Tag Archives: mushrooms

Roasted (or Grilled) Veggies & Carb Goodness

First of all, happy father’s day to all the dads out there!

Second of all, here’s a fun recipe that can be made any time of year. Roast vegetables in balsamic vinegar in the oven or toss them on the grill! Summer or winter, this dish is equally delicious.

Third of all, notice a difference on my blog? What do you think of the new header I put together? Yay or nay?

Back to the recipe…

I used a combination of bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and zucchini. Throwing in some fresh herbs and some chopped Kalamata olives and marinated artichokes gives the dish a tangy bite. Sprinkle with a bit of feta for saltiness and you’re all set to tickle your tastebuds!

Eaten hot or cold, this pasta salad is extremely versatile. A side dish, a lunch or a dinner if you throw in some chicken or beans 🙂 Or these veggies make a delicious side dish on their own, pasta excluded!


Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
(Serves 4-6)

1 lb. whole wheat penne, fusilli, rigatoni, etc.
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper
1 large red onion
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
12 Kalamata olives, halved
1 c. chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 c. feta cheese
2 tbsp. chopped thyme, rosemary, & basil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

If you’re going to grill your vegetables, turn the grill to medium. Chop pepper into quarters, slice onions into 1/2″ thick rings (keeping the rings together), slice zucchini into quarters, and keep mushrooms whole. Basically, you’re keeping these veggies in large pieces so they’re easier to grill and they don’t fall through the grates. Toss with garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate for about 20 minutes. Place pieces on the grill and grill for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. You want the veggies to have a nice brown coloring on them, but you don’t want the veggies to be falling apart on the grill.

If you’re going to roast the veggies, chop the veggies into 1/2″ pieces, toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the veggies for about 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until the veggies are nice and browned (turning halfway between cooking).

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to keep from sticking. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

In a large mixing bowl, place pasta and cooked veggies. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and herbs. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving. Serve hot, cold or room temperature.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza


Seriously, this pizza is amazing. I found the recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast cookbook. It’s absolutely delicious and super easy to make. I added some mushrooms to it because 1) I love them and 2) I had some sitting in my fridge!

It’s perfect for lunch, dinner or slice it into smaller pieces for a great appetizer.

For the pizza dough, feel free to use either store bought whole wheat or regular pizza dough, or make your own batch and freeze for when you need it. And to make the clean up easier, I’ve started by putting my dough on the parchment paper that I’ve cut to put on my baking sheet and laying a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Then, roll away! That way, I don’t have to get the kitchen covered in flour. Then, I just transfer the parchment paper with the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. If you prefer the flouring method, by all means go for it!

I took some help from the store by buying pre-chopped pancetta from Trader Joe’s – if you can’t find pancetta, bacon would work well here too. I also bought sliced portobello mushrooms to save on time.

When picking out asparagus spears, the thinner the better (they’re more tender). You want them to be nice and bright, stay away from brown, wet-looking spears!


Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza
(Serves 2-4)

1 ball of whole wheat or regular pizza dough
10 spears of asparagus, 1″ of the end trimmed off
1/2 c. diced pancetta or bacon
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced (greens & whites!)
8 oz. creminis, sliced
1/2 c. shredded Italian cheeses (a blend or use mozzarella)
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to shape your baking sheet. Place your room temperature dough on the parchment sheet.

In a small frying pan, cook the bacon or pancetta until brown over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, slice your scallions and asparagus. Cut the scallions to about 1/4″ thick. Cut the asparagus into 2″ pieces, cutting on the bias (diagonal).

To roll out the dough, place a piece of plastic wrap similar in size to the parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll out to about 1/4″ thick. Changing directions as you roll each time to really spread it out! Once you’re done, place your dough with the parchment paper onto your baking sheet (the parchment paper keeps it from sticking).

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of pancetta grease onto your pizza dough, discard the rest, and sprinkle the pancetta or bacon pieces on top. Leave a one inch border. Then, sprinkle the scallions evenly. Next, the mozzarella cheese and goat cheese, then the asparagus and mushrooms.

Pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned to your liking. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Slice into desired servings and enjoy!

Tagged , , , , ,


No no. Not actual steak. Salisbury steak. And not even the way you think!

A couple of weeks ago I was in the mood for some hardcore comfort food. And I remembered Salisbury steaks lurking in the back of my mind. Now, it’s usually made with ground beef, beef stock, and mashed potatoes. Of course, I had to make it healthier.

Instead of ground beef, I used lean ground turkey. Instead of mashed potatoes, I made pureed cauliflower. What? A legitimate sub for mashed potatoes? Yes. I didn’t even tell my guinea pig that it was cauliflower. He thought it was mashed potatoes! Score one for me.


I do have to say, I made this cauliflower puree twice. One time without any potato at all, and one time with 2 little red potatoes. I think it made a big difference having the little bit of potato to make it creamy. AND it’s only 2 little potatoes for 4 servings. So you don’t have to feel guilty about it since you’re only having 1/4 of a potato, really. But feel free to leave it out if you really don’t want it! Leaving the skins on the potatoes give it extra color and nutrition.

So for all of you watching your waistlines (and those not!), I think you will really enjoy this recipe. It’s a classic that you won’t feel guilty about eating later!

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to recoup from the weekend…Feeling better so far but today I’m making some of my Greek quinoa for a light lunch. YUM!


Salisbury Steak with Cauliflower Puree
(Serves 4)

For the Salisbury Steak:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce (or soy sauce in a pinch)
1/3 c. breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs
1/2 small onion, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

For the Sauce:

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced (plus the rest of the small onion)
1/2 c. white or red wine (whatever you have on hand)
2 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce (or soy)
2 tbsp. whole-wheat or regular flour
Salt and pepper

For the Cauliflower Puree:

1 head of cauliflower, washed & cut into florets (or 4 c. precut/washed)
2 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in halves (optional)
6 sprigs thyme, removed from stems
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. nonfat milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 c. reduced fat, shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat with just a splash (about a tablespoon) of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. The pan is hot enough when the olive oil looks wavy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the Salisbury Steak ingredients. Mix until combine. Form into a disc in the bottom of the bowl and score the turkey with your hand to create 4 even portions. Put your patties in the heated pan. Cook until each side is browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate and turn the heat down to medium.

Add your white or red wine to the pan, scraping up the brown bits (these give a great depth of flavor, especially when you’re not using beef to make these!). Add onions and mushrooms, cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Pour in 1 3/4 cup of your chicken broth and the Worchestershire sauce or soy sauce. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the chicken broth starts to bubble. Mix together your flour and the remaining stock in a small bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps. Pour into the frying pan with the mushrooms and onions. Stir well. Add your turkey patties and cook through, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large microwave safe bowl, add all of the cauliflower ingredients, except the cheese and salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir and then cook in 2 minute intervals until the cauliflower is pierced with a fork easily (about 9-10 minutes total). Spoon mixture into your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into serving bowl and stir in cheese (if using). Pop back into microwave for another 1.5 minutes.

To serve, place a spoonful of cauliflower puree onto the center of your plate, lay the patty partially on the puree, and spoon over the sauce with mushrooms and onions. Or just serve them side by side!

Commence comfort.


Tagged , , , ,

“Cream” of Broccoli Soup

I use quotation marks for this, because there’s really no cream in this soup. So guess what? It’s actually healthy for you! If you wanna use half and half or cream, by all means go for it.

It seems like with the weather out there, you’re only going to be able to enjoy soup in the cold a little while longer, so give this a try soon! It makes a big batch so you can freeze it if need be. Good luck having leftovers long enough to freeze!

I throw a potato in the soup to give it a fake cream texture. You can also get the same effect by putting white beans in the soup, with some added protein. Also, I use 2% milk cheddar cheese. This is completely optional, but it gives it a nice sharp cheesy flavor. And broccoli soup isn’t as fun without cheese, in my opinion.

I also had some mushrooms lurking in the fridge so I threw them in too. You don’t need them, I just don’t like food going to waste 🙂


“Cream” of Broccoli Cheddar Soup
(Makes 6 big bowls)

32 oz. frozen broccoli
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Handful of cremini mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
2 c. low-sodium, fat-free chicken stock
3 c. skim, 1% or 2% milk
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Put in the onion, mushroom (if using) and potato and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add in the broccoli and garlic. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

When the broccoli looks mostly thawed, add in the stock and milk and bring to a simmer. At this point, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency. I like mine with just a slight amount of chunky veggies, but mostly smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool and use a blender. Don’t put the lid on the blender all the way when still warm or else it will explode!

Put back into the pot and add cheddar and nutmeg or cinnamon. Cook through until cheese is melted. Top with a bit of cheese, sour cream or bacon pieces if you’re feeling indulgent.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Roll It Up!

Yep, roll up your lasagna. You might wonder, what’s the point? I think it’s easier to control the portion sizes, and I tend to like a little more pasta with my filling. It’s also just kind of fun 🙂

This recipe is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. It was a big hit with my guinea pig that I’m living with now. It made a big batch and the leftovers were great for a few days after!


I used store bought pasta sauce *GASP*. Whatever, store bought pasta sauces are getting way better, and it makes dishes easier to make and faster to put together.

This lasagna is a bit lighter than your traditional lasagna. I used part skim ricotta, 2% milk shredded mozzarella, ground turkey and loads of veggies.

Lasagna Roll Ups
(Serves 4-6)

12 sheets of your favorite lasagna sheets
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. frozen spinach, thawed and extra liquid squeezed out
6-8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 8 oz. container of part skim ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1 pinch of dried basil and oregano
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flake

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook lasagna sheets according to package directions. When cooked, strain and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, place onions, ground turkey, sprinkle of red pepper flake, garlic and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until there’s no longer any pink in the turkey, about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup mozzarella, spices, and squeezed out spinach. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Look how cheesy and yummy that looks.


Add in the turkey mixture when cooked. Stir to combine.

In a 9 x 13″ baking dish, pour about 1/2 cup sauce and spread along the bottom of the pan. I used Safeway roasted garlic sauce…I was drawn in by the whole cloves of garlic! I wasn’t disappointed.


On a cutting board or other clean surface, lay out a few lasagna sheets. Place about 1/3 cup of filling on the edge of a lasagna sheet.


Roll up and place in the baking dish. Any leftover filling? Just spread it across the top.


Top with the rest of the jar of sauce. Then the rest of the cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling brown. Let set for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

Tagged , , , , ,

Mom! The Meatloaf!

Meatloaf has a bad rep. I personally can’t get enough of it though!

My mom and I made this recipe when my brother wasn’t around. It’s really delicious and is a comfort classic. It can also be made in a big batch, with the extra loaves frozen for later.

The mushrooms and onion keep the loaf from drying out, while the herbs of your choosing give a nice depth of flavor.

Then of course, meatloaf is not completely without the ketchup sauce! Ours recipe is just brown sugar and ketchup….it tastes incredible when it’s gone through the oven!


Turkey Meatloaf
(Serves 2-4… Depending how hungry you are!)

1 lb lean ground turkey
6 cremini mushroom caps, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tbsp. thyme leaves and/or sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 c. ketchup
1/3-1/2 c. packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil, mushrooms, herbs, onion, garlic and sprinkle of salt and pepper until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are slightly brown. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, place the ground turkey and mushroom mixture. Mix with your hands until just combined.

In a baking dish, place the ground turkey mixture and form into an even loaf with your hands, packed firmly together.

Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the meat reads about 160 on a meat thermometer. Use the temp for ground turkey.

Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and ketchup. The sauce shouldn’t taste too much like ketchup when you’re done. Mostly just kind of sweet. It’ll also turn to more of a maroon color.

When the meatloaf is almost done, pour the sauce over top and cook for about 15 minutes more. The sauce will caramelize. Make sure the meatloaf has reached the proper temperature, about 170 or so.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. There should be no pink left! Serve with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts or whatever vegetable you like!

Check back in a couple days for my brussel sprout recipe with bacon!


Tagged , , , , , ,

The Best Pizza. Ever.

Bold statement? Yes. But if you’re a fan of great ingredients, including goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula, figs and more, you’ll fall head over heels for this pizza!

I’m also taking my first stab at writing this blog post using the app on my iPhone for WordPress. Hopefully it turns out well!

Anyways, I have quite a few friends that love to cook as much as I do. And I love it. Besides the girl friends I get together with about once a month, my neighbor downstairs cooks as well. We decided to make a delicious pizza combining all the elements of a dinner at Tria we had a few weeks before.

The result? Excellence.


We used store bought crust from Whole Foods and their freshest produce. I don’t shop there often, but for something like this, no skimping!

If you have a pizza stone, use it. If not, whatever baking sheet you have lurking in your cabinets will do the trick. We use a square cookie sheet.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂


Pizza with Figs, Proscuitto and Goat Cheese

1 ball of pizza dough, room temperature
6 slices of proscuitto, shredded
5-6 cremini mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
1/2 of a sweet onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3-4 oz. goat cheese
4-5 black mission figs, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 handfuls of baby arugula
Olive oil for drizzling
Some flour and cornmeal for dusting and rolling out dough

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Place your pan of choice in so it heats up.

While the oven is getting hot, prepare your ingredients and your dough. On a clean work surface, sprinkle a small handful of flour. Place your dough down on top and sprinkle with more flour. Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll the dough out into the approximate shape of your pan, until it is about 1/2″ thick.

When the oven is preheated, take out your pan and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal. Carefully place the dough on top.

Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until the dough is moist but not wet. Place mushrooms, onions, goat cheese and figs around the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust sides and bottom and a nice golden brown (or until your desired doneness).

Take out of the oven and sprinkle on baby arugula and proscuitto. Slice into pieces and serve!

Tagged , , , , , ,