Cheap and Good Tax Day Dinner: Portobello Mushroom Patties with Turkey Sausage Gravy
Have you done your taxes yet? If not, you'd better hurry. And if you're feeling down because the refund isn't as much as you'd hoped or, even worse, you owe and owe and owe, maybe you want to opt for a dinner that's cheap and good: Portobello Mushroom Patties with Turkey Sausage Gravy. You'll need large portobello caps, which, admittedly, can be pricey, but you'll save money in other ways--like not going for take out. The caps need to bake to soften them and render the topping crunchy. While the mushroom caps bake in the oven, you can whip up a quick sauce/gravy on the stove top using inexpensive, low-fat turkey breakfast sausage. The creamy, lightly seasoned turkey gravy complements the earthy mushrooms and contrasts nicely with the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs that top the portobellos. If you'd prefer a vegetarian option, you can always skip the turkey sausage gravy and top the meaty-tasting mushrooms with marinara sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Either way the mushroom patties will taste great and provide lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals to your diet. Plus, the warm, crispy mushroom patties will take your mind off the dreaded tax filing--at least briefly.
Portobello Mushroom Patties with Chicken Sausage Gravy -- Serves 4
4 large portobello mushroom caps, washed well
2 tablespoons of flour
2-3 tablespoons of seasoned panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spritz a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Remove the mushroom stems, chop them, and set them aside to use in the gravy. Toss the mushroom caps into a large plastic bag and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Seal the bag and gently toss the caps to coat them in the oil. Add the flour and toss the caps again to coat them with the flour. Place the caps on the baking sheet with the gills facing down. Bake the caps for about 15 minutes or until they're starting to soften. Flip them over so the gills are facing upward. Divide the panko among the mushroom caps, sprinkling it evenly over the mushroom gills. Spritz the tops of the panko-topped mushrooms with a little non-stick cooking spray and bake the mushrooms for another 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and the panko has browned.
Turkey Sausage Gravy
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
16 ounces of lean turkey breakfast sausage (the kind in the round roll is fine)
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of reduced sodium chicken "Better than Bullion"
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of low-fat milk
1/2 cup of flour
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle (optional)
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and spritz it with canola oil or add a teaspoon or two of oil to the pan. Add the onion, celery, and mushroom stems and saute them for 5-10 minutes until they soften. Crumble in the turkey sausage and cook it with the vegetables for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle on the garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in the water and Better than Bullion. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook for 5-8 minutes. In a measuring pitcher, whisk the flour into the milk. Stir the milk/flour mixture into the turkey mixture and keep stirring gently until the sauce thickens. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until it's thoroughly combined. If the sauce seems a little too thick, you can dribble in a little more milk, stirring it in until you have the consistency of sauce you prefer. Serve the sauce/gravy on top of the hot, crispy mushrooms and sprinkle the top of the gravy with a bit more Parmesan, if you like.