Variety is the Spice of Life

Most of the time when I zip through H-E-B, I have a running list in my head of the staple items I’ll need for the week. The compulsory tomatoes, milk, cereal, hummus, and multigrain bread always make the cut. Sometimes I meal plan for the week and have an agenda for what I will cook on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Other times, I go out on a limb and let the grocery store inspire me. Often I find myself inspired by seasonal produce or fresh seafood.

My most recent inspiration came from the beautiful portobello mushrooms caps in the produce section last week. I created a savory dish that paired perfectly with red wine, artisan bread, and bowtie pasta. Taking a risk in the kitchen, trusting your instincts, a little creativity, and your favorite people around the table are all you need for a perfect home cooked meal. After all, variety is the spice of life!

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 pound of Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion, diced
  • 1 fire roasted red pepper, diced (I used jarred peppers but fresh would work too.)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Fresh parmesan cheese


Sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil over medium high heat until fragrant. Add the Italian sausage and cook until brown. Add the red peppers, artichoke hearts, salt, and pepper and cook until warmed through. Set aside.

Line an 8×8 Pyrex dish with parchment paper and place the portobello mushroom caps in the dish. Spoon the Italian sausage mix into each mushroom. Then sprinkle with bread crumbs and fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Serve with a side of pasta and fresh bread. I made a simple side of bowtie pasta that I tossed with fresh parmesan, bread crumbs, and a little olive oil. It was the perfect complement to the savory stuffed mushrooms.

This recipe could easily be adapted to be vegetarian too. In place of the Italian sausage, use fire roasted tomatoes and a pint of chopped portobello mushrooms. The method would be the same with regards to preparation. Additionally omit the pasta and artisan rolls and substitute with a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh salad for a low carb dinner option.


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