I’m a big fan of bite -sized food. Not only are you preventing a mess from forming around the corners of your mouth, but you’re also tasting every delicious flavor of a recipe- all in one bite! It’s quick, clean, and satisfying. And who doesn’t love a good miniature?! Like these baby bella mushrooms, for example:
On that note, I’ll share with you a bite-sized recipe that I whipped up recently for a friends barbecue. The host had already prepared an array of amazing food options, but I wanted to contribute by adding a snack that would appease omnivores and herbivores alike. I immediately thought of mini stuffed mushrooms, and after some perusing around on the internet, I found this olive tapenade recipe that I thought would be a perfect filling!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
• 3 cups baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and chopped in half
• 1-2 square sheets parchment paper
• 1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted
• 1 1/2 cups green olives, pitted
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 2 tbsp capers
• 1 red bell pepper, roasted and cut into 1″ sections
• 1/2 oz parsley
• 3 tsp lemon juice
• 1/2 oz basil
• 5 tbsp olive oil
1. Place olives, pepper, capers, garlic, and about half of the mushrooms stems into a food processor. Push the “pulse” button about 15 times at 1 second intervals.
*Although a food processor is the easiest method, it’s not the only one. You may choose to chop the ingredients up by hand, but it could take you a while.
2. Add the basil, parsley, olive oil, and juice from the lemon. Pulse again for about 15 times at 1 second intervals, or until everything looks well chopped. Remove from processor and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
4. Place the baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, on to a plate or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
* If you think you can spoon the tapenade on to the mushroom without making a big mess, a baking sheet may be the better option here, so you don’t have to transfer them to one later. I learned this the hard way.
5. Spoon a small bit of tapenade in to the mushroom where the stem used to be.
6. If you haven’t done so already, place mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to “sweat” and are soft to the touch.
7. You’ll probably need to do two rounds of baking unless you have an extra-large baking sheet. If not, wait a few minutes for the mushrooms to cool and enjoy your beautiful (and delicious) bite-sized creation!
WHY IT’S GOOD FOR YOU:
Mushrooms are often used in weight loss programs because they are very low in calories, sodium, and fat, while adding fiber to your body with every bite. Mushrooms are also a great source of potassium (1 large Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana), a mineral that has been known to lower blood pressure and reduce the chance of stroke. Riboflavin, niacin, and selenium are also a part of the health benefits of mushrooms and aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.1
Although olives have a high fat content (about 15-30 percent), they still offer several health benefits. For example, olives are abundant in vitamin E as well as polyphenols and flavonoids. They are also an anti-inflammatory and can prevent against certain cancers and heart disease.2 Olives originated in the Mediterranean, an area that still frequently consumes large amounts of olives and olive products/fats (such as olive oil). Research shows that people in this region show fewer instances of diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and colon cancer compared to the United States, whose residents typically consume a diet high in animal fats.3