Essential Sports Nutrition


Cheesy kale stuffed mushrooms

As a vegetarian, I just love the "meaty" texture of Portabella mushrooms.

Plus, as an athlete, mushrooms offer a nice nutritional boost to the immune system while providing fiber, protein, copper, selenium, B2 and B5 along with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

For proper storage of mushrooms, keep them in your fridge in a loosely closed paper bag wrapped in a damp cloth. Try to keep your mushrooms from touching one another by layering the mushrooms on the damp cloth. This will help the mushrooms stay fresher for longer. When mushrooms become soggy with a slimy layer on top, they are no longer fully fresh.

Since mushrooms are very porous, they will quickly absorb water and become soggy when cleaning them. The best way to clean mushrooms is with a mushroom brush and just a little water.

When using the cap of the mushroom, remove the stem with your hands.

Although mushrooms are great in sauces, on salads (raw) and as a side dish (sauteed), I really enjoy "stuffed" mushroom caps. My friend Katie Malone turned me on to a yummy creation of pesto, tomato and melted mozzarella stuffed mushrooms (it was ah-mazing) last summer and since then, I have been experimenting with different ways to stuff mushrooms. 

I hope you enjoy this recent creation of mine which will be sure to make you yum out loud.

Cheesy kale stuffed mushrooms 
Serves 2

2 large portabella mushrooms (stems removed)
Olive oil
Salt, curry powder, pepper
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2-3 cups chopped kale
Panko crumbs (~1/4 cup)
Shredded Parmesan and Asiago cheese

Cooking instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. In large skillet on medium heat, saute chopped kale, garlic and onion in olive oil (about 1 tbsp to start) until soft and onions turn golden brown. Add a bit of water to help soften kale if it begins to stick to skillet.
3. Season with 2-4 pinches of curry (depending on how much you like curry), a few pinches of salt and pepper. 
4. Place mushroom caps in glass baking dish (sprayed with non stick spray), bottom side up. Drizzle each cap with a little olive oil before layering on the kale mix. 
5. Spoon the kale mixture on each cap to cover most the mushroom. You can pile it on as much as you wish!
6. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the kale (as much cheese as you wish) and bake for ~8-10 minutes (mushroom will soften and shrink a little). 
7. Remove dish and sprinkle with panko crumbs and another drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for another 2-3 minutes.
8. Remove mushrooms from the oven and enjoy!

(Any leftovers of the kale mix, save for breakfast the next morning and combine with scrambled eggs and your favorite type of bread with butter and jam).