As a nod to my African roots, we decided to make taro root the star in this dish. Cocoyam ( taro root) is a staple starch in Cameroon cuisine. Mostly served boiled with stews/ vegetables, pounded to make fufu or pureed for other traditional dishes. For those who may be wondering , taro root is a bit like a potato; a potato with gusto, a potato with density, a potato with body.
You might have walked past these at your local market and not even spare them a second glance. There really aren’t much to look at but they sure carry their weight in nutritional benefits. With its high fiber content, it sure will keep your tummy happy and healthy. It’s also loaded with good carbs
(#notlowcalorie!), vitamins and minerals. Most ethnic markets should sell these, so be sure to give it a try. They should definitely be cooked before consumption. Depending on your recipe, you will likely peel these before cooking. Careful with the peel, the juices can cause skin irritation.
In this recipe, they were seasoned with a dash of salt, paprika , cayenne and some black pepper before roasting in the oven. This definitely heightened its nutty flavor. Don’t be surprise if you find yourself eating the whole batch at this point! “I almost did!”
Savory, delicious, crunchy.
Back home we roast these whole, skin on. Usually buried under the hot ashes of our three stone fireplace. It definitely didn’t look all gussied up, but it was delicious. Palm oil , a little salt, pepper and I was humming while eating.
Seitan cubes were the perfect meat substitute. Feel free to sub with tofu, chicken, ground beef or more. The recipe need not be altered much with these options. Seitan has a high sodium content and because of this there was little to no extra salt added.
Read your food labels
The earthiness of mushrooms made the decision to stuff them my favorite option. Stuffed peppers would also work great .
Don’t forget enchiladas. You’ll obviously need enchilada sauce and some cheese.
Recipe is strictly vegan until topped with cheese (optional)
Cocoyam, Kale & Seitan stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
- 2 cups cocoyam (taro root) peeled and diced
- 8 oz. cubed seitan
- 6 large portabella mushroom caps
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 14 oz. hunts stewed tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. tomato sauce
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. crushed ginger
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup shredded habanero jack cheese (optional)
- Thoroughly wash mushroom caps, remove any remaining stalk. Set aside
- Drizzle olive oil over cocoyam, toss and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic, paprika. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until tender.
- In a large skillet, sauté onions for ~ 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and seitan, cook for another 3 minutes. Add kale, stewed tomatoes, let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in roasted cocoyam, tomato sauce, paprika, cayenne and let cook for ~ 3 more minutes. Turn heat off.
- Layer mushroom caps in a large skillet or any oven safe dish. ( Spread ~ 2 Tbsp. tomato sauce over bottom of pan). Stuff mushroom with cocoyam mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 20 minutes until mushroom caps are tender.
- Top with cheese, garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve.