when family recipes become vegetarian: shelley’s chicken parmesan

so, for Nate’s birthday I had his mom send me her recipes for his favorite meals. I chose one that could be easily vegetarian by subbing portobello mushrooms for chicken in her chicken parmesan recipe. I felt a litte bad when she emailed me the recipes and asked me not to judge her because they were so simple. there is something to be said for comfort food from your childhood. there is also something to be said for simple, easy meals that come together and make you smile. I suppose that is sort of what childhood is supposed to be: simple, smiling.

Nate and I both loved my version of his mom’s cooking. here’s what I had 🙂

portobello mushroom parmesan

Ingredients: Serves 2-4, about 1 mushroom cap per person
2-4 large portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and cleaned (including the black gills)
2 eggs
1-2 cups bread crumbs (gluten-free if you can find them!) or Italian and leave out spices
thyme to taste – 1/2 tsp or so for all
oregano to taste
basil to taste
garlic powder to taste
s/p to taste
1 jar favorite marinara
1 ball fresh no animal rennet mozzarella, sliced
angel hair pasta – 1 serving per person

Preparation: pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

1) in a medium pan heat just enough olive oil to coat.

2) whisk the eggs in one bowl, put the bread crumbs and seasonings in another bowl. drag the mushroom cap through the eggs then the bread crumbs and cook 4-5 minutes on each side till golden brown and crispy

3) in a large casserole dish, line the bottom with marinara/tomato sauce, then add the mushrooms from the pan, top with more marinara, and mozzarella cheese.

4) bake for 10-20 minutes depending on thickness of your mushrooms then move the dish to the top rack and broil for 3 minutes to get some nice color to your mozzarella (I have no idea if this is proper but its tasty)

5) while the mushrooms bake, prepare your pasta – angel hair really is the best.

6) serve the mushrooms and sauce over the angel hair pasta, top with fresh arugula!

breathe it in, smile, and enjoy 🙂

Ps if you’re feeling really homesick, make some crescent rolls too

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