Italian Sausage Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps

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Italian_Stuffed_PortabellaI don’t know if it is all this crazy cold weather we’re experiencing in VA but I am craving some major comfort food. Lasagna to be exact.  Hot, cheesy, saucy, carbohydrate loaded Lasagna!!

We’ve been stuck indoors, and out of school, for a big chunk of January and February.  Between the lack of sunshine and low vitamin D,  I just want to eat my way through the rest of winter.  Finding the balance between comfort food and healthy food is hard.  When your mind is focused on one thing, it is hard to trick it into something healthier.  The truth is, eating a tray of lasagna wouldn’t help my winter blues.  It would leave me feeling unsatisfied, I would spike insulin to manage all the carbohydrates (sugar) and then I would feel exhausted.

Sugar also reeks havoc on your pancreas.  Most of you know that I lost my mother 5 months ago to pancreatic cancer.  What I have not shared is that my dad died, of the same disease, 17 years ago.  Having lost both parents to this pancreatic cancer has opened my eyes to how I eat and and how food effects the inside inside (and outside) of my body.   Over the past few years I have learned to eat and cook differently.  I am on the real whole food bandwagon and try to limit any processed food.  The trick to eliminating processed foods is to, first and foremost,  plan ahead.  Real whole food doesn’t come from a drive thru so you have to plan your menu and cook large portions to ensure you have your own version of “fast food” waiting in your refrigerator.  The second thing I have learned is that you need to replace the bad processed  foods with healthier items that are high in fat.   I use a ton of coconut oil, whole milk dairy, avocado, grass feed butter and I have not gained a pound!  Natural foods that are high in fat are actually really good for you and it will get you through the though cravings.    So, without further ado, here is my healthy alternative to indulgent lasagna.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 portabella mushroom caps (gills removed)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 package of button mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • Bunch of fresh spinach (frozen will work)
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese (omit for Paleo version)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (omit for Paleo version)
  • Tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Portabella_Gills

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut the eggplant into ¼ inch slices.  Place each slice on a paper towel and sprinkle generously with sea salt.  Place a weighted cookie sheet over the slices and let sit.   This process will remove all the excess moisture in the eggplant retains.  Let sit 15-20 minutes.
  3. Using a spoon, gently scrape the gills out of each portabella mushroom. If there is a large stem, gently cut it down.  Do not dig out the stem or else the mushroom cap will fall apart.   Place caps on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until it is cooked through.  Set aside.
  4. Check on the eggplant.  The paper towels should be moist.  Rinse off the sea salt and pat them dry.  Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Generously coat each side with olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  5. Bake in oven until lightly brown (15-20 minutes).  Set-aside.
  6. Heat a skillet to medium heat and cook the spicy sausage.  Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage, and to scrape up any brown bits.  When sausage is cooked through (no more pink), set aside.
  7. In the same skillet, add approximately 2 TBSP of olive oil.  Saute mushrooms until golden brown (10-15 minutes).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  While the mushrooms are cooking dice your onion and mince your garlic.
  8. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and set aside.  In the same skillet add another 2 Tbsp of olive oil and return to medium heat. Cook onions until golden brown, add in garlic.  Let cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Add in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove everything from this pan and set aside.
  9. Get out a large baking dish (9X 13) and pour in approximately ¼ of the jarred (or homemade) sauce onto the bottom of the pan.
  10. Place the portabella mushroom caps (gill side up) in the pan.  Spoon the mushroom, onion & spinach mixture over each cap.
  11. Top with the spicy sausage and top with a slice of roasted eggplant.
  12. Pour the rest of your sauce over the top and generously cover with whole milk mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  13. Bake at 350 until it is bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Thanks for stopping by~

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