What happens when a team of nutrition-minded bloggers takes the cooking outside? You, dear readers, get a whole slew of tasty, healthy recipe ideas for the grill, courtesy of this month’s inaugural Recipe Redux.
Before we step outside, I should explain that Recipe Redux is a recipe challenge group focused on “reinventing the idea of healthy eating with a taste-first approach.” What’s unique about this project is that it was founded by RDs – Regan Jones of The Professional Palate, and Serena Ball and Deanna Seagrave-Daly of Teaspoon of Spice – and the majority of member bloggers are also dietitians. As an exception to the RD theme (not yet, but soon!), I’m thrilled to be included. Once a month, I’ll post my recipe for that month’s theme along with links to all the other members’ recipes.
Now join me in the backyard for June’s grilling theme. I thought I’d stretch myself a little and go with a vegetarian dish. The challenge, as I saw it, was to rescue vegetarians from the inevitable from-a-box veggie burger on the grill while making efficient use of the grillmaster’s time cooking something that everyone could enjoy. So I came up with these spiced-couscous-stuffed Portobello mushroom caps, a tasty dish that can be served as a main or a side.
Many grilled stuffed mushroom recipes are heavy on the cheese, and I had visions of charred cheddar encrusting our already-battle-worn grill. For a different take on protein source, I went with chickpeas tossed together with grilled onions in a couscous salad spiced with garam masala (I have been on a multi-week garam masala kick lately; love it). The double-grilled flavor from the onions and the mushrooms gives these body, while the lime juice sweetens and keeps them from tasting too heavy.
The process (described in the recipe that follows below) is pretty simple – grill the onions and mushrooms; mix up the couscous; stuff, grill and serve the mushrooms. From there, it’s anybody’s call: eat one or more, as a side or a main, with utensils or your hands (keep any eye on the chickpeas if you’re going fork-free; they’re wily little buggers just waiting to roll off onto your after-Memorial-Day whites).
In the interest of full disclosure, my husband wasn’t bowled over by these. He said they were ok, but was a little put off by the earthy/bitter taste of the mushrooms. But if you’re like me – a fan of mushrooms because of that very flavor – you might find these more appealing than Tim did.
Or maybe you’ll find the recipes from fellow ReDuxers even more appealing. I certainly am looking forward to firing up Ol’ Rusty and trying these out. And from the size of the Recipe Redux list, it looks like Rusty’s going to get a good workout. (Note: if a link doesn’t work on Tues June 21, please try again soon – we aren’t all in the same time zone, & some folks may not have posted their Recipe Redux live just yet):
- Grilled Eggplant & Two-Tomato Whole-Wheat Piadina, from Regan Jones/The Professional Palate (here)
- Grilled tandoori chicken skewers, from Gretchen/Kumquat (here)
- Char Siu BBQ pork, from Emma Stirling/The Scoop on Nutrition (here)
- Grilled salmon burgers with cherry chutney, from Jessica Fishman Levinson/Nutritioulicious (here)
- Grilled corn and tomato salad, from Dr. Barb/Nutrition Budgeteer (here)
- Grilled flank steak with grilled corn and peach salsa, from Ann Dunaway Teh/Eat to Nourish, Energize, and Flourish (here)
- Portabella mushroom burgers with grilled corn, from Kristen/Swanky Dietitian (here)
- Grilled polenta veggie stacks with balsamic cherry tomatoes, from EA Stewart/The Spicy RD (here)
- Grilled Summer Fruit Salad from Alexandra Caspero/Delicious Knowledge (here)
- Grilled Romaine Salad from Alysa Bajenaru/Inspired RD (here)
- Grilled Sweet Peppers from Danielle Omar/Food Confidence (here)
- Grilled Beet & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese from Diane Welland/EatWellEatClean (here)
- Grilled Proscuitto Shrimp with Asian Dipping Sauce from Jackie Mills/Delicious Diabetes Cooking (here)
- Succulent Sirloin Kabobs from Katie Caputo/East Meats West (here)
- Grilled Veggie Bean Burgers from Lisa/Healthful Sense (here)
- Grilled Eggs from Nicole Ferring Holovach/Whole Health RD (here)
- Grilled Plantains: A Sweet Summer Side Dish from Rebecca Scritchfield/MeFirst (here)
- Grilled Watermelon Salad from Serena/Teaspoon of Spice (here)
- Mushroom Burgers with the Works, Basil Cannellini Spread by Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex/Meal Makeover Moms (here)
- Italian grilled turkey burgers, by Marie Spano (here)
- Grilled vegetables, by Chef Pandita (here)
- Cindy Brison/Nutrition Know How (here)
Grilled portobello mushrooms stuffed with spiced couscous (text file here)
When I made these, they were a little stubborn about coming off the grill in the final step. You may want to brush oil or put some cooking spray on the mushrooms’ top sides before their second round on the grill, to prevent sticking.
These would be great served along some grilled sweet potato wedges.
(6 servings, approx. 190 calories each)
6 portabella mushroom caps, gills and stems removed
Juice from 2 limes, divided
1 Tbsp olive or sesame oil
½ cup (dry) couscous, cooked
1 15-oz can of chickpeas
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
1 red onion, cut into slices
Put onion slices on skewers or a grill plate, and grill for 8-10 minutes.
Brush inside of mushrooms with oil and juice from one lime. Grill with insides down for 5 minutes. Try to time this step so the mushrooms and onions are done at the same time.
Remove onions and mushrooms from the grill. In a large bowl, combine the onions, couscous, chickpeas, garam masala, turmeric and any oil-juice mixture left over from brushing the mushrooms. Scoop ½ cup of the couscous mixture into each mushroom cap, patting it down firmly.
Return the mushrooms to the grill, top side down, and grill for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the grill, garnish with a little juice from the second lime over each and serve.