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.
Confession. I’m almost as much of a sucker for themed food as I am for themed gifts or themed workout playlists. You guys probably knew that already though.
Here’s the appetizer recipe we made for the 4th of July this year, and of course it incorporates the colors of the American flag.
Red White & Blue Salsa
Recipe inspired by and adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (the BLUE)
- 1 cup diced strawberries (the RED)
- 1 cup diced jicama (the WHITE)
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dipping food of choice
Mix all together in a bowl and season with the s&p!
In this dish, the sweetness of the berries contrasted nicely with the tartness of the jicama and the cilantro flavor. If you aren’t sure what a jicama is, I explain it well in this post. I wrote that post after my co-worker Dawn brought me a jicama to try once. It was still hard to explain to my family members who kept saying, jic-a-whaaa?
I served the salsa with two new chips I picked up at Whole Foods. Have you guys heard of simply sprouted Way Better Snacks? I brought the no salt naked blues tortilla chips and the simply sunny multi-grain tortilla chips. Both flavors were good, and I didn’t feel the need to keep eating chip after chip. Since chips and salsa are my weakness, I think I’ll definitely get these again!
If this salsa catches your attention, you may also be interested in:
Do you prefer a regular old salsa or do you like trying different flavors? Do you get your salsa in a jar or make it homemade?
Today is a pretty huge day at work for me as I’m finally pitching the entire wellness program that I’ve built for the past 9 months to our C-level staff and senior execs. Eek! Wish me luck, friends!
New recipe post for you guys!
For Greek Easter, Uncle Chris asked me to bring an appetizer. In a recent Friday Favorites post, I linked to this recipe and said I knew what I was going to do with the extra Athens phyllo dough just hanging out in my freezer. Stumbling upon this recipe was definitely timely!
- Frozen phyllo cups (two 15 count packages from Athens)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 6 ounces feta cheese
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place phyllo cups on 2 baking sheets and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion, season with salt and pepper, then sauté about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, sauté for 30 more seconds, then transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool slightly.
- Add spinach, feta cheese, parsley, nutmeg, and egg (whisked) – then stir to combine.
- Spoon mixture into phyllo cups, then bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cups are golden brown around the edges.
I knew the fam would gobble these right up. If you need a quick and easy app to bring to a party, this is it!
What’s your favorite “quick and easy” appetizer? Any traditional favorites (like spanakopita) that you’ve discovered an easier version of making?
Today is the first session of our new Stress Less seminar at work as part of the wellness program. I’ve put a ton of work into this presentation… wish me luck!