The way people are approaching the concept of healthy eating is changing. Vegetables are becoming the center of the plate. Chefs are changing restaurant menus to increase the number of vegetable dishes that are being offered. And above all, customers are loving it. Needless to say, vegetarianism is in. Even here at the Berghoff we receive phone calls each week asking if we serve vegetarian dishes. And, yes, we do!

Nowadays, many people think that meat and vegetables are equally satisfying. Vegetables are turning into a healthy alternative for many who want to incorporate more fresh produce in their diets, and many claim that vegetarian meals are just as filling. While health-conscious Millennials are becoming more and more concerned with what they are putting into their bodies, creating dishes solely composed of vegetables is always a safe bet. They have other concerns as well, such as where the product came from, how the product was grown, and how it will affect them. Local producers are able to explain to customers the detailed answers to these questions. Like we had mentioned last week, this is one of the many reasons why farmers markets are trending this summer.

Chefs all around are also trying to meet health concerns. Not only have they increased the number of vegetables they use, but they have also increased their use of lentils, dry peas, and chickpeas. Referred to as “pulses,” these legumes are popular meat-free choices and some of the most nutritious foods available.

In my mind, the vegetable that deserves the most attention is the mushroom. A hearty vegetable that can be cooked and served in myriad ways, mushrooms are flavorful, delicious, and easy to work with. They have the potential to make many dishes unique. The recipe that comes to mind when I think of mushrooms is our Creamed Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms. Not only does this recipe include these healthy vegetables, but it also uses our famous Creamed Spinach recipe. A perfect combination!

I hope you enjoy.

Creamed Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 24 stuffed mushroom caps/8 servings

Ingredients:

24 large white mushrooms (2—2 ½ inches in diameter)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ tablespoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 ½ cups Creamed Spinach

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make the Stuffed Mushrooms:

Preheat the oven to 375⁰, and lightly oil a large, shallow baking pan.

To create space for the stuffing, pull off the stems from the mushroom caps (trim and use the stems in other dishes). Brush the caps with the 2 tablespoons of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put the mushroom caps, bottom down, in the prepared baking pan and bake until they release their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes; remove from the oven. Turn over the mushrooms, and gently fill the inside of each cap completely with the spinach mixture (there may be some filling left over). Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake in the middle of the oven until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Note: To keep the stuffing from becoming runny from the moisture in the mushrooms, increase the butter and the flour in the creamed spinach recipe by ¼ cup each.