First things first. Let’s address several things about the creepy webcam picture below.

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  1. I am not naked.
  2. I am, however, sporting one of these fashionable get-ups post-shower.
  3. I always look like the Victoria’s Secret model featured in the above link when donning said get-up.
  4. Lies. In reality, I often cook immediately after showering. So my towel-dress-thingamajig—which I consider appropriate chef attire—is usually decorated with hummus (or salsa, or some other condiment I frequently dip my grubby hands into mid-cooking). As is my face.
  5. Your eyes do not deceive you. That is, in fact, a portobello mushroom the size of my head.

Last week, my local produce market put out giant portobello mushroom caps. I love portobello mushroom caps. I also love “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid”-sized vegetables.

Needless to say, the prodigious portobellos piqued my interest. Logically, I purchased three pounds.

(Shocker. Since I never hoard. And never overconsume.)

And so, I present to you the many ways I’ve been merrily making my way through my ‘shroom stash.

“Sticky Rice” Oatmeal-Stuffed Portobello

(Don’t cringe. I promise, it tasted fantástico.)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 mammoth portobello mushroom cap
  • EVOO + sea salt
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • dash salt
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 packet stevia

Directions:

  • Microwave 1/2 cup oats with a dash of salt and just over 3/4 cup of water for 2.5 minutes.
  • Combine 2 tbsp. of soy sauce with 1/2 packet of stevia.
  • Stir soy sauce mixture into oats and set aside.
  • Broil portobello (lightly rubbed with EVOO and sea salt) for 5 minutes on each side. (Mind you, this was for a big shroom. For a normal-sized portobello, you’d probably only need to broil for 3 minutes per side.)
  • Remove from oven, fill with oatmeal mixture and broil for an additional 3-4 minutes until top is browned and slightly crispy.

First, let’s take a gander at the final product.

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If my webcam head-to-‘shroom comparison didn’t convince you that these babies were L.A.I.C. (real language translation: large and in charge), the above picture is my A-‘roid-riffic portobello on a dinner plate.

Have I mentioned that Herculean vegetables fascinate (read: woo) me?

So, the logic behind this odd-to-you/normal-to-me creation:

Ever since I stuffed and broiled that cottage cheese and hummus ‘shroom several weeks ago, I’ve had a hankering to do further stuffed-and-broiled experimentation. Additionally, ever since discovering the wonder of instant “sticky rice” oatmeal, I’ve pretty much jumped at every opportunity to re-create it.

Never one to miss the boat on melding food obsessions, I seized the ‘shroom and allowed my cravings to combine forces.

I had to replace old-fashioned oats (you could use instant, but I didn’t have any en casa) for the packet of instant oatmeal I used in the original “recipe” because it wouldn’t have been enough to stuff this big ‘bello.

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It turned out perfectly. The second broiling created an amazing outer layer of crispiness—and the flavoring from the soy sauce-stevia combo seeped into the ‘shroom. Glad I took that leap of taste.

Another super simple stuffed-and-broiled ‘bello creation:

The Laughing Cow Cap

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Rub the portobello cap with a little EVOO (it really absorbs the flavor so you only need enough to lightly coat) and sprinkle with seasoned salt (Lawry’s=the best).
  • Broil for 5 minutes on each side (top of the cap first). Remove from oven.
  • Top with chopped Laughing Cow wedges and return to broil for another 2-4 minutes, until you reached your desired “crisp” factor.

This ended up being more smothered-and-broiled than stuffed because even two Laughing Cow wedges couldn’t fill out the monstrous mushroom.

But I’m not complaining. This was delicious. It makes a perfect starter/snack/side—and it’s SO simple. I actually felt silly typing it out as a recipe because it was so easy to make.

(By the way, it would taste insane with the new Blue Cheese flavor! How many more días ‘til June?)

Next in line—a very untraditional Foodie Diaries receta:

Bacon Lover’s Baked ‘Bello

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Ingredients:

  • Portobello cap
  • Bacon
  • Onions, diced
  • Roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup couscous (cooked)
  • 1 egg

*(You’ll need individual-sized ramekins, big enough to fit the mushroom cap whole.)

Directions:

  • Bake the portobello cap at 400° for 7-8 minutes (time would be more like 4-5 minutes for more average-sized portobellos).
  • Cook bacon in skillet.
  • Once bacon is cooked, add onions and sauté until caramelized.
  • Add roasted red peppers and cooked couscous and sauté on low-heat for 3-4 minutes, just allowing enough time for the flavors to combine.
  • Place portobello in ramekin, pouring any juices into the bottom. Top with skillet mixture and press down down with a spoon, making a well in the center.
  • Break egg into the well(o) of the portobello. Bake until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are slightly runny.

So, have I converted to bacon-eating? Negativo. I made these for a couple of hombres—one being the infamous Kev Thug—and they both raved about them. So I figured I’d share. Because, you know, some people in blogland do eat bacon.

The next creation is much more moi.

Any guesses as to what’s inside this quesadilla?

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Since I’m sure you’re entirely stumped, I’ll give you a hint.

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Cottage Queso and Portobello Quesadilla

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Again, I had to seize the opportunity to combine my current obsessions.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat wrap
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Portobello cap (broiled for 5 minutes on each side and sliced)
  • Onions, chopped
  • EVOO
  • Ranch seasoning

Directions:

  • Sauté chopped onions in a pan lightly coated with EVOO for about 3 minutes or until translucent.
  • Combine cottage cheese, shredded mozzarella, ranch seasoning and caramelized onions in a bowl. Mix thoroughly
  • Heat whole wheat wrap in skillet and spread cottage cheese mixture on one half.
  • Layer sliced portobello over cottage cheese.
  • Fold wrap, carefully flip and cook ‘til desired quesadilla brownification is reached.

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Clearly I love my ‘shrooms. But the magic of this concoction was definitely in the CC mixture.

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If you’re not yet sick of ‘shrooms, I have uno más creation. If you are sick of ‘shrooms, I’ll have you know I saved the best for last ;) .

T.M.I.A.S. (Tuna Melt In a ‘Shroom)

(To be hummed to this classic.)

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Ingredients:

  • Biggest portobello cap you can get your hands on
  • EVOO + sea salt
  • 1 can chunk light tuna
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 1/8-1/4 cup chopped onion

Directions:

  • Broil portobello (lightly rubbed with EVOO and sea salt) for 5 minutes on each side.
  • Caramelize chopped onions in a EVOO-coated skillet for 3 minutes, or until translucent.
  • In a separate bowl, mix can of tuna, Laughing Cow, capers and caramelized onions.
  • Remove portobello from oven when cooked, stuff with tuna mixture and top with shredded mozzarella.
  • Return to broiler for 2-4 minutes, dependent on how crispy/burnt you want your outer layer.

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Best. Combination. Ever.

I’m not sure if the brilliance was in the double cheesiness or the capers. I’m a little biased because I’m obsessed with capers and sort of think they make anything taste better. But I guess I have the same philosophy when it comes to cheese.

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Especially simultaneously melty and crispy queso.

With that, I’ll conclude my ode to cabeza-sized ‘shrooms. But I can’t promise you won’t be seeing más. I may or may not have refilled the ‘shroom stash yesterday… ;) .

Preguntas: What’s your take on larger-than-life vegetables/fruits? Enticed? Enamored? Freaked out? I’ve founded some way to calm all of my genetic modification neuroses and embrace ‘em. And I’m not exclusively enamored by big ‘bellos. Super-sized sweet potatoes and mighty manzanas make mi corazón flutter, too.

Happy hump-día, mis foodies favoritos!

Amor,

Sarah