Tender baked juicy mushrooms with a creamy stuffing laced with lemon and garlic, these stuffed mushrooms with cashew cream couscous are the ultimate in comforting vegan appetizers.
As a child I used to love those terrible garlic mushrooms you would get from take-aways, you know, the ones that have barely any garlic flavour and have been breadcrumbed and fried in a vat of oil to within an inch of their life?
But as an adult, my palate has become a tad bit more sophisticated (and less fond of hot bad-tasting oil squirting into my mouth while eating mushrooms), and I loved baked stuffed mushrooms.
Unfortunately most stuffed mushroom recipes involve cheese or unappetizing dry breadcrumb or rice combinations. I don’t have easy access to vegan cheeses in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, and my son (who is allergic to dairy) loves mushrooms.
And so, off to the test kitchen (shhh it’s my normal day-to-day kitchen!) I went and these vegan stuffed-mushroom babies were born. The stuffing is made creamy with a quick-cashew cream sauce and should you have any leftover stuffing, it’s also delicious in tomatoes and baby peppers.
You can really use whatever type of mushrooms you wish for this recipe I used some medium sized white mushrooms as they were what I had to hand, but cremini, chestnut and portobello mushrooms would also work perfectly.
My brother Eoin was convinced that mushrooms had absolutely no nutritional value and when he moved and began cooking for himself, and discovered this (false) nugget of wisdom, he happily gave them up forever more.
As I’m fairly sure the majority of you, my amazing readers, will probably already know, my brother was a tad bit uninformed. The quantity depends on the type, but mushrooms contain :
- B vitamins
- Selenium (a powerful antioxidant)
- Vitamin D
They are also incredibly low in calories (about 15 calories a cup).
Don’t wash your mushrooms to prepare them for cooking with, instead wipe them with a damp cloth. I recommend using a microfibre cloth, as it sloughs off some of the rough “lived-in” skin, leaving you with perfect unblemished mushrooms.
This recipe can be prepared ahead of time and will keep for at least a day in the fridge, so it’s perfect for serving as party snacks or appetizers. If you’re looking for tasty appetizers you can also check out my appetizer recipe section.
These mushrooms also keep well after being cooked, for up to two days. Just be sure to cover them with clingfilm or a tupperware lid and reheat them in the microwave, as otherwise the couscous stuffing will dry out.
I’ve also made these stuffed mushrooms decorated with sliced kalamata olives, slivers of sun-dried tomatoes, and a sprinkling of chopped chives. You can press whatever ingredients you wish into the top of the stuffing, or eat as is. They would also be divine with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. How do you prefer yours?
Quick Cashew Cream Sauce
- 200 g cashews
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- Between ¼ to ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp finely chopped chives or scallions
- 1 cup dry couscous
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ stock cube, I used a garlic parsley flavoured stock cube
- 1 cup boiling water
- 24 medium white mushrooms, or the mushrooms of choice
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp olive oil
- sliced kalamata olives
- sun-dried tomatoes cut into thin strips
- additional chopped chives
- nutritional yeast
- First things first, soak the cashews in plenty of very hot (but not boiling) water. Set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Place the couscous, chives or scallions, olive oil and crumbled stock cube in a Tupperware box, mix to distribute the olive oil well, and pour the boiling water in. Quickly stir again, and seal the Tupperware container. Leave for at leave for at least five minutes without disturbing.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms and use a teaspoon to carefully scrape out the gills to make more room for the all-important stuffing.
- Chop off the old dry end of the stems, and finely chop the mushroom stems by hand. If you are a martyr (mushroom stems take quite a while to chop finely because of their funny shape). Preferably quickly blitz in a food processor/pulse a few times in a blender, which is MUCH quicker.
- Dry-fry the chopped mushroom stems until they begin to stick, then add in the oil and crushed garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is lightly toasted and a pale brown. Immediately tip out the garlic mushroom stems into a mixing bowl.
- Turn on the oven to 180C Fan/200C.
- Fluff up the couscous with a fork and mix into the mushrooms well.
- By about now the timer for the cashews should be going off. Drain the cashews and tip into your blender or food processor along with all the other ingredients for the cashew cream sauce apart from the water. Process, adding a little of the water at a time and scraping down the sides, until the cashew sauce is creamy and smooth with no lumps.
- Mix the cashew sauce into the couscous and mushroom stems. Taste and check for salt, adding some if necessary (remember that stock cubes usually contain quite a bit of salt). Fill the prepared mushrooms, mounding the couscous on top so that they are really full.
- Add any optional toppings by pressing them into the top of the mounded couscous, and bake for 15-20 minutes. 15 minutes will give you soft cooked mushrooms and stuffing, while 20 will give a slightly crispy toasted edge to your stuffing.
Amount Per Serving Calories 269 Total Fat 15g Saturated Fat 3g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 11g Cholesterol 1mg Sodium 397mg Carbohydrates 28g Fiber 3g Sugar 7g Protein 9g