Did you know that improving your health can be as easy as cutting out meat and processed cold cuts one day a week? Doing so can reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
Enter Meatless Monday. This non-profit initiative, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, wants to help Americans incorporate healthier foods into their diets by reducing meat consumption by 15 percent.
OK. I know what you're thinking: Vegetarianism isn't for you and you need your chicken and beef. But real talk: We don't eat enough vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Plus, one day a week won’t kill you.
To help inspire you to go meatless every Monday, Atlanta-based chef, journalist and food activist chef Asata will be providing you with culturally competent meatless recipes.
This week's recipe is spinach and artichoke stuffed portobello caps. "This entree, which is an innovate way to dress up boring old brown rice, can also serve as a lovely hors d'oeuvre," Asata says."Simply use smaller mushroom caps for bite-size deliciousness."
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Caps
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered and chopped roughly
2 cups cooked rice
1 bag baby spinach
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
6-10 portobello caps (large), stems and gills removed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Saute garlic and onion until tender. Add artichokes, rice and spinach and cook spinach down. Add cayenne, nutmeg and pecans. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of cheese.
Meanwhile sauté the cleaned mushrooms, cut side down over medium high heat about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Flip over and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer mushrooms to a baking dish arranged cut side up. Top with generous mounds of rice stuffing. Sprinkle with more cheese and bake in oven about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are tender.
Per ½-cup serving: 230 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 288 mg sodium, 37 g total carbs, 8 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar and 13 g protein.
About chef Asata
Chef Asata completed her degree in culinary arts from the International School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2000, and has been a professional chef for nearly a decade in some of Atlanta’s top-rated restaurants and in private homes. She has been chef at Dish Restaurant, the Food Studio and Nikolai’s Roof (both recipients of the AAA Four Diamond Award) and the vegan restaurant Lush. Asata teaches cooking classes for teens and adults at The Cooks Warehouse in Atlanta.