Monday, October 3, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms and Spicy Squash

The seasons have changed since the last time I posted, so I figured it was high time to move on to something more in keeping with them: hearty mushrooms and winter squash just seem to say autumn. 
Portabella steaks with vegan feta and savory stuffing, runner beans, and spicy caramelized squash
This meal was inspired by Michelle at Lovinlivinvegan, who has been posting about portabella steaks recently, and she pretty much convinced me it was high time to bring on some 'shrooms. She linked to Happy Herbivore's recipe, which includes a nice gravy.  I followed the recipe faithfully, except that I upped the sherry and reduced the balsamic in the gravy, and thickened it with a little arrowroot powder.

After I simmered the mushroom steaks, I decided to go a step further and stuff them with some of Happy Herbivore's vegan feta combined with a savory bread stuffing.
Happy Herbivore's Fat-free Vegan Feta

I really liked the feta recipe and that she included white miso in it. I added a little umeboshi vinegar to the mix. I'll definitely make this again, but next time I'm going to try it with a little less red wine vinegar and more lemon juice.

For the stuffing, I sauteed some onion, garlic, and celery; tossed in some sprouted grain bread crumbs and herbs, salt and pepper and a bit of veggie broth. I should have added walnuts and parsley, but I forgot.

After they were stuffed, I baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 F, until the tops started to brown and turn golden. 
   Stuffed Portobellos pre-baking

Thanks to both Michelle and HH for the recipes and inspiration! 

Now, on to the squash. I got three mini hubbards out of the garden this year...that's it! Three. Pitiful. There were lots of squash on the vine, and I hand pollinated them just to make sure, but the squash just kept fading as if they hadn't been pollinated. I've grown squash and the like many times and done the hand pollinating, so not sure what went wrong. Any ideas? 

But, I'm moving off topic...I talk about the hubbards because that's what I used to make some spicy, garlicky, caramelized, oven-roasted squash.

I drizzled some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the squash chunks and sprinkled it liberally with red pepper flakes and some coconut palm sugar (wanted to use maple syrup, but I was out). Then, I baked the squash at 375 F for about 20-30 minutes. The squash chunks kind of look like avocado, because they  were slightly immature and still a little green under the skin. 

About 10 minutes before I took them out of the oven, I poured a mixture of soy sauce and water blended with about 8 cloves of garlic over the top. The result was some spicy, garlicky, caramelized squash.

Last but not least, hats off to all you Vegan MoFoers out there! I participated in '09 and in 2010, but I'm sitting this one out. That's partly because I didn't think I'd have the energy or time to blog that much this year, but mostly because in years past, I was so busy doing my own posts that I didn't have anywhere near as much time as I would have liked to read and explore other blogs. So this year, I'm cheering from the sidelines and reading to my heart's content.

Talk to you soon, and Happy October everybody!
Rose Tobin
Roseann LaPonte
Rosanne Marie Tobin


  1. Those portobellos look beautiful! that's a perfect autumn meal.
    And I know what you mean about MoFo being busy! I feel like I could spend the entire month just reading everyone's posts.

  2. I got a hankerin' for portobellos now :).
    When we were having issues with our squash this summer, I thought I read something about soil deficiencies leading to blossom loss, but I am sketchy on the details (as it turns out, our problem was bore-ing insects--which are truly disgusting).
    Mr Stacy just corrected me--he thinks it's a pH problem.

  3. OMG what a gorgeous dish! This one is jumping right to the top of my list, this is so up my alley! I'm with you too, I'm very overwhelmed by all of the amazing posts going on AND I feel like I'm missing SO MUCH! I'm keeping up as best as I can though. And I finally have a weekend off so I'm planning on taking time to catch up then!

  4. Wow, Rose, everything looks spectacular! I really, really, really want it all, especially the squash. What a great idea to stuff the mushrooms, too. So creative!

  5. I saw the mushrooms on Michelle's blog, and now here they are again, taunting me. I love how you stuffed them and I think that's definitely the way to go. And the squash looks heavenly with its garlicky, caramelized topping. I'm getting hungrier by the minute, and there are still so many blogs to read.

  6. This meal looks great. I am with you about Vegan MoFo. This is my second year and I'm having a great time but I feel as if I'm missing out on some of the amazing blogs out there.

  7. Happy October Rose! Wow! Your Shrooms look delicious! Such a beautiful meal as always! And, your stuffing sounds great! I haven't tried HH's feta yet, but you can bet I will be soon now. :0)
    I've never heard of Hubbard squash, but it sure looks good!
    Thanks for the shout out! I'm so glad you tried the Shrooms! :0)

  8. Wonderful-looking, as always. I'm always up for trying a new tofu feta recipe--they all seem pretty good to me, though! Yeah, I just really, really like tofu. And mmmm....squash. These days it's my candy...

  9. This is really making me want some portobello steaks. Yum!

  10. I know what you mean about sitting out and observing. I thought about that, too. I tried to avoid overbooking October, though. Last year, I went on a 2 week road trip during November, which didn't lend itself to much participation. Your meal is very impressive. I always want to eat more mushrooms, but they're not one of the things I'm naturally drawn to. However, I love the idea of stuffing them with the feta. I could get on board with that. And my husband loves stuffed things, and my oldest son adores mushrooms.

  11. I have a weakness for mushrooms, especially portabellas. When, oh when, will you invite me to your house for dinner ; ) Your blog is simply appetizing.

  12. Bonnie:

    Thanks, and have fun with MoFo, it's a busy month, but a fun one!


    Thanks for the pH info...I'll have to look into that. My suspicion was something with soil nutrients etc...whatever it was didn't effect the cucumbers, just the squash...summer and winter.


    Yeah MoFo is a busy month! I'd love to see your take on the shrooms too! :)


    The squash was really the highlight...I always seem to forget how much I love winter squashes until this time of year rolls around.


    I know, MoFo seems to do wonders for the appetite! Like as if I needed any help with that...:D

  13. OMGosh:

    I know what you's a little overwhelming, but it'll all pan out. :)


    I'm glad you turned me on to HH's recipes. They're no fuss and tasty! :)


    Yeah, I'm with you on the squash front, so sweet and versatile too!


    There's something about the portobellos...I felt the same when I saw them over at Michelle's blog...just had to have them. :)

  14. Jenny,

    I remember your Nov road trip last year. I think that October is a better month for MoFo overall...not as busy in general as November seems to be somehow. I know what you mean with mushrooms. I go on and off with them...sometimes I crave them and want to eat them at multiple meals, and then they just won't seem that appealing to me and I won't want any for days.


    Thanks! :D

  15. This looks like the PERFECT cold-weather meal.

  16. Are those Runner Beans topped with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes? I've read this post multiple times, I hope I didn't miss where you explained those.

    Gorgeous Roasted Squash!

  17. Wow, I love that you stuffed the mushrooms with feta; usually it's just eaten as is. Did it change the texture of the tofu at all? HH's feta is the one I like most too.
    The squash looks amazing as well. Soy sauce is brilliant on the sweetness. (No help with the growing, though.)

  18. That is a beautiful plate of food! Wow! I can understand the inclination to watch MoFo from the sidelines. There are so many blogs, it would be impossible to keep up with them all! But even with posting as well, it sure is fun trying. I love this time of year! :)

  19. Hey all, thanks for stopping by!


    They're pan fried cherry tomatoes.


    No, the tofu texture didn't's still wetter and softer than feta cheese.


    I love this time of year too! Perfect for a month of food with all the harvest veggies! Have fun mofoing!

  20. Everything looks so good on your blog! I have to try that feta soon.

  21. That's a very autumny meal! Mushrooms and squash, mmmm :) I have been waiting to see pumpkins in the produce, but none here in Hawaii yet.

  22. This is a great meal Rose, sorry if I didn't comment earlier, it is such a busy time for me that I find it difficult to read other bloggers. For some reason I decided to do the Vegan MoFo too, a very silly decision since I don't have time to spare and I don't even think that the MoFo people took notice (I sent an email and try to register, but never heard back). I may hold on for a little longer... we'll see :-).


  23. Carissa:

    It's always fun when the pumpkins start hitting the scene; hope they show up soon!


    No worries!!! It's a super busy month! I've been sidetracked by reading MoFo blogs too...just so many out there.

    I wonder whether your blog got on the list...I tried to find it in the MoFo blog role, but didn't see it. It's probably just that your URL didn't get listed...maybe it's not too late to get into the feed. I'm sure other MoFoers would love your blog!!

  24. Rose, I've viewed this entry many times over the past week and somehow kept forgetting to comment! This meal looks so amazing! I didn't even like mushrooms until I became vegan. Maybe too many canned ones mixed into casseroles, but the texture disgusted me. After trying portabellos and morels, I realized that I could definitely enjoy mushrooms :) These stuffed babies look absolutely incredible and I must try them! The feta seasoning does sound very good. I'm also impressed with your squash. Your garden may not seem successful to you, but I would be so proud! I got excited today because a zucchini is FINALLY developing! I really thought our garden was going to completely fail this year (aside from the kale and green onions). Well, I'm done with my novel now,haha. But seriously this meal looks wonderful :)

  25. This all looks amazing. I was just ready for fall but it up and got hot again.

    I love your stuffing in the portabellas - what a treat! And if you only had a few squashes ... you really did them up right, maple syrup or not. This is something I would not have thought of - garlic, balsamic, and sweet.

  26. Looks like quite an Autumn meal- wonderful!

  27. Is there anything you can't do with a portobello?! Your meal looks so wonderful that I may have to try this recipe, too. I'm with you on the MoFo, I'd rather have the time to read everybody else's blog posts. Besides, I'm slightly commitment phobic. I can't promise to do 5 blog posts a week. :)

  28. Cassie,

    I'm with you on the mushroom love...and so many different types too, each with their own particular texture and flavor nuances.


    I anticipated an Indian summer here, but alas I was wrong...sounds like you guys are having one out your way. You know, it's cool you called them portabellas...I'm convinced that is the more authentic monicker, though it gets mixed up all sorts of ways: portabello, portobella, etc...portabella: beautiful door (or cap) makes more sense for a mushroom with a large cap than portobello does. The recipes I used called them portobello so I just stuck with that. :)

  29. Thanks VegSpinz!


    I'm loving sitting the Mofo's just as exciting to sit back and read the feeds, and a lot less work than posting...I'm lazy. :D

  30. Looks great! Excellent idea sitting out for MoFo. I find I never have enough time to read other blogs.

  31. Love those portabellos! I seem to be the only in my home who likes them, so what's a girl to do? Why, I've got to eat all that I prepare - all by myself. Just a few weeks ago I made six of them with a different kind of stuffing (I'm sure yours tasted much better than mine - I tried a new recipe), and I froze four of them. Had one for dinner and one for lunch, and then I take them out of the freezer two at a time and repeat. :-) By the way, I've never heard of Hubbard squash. It must be good if you're eating it. And, don't complain about your garden, dear; mine was dismal!

  32. These look like great Thanksgiving recipes, so I have this bookmarked! I hear ya on the mofo. This is my first year, it's a lot of work. I'm taking a non-posting day today to read, comment and bookmark other blogs like crazy.

  33. VeganLinda,
    Sitting out MoFo is almost as fun as participating...almost. :)


    No other portobello lovers at your place eh? Freezing them sounds like the way to go, and I'm sure they were vey tasty! This was the first time I've grown Hubbard's good, but not as good as butternut or kabocha though,


    Thanks for stopping by amidst your MoFo readng! It can be a bit overwhelming; smart of you to take a break day every so often to get caught up. :)

  34. Thanks for "cheering on the sidelines," Rose! Your gentle supportiveness and generous encouragement add sunshine to our world - and we're glad.
    Enjoy MoFo reading & giving!
    In peace,
    Grace et al.

  35. Rose! I have an award for you on my blog!

  36. Grace et al,

    Thanks for all you do too. Peace. :)

    Thanks Cassie, I'll head over.

  37. Actually, I gave up on Mofo, never managed to registered (didn't understand how and my emails and comments didn't get an answer). I tried for the first 8 days but I am too busy to get stressed posting one recipe everyday for no visitors :-(. Never mind, maybe next year.


  38. Alessandra:

    That's too bad. Oh well, as you say...there's always next year. :)

  39. Stuffed portobello's are so yummy. I'll have to try that feta because the last recipe I tried didn't turn out very well.

  40. The squash does look like avocado and it has me thinking....hmmmm....maybe a dish like that with avocado would be yummy!!!

  41. JoLynn,

    I agree! Long time no see...I need to stop by your blog soon!


    I love your blog name! Yes, that could be interesting with avocado...I bet if you used them on the unripe side, they might cook up nicely.

  42. "hearty mushrooms and winter squash just seem to say autumn"

    I couldn't agree more! Such delicious, earthy food - can't get enough of 'em! And this plate you served up looks totally enticing! I bought the HH cookbook this summer, but haven't had time to try anything from it. This may be tops on my list when I do! I love portobello steaks. Thanks for the links to the recipe and to Michelle's blog. I shared this one with my chiropractor, who says she wants to eat more plant-based food but was raised on meat and potatoes. I've given her several recipes (simple, easy ones that don't require exotic ingredients, kitchen gadgets or black beans - she hates black beans) over the past few months, but she hasn't tried any of them yet. Maybe this one will work to get her moving away from the Dark Side! :-)

    I have missed you and your blog over the past couple of months, and have some catching up to do! And have I been missing Vegan MoFo already? I thought it was in November! Man, I AM out of it. The blog train moves fast, doesn't take long to get left in the dust.

    Anyway, it's great to get to clap an eyeball to your scrumptious food photos and recipes and beautiful blog again! :-)

  43. Laurie,

    From what I've seen of HH recipes is that they are very accessible...easy, quick, etc, so hopefully that will encourage your chiropractor to try a few.

    Yeah, it's easy to get left in the dust in the blog worries though, there's a sense of timelessness I's easy to jump on and off as needed. :)


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