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Chicken Chorizo & Bruschetta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I’m happily posting this recipe in response to a Facebook request from a friend who LOVES portobello mushrooms and is looking for an interesting but clean way to prepare them. This is a family recipe that I’ve revised and edited a few times in order to keep the flavor profiles intact while “keeping it clean”. It’s pretty close to my Mom’s traditional recipe! I’ve recently had it on the menu at the restaurant as an seasonal appetizer and it’s always popular. There's nothing like bruschetta in the summertime! Tips/Notes: Veggies, Shrimp, Vegan You can choose different veggies if you wish. But be careful not to use watery veggies, like spinach. (If you do then make sure to cook them separately and drain the water well). Also, you can also add SHRIMP to the stuffing or use it instead of chicken sausage. You’d just need a handful of small shrimp. Sauté them with a little garlic, oil, salt & paprika and then chop them. Add to the recipe in the same spot where you add the sausage to the pan. You won’t need more than a 1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp. Lastly, if you want to go VEGAN, leave out the chicken/shrimp and use the saved, chopped stems of the portobello mushrooms. Enjoy & post your photos and feedback in our group! (These photos are different iterations of my recipe: one without shredded cheese on top and one with shrimp and more breadcrumbs...they’re ALL yummy!!)

Ingredients- • 6 portobello mushrooms • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa • 3 spicy chicken sausage links, casing removed & diced • 1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, sautéed with garlic, oil, salt & paprika (optional; you can use just the chicken) • Saved mushroom stems, chopped (optional, if VEGAN) • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1/4 cup zucchini, chopped • 1/4 cup tomato, diced • 1/2 cup Ezekiel bread crumbs, seasoned (see recipe for details) • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped • 1/4 cup onion, diced • 1 tsp fresh basil, chopped • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast seasoning or vegan grated cheese • Shredded almond mozzarella (or other vegan shredded cheese)

Directions- 1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a  baking sheet with clean oil. Prepare the quinoa according to the package direction and then combine in a small bowl with the bread crumbs. (I use roasted Ezekiel bread that I then pulse in a blender along with a little garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, salt and pepper.) Also, prepare the shrimp as described above if you’re choosing to use shrimp as well. 2. In a pan, heat the oil and saute the minced garlic and chopped onions until softened. Add the chopped sausage and zucchini to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes. (If you have the stems of the mushrooms and choose the vegan option, add those to the pan here too). 3. Add the balsamic vinegar, roasted red peppers, and tomatoes  (and the cooked shrimp, if you choose) to the pan. Sauté until heated through, about another 2-3 minutes. 4. Mix the veggies into the cooked quinoa and bread crumb mixture. Stir in the basil and nutritional yeast or grated cheese. (If you prefer a drier mixture, just add more bread crumbs.) Season with salt and black pepper. 5. Fill the mushroom caps with the stuffing mixture and then top each with some shredded almond cheese. 6. Place stuffed mushrooms onto the baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms look tender and the cheese appears lightly browned & melted.

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