Baked Oyster Mushroom Calamari with Tomato-Basil Dipping Sauce

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope the holidays and New Year have been fabulous for everyone so far.  I have had the best few weeks ever. I got married December 18 to the love of my life :) in a small, intimate ceremony in London.  We then headed back home to Indiana and had such a wonderful time spending the holidays and New Year with friends and family.

Even though I have been busy, I have still had time to do one of my favorite things; cook.  I have made a few new recipes over the past few weeks but this is my favorite.  I’ve been craving calamari lately so I wanted to try an easier, healthier, but just as delicious version.  Last summer, my good friend Andrea and I made a raw king oyster mushroom calamari recipe from Living Raw Food by Sarna Melngailis .  I used this recipe as inspiration and created a super simple baked version.

Oyster mushrooms have a taste similar to seafood so they are excellent in this recipe.  Mushrooms in general are nutritional powerhouses so swapping oyster mushrooms for squid will help boost your immune system, keep your cholesterol levels in check, and protect your body from cell damage.

Baked Oyster Mushroom “Calamari”

makes 4 servings

2 (3.5 ounce) containers oyster mushrooms or 3.5 cups sliced oyster mushrooms

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided in half

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil

1 large egg

2 tablespoons milk (unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, light soy milk, or fat free cow’s milk)

Slice the mushrooms into thin strips and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Cover mushrooms and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mix together the breadcrumbs, paprika, onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and basil.  Pour the breadcrumb mixture into a shallow dish and set aside.  For the egg wash, beat one egg with milk and set aside.

Once the mushrooms have marinated for at least 30 minutes start coating the mushrooms a handful at a time.  Dip a handful of mushrooms in the egg wash and then into the breadcrumbs, coating well.  Line the coated mushrooms on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.  Serve warm with fire roasted tomato-basil dipping sauce (recipe below).

Recipe Note: If you don’t have whole wheat breadcrumbs on hand then blend whole grain bread in a food processor or blender until finely crumbled.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 155 Calories, 3 g total fat, .6 g saturated fat, 155 mg sodium, 24 g total carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 7 g protein

Fire Roasted Tomato-Basil Dipping Sauce

makes 8 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes no salt added or 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes no salt added

sea salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Saute garlic and basil for 2-3 minutes.  Add in tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Crush up tomatoes with a fork while simmering or blend sauce once cooked for a smoother texture.  Serve warm with baked oyster mushroom calamari (recipe above).

Recipe Note: I used fire roasted tomatoes since it adds a nice smoky flavor but this recipe works beautifully with regular tomatoes as well.  Also note that this recipe makes double the serving amount as the mushroom calamari.  I didn’t want to split it in half because it is much easier to use the whole can of diced tomatoes.  However, this sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to a week and goes great with fresh bread, pasta, or even as a salad dressing.

Nutrition facts per serving: 18 calories, 0 g total fat, 6 mg sodium, 3 g total carbohydrates, .5 g fiber, 1 g protein

BALANCE IT OUT: Baked oyster mushroom calamari with tomato-basil dipping sauce makes a great appetizer or delicious snack.  You can make this into a light meal by serving the baked oyster mushroom calamari over a bed of lettuce with the dipping sauce as a chunky dressing.



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