Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

Tuesday night I made Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms for dinner.  I thought they were a lot of fun to make, and even more delicious to eat!!  I got this recipe from: this is now the second recipe I've tried from this blog, and they were both amazing!! 

Cook all the veggies.  Once the spinach is wilted they are done and the mushrooms are ready to be stuffed!

Top the mushrooms with bread crumbs and cheese (I used a mixture of gruyere, mild cheddar and extra sharp cheddar)!  Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted

Delicious and healthy meal!  Enjoy!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
recipe from twopeasandtheirpod

2 Portobello mushrooms
Balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, roasted and chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Italian seasoning
Mozzerella cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the stem and gills from the mushroom. I use a spoon to scoop them out.

2. Brush the mushrooms with balsamic vinegar.

3. Heat olive oil in a small saute pan. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Add in peppers. Cook until tender.

4. Add in tomatoes and spinach. Cook until spinach wilted and “cooked.”

5. Divide the filling and stuff the mushrooms.

6. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top and add Italian seasoning. Top with cheese.

7. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about ten minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Roasting a Pepper

Tuesday nights meal, stuffed mushrooms, called for a roasted bell pepper.  I have never tried roasting a pepper before.  After doing much needed research on the internet I decided it didn't look very hard and I wanted to give it a shot!  The two options of roasting a pepper that I read about was in the oven broiler and over a gas stove.  Our broiler is this tiny little drawer at the botton of the oven which I hate using.  So I decided option 2 (gas stove) was a better option for me.  It was kind of fun to do and really easy! 

Turn the heat on medium (I stacked the pepper up a little higher so I had mine at medium-high) and rotate the pepper until it is black on all sides.

Your pepper should look somethink like this!!

Put the pepper in a zip lock bag and seal.  Leave the pepper in the bag for 20 minutes.

Take the pepper out of the zip lock bag.  Remove the stem and peel off the black layer of skin.

Chop the pepper!  That's it!  It's ready to be used!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buffalo Shrimp

Last week I had a really bad craving to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and get some boneless buffalo wings!  The problem:  I gave up red meat/ poultry for lent.  So I decided this week I would try to satisfy my craving with Buffalo Shrimp! 

Add olive oil a pan and turn heat to high.  Once olive oil is heated add the raw shrimp (already peeled and de-veined) and cook for 30-60 seconds.  Flip the shrimp and cook for another 30-60 second.  Remove from heat.  Add about 2 tablespoons of buffalo sauce (we use Frank's hot sauce!), mix and serve immediatly.

Delicious and easy meal!  Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing

This is my favorite salad!  Don't be affraid by the name, it does sound odd but it's SO good!  The picture doesn't do it justice, it tastes way better than it looks!  Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing
3 tablespoons mild pepper jelly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cups baby spinach leaves
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Salted almonds, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the pepper jelly, olive oil, salt and mustard to make the dressing. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let cool.

Place the spinach in a large bowl, and toss with the dressing. Divide between two serving bowls. Top each one with crumbled feta and sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Fruit Smoothie

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!  I get early every morning so I have time to make a good breakfast and actually enjoy eating it!  There is usually 1 day a week when I know I won't have time for breakfast, those are the mornings I make a delicious fruit smoothie and drink it in the car on my way to work! 

Last week I was watching the show "Good Eats" and he made a fruit smoothie that I thought looked awesome!  He suggested using all frozen fruit (which I always do anyways) but his recipe calls to throw all the smothie ingredients into the blender the night before.  I loved this idea, it made my quick breakfast even quicker (if quicker is a word!!). 

Put in around 1/2 cup of acai juice, 1/2 cup milk, any frozen fruit you want in your smoothie (I put it a handful of strawberries, mango, pineapple, banana and blueberries.  Play around with the fruit to find your favorite!).  Stick the mixture in the fridge overnight.

The next morning put it on the blender and mix!  So Easy!

Note:  Before I put all the ingredients in the blender, I took 2 handfuls of dry oatmeal and a handful of flaxseed and blended till it became a powder.  I then put the powder into a small glass dish, covered and put in the fridge.  Before blending the smoothie I added about 2 tablespoons of the powder for extra nutrients!!  Another great idea is to add 1 cup of spinach leaves to the smoothie before blending.  The color might look weird, but you will get all the nutrients of the spinach and won't taste it at all!!! 

Fruit Smoothie Dessert

I did not eat all of my smoothie for breakfast, I put the leftovers back in the frigde.  That night for an after dinner snack I added a little bit of vanilla ice cream to the fruit mixture, blended till smooth.  It was delicious!  My husband drank most of it! 


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean Soup

Sunday night I made another delicious vegetarian soup for dinner, and to have for my lunches this week!  I found this recipe on one of my new favorite blogs:

They have so many wonderful ideas, I can't wait to try  more recipes of theirs!! 

This soup was amazing, it had so many wonderful flavors!!!  Cheers!!

Maria's Black Bean Soup

Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
Crushed red pepper-to taste
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cob (can use frozen or canned)
3 cans diced tomatoes (I use reduced sodium) - Carrie: I used one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes! 
2 cans of black beans (I use reduced sodium)
2 cans of chicken or vegetable broth (fat free, low sodium)
2 cups of water
Chili Powder-to taste
Cumin-to taste
Salt-to taste
Pepper-to taste
Chopped cilantro (about a half of a bunch)
Juice of 1-2 limes

Heat oil in a big soup pot. Cook onion until tender. Add in garlic, crushed red pepper, and jalapeno. Cook for about a minute. Add in peppers and corn. Saute until tender. Add in tomatoes, black beans, broth, and water. Stir. Add in your spices. I never measure these. Sorry! So just add in according to taste! Stir and throw in chopped cilantro. Squirt in lime juice and stir. Let simmer to enhance flavors.

Note:  Next time I might add a can of tomato paste to thicken it up a little!  But honestly it's amazing as is!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Saturday night dinner - Mac and Cheese!

Happy Monday to all!  I was SO happy to log into my blog this morning and find I had my first follower!!  Woohoo!  What a way to start the week! 

Saturday night I was craving Mac and Cheese!  I have tried a couple good recipes, my two favorite being the Martha Stewart recipe and the Pioneer Womans recipe.  I basically followed PWs recipe, but added a couple things from the Martha Stewart recipe that I like (bread crumb topping and more milk to the cheese mixture)! - If you've never been to the Pioneer Womans website, go!  You will not be disappointed!!!


Note:  Our main complaint is the top wasn't crispy enough.  The heat from our oven is on the bottom, not the top.  I think the only way to fix this is to get a new oven (which we are in the process of saving for, so hopefully soon!!)

Yum - I wish I had brought leftovers for lunch today!!!

Mac and Cheese (adapted from PW and Martha Stewart)

4 cups Dried Macaroni
2 Slices white bread
Italian seasoned dried bread crumbs
1 stick of Butter
6 tablespoons All-purpose Flour
4 cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 Bay Leaf
1 whole Egg Beaten
1 pound Cheese, Grated (I used sharp cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, Monterey jack and Pepperjack)
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teamspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayaenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place the bread in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.

In a small bowl, beat egg.

Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When the butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Add ground mustard and bay leaf.  Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8 to 12 minutes.

Remove Bay Leaf.  Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt (note - save about 1 cup or so of cheese for top)

Add rest of seasonings.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with italian dried bread crumbs, extra cheese and homemade bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

NOTE:  Next time I make this I am going to add 6 cups of milk instead of 4.  We like our mac and cheese really creamy!!!