Most people cringe at the mention of fungi. Not me, oh how I love mushrooms, raw, sauteed, in soups, and especially stuffed! My kids are big mushrooms fans too. So this was a must for our Christmas dinner, if no one else will eat them, I will be happy to oblige! Now my husband argues with me that there is no nutritional value in a mushroom, well actually I get that from almost anyone who doesn't care to eat them...sorry for the length of this next part, just proving a point!
* Mushrooms have very less calories and contain approximately 80 to 90 percent water. At the same time, they have low sodium, carbohydrate and fat content and high fiber content. This is the reason why mushrooms are considered good for those aiming for weight loss.
* Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium. In fact, it is said that there is more potassium in a mushroom than a banana. Since potassium helps lower blood pressure and diminished the risk of stroke, mushrooms are recommended to people suffering from hypertension.
* Mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral that has cardio-protective properties. A single serving of mushrooms is said to provide about 20 to 40 percent of the daily needs of copper.
* Mushrooms are believed to help fight against cancer. They are an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
* Researches have suggested that white button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. In fact, extract of white button mushrooms has been found to help in diminishing cell proliferation as well as tumor size.
* Shiitake mushrooms comprise of Lentinan, a beta-glucan that has been associated with stimulation of the immune system and thus, is believed to be helpful in fighting against AIDS. It also helps fight infection and exhibits anti-tumor activity.
* Being rich in fiber, protein and Vitamin B, mushrooms help maintain a healthy metabolism.
* It has been found that mushroom extract helps stop migraine headaches and is beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses, like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
* Oyster mushrooms are said to be useful in strengthening of veins and relaxation of the tendons.
So they are not a waste of food after all! Onto the recipe now...
24 white button mushrooms (24 mushroom caps and 1 cup stems, chopped)
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
4 oz softened cream cheese
5 tablespoons imitation (or fresh) crab
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wipe the mushrooms clean. Carefully remove the stems from the caps. If the stems break and leave only a small space inside the cap use the end of a spoon to dig out a bit more space. Toss the mushroom caps with 1 tablespoon melted butter and set aside in a large glass baking dish.
2. In a deep saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the cup of chopped mushroom stems and the minced shallot, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the splash of vinegar, and then add the breadcrumbs, herbs, reserving some for garnish, zest, salt and pepper, cream cheese, and crab and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are soft and buttery.
3. Using a small spoon, fill the caps with stuffing. Press the stuffing in with a small spoon. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a baking dish, sprinkle each mushroom with a little bit of cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until the juices start to bubble out of the mushrooms. Garnish with herbs, serve and enjoy!