Smile Politely

Magic mushrooms

It seems like every season poses its own unique threat to those of us who are trying to drop a pants size. Summer taunts us with its endless cookouts and the joy of drinking beer all day in the sun. Fall taunts us with Oktoberfest beers, leftover Halloween candy, and pumpkin pie. And winter lures us away from our outdoor workouts and into our warm houses, where we comfort ourselves with cookies and starchy foods. I’m sure spring will pose some unique caloric threat that we will encounter when it finally shines its salvation upon us. However, right now my head is stuck in a winter funk and all I want to do is avoid the gym (it’s such a long, cold walk from the car to the door!) and stay warm by my stove.

Lucky for my waistline and winter cravings, I discovered an easy snack that satisfies my starchy, cheese-tooth and is kind to my calorie limit. The reduced-fat sharp cheddar in these stuffed mushrooms keeps them light but tasty — even devouring this whole recipe will only put you back less than 300 calories.

Sharp and Tangy Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 10 large button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I recommend Sargento)
  • ¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ½ tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (available at Common Ground Food Co-op)
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Next, clean and dry the mushrooms. Remove the stems, and set the mushroom caps aside. Mince the mushroom stems and the onion. Next, melt butter in a pan. Add minced mushroom stems and onion, and sauté until tender. Onions should be translucent but not browned. Then, remove from heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, pepper, and cheese. Stir mixture until all of the ingredients are blended evenly. Sprinkle salt over mushroom caps. As soon as the mixture is not too hot to handle, fill each mushroom cap with the mixture. You should have the perfect amount to stuff each mushroom, but any leftover mixture is great on crackers! At this point you may refrigerate for up to 24 hours and cook when you are ready. When you are ready to bake, arrange mushrooms in a shallow pan and add two tablespoons of water to soften the mushroom caps. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

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