We’ve been looking to cut a few calories from our dinners lately. In searching for good meals, it’s difficult to find or develop your own recipes that are very tasty and remain relatively healthy and low in calories when you use the tried and tested methods of adding taste and texture – butters, oils, sugars, fats. Add any of those, and a dish jumps out at you, teasing you with delicious smells when it’s being cooked, baked or broiled, and coaxing a chorus of praise from your tastebuds on the way down. That’s the easy way to do it. Aimie and I have been trying new ways to cut the calories and try to retain as much of the flavour, and even figure out new ways to mix some flavour palates together – I wouldn’t ever claim we’re doing something revolutionary – I mean it’s new to us.
This week we made these Portobello Mushroom Eggs Benedicts. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s fast and you’ll have the ingredients – if you don’t, they’re all easy to get. If this doesn’t make you happy and somewhat excited, feel free to get your recipes from RetardedlyComplexandExpensiveButStillNotBetterRecipes.com. The theory is that the English muffin in eggs benedict dishes is a killer, calorie-wise, so we’ve replaced it with an alternative – some delicious and juicy mushrooms caps. Also, because we made it for dinner, we decided to forego all of the creamier sauces, such as the standard fare Hollandaise you’ll find in breakfast benedicts, which is essentially a heart attack waiting to happen. With that said, you could very easily swap the sauces out and try any you feel like having – I believe a Hollandaise would probably be incredible on this. Essentially the sauce is where you can make the big difference in this recipe – in taste and in calorie count. It’s up to you if you want to play around with this.
I’m just saying “poached eggs” in the ingredient list. First of all, if you don’t know how to poach eggs, you’re missing out. It’s very easy, and I couldn’t write it better than someone else already has. Please check this link and feel free to poach the eggs in advance as a trial, if it’s your first time. The keys in this write-up are the vinegar and the slotted spoon, trust me. Secondly, if it isn’t your first time, you know you can easily do this at any time, even when nearly everything else is done. It goes quickly and it really is simple. For this recipe, we prefer the eggs not too hard – poached about 3 or 4 minutes. You can make them to your preference.
Ingredients for 4 servings
4 portobello mushrooms – make sure you remove the gills from the mushrooms before you roast them!
baby spinach – enough to fill the mushroom bowls – consider that you’ll be cooking it down and it will shrink slightly – one bag from the grocery store should do just fine
clove of garlic
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese – you can use either or both here, or try something different
Preheat your oven to about 400 or 425 degrees. Put the mushrooms on an oiled or sprayed baking sheet and just bake them until they are nice and tender – it should take about 10-12 minutes.
In a small pan, you can heat a tbsp or two of the olive oil over medium high heat. It’s tough to say how hot to make it, but I’d say the key is don’t make the oil too hot – better to keep it lower if you’re not sure. Add the garlic and the spinach and just cook it for about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure you toss the mix quite a bit and just cook it until it’s wilted.
When the spinach is cooked, you can add your lemon juice, the zest and the nutmeg and toss it to mix it up. Then you can divide the mixture equally and spoon it into those roasted portobello mushroom caps you made.
The final assembly is up to you and can vary – we chose to top the spinach with a poached egg, some marinara sauce (which was already hot and which I beg you to make yourself – but it’s OK to use pre-made sauce if you don’t have the time) and then broiled some grated mozzarella and parmesan cheeses on top.
We absolutely love this dish – the mushrooms are thick and juicy and meaty, making it great for dinner. You could also make this for breakfast – to be honest, I’d love it early in the day too.
Our kids’s reactions: not so great. Abigail wasn’t too interested, and neither was Amalie. I believe their reactions came from the strange look of a mixture of things that didn’t make sense to them. Ironically, they both love almost every ingredient in the dish – mushrooms, eggs, tomato-based sauces and cheese and they’ll both tolerate spinach. When we divvied the mess up into its parts, both girls tried it and liked it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if other kids look at the assembled product and get an anxiety attack.
We hope you’ll try it and enjoy it. The way we’ve figured it, based on the homework we’ve done, is that the marinara sauce version of this should result in about 250-300 calories per serving tops, depending on how much cheese you use. That is a vast improvement over regular eggs benedict and it’s a very filling, satisfying dish. Also, if you try this with some variations, let us know – we love the feedback and the suggestions.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, feel free to share it, and feel free to browse our other recipes under the food tab on my blog.