Holiday festivities are upon us and it’s time to whip out the best appetizer and party snack recipes. I attended an ugly Christmas sweater party this weekend (who knew Christmas sweaters would become hip someday) and later on this week I will be making edible gifts for many of the people in my life who make it so much sweeter. I just love this time of year. It’s what makes the harsh, cold weather actually bearable because many of us are feeling festive and jolly.
Last year I posted 4 Perfect Christmas Hors D’oeuvres that were vegan, but they are actually great 365 days of the year. The recipe I am posting today is no exception. I grew up on stuffed mushrooms and I bet anyone who I was good friends with in high school would say that they grew up on stuffed mushrooms at the Wolfson house as well. They are one of the dishes that I hardly ever order out at a restaurant because they usually aren’t as good as the way that my family makes them (bragging, I know… but c’mon, I bet you have family recipes that you feel snobby about as well). To be honest, I also rarely order stuffed mushrooms at an establishment because many times they are not vegetarian and are stuffed with ingredients like bacon.
I have mentioned previously that I am trying to be more vegan-ish and have been cutting down on my cheese intake. I can say with certainty that there is no one in the world that loves cheese more than I do- I’ve never met a cheese that I didn’t like… but it’s time for me to cut down. That’s why I tweaked my beloved family stuffed mushroom recipe from vegetarian to VEGAN. Guess what? They are just as delicious as they were before and I’ll tell you why in two words: nutritional yeast.
If you don’t know what nutritional yeast is then you’ve been missing out, and it’s time that you become informed about this excellent vegan cheesy tasting substitute. Nutritional yeast is much tastier than the name makes it sound. It is made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to kill or “deactivate.” Since it’s inactive, it doesn’t froth or grow like baking yeast does so it has no leavening ability.
Not only is it tasty, but it also lives up to its name because it’s loaded with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat, is gluten-free, and contains no added sugars or preservatives. Because vitamin B12 is absent from plant foods unless it’s added as a supplement, look for nutritional yeast brands that contain B12.
I have performed several taste tests to see if critics can differentiate between my vegetarian & vegan stuffed mushrooms (the only difference being that one has parmesan cheese and one has nutritional yeast), and no one knew which was which! YAY! A win for veganism where no one feels like they are sacrificing. If you are a stuffed mushroom fan, you’ll love this recipe. They are SO easy to make while maintaining an impressiveness that your guests will appreciate.
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 28 large (2½-inch-diameter) cremini mushrooms, stemmed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stir the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, to taste, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl to blend.
- Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 20 minutes. Serve.