in my salads and now in my mushrooms;-)
    Very funny about your husband looking for his protein to go with the grilled mushrooms;-) We would be very happy with grilled mushrooms for dinner but the men folk-that's another story;-)

  4. Thank you for posting! Dinner tonight, for sure.

  5. Kim,
    Love the filling in these mushrooms, especially the quinoa. I, too have been enamored with quinoa lately. Can't wait to try these!

  6. So, is that dinner? That had me in hysterics, Kim. Your hubby is so lucky since they look amazing and so tasty (I LOVE sun-dried tomatoes but my Frenchy doesn't :-()
    Enjoy your wonderful weather just now. I want to move to San Diego! Not just for the weather but wish we were neighbours...

  7. You created something scrumptious! And you photos are wonderful!

  8. Gorgeous photos! I love stuffed mushrooms but don't make them enough, this is a great flavor combo.

  9. Pesto and quinoa filling sounds Ah-may-zing!! I haven't had stuffed mushrooms since going gluten free, but this is totally doable!!

  10. I was on a quinoa kick this summer and I think I'll carry it into fall. I don't have very many recipes to my quinoa repertoire so this will be a great one to add to the list. I love it when our tasters are pleasantly surprised by dishes they don't think they'll like! Score for Kim!

  11. Hi Kim! Wow, I love all kinds of mushrooms and I like how you stuffed all the goodies into the portobello mushrooms. Very nice appetizer!

  12. there are some things I make that I don't think Jason will even try (so I have a backup planned for him...) but he has been surprising me lately - LOVING the things that he used to say he wouldn't eat! :)

    these are up next... he likes quinoa now! :)


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