Quinoa Stuffed Baby Bellas

At some point on every vacation, I inevitably tell Mike that we need to go on a diet. When he least expects it, I pounce.  He's blindsided by my female wiles and unwittingly agrees to start running with me and cut back on carbs and alcohol.  Mwuah ha ha.  



This year it happened while we were taking a relaxing stroll on a beautiful palm-tree lined street in Charleston, after an exceptionally nutritional meal of homemade potato chips and blue cheese sauce.  



So our big bad weight loss plan is to eat earlier in the evening (when Mike gets home from work around 7pm, instead of our usual 9pm) and go for a walk every night after dinner.  

[As long as the Bachelorette isn't on, or it the weather channel is forecasting rain, or a sudden need to wash my hair comes over me, this plan may endure.]



Anyhoo, these quinoa-stuffed mushrooms were part of our first meal that actually stuck to this plan (only 4 days after our return from vacation).  We have such willpower.  

We did have wine with the meal though... oops.

Ingredients:
6 baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon oil (I used coconut oil)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 lemon (zest and juice)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for about 12 minutes, until softened.  

Add the coconut oil to a large saute pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the quinoa and toast for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the white wine and cook for another minute.  Add the stock, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed.  Add the diced tomato, onion, and zucchini and stir to combine.  Cover and cook another few minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the veggies are softened.  Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and the crushed red pepper flakes.

Carefully spoon the quinoa mixture into the portabella mushrooms.  Broil on high for about 5 minutes until the quinoa is slightly crispy on top.  Serve immediately.