Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms to Feed a Child and Nourish a Mind

by heidi on February 10, 2014

There are so many reasons to eat well in this world. For the fortunate—those that have a paycheck to spend and nutritious food nearby to invest that paycheck in—there are many opportunities to do so.

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom |

But for some life doesn’t work that way. There isn’t a paycheck. Sometimes there isn’t even a store. And others to provide for you? That could very possibly be out of the question too.

For adults in this situation it can become a circular battle that just keeps spinning out of control. For an adult who isn’t sure of where their next meal is coming from, at least they can be hopeful that there is a way out and work toward that goal.

But what about the children? Children who don’t have access to food? Kids who are forever hungry. Starving even. Those little faces who have no control over where or if they’ll be eating today, tomorrow or next week? Can you imagine how scared they must feel? How overwhelming it must be to simply. not. know.

Today I’m asking that you join me in making a change in the lives of those that go hungry. I’m challenging you to join me in donating just $10 to The Lunchbox Fund to provide lunch for 100 school children for one year. A lunch that could possibly be there only meal of the day.

I’m challenging you to donate just $10 to those not as lucky as me, and I hope you too. To donate $10 or the same amount as what you’d spend for lunch at the salad bar at Whole Foods, or if you’re like me 2 days of large non-fat, sugar-free, vanilla lattes from my favorite drive-thru coffee stop. Or a bottle of not-so great but perfectly okay wine. That you’ll be drinking WITH dinner.

Yep, we’re lucky sons of guns.

This is my second time featuring a recipe and blog post in an effort to bring light to the social issue of hunger. You can read the first one here. Both efforts have been organized by The Giving Table, founded by Nicole of Eat This Poem. Last week I featured an interview with Nicole about why she started this philanthropic endeavor, as part of a bigger picture program that bridges food bloggers and worthy causes.

Today I’m joining nearly 100 other food bloggers to bring awareness to this plight. Our goal is to raise funds to feed 100 hungry school children in South Africa one lunch a day for an entire year.


The Lunchbox Fund has a mission to fight hunger for the 65 percent of all children in South Africa who live in poverty, including the 4 million children who aren’t eating a simple school lunch. They are not eating, but go to school and are expected to learn while their stomach grumble, their heads fog, and learning becomes a distraction when all one can do is dream of food.

Organizations like The Lunchbox Fund target hunger, an ongoing, dire issue in South Africa—to provicde the only meal some of these children will get for an entire day — in the classroom at school. This hunger fighting organization lends a tremendous opportunity to positively impact a whole generation in a way that will help them break the cycle of poverty while nourishing their bodies and minds simultaneously.

How Your Gift Keeps On Giving

The Lunchbox Fund identifies schools or forms partnerships with locally based NGOs or community organizations in order to evaluate and identify schools. It funds distributors to buy and deliver food, monitor the feeding scheme, implement a Project Manager, and deliver reports back to them for evaluation.

But don’t just think of the 100 kids you’ll be helping, think of that one lucky child, who when he or she reaches for a fresh banana at lunch will be thinking about friends, recess and reading instead of enviously watching the other children in the class eat in front of him as he stares into an empty, foodless space.

Please, consider donating to the Giving Table fundraising campaign to provide 100 South African school children a daily meal for one year.

Choose an amount, any amount, and give. Think of how many times you’ve gone out to lunch with friends this month. Or how many mornings you don’t think twice about stopping into your favorite coffee shop for a $5 coffee. Take that thought and put it to work.

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom |

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom |

Today’s recipe bridges several gaps in this conversation. It’s lunch. You eat lunch at school. It’s pizza. Kids love pizza. And it’s mushrooms. I love mushrooms. And it started with a food combo I see every time I go to the grocery store. Because I’m lucky that way. I live in the United States, I make a paycheck and I have a grocery store nearby to spend it in.

My grocery store sells freshly pre-packaged mushrooms layered with cheese and spinach, ready for the buyer to go home and pop into the oven and eat right on up.

I liked the idea and thought, hey, I could riff on that. Pizza for lunch in a simple, gluten-free, easy low-carb way. With cheese. DING DING DING! Fewer ingredients than traditional pizza (no crust) but just as delicious for lunch.

Or if you want to throw an egg on it, it makes for an amazing breakfast. For lunch. Or dinner.

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushroom |

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Yield: serves 2

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


2 portobello mushrooms, gills and stems removed
1 cup spinach leaves
½ cup prepared marinara sauce, I like this one
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
5-6 olives, sliced
Parmesan cheese, slivered
Basil for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place portobello mushrooms on a baking sheet stem side up. Fill the middle of one mushroom with half of the spinach leaves, ¼ cup of the marinara sauce and 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Top with half of the Italian seasoning then top with half of the sliced cherry tomatoes and half of the olives.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with Parmesan cheese, basil and more marinara sauce if desired.

Please consider donating to The Lunchbox Fund via The Giving Table and thank you in advance for making a change for children who are now, no longer hungry.

This post is from the heart and all opinions are my own. But when I do, thank you for supporting the companies I partner with so I can promote causes like this.  

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Posted in: entrees,recipes,vegetables and fruits

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks February 10, 2014 at 1:00 am

Gorgeous gorgeous images, Heidi! I love portobellos and tomatoes! This looks so good! Who needs pizza dough :) pinned


ashley - Baker by Nature February 10, 2014 at 3:52 am

Such an amazing fund, and I’m so happy via you I could join in! And these mushroom pizzas look like the perfect lunch!


Meagan @ A Zesty Bite February 10, 2014 at 6:40 am

Oh Heidi these stuffed pizza mushrooms look awesome.


Erin | The Law Student's Wife February 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

Heidi, what an amazing organization and an important reminder not to take food (and access to food) for granted. Thanks for sharing The Lunchbox Fund with us and the challenge too!
Also, thanks for this recipe. I adore mushrooms (and pizza) but never thought to combine them this way. You are a foodie-flavor whiz!


Alice // Hip Foodie Mom February 10, 2014 at 7:27 am

Heidi, it was because of your post on Feb 3 that I found out about this wonderful cause and joined today with a blog post and donated. Thank you! I love what Nicole is doing . . so wonderful.


heidi February 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

I’m so glad you joined the crew! XO


Alanna February 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

Love your healthy take on pizza, looks delicious!


Courtney @ Neighborfood February 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

Love this cause, this recipe, these thoughts. Nicole’s work at bringing food bloggers and hunger issues together for positive change is so inspiring. It’s so good to be reminded of how lucky we are, and how incredibly we are to be able to afford the food that fuels our blogs and our bodies. Thanks for sharing and using your platform for this!


Meg @ Beard and Bonnet February 10, 2014 at 10:36 am

Yay for mushroom pizzas and to supporting an amazing campaign! I am so happy to have been a part of this project with you and all of the other amazing bloggers that have participated.


Kathy @ Olives & Garlic February 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Heidi I am heading over to donate as soon as I’m done but first I just want to let you know that this is an incredibly beautiful dish and it’s making me drool all over myself (thankfully I am in the office all by myself) :)


Emily February 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

These look divine! Just donated. :)


Letty Flatt February 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

omgt–the egg is killer–Nice!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I love portobello mushrooms, perfect meatless Monday meal!


Marjory @ Dinner-Mom February 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Such and wonderful and worthy cause! And, the mushroom pizzas are a new obsession of mine. Can’t wait to try this!


Christine @ Cooking with Cakes February 11, 2014 at 7:51 am

what a lovely charity heidi, love things for a good cause! and these portobello pizzas have me practically craving mushrooms, which trust means a lot from me!

Reply February 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

Very good post. I am dealing with many of these issues as well..

Reply February 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Pretty nce post. I just stumbled upon our blog and wanted
to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
After all I will be subscribing too your feed and I hope you wrie again soon!


Megan @ Country Cleaver February 12, 2014 at 8:14 am

This is beautiful and what a wonderful cause. And that egg! Be still my heart.


Roxi Beck February 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

Done! Heidi – Such an important topic. The impacts of protein and solid nutrition for brain development and maintenance are well-documented, but probably not well known to the average person, because it’s often not a worry for us. Thanks for highlighting the opportunity! I’ve happily donated (it says they’ve now raised $3,300!) and will continue to do so for projects here in the U.S. and abroad to further the idea behind the Lunchbox Fund’s mission: “Feed a child. Nourish a mind.”


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