Mediterranean Stuffed Pork Meatballs

Blending minced mushrooms into your ground pork is a great way to reduce calories, add nutrients and save money. 

Image and recipe courtesy of Ontario Pork.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Makes: 24 meatballs.

Ingredients

1 lb (450 g) lean ground Ontario pork
1 egg
2 Tbsp (30 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) mushrooms, minced
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) goat’s cheese or cream
cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 Tbsp (30 mL) EACH fresh basil, sun dried
tomatoes, black olives; minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) nonstick oil spray

Method

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together ground pork, egg, milk, mushrooms, onion, salt/pepper and balsamic vinegar till well combined.
2. In a separate small bowl, mix together cheese, honey, basil, sun dried tomatoes and black olives till well combined.
3. Take 1 tsp of the cheese mixture and form it into a ball. Take 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture and make a bowl shape. Place the ball of cheese in the centre and wrap the pork around the cheese mixture forming it into a ball.
4. Spray a large skillet with nonstick oil spray and brown the meatballs over high heat. Once browned on all sides, turn to medium heat and cook covered for 5 minutes or until no pink remains and aninternal temperature of 160°F (71°C) has been reached.
5. Serve as part of a charcuterie plate or an appetizer on its own.

Nutritional Information

Per 1 Portion (1/4 Recipe):
Calories 263, Fat 8.7 g, Saturated 2.5 g, Cholesterol 69 mg, Sodium 193 mg, Carbohydrate 18.5 g, Fibre 4.5 g, Protein 27.1 g
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Mediterranean Mushroom-Stuffed Tomatoes

Well, when I was an exchange student living in Belgium, one of my host mothers’ specialties was tomatoes stuffed with a delicious mix of pork and beef mince and baked until tender – so tasty and warming on a cold winters’ day.  This recipe is a meatless version of this dish, with mushrooms as the star and works well in the warmer weather too. It’s also quick and easy to prepare and very versatile – I’ve included the vegetables I usually use with this, although you could just use what’s on hand.

Recipe courtesy of Mardi from eat. live. travel. write.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 40 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 medium-large tomatoes
4 teaspoons table salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups mixed fresh mushrooms (e.g. a mix using 2-3 varieties – white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake, enoki, oyster or king oyster), diced
½ large zucchini, finely diced
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence or mixed herbs (eg: oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary)
½ cup cooked pearl barley or wheat berries
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for drizzling
Optional: fresh herbs for serving

Method

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Slice the tops off the tomatoes, reserve these as “lids.”
3. Scoop out the flesh and juice of the tomatoes into a bowl and mash until pulpy. Set aside.
4. Sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with the salt and turn upside down on a paper towel to drain excess juice.  Set aside.
5. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, zucchini and herbes de Provence until “al dente” (you’re going to cook this mixture again in the oven so you don’t want to overcook at this point).
6. Add the reserved tomato flesh and the pearl barley/ wheat berries and stir to thoroughly combine.
7. Add the egg and Parmesan, stir well and remove from the heat.
8. Season to taste.
9. Rinse the salt out of the tomato halves and pat dry with a paper towel.
10. Fill the tomato halves with the mushroom mixture – packing tightly by pressing on the mixture with the back of a soup spoon.
11. Place the tomato halves on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
12. Place the tomato tops on each tomato, sprinkle with a little olive oil and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until the filling is hot and the tomato flesh is slightly softened.
13. Optional: you can remove the tops from the tomatoes and sprinkle with some fresh herbs, replacing the tops to serve.

Lasagne with Slow Roasted Mushrooms and Goats Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Ellie from Kitchenwench.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. 39 mins.

Ingredients

Slow roasted mushroom ingredients:
500g button mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

Lasagne ingredients:
1 batch slow roasted mushrooms
4 fresh lasagne sheets
150g ricotta cheese
100g soft goat’s cheese
1/2 cup thin or cooking cream
1 large onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp butter

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, then toss the sliced mushrooms in olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon and salt and pepper. Scatter the mushrooms onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper, then roast for 30 to 40 minutes or till browned on the bottom. Flip over all the mushroom slices and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.

2. Melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté till translucent and soft. Once soft, mix together with the ricotta, goat’s cheese, thin cream and egg till the mixture is well incorporated.

3. Line a non-stick loaf tin with the first lasagne sheet, then layer with 1/4 of the cheese mixture and add 1/4 of the slow roasted mushrooms. Repeat till you’ve used up all of the mushrooms and cheese, then bake in an oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or till a skewer poked through the pasta sheets goes through cleanly.

4. Allow to cool slightly in the pan before carefully removing onto a plate, and serve while still warm with a fresh garden salad.

Indian Spiced Mushroom Puff Pastry Braid with Plum Chutney

Recipe courtesy of Michelle from The Tiffin Box.

Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 55 mins.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil + an extra 2 teaspoons
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 an inch fresh ginger, grated
1 generous pinch, hot chilli powder
1 tbsp garam masala (homemade is best)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 package mushrooms (crimini or white, or a combination)
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
A big handful of chopped fresh coriander
A small handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 package (200g) puff pastry (I use Tenderflake)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup date chutney

Method

1. Make the date chutney, recipe here. Keep aside.
2. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, and saute the onions, till soft and golden, about 7 – 10 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
3. In a smaller pan, add the 2 teaspoons of oil, and saute the chilli powder, garam masala, cinnamon and nutmeg for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring all the time. This will take away any rawness in the spices.
4. Add the fried spices to the onion-ginger mixture, and saute for about 1 minute more. Add salt.
5. Slice the mushrooms thickly, and add to the onion mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium high heat, until the mushrooms are tender. They will release their juices, so if the masala is too watery, turn up the heat and boil away any excess water. The mixture should be moist, but not watery.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning. Take off heat, and let cool completely. Stir in the fresh coriander and mint. Leave to go cold.
7. While the mushrooms are cooling, preheat the oven to 400 F.
8. Roll out the puff pastry to about 30 cm by 22 cm rectangle. Using a ruler or similar, gently mark out thirds lengthwise in the pastry. This will help you figure out where the filling goes (the two pictures below the recipe will help).
9. Gently spread the chutney in the middle third of the pastry rectangle. Top with the spiced mushrooms, then sprinkle over the toasted pecans.
10. Then cut the side wings of the pastry into 1 inch strips at an angle, like left side of a V. Again, refer to picture below to help.
11. Fold the top and bottom edges of the pastry over the filling.
12. The brush the sides of pastry with the beaten egg, and gently fold the angled strips over the filling, like a braid or a plait, brushing with more egg to seal. Once the braid is done, brush over more egg wash on top, and place in the oven.
13. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, checking every so often, until the pastry is golden.
14. Gently slide on to a serving plate, and let cool a little. Cut into slices to serve. Goes brilliantly with a simple side salad, as well as part of a larger festive dinner.
If you prefer, you can make smaller puffs instead of the braid, and serve as appetizers as well.

Hungarian Beef and Mushroom Soup

Light enough to lead into a meal, filling enough to be the main attraction at lunch, this soup showcases the classic Hungarian trio of flavours — onions, sour cream and paprika. Mushrooms add umami, beef brings protein and a trio of dried peppers keeps things interesting.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Charmian from The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins.

Ingredients

3 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef
12 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp dried dill
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium or homemade beef or chicken stock
1 cup sour cream (plus more for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Garnish
sour cream
fresh ground black pepper

Method

  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter gently over medium-low heat. Add the onions and salt, and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are very soft.
  2. Increase the heat to medium and add the beef. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the mushrooms, dill, thyme, paprika(s) and cayenne, mixing to incorporate well. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes on medium-low or until the mushrooms have softened and the spices have infused their flavours.
  4. Stir in the stock, then increase heat to bring the soup to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer another 5 minutes.
  5. Swirl in the sour cream and lemon juice. Taste, adding more salt if necessary.
  6. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a grinding of fresh black pepper. Serve immediately.