Lightening up in the new year- Portobello mushroom caps with roasted peppers and tomatoes and a vegetable medley

Portobello cap, topped a medley of vegetables and freshly made sauce

Hey everybody! I’m back for another amazing year of culinary tips and tricks. I apologize for my absence over the holiday season, Christmas and New Years had me swamped but I’m back with a bevy of new recipes for all my hungry foodies!

Now that the fun and festivities of the end of the year are over, it’s time to start a new year with a new, lighter menu. Eating healthier options is far from boring; using wholesome ingredients like vegetables and grains, and lightening up on the use of butter, cream, and cheeses, will make your waistline and your dinner guests happy.

My stuffed Portobello mushroom caps are a completely vegetarian meal, but I promise you won’t miss the meat! Although I use cheese in my recipe, it is easily omitted for an even healthier dinner. The mushrooms are filled and roasted with a medley of vegetables, and topped with a zesty tomato sauce, roasted red peppers and tomatoes for a stack of healthy goodness. It is filling enough to be a meal on its own, or can be served alongside a chicken breast or a grain such as couscous.

This recipe is super simple, and the sauce can be made ahead of time. Likewise, the peppers and tomato slices can be roasted ahead of time as well. The assembly of the mushroom takes a matter of minutes once everything is ready to go, and roasts in a 400F oven for about 25 minutes.

This healthy meal is hearty enough to serve on a cold day, and packs a heap of vitamins and fibre to help fight off any winter cold and flu. Enjoy lightening up in 2012 with this fantastic recipe.

Portobello mushroom caps topped with a medley of vegetables and home-made tomato sauce

You will need:

2-4 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed and reserved

1 red or green pepper, cut in half with seeds and ribs removed, roasted

1 tomato, sliced into 2cm thick slices, roasted

2 stalks celery, diced finely

½ red onion, diced finely and divided into two halves

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 stems of thyme, leaves removed and chopped finely

2 tbsp red wine

2  cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp bread crumbs

1 cup tomato sauce (recipe follows)

½ cup shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Roast peppers for 20 minutes until skin has blistered. Place peppers into a stainless steel bowl with plastic wrap sealed tightly on top, to remove the skin from the pepper.
  2. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast for 5-10 minutes. Set both the tomato and pepper aside.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 400F, for the mushrooms.
  4. To make the vegetable medley, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add garlic, thyme, celery and onion, with a pinch of salt. Cook down for about a minute.
  5. Add the chopped mushroom stems, cherry tomatoes and red wine, and continue to cook for another two minutes, until the wine has completely absorbed into the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the vegetables for another 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
  6. Place the mushroom caps onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spoon the vegetable mixture evenly into each cap. Top with a small amount of sauce, the roasted pepper and tomato slices, and another bit of sauce. Top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and cheese, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, broil for 5 minutes at 500F to brown the cheese, and remove from the oven immediately.
  7. Serve over a bed of rice or couscous, or on its own for a hearty vegetarian meal.

Quick and easy tomato sauce

You will need:

3 tomatoes, diced finely

¼ red onion, diced finely

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp red wine

¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock

3 stems thyme, leaves removed and chopped finely

1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely


  1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and herbs and sauté for a minute until softened. Add the tomato and red wine, continue to cook for another five minutes at least.
  2. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Using an emersion blender, quickly pulse to thicken the sauce and fix the texture. Allow the sauce to remain somewhat chunky, as this will create a rustic feel.
  3. Allow sauce to continue reducing on low heat for another 10 to 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

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