I came across an interesting stuffed mushroom recipe on Pinterest this weekend. They looked heavenly, but I’m not a fan of breadcrumbs or cream cheese, which is essentially all they’re typically made with, so I decided to get crafty last night and make them #NSNG friendly.
Wait, what's NSNG?
So glad you asked! It's short for no sugars, no grains. It's a simple framework for eating lower carb, higher quality foods. When you think about what foods are most indicative of sugars and grains, it's mostly processed foods, flours, baked goods and things like that. I can't imagine that anyone could argue the benefits of avoiding processed foods.
Wait, what about oatmeal and rice?
Yes, oatmeal and rice are grains and no, I don't think they're inherently bad, but I do avoid them. Again, this isn't about labeling foods good or bad, it's about leaning toward quality choices that are nutrient dense. If I offered you a bowl of sauteed kale vs a bowl of sauteed rice and asked you to pick the healthiest option, you'd pick kale, right? Of course! Because kale is filled with phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Rice has some of that as well, but it's mostly just starch.
Same goes for oats. Some folks do really well with oats, but they're not for everyone.
How Has NSNG Helped me?
Since I’ve started playing with the no sugar, no grains (NSNG) food philosophy I’ve noticed two very obvious (and wonderful) things …
- My tummy is flatter (not as bloated)
- I’m rarely ever hungry (who am I?)
Removing sugars and grains from my diet has been a game-changer for me. It's so liberating to NOT be thinking about food 24/7. I’m not obsessed about what to eat next, what’s for dinner or wondering if I’ll be able to make the two hour trip to the cabin without snacks. It’s like my food alter-ego decided the party was over and took off to go make crazy in someone else’s head.
It’s truly liberating.
Again, the key thing about this protocol is that it favors fat over carbs or protein as the body’s primary energy source. I’m eating about 60% (healthy) fats right now, and yet I’m probably eating overall fewer calories than I was before, and I’ve never once felt hungry or deprived. Even the lowered carbs aren’t a problem for me as they have been in the past, because I’m replacing those calories with fats instead of protein. This is not a meat-centric way of eating (which is great for me).
I’m only a few weeks into the fat adaption process, but I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s sustainable, it’s delicious and it’s changed my relationship with food, which is amazing.
The Magic of Stuffed Mushrooms
These stuffed mushrooms are perfect for picky eaters because they're a ton of veggies hidden in them! If your kids don't like veggies, keep them out of eye-shot as you pack in all the fiber-filled veggies. They're also very mild tasting. Artichokes are so laid back, you'll hardly even know they're there, yet they pack a huge nutritional punch.
A word about coconut milk
Don't use the stuff you buy in the carton for this recipe. I want you to use "real" coconut milk. The thick stuff. In fact, if you can find coconut cream, use that instead. The thicker the better. You want those healthy, yummy fats in there, trust me on this!
Now let’s go enjoy some “shrooms”. ☺
- 4 portabella mushroom
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, canned or frozen
- 1 cup fresh sage/basil or cilantro (use 2 Tbsp of dried if you don’t have fresh
- 1 cup collard greens or fresh spinach, anything green that you can hide in the mix will benefit you
- ¼ cup green onion
- 1 T mashed garlic
- 1 sausage or tofu sausage
- 1 T tahini, or almond butter
- 2 T cashews
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 T coconut milk, the stuff in the can. Use any sort of liquid if you don’t have, just to keep it from clumping in the food processor
- Preheat oven to 425 and prep a cookie sheet with wax paper or just lightly grease.
- Prep your mushrooms – remove the stems, give them a wash and set to dry.
- In a pan, add onion and garlic. Fry in some coconut oil or butter. Add artichokes and sausage and stir until browned. Add fresh and dried herbs and your leafy greens.
- Stir fry for just a few minutes more, until greens are wilted. Get out your food processor and process contents (let it cool a bit first if you want).
- To the processor, add the tahini, cashews, coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste. If you think it needs something else, now is the time to add it.
- Put your mushrooms out on the tray and start filling each with the filling. Use a moderate amount to ensure you have enough for all the mushrooms, then go back and pile it on if you have the leftover mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes and let them sit out of the oven for a few minutes before you serve.
Macros per mushroom: 143 Cals, 7.3g fat, 14g carbs, 3.8 fiber, 8.3g protein
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 4 servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 154
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.