Posts Tagged 'mushrooms'

Kale, Pinto and Mushroom Tacos with Guajillo Salsa


This three day weekend was awesome.  Except for the test I took on Saturday morning, the whole weekend was fun: coffee, walks around town, a great swim, and the ZOO!  We finally took Ellie to the Oakland zoo and she loved it.  Especially the petting area.


The squirrel monkeys were also a big hit.  We liked it so much we became members, and I have a feeling we’ll be spending a LOT of time there over the next year.

Afterwards, since we were in Oakland anyway, we went to Subrosa.  Not quite as good as the coffee in SF, but close!  Ellie and Mike had a heart to heart over lattes (or water, in Ellie’s case) in the parklet.



Going back to work on Tuesday was surprisingly not painful. I’ve gotten way better about leaving work at work, and planning farther in advance (three years of teaching and I think I might FINALLY be starting to figure some of this stuff out) so after not thinking about school for three days it was fun to get back to the kids.

Not sure how to segue from that to tacos, so here we go: These are sort of similar to some other kale and guajillo tacos I made, but I think these are a lot better.   They’re more filling, and they’re really cheap to make, especially if you have dried beans lying around.  I used collards instead of tortillas just because they needed to be used up, and NO I will never go paleo or low carb or any of that, swearsies.  I ate PLENTY of carbs for dessert right afterwards anyway.

I think the best thing about these is the beans.  They’re braised in broth with sauteed onions, so they’re full of flavor. Canned beans just wouldn’t be the same.  It takes some planning ahead, but it’s definitely worth it.


(salsa adapted from Hungry Cravings)


I try to eat at least a couple servings of vegetables every day, and usually I have no problem doing that.  Saturday, however, I realized as I got into bed that the mushrooms in this soup were the only vegetable I had all day.  Oops.

I guess that’s what happens when your first meal of the day is French toast at 11 am, after a leisurely run.

…and then you decide to make chocolate chip cookies with toasted coconut in the middle of the afternoon.

We had laksa for dinner, which I hadn’t had in years.  It’s a delicious Malaysian curry and coconut milk soup that’s incredibly flavorful (and rich! If you use full-fat coconut milk, which you really should).  I adapted three different recipes and made the curry paste from scratch (not as time-consuming as it sounds).  It may not be vegetable-packed, but it is pretty tasty.

I kicked off Sunday with a 10 mile run and came home to find Mike and Ellie watching the England-Italy match.  Technically Ellie wasn’t really watching…

We were both really disappointed England lost.

I wrapped up the week with 46 miles of running (the streak lives on!) and we had a LOT of  vegetables for dinner (quinoa bowls with dragon sauce!).

Another great weekend in the books.


Olive Lentil Burgers

I hate the day after a 3-day weekend. It’s almost harder than coming back after a longer vacation because I just start getting into full-on lazy mode and then I have to snap back to reality faster than I want to. Maybe it’s because it’s still my first year teaching, but the night before my first day back after anything longer than a regular weekend I have all kinds of crazy anxiety dreams about my kids going crazy and refusing to do anything.

It kind of worked out well today, because I was bracing for the worst and they were actually really good. I’m still getting over a bad cold and they all seemed really concerned that I was sick, so they didn’t push me the way they usually do. Anytime anyone tells me teaching middle school must be really tough I kind of have to disagree. I think kindergarten would be way worse.

I didn’t plan on taking any pictures of this dinner because I wasn’t sure it would turn out. I’ve had really bad luck with veggie burgers lately – they have ALL just fallen apart, had really weird texture, or been off in the flavor department. Not these. Like my students today, they were pretty much perfect. (I realize I’m now setting myself up for them to be complete terrors tomorrow. I’ll be ready.)

There’s a lot of stuff going on here with the mushrooms, lentils, and olives, but the primary flavor is olive, although it’s not at all overpowering. I pan-fried them for a few minutes on each side to get the outsides crisp, then put them in the oven, and instead of using bread crumbs like the recipe called for, I used oat bran. Sometimes that completely backfires, but today it worked out really well. They are still a little fragile when they go into the pan – you definitely need to make sure there’s enough oil and it’s hot – but they end up taking on a great, firm texture after spending a little time in the oven.

(adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)

makes 6 burgers

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 1/4 cups cooked (or canned) lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup oat bran, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, and when it’s hot, saute onion for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add mushroom, garlic, black pepper, and thyme and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushroom is brown and soft

While that mixture is cooking, roughly chop the olives olives.

When mushrooms mixture is cooked, transfer it to the food processor. Add all other ingredients except for 1/2 a cup of oat bran. Pulse until well-mixed and almost smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup oat bran. Let stand about 10 minutes

Line a baking sheet with parchment and have it ready. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a wide skillet. When the oil is hot, divide half the burger mixture into 3 patties and set into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer the cooked patties to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the burger mixture.

Fideus with Mushrooms and Peas

I realize that what I did to this recipe is pretty sacrelig, and if Judy Rogers ever stumbles upon this blog, I know she’ll be highly disappointed. I used regular old button mushrooms and frozen peas when the recipe called for wild mushrooms and freshly shelled peas. And although I’m sure using what she suggests would have made this even better, it was still HIGHLY delicious with the lowly, ordinary mushrooms and peas from the freezer.

Fideus is basically risotto made with pasta instead of rice. I found thin, 1 inch long noodles in the Mexican food section, but if you can’t find them, just take the thinnest pasta you can find, and break it up into short pieces. You may want to spread the preparation of this dish out over several days. The onion base is time consuming (but SO worth it), and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Once that’s ready, the actual cooking of this dish is pretty quick.

(adapted from Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers)

onion base
3 cups finely diced yellow onion
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 diced roma tomato
2 small dried chilis, broken in half

10 ounces fideo pasta (or cappellini broken into short pieces)
2 tsp olive oil

6 ounces assorted mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/4″ thick
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup fresh peas (or frozen, rinsed with warm water and drained)
chopped parsley for garnish

To make the onion jam:
Put the onions and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir well. Heat until the onions begin to brown on the bottom, then turn down the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are all golden and very soft. Add a few pinches of salt, then stir in the tomato, garlic, and chilis. Continue cooking over low for about an hour until it has the consistency of jam, adding a little water if it gets too dry. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and keep in the fridge until ready to use (it will keep for about a week).

To toast the noodles:
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Toss the noodles with the oil in a large bowl, and spread onto two baking sheets so the noodles are in a single layer. Heat in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven, let cool, and turn the oven up to 475 to finish the dish.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook until they’re soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, onion base, noodles, and about 1 1/2 cups of broth. Simmer and stir until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1 1/2 cups broth, and cook until absorbed. Add the peas and remaining broth, and turn the heat up to high, cooking until the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove and garnish with fresh parsley to serve.

Spaghetti with Wheatballs

I never really thought meatballs were anything special. It might be because my mom used to serve spaghetti with Italian sausages, so meatballs seemed bland in comparison. Obviously, when I gave up meat, I didn’t really think about a future without meatballs. That is, until I saw a post about a vegetarian version on No Meat Athlete. For some reason, those seemed far more appealing to me than the original variety ever did.

There isn’t too much prep work involved in these – chop up a few things and measure a few others, then process them all together in the food processor and fry in a skillet. They don’t have exactly the same texture as meatballs would, but the flavor is great, and they’re definitely healthier than ground beef! I tossed mine with some marinara and served them over whole wheat spaghetti, and with a green salad it was a perfect, satisfying Sunday night dinner.

(adapted from Vegan on the Cheap via No Meat Athlete)

makes about 20

1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped white button mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

whole wheat spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
marinara sauce

To make the wheat balls:
Combine the chickpeas, mushrooms, garlic, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Transfer everything to a large bowl and mix with your hands for a minute or two.
Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Roll about 2 tbsp of the chickpea-mushroom mixture between your hands to make a ball and place in the skillet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned all over (5-7 minutes).

Toss with a little marinara and serve over cooked pasta.

Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Risotto

Although a reader recently pointed out that pearl barley is not a whole grain (I’m glad I know that now, but it was definitely a disappointment), it’s still healthier than Arborio rice, and is now my go-to for risottos.

We’re well into Brussels sprout season here, which might be a bummer for some people, but it’s my favorite time of the year! We bought a big basket at the farmers market and ate them simply roasted and sprinkled with salt for about four nights in a row, until I realized that there were other great things to do with Brussels sprouts. Like make this risotto!

If you’re a purist, you can obviously use Arborio rice instead of barley. If you do, you can probably skip the sour cream at the end, but I like adding it for the little extra creaminess that barley doesn’t provide. The combination of brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and parmesan cheese perfectly satisfies my cold-weather craving for comfort food with the bright green promise of spring coming soon (but who am I kidding…there were a lot of days in January and February that felt like spring). If there’s anything that would serve perfectly as a signature dish for the month of March, it would be this.

(adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking )

2 tbsp olive oil, divided
about 20 medium brussels srpouts, halved
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp sour cream (reduced fat is fine)

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet with a big pinch of salt and stir a few times. Cook the brussels sprouts until nicely browned, about 15 minutes, flipping them about every 5 minutes (turn the heat down if they start to get too dark).
Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium low heat .
Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another two minutes, then add the barley and cook for about 3 minutes.
Stir in the white wine and bring to a simmer. Once most of the wine has evaporated, add the broth, one cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more. The risotto is finished once the barley is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cheese and sour cream.

Pasilla Black Beans with Spinach and Mushrooms


If you’re thinking that those don’t really look like black beans, you’re right. I actually have no idea what kind of beans they are, but Mike buys them by the kilo from an adorable old lady who speaks no English and always gives him a few extra scoops for free. They look black when they’re dry, but turn deep red when I soak and cook them. I would prefer black beans for sure, so if you’re lucky enough to have some around, please use them! I’ll live vicariously through you.

Periodically the other foreign teachers at work get care packages from home. They usually include cookies, Chee-tos, and other treats that are hard to find in Korea. When my first care package came, fun snacks were nowhere to be found. No, I got a bag of pasilla-ancho chiles (which is confusing, because they’re different), some yeast, old fashioned oats, garam masala, and a whole bunch of other ingredients I couldn’t wait to use.

Over the past couple months, I’ve worked my way through most of them, but never got around to using the pasillas (or anchos, or whatever they are). Yesterday, when I was reorganizing my cupboard, I spotted them and realized I needed to use them immediately if not sooner, and as luck would have it, I had a freshly cooked pot of beans at my disposal. I added some spinach and mushrooms, and served it over millet, but I think any grain would work (or you could just eat the beans plain, but why not go for the complete protein?)


3 pasilla or ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, torn into pieces
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
about 20 button mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained
3 cups roughly chopped spinach
1/2 cup water
2 cups cooked millet (or other grain)

Put the chiles in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand, covered, at least 30 minutes so they get nice and soft. I like to put a small plate on top of the bowl to keep the steam in. Plastic wrap or foil would be fine too.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook until translucent, then add the garlic and mushrooms, and cumin seeds. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes (so the mushrooms get nice and flavorful).

Remove the chiles from their soaking liquid, chop them finely, and add them to the vegetables. Add the beans and cook, stirring, for a few minutes (until heated through). Season with salt, then add the spinach and water and simmer for a minute or two. Either mix in the millet, or put some on a plate and spoon the bean mixture over it.

Tofu, Broccoli, and Mushrooms with Noodles


For some, the foods that bring up memories of childhood include boxes of Hamburger Helper and frozen Costco lasagnes, but not for me. I consider myself incredibly lucky that my mom made all our dinners from scratch. She made an enthusastic foray into the world of Chinese cooking, so a lot of our grocery shopping trips included a detour to the Asian market. I always felt so exotic perusing the aisles of seaweed snacks and tanks full of live fish, even though I was just in the dreary Portland suburbs.

This is by far the most-used recipe out of my mom’s Sunset Chinese Cook Book. The page it’s on is now so covered with oil splatters and scribbled notes that it’s a bit challenging to read. When I was feeling particularly nostalgic, I had her e-mail me the recipe (which she had heavily modified over the years), but I couldn’t find it last night when I really wanted this for dinner. So I winged it with what was in the fridge, and it turned pretty close to the dish we always just called “tofu-broccoli-mushroom-noodles.”


The mirin (the original recipe called for Chinese rice wine, which I can’t find) and oyster sauce really bring out the flavor of the mushrooms and give the whole dish an earthy sweetness. I used some basic Korean wheat noodles, but I seem to remember my mom using somen noodles (and I think chow mein noodles would work well too). Make sure you press all the liquid out of the tofu, because it gives it a much more appealing texture and helps it absorb more of the flavor from the sauce.


(adapted from Sunset Chinese Cook Book)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into thin, bite-sized rectangles
16 white button mushrooms, quartered
2 tbsp mirin
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce (available at Asian markets0
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
8 ounces somen noodles

Steam the broccoli over simmering water until crisp-tender. It will soften up a little when it cooks later, so you don’t want it to end up mushy. Set aside.

Stir together the broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and corn starch and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high, and add the tofu, stirring occasionally for a few minutes or until golden. Add the mushrooms and mirin, and stir fry for about 3 minutes. Add the sacue and cook for about 1 minute, then add the broccoli and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, then arrange on a platter and top with the tofu mixture (or just toss everything together in a bowl).

Soba with Spinach and Tofu

While I love pretty much ALL noodles, I think these buckwheat soba noodles are my favorite. I made a simple stir fry flavored with oyster sauce, and tossed it with soba for a quick and healthy dinner.

Shopping here has definitely been a big adjustment; I’ll have an idea of what I want to make, then get to the store and find that a few key ingredients just aren’t available. It makes meal planning a challenge, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon.

I couldn’t decide how to categorize this recipe, so I put it under both Chinese and Japanese, because it has elements of each.

8 ounces soba noodles
a few tsp oil (such as canola or peanut)
12 ounces firm tofu, drained and cut into thin 1″ by 1/2″ rectangles
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
about 20 white button mushrooms, sliced
1 large bunch spinach, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
pinch white pepper

Cook the soba for about 6 minutes in a large pot of rapidly boiling water.
Drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Heat about a tsp of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides. (You may need to cook the tofu in two batches, depending on the size of your pan.)
Set cooked tofu aside.
Stir together the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, broth, and white pepper
Heat another teaspoon of oil in the pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent.
Add the mushrooms and oyster sauce mixture and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the spinach (waiting until some cooks down before adding more, if necessary), and then the tofu and stir well.
Add the noodles to heat through, then transfer to a serving bowl.

Amazing Stuffed Mushrooms

The minute I saw these on Annie’s blog, I knew I had to make them.  I added some toasted bread crumbs to the top and I think they added a nice crunchy contrast to the cream cheese.  They were a huge hit at the holiday party, and I definitely recommend them!

(adapted from AllRecipes)

24 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp butter
1/3 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Spray a baking sheet or glass casserole dish with cooking spray.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel.
Carefully break off stems.
Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet.
Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.
Set aside to cool.
While cooling, melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper.
Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing.
Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet, and sprinkle with bread crumbs
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.


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