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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stuffed Mushrooms {vegan} #SpreadCheer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of GO Veggie! in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.  All opinions are my own.
Stuffed Mushrooms {Vegan} from #spreadcheer
I have always considered myself (and my loved ones) extremely lucky when it comes to eating.  There has never been anybody diagnosed with a food allergy or an intolerance to a certain food group.  There's never really even been any dietary restrictions involved for anything other than choice.

Until two weeks ago.

My mom and brother drove down to visit me on my birthday.  It was the first time we'd all seen each other in over a year.  We'd talked here and there on the phone or via some social media channel, but this was the first set of hugs we'd exchanged in that long.  I've been asking my mom for ages (literally) to dig out some of her old boxes filled with photos and photo albums.  Well, happy birthday to me, because when they walked in the front door, my brother was lugging a big old box with him.

As we sat and sorted through the memories, talk came up of cake.  Remember, it was my birthday.  Mom declined a piece.  Now, she's never been much of a sweets person - but she's always taken at least a tiny piece.  That's when she told me that she'd just been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue.
Giveaway and Stuffed Mushrooms {Vegan} from #spreadcheer
That was a new one to me.  So I grabbed my notebook and started writing down the foods that mom was supposed to avoid.  No gluten (wheat products).  No fruit (citric acid).  No chicken or pork.  No bananas or apples.  And no dairy.   Soooooooo....basically nothing good?  Yes, that was my first thought.  But it only lasted a minute.  I was actually eager to meet the challenge of cooking for mom's newfound diet.

Fast forward a week or so.  I receive an opportunity to sample and develop a recipe using GO Veggie!™ Dairy Free, Vegan Cream Cheese Alternatives in three flavors (Classic Plain / Chive & Garlic / Strawberry)  thanks to Kitchen PLAY.  This dairy alternative can be used in the same way that dairy cream cheese might be used, but there is no cholesterol and the saturated fats are all plant-based "good fats".  This is the perfect product for me to start experimenting with now that the holidays are here.  I need some good dishes to bring to Thanksgiving that everybody can eat.  Even mom.  Especially mom.

I started out by making a batch of stuffed mushrooms that use a veggie sausage folded into a creamy herb base featuring Chive & Garlic GO Veggie! Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese. Not only is it dairy-free, it is also entirely vegan (with none of the ingredients that mom has to stay away from).  One "special diet" notch on my recipe belt!

Stuffed Mushrooms {vegan}
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer vegan sugar-free nut-free dairy-free mushrooms veggie sausage cream cheese alternative

Ingredients (24 servings)
  • 24 large stuffing mushrooms (~24 ounces total) 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces veggie sausage (any variety you like)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (or water)
  • 8 ounces GO Veggie! Dairy Free, Vegan Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese Alternative, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped mixed herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary)
  • Porcini sea salt (or regular)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh herbs, to garnish
Wipe your mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel that has been wrung out until no more water drips from it. Pull out the stems (chop and add to filling, or freeze for veggie stock).

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-sized pan set over medium heat. Crumble the veggie sausage into the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through (or according to package instructions, if much different); scoop into a small bowl.

Add the last tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan along with the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and beginning to caramelize on the edges, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you had leftover mushroom stems that you minced, add them now and stir another minute or two.) Add the wine to the pan and cook until it has almost evaporated. Remove from heat and season with a few big pinches of Porcini sea salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.

Stir the GO Veggie! cream cheese alternative and the herbs together in another small bowl. Dump in the cooled veggie sausage mixture and stir until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. At this point, you can cover the bowl and refrigerate it until you need it, up to 24 hours.

When you're ready, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop a small mound of the filling into the overturned mushroom cap; repeat until all mushrooms are full. Line up on the prepared tray.
Stuffed Mushrooms {Vegan} from #spreadcheer
Slide into preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden with a tender mushroom base.

Let the mushrooms cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. This helps the filling "firm up" a bit, so that it doesn't flow out and burn you when you take a bite. As you plate the mushrooms, blot the bottom of each one on a paper towel, as they do release a good deal of water when cooking.

Scatter with fresh herbs for a pop of color!
Stuffed Mushrooms {Vegan} from #spreadcheer
How to enter:
(mandatory) Leave a comment on this post that answers the question: What would you make with any flavor of GO Veggie! Dairy Free, Vegan Cream Cheese? Be sure to record your entry in the rafflecopter widget.

(optional) Many more optional entries available in the rafflecopter widget below once the mandatory entry has been completed.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only. Submissions close at 11:59 pm on Wednesday November 27, 2013. Winner will be notified within 48 hours of the close of this contest and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Looking for another fun way to spread the holiday cheer?  I hope we've inspired you to create a great recipe with GO Veggie! cream cheese alternatives.  Visit their Facebook page and upload your original recipe to receive an embroidered GO Veggie! apron.  GO Veggie! will also donate $10 to one pre-selected charity partners of your choosing.  So go on, spread the holiday cheer here.