One of my favorite parts of cooking (besides the eating!) is presentation. Even when I’m just cooking for one, I really enjoying taking the extra time to make my plate look special. Sometimes all it takes is a nice garnish or a rearrangement of items, but sitting down to a meal that looks good makes me feel more satisfied when I’m done eating.

I also really like things that are stuffed. Which was the inspiration for this dish, vegan mac-stuffed Portobello mushroom caps.

For this recipe I admittedly got a little lazy and used Road’s End Organics Shells & Chreese since I didn’t have time to start from scratch. The only problem with using this particular brand is that the instructions on the box are wrong (wrong in my sense anyway). The box tells you to add heat after mixing in the chreese sauce – rather than this, I make macaroni & cheese like my mother did for me long before I was vegan. Here’s how to improve boxed mac n’ cheese:

  • Once you cook the macaroni noodles, remove from heat and drain in a colander.
  • Place the noodles in a large bowl. Add about 1 1/2 TBS Earth Balance, and drizzle in soy milk as you stir until you reach a consistency you like. I don’t like mine super creamy, so I used maybe 1/2 a cup. Start with a little – you can always add in more.
  • Stir until the macaroni and cheese reaches you desired creaminess. Serve.

That’s it – and it tastes sooooo much better! Now on to the best part – the stuffed mushroom.

In order to stuff the Portobello, you’ll need to remove the gills on the underside of the cap. The best way to do this is just to take a small paring knife and scrape the black stuff away.

Then you just put a heaping scoop of mac inside the cap, sprinkle with a generous pinch of paprika, and bake on a low temperature for about 5 minutes. You want to avoid cooking it for too long or the mushroom will get to tough to eat. Here’s a picture of the finished result:

IMG_4998(Sorry about the not so great picture) As much as I love mushrooms, sometimes I worry that their taste will overpower some of the other foods I cook them in. This wasn’t like that at all – the mushroom flavor was delicate enough that it didn’t do anything but enhance the flavor of the macaroni and cheese.