Stuffed Mushrooms (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

One of my favorite appetizers is stuffed mushrooms, as long as the main stuffing ingredient isn’t bread crumbs.  That happens a lot, especially in restaurant servings.  These are stuffed with crab but you could substitute any ground meat or no meat at all, simply add more chopped mushroom and perhaps some onion to the mixture.  The recipe makes between 12 and 15 mushrooms depending on the size and how much stuffing you like.

You’ll need:

  • 12-15 medium to large button or baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup crab meat, claw works fine, don’t need lump in this case
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried herbs, depending on personal taste (I use Mrs. Dash mixture but any herbs preferred will work)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded non-dairy cheese of choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean the mushrooms by wiping off the outside and removing the stems.  If they are really dirty, feel free to remove the skins.  I prefer to remove them and take away the filmy outside once cooked.

Place on a small cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cut off the inside portion of the mushroom stems and dice.  Put avocado oil and diced mushrooms in a saute pan and cook for several minutes.  This is where you could also add some onion or garlic to taste.  Once diced mushrooms (and onions and garlic if added) are soft, remove from heat and stir in crab meat, herbs, and breadcrumbs.

Place 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture into each mushroom cap depending on its size.  When all the caps are filled, sprinkle some cheese on each.  Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are cooked.  You can tell when they are cooked because they’ll shrink and expose more stuffing.

Serve hot.

Seafood Pasta Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

This is a recipe passed down from my mother and grandmother.  They traditionally made it for our July 4th celebration along with blueberry muffins since usually by early  in July, we’d have fresh peas as well blueberries in central New Hampshire.  They made it with canned salmon, crab and shrimp but these days fresh or frozen seafood is also widely available.  My mother also always made it with the pasta shells for esthetic reasons but you can use whatever type of pasta your family likes.

You can also make it two ways, like the potato salad and the cole slaw, with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise.  I prefer the vinaigrette since it has a lighter taste, especially in the July heat.

Mix in a medium sized bowl:

  • 6-8 ounces of cooked salmon
  • 4 ounces of cooked tiny shrimp
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked lump crabmeat
  • 6-8 ounces of cooked peas
  • 3 stalks of celery diced, don’t forget to add the leaves as well — they have a wonderful celery taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion, chives, or scallions
  • 2 cups cooked gluten-free pasta [here I’ve found that the quinoa pasta works the best because it doesn’t get all mushy if it sits for a day; I’ve also gotten into the chickpea pasta to add more protein]
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette [I make mine with 1/2 olive oil, 1 tablespoon spicy mustard, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or 1 teaspoon stevia), and 1/4 cup of water.]; if you need to, you can add more vinaigrette especially if you let the salad sit awhile in the refrigerator since the pasta will absorb the moisture.
  • OR 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise mixed with several tablespoons of cold water [the water will loosen up the mayo and make for a lighter dressing without affecting the taste].
  • Salt and pepper to taste along with some fresh parsley to taste

I like to serve it on a bed of lettuce with some cherry or grape tomatoes as a garnish.  This recipe serves 4.  Delicious!