Whenever I go to a party that I’m not hosting, I make sure to bring something on the healthier side with me. This doubles as a 1) a nice gesture, and 2) a backup option for when there aren’t a lot of foods being served that I want to eat. Successful moderation and healthy eating is all about being prepared, and I find that being ready with a healthy dish in social situations helps me balance out the not so great for me snacks and indulgences that I know I’ll have too.
So while everyone else is posting recipes for nachos and chicken wings this week, I want to post a different kind of recipe for you. These Mediterranean stuffed mushrooms are the perfect healthier appetizer to make for whatever Super Bowl party you are going to this weekend. I think stuffed mushrooms are a crowd pleaser too. Don’t people always seem to get weirdly excited about them? Just make sure to call them Mediterranean stuffed mushrooms instead of quinoa stuffed mushrooms, and you’ll be all set. Nobody will judge you for not bringing along a ranch dip or 4 bags of Doritos.
Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes a dozen stuffed mushrooms
- 12 large cremini mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel and with stems removed
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked per package directions
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, cut or crushed into small pieces
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp dill
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking spray of choice
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then arrange the mushrooms with the holes facing down. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the mushrooms, and season with salt and paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are baking, mix the cooked quinoa, the diced red onion, walnuts, white wine, parsley, dill, sun-dried tomatoes, crumbled feta, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- When the mushrooms finish cooking and have cooled, stuff them by scooping a spoonful of the quinoa mixture into each cap. Top with extra feta if desired.
- Bake again in an oven preheated to 350 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.
Although stuffed mushrooms are made with a veggie base, a lot of the time they use a creamy filling to bind the stuffing ingredients together. I like that this recipe is light and doesn’t need that. The lemon zest brings out a nice flavor among all the other Mediterranean based ingredients, and the quinoa is a healthier protein-packed substitution for bread crumbs. Plus, you can never go wrong with feta! I made these for Friendsgiving at Slesh and Will’s apartment last year, and everyone gobbled them right up.
This recipe yields 12 stuffed mushrooms, but just a warning, it definitely makes more stuffing than necessary. I ate the leftover stuffing up for lunch the next day as a Mediterranean quinoa salad, and it was delicious! You could also double the amount of mushroom caps if you want to use up the rest of the stuffing and bring a larger quantity of stuffed shrooms along.
Readers, let’s chat! What are you doing for the Super Bowl this weekend? What’s a must have Super Bowl food or snack in your home?
If you’re looking for more Super Bowl food ideas, check out our Super Bowl party menu from when we hosted two years ago.
Yesterday during our afternoon off from work, Tim and I got crafty in the kitchen. We received giant sweet potatoes in our CSA last week, and we also had a ton of pomegranate seeds left over from last week’s food prep, so we wanted to make a lunch for the week that used both. Here’s what we came up with!
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Pomegranate Pumpkin Dressing
Serves 4-5 as a main meal or 6-8 as a side dish
For the salad:
- 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch cubes
- Half a small red onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced (or a quart container of mini peppers)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing:
- 6 tbsp pomegranate juice
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seed oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a bowl, toss the cut up sweet potatoes in 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to two large baking sheets. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Make sure to check on them halfway through and flip so the sweet potato cooks evenly.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make your dressing. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the pomegranate juice, red wine vinegar, pumpkin seed oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, transfer to a large bowl, and add the onion, pepper, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro.
- Pour the dressing mixture over the salad and mix well. Make sure to pour slowly and taste as you go to avoid over-dressing. I recommend pour and tasting about 2-3 different times.
- Top with the remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, and enjoy!
You might be thinking that pomegranate and pumpkin aren’t flavors that go well together, but when you take one awesome flavor and combine it with another awesome flavor… yeah. Double awesomeness. Using pumpkin seed oil in the dressing provides a nice contrast against the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds, and pomegranate juice. The diced peppers, pomegranate seeds, and pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch, and of course, I like anything with cilantro in it. For those of you who don’t like cilantro, you could sub in parsley, and for those of you who might not have pumpkin seed oil at home, feel free to use olive oil instead (may have to add a little more).
I love how colorful and nutritious this dish is, and I can’t wait to have it for lunches this week! If you make this, snap some pretty pictures and post to social media. Would love to see your versions!
Readers, let’s chat! What’s your favorite flavor? A-sweet potato, B-pomegranate, or C-pumpkin?!
Luckily, this dish doesn’t make you decide. 😉
As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I prefer that a few weeks in January go by before I begin reflecting on the year before. Now that we’re mid month and I’m feeling a little more into the swing of things, I want to do some blog reflections and share the best of F&F in 2014 with all of you. I did something similar last year with my 2013 posts, and it was a lot of fun!
Ready for a content dump?
Best of F&F in 2014
2014 was a breakout year for Fitness & Feta. The blog celebrated its third birthday and got its own logo and header. I hosted my first blog event/workout class. I had a Reader Focus Week and hosted a Heart My Health social media campaign in February. In December, I hosted my most life changing and inspiring challenge yet. Also, the F&F newsletter was born! If you aren’t subscribed, please sign up! I’m sending out a fun update this weekend.
2014 was also the first year that I finally started monetizing this blog, which I attribute to being selected as a FitFluential ambassador and a PopSugar Select fitness blogger. I was able to attend a lot of really awesome events thanks to my relationship with New Balance Boston, and I received several other products to review and give away as well. 2014 was also the first year that I actually started turning opportunities away! This was partly because I couldn’t keep up, but also because I didn’t believe in the message of the some of the companies trying to work with me. Below are the blog projects I was able to participate in over the past year, so THANK YOU to for reading this blog and supporting not only me, but the companies I choose to work with for a little extra income. I appreciate each and every one of your clicks. 😉
2014 F&F Blog Opportunities
2014 F&F Blog Series
On F&F, I launched a few different series, some of which stuck, and some of which didn’t. You guys look forward to my F&F Friday Favorites every week, and I really believe in sharing other bloggers’ content, so that continues to be popular!
For awhile, I continued to write about my weekly workouts, but I grew bored of that and changed it up to giving you guys updates every month or so instead. There was also Journey to Fit, a series that features an F&F reader with an inspirational weight loss or weight gain story to share. I want to thank Mary, Liz, Laura, Jen and Kelly, and Jackie for sharing their stories. Keep your eyes out for more stories like this in 2015, and please let me know if you or someone you know would be a good fit for this!
Finally, at the beginning of the year, I launched Sunday Sweat Talk. I really, really enjoyed posting on a different fitness topic each week, and I think it helped me branch out a bit with my writing. Once our crazy wedding schedule picked up in the spring, having this little “fitness chat” with you guys was just too much to keep up with. I miss it, but here’s a list of the Sunday Sweat Talk topics I wrote about last year!
2014 F&F Workouts
Of course it wouldn’t be a successful fitness blog without continuing to share workouts with you guys. Here’s a rundown of the sweaty favorites I posted last year. Have you tried any of these?
2014 F&F Recipes
Last year I shared tons of food pictures in my weekly eats/catching up on eats posts, but here are the recipes that debuted on the blog this year. Have you made any of them?
2014 F&F Personal Favorites
I also thought it would be fun to share some of my personal favorite posts that I wrote over the course of the past year. They aren’t necessarily specific workouts or recipes, but these are fun and different posts I want to remember and remind you guys about. Also, if you are new to F&F, you may have missed some of them!
2014 F&F Life Recaps
Finally, one of the best parts about having a blog is being able to go back and see fun recaps of my life! It was too hard to write about every single thing we had this year in individual posts (I still have some major 2014 things I never got around to recapping), so I introduced Life Lately as a way to capture monthly recaps. Aside from my monthly Life Lately posts, here are some other fun recaps from throughout the year:
And that’s that! I’m excited to see what 2015 has in store for this little space of mine. Thanks for continuing along for the ride! You guys are the best.
Readers, let’s chat! What on F&F from 2014 stands out to you as most memorable? What do you want to see more or less of in 2015? Bloggers, what were your blog accomplishments last year? Anything you are setting out to do or grow in 2015?