I was thinking about some really bomb stuffed portobello mushrooms as a holiday-focused main course, but also just as something that would be good anytime. I use the New York Times method when it comes to making cauliflower rice–roasted until caramelized in the oven!–and thought it would be delicious as part of a filling. My typical move would be to throw lentils into the mix for protein and call it a day, but I had tofu at the ready and thought “Why not!”
I tear the tofu into little bits and coat it in spices, arrowroot, adobo sauce, and cornmeal. After 30 minutes in the oven, the bits become little craggy and crispy spiced nuggets that mingle so nicely with the caramelized cauliflower “rice.” Arrowroot and tofu for crispiness is a go-to move for me! See also this sesame garlic tofu recipe. Combined with the poblano cream, the crispy baked tofu makes this a protein rich vegan dinner that is so delicious.
For the poblano cream, I just evenly char a poblano pepper in the oven first. You could do this on a grill or over gas flame if you like! Then I steam, peel, and toss it into the blender with cashews, garlic, lime, and other seasonings. It’s rich, flavourful, a little spicy, and a great counterpoint to the meaty mushrooms and roasted, golden brown filling.
I serve these stuffed portobello mushrooms with a heavy drizzle of the poblano cream. Chopped cilantro/any leafy herbs that are on hand are a nice finish. These are excellent with a little salad on the side, maybe some roasted sweet potatoes. They would also be a unique, totally delicious contribution to a vegan holiday recipes spread.
I would not recommend making the cauliflower and tofu filling ahead of time. The texture truly is best straight out of the oven. The poblano cream can be made ahead of time though. Just keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Cauliflower Rice, Crispy Tofu Bits & Poblano Cream
Poblano Cream (makes extra)
- 1 poblano pepper
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup water
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- 4 cups cauliflower rice
- ½ block firm or extra firm tofu, drained and torn into little pieces (7 oz/198 grams)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast, divided
- 2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons onion powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander, divided
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 4 very large portobello mushrooms, brushed clean
- olive or avocado oil spray
- chopped cilantro or other leafy herb, for serving
- Though I’ve been trying to limit my cashew use as of late, they just felt appropriate in the poblano cream here. You can use an equal amount of soaked sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, or even pine nuts instead.
- The cauliflower rice and tofu mixture is not make ahead-friendly unfortunately. The texture softens up too much. The poblano cream is definitely make ahead-friendly though! Up to 5-6 days sealed in your refrigerator.
- Feel free to remove the gills from the portobello mushrooms if they’re not your thing!
- You can use store bought cauliflower rice from the refrigerated section of your grocery store or simply pulse some florets up yourself in the food processor. I do not recommend frozen cauliflower rice here–it just stays soggy.
- I feel like I always have leftover chipotles in adobo at the back of my fridge, but if you do not have them on hand, feel free to skip!
- Preheat your oven to broil. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, ensuring that the one used for the cauliflower rice and tofu mixture is quite large.
- Start the poblano cream. Place the poblano pepper directly on the oven rack below the broiler. Let the pepper char for a minute or so and then carefully flip it over with tongs. Broil for another minute or so. Repeat this process until it is evenly charred.
- Remove the poblano from the oven and place it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to 425°F.
- Drain the cashews. Then, in an upright blender, combine the cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, lime juice, salt, pepper, and water. Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl with the poblano pepper and peel the charred outer skin off. Once that’s off, remove the stem and seeds and transfer to the upright blender. Blend this mixture on high until smooth and creamy. Check the cream for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.
- Make the cauliflower rice and tofu filling. Get two separate medium bowls out. Place the cauliflower rice in one bowl and the torn up bits of tofu in the other. In the bowl with the cauliflower, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of the onion powder, ½ teaspoon of the ground coriander, plus salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine.
- In the bowl with the tofu bits, add the remaining olive oil, nutritional yeast, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, the adobo sauce, arrowroot starch, cornmeal, plus some salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- On one side of the large, parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the coated cauliflower rice in a single layer. On the other side of the baking sheet, spread out the tofu in a single layer as well, trying to give as much space around the pieces of tofu as possible.
- Remove the stems from the portobello mushrooms and place them on the other baking sheet. Spray all sides of the portobello mushrooms with oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Make sure that the gills side is facing up when you’re done.
- Place both the mushrooms and the cauliflower rice mixture in the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
- At the 20 minute mark, remove the mushrooms from the oven. They should be soft and juicy. The cauliflower rice and tofu mixture will need another 10 minutes. Stir the cauliflower and tofu bits up before returning to the oven. You want everything to be golden brown and parts of the tofu should be crispy and golden when done.
- Once you have the cauliflower rice and tofu mixture ready to go, give it a mix to combine everything together. Spoon this mixture into the cooked portobello mushrooms right on the baking sheet. Once they’re loaded up, transfer the stuffed portobello mushrooms back into the oven to heat through for about 10 minutes.
- Once warmed through, serve the stuffed portobello mushrooms with the poblano cream and chopped cilantro on top.