Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Burger topped with sauteed onion and Swiss cheese

I find myself eating less meat these days.  It is cheaper, for one, and I just feel better incorporating a lot of vegetables into a normal day.  One thing I can't do without is a good cheese burger.  It is something I crave often so I wanted to try a burger with a Portabella mushroom.  It did not disappoint; it does not replace a juicy cheeseburger in my life but it's a great alternative.

Ingredients: (for one burger)
  • 1 Portabella Mushroom, wiped with a damp cloth and stem removed
  • A quarter of red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 thick slice of tomato (I used heirloom)
  • a handful of arugala
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • 1 hamburger roll
  • olive oil to drizzle
For Honey Mustard:
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 tsp honey or agave 
  • 1 tsp of mayonnaise 
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the mushroom on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes then flip and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the  mushroom is tender.  Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium heat and lightly drizzle with olive oil.  Add the onion slices and cook while stirring often for about 10 minutes.  They should have some color, reduce in size and be translucent.  Take the onions out and put aside, in the same skillet pour the soy sauce and stock and heat on medium heat.  Place the mushroom in the liquid as it reduces.  Keep heating until the liquid has evaporated and the mushroom is coated in what has reduced.  Place the onions and cheese on top of the mushroom and cover to allow the cheese to melt.  

To assemble the burger, mix the components of the honey mustard and spread on the bun.  Place all other components on and serve.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Greek Pizza

We are obsessed with pizza and cheese so we incorporate this sort of dinner frequently.  If you like feta and greek ingredients, this is for you!  Also, this is mostly prep and not so much cooking which makes it quick and easy.


  • 1/2 pound pizza dough
  • 12-ish cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • some thin slices of red onion
  • roasted garlic cloves (I found some in the antipasta bar at the food store, but to make it you just heat an oven to 400 and roast garlic cloves in the covering for about 20 mins) (I used about 15)
  • 1 package of hummus
To start, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  On a baking sheet or pizza stone stretch the pizza dough to the desired size.  Depending on the size of your pizza, the amount of hummus to use will vary.  Spread  the hummus to cover the dough.  Then top with onion slices, roasted garlic cloves, chopped olives, feta cheese and halved tomatoes cut side up.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes, and serve.

Slow cooker Thai

Since I go to school in NYC, it was easy to find a Thai market with every type of curry paste you could want.  I wanted to make red curry so I stuck with that, but hope to branch out.  You can find red curry paste in specialty markets, and if you're lucky the normal super market.  I am posting this recipe even though it is not perfected.  I loved the flavor but the sauce wasn't a thick smooth consistancy I find from Thai restaurants.  Maybe there's a secret only Thai cooks know, but I think the problem was me trying to cut fat and using reduced fat coconut milk.  If you end up making this, go for the full fat or better yet, try coconut cream.

This recipe also makes a lot because it takes a while to make and I wanted leftovers for the freezer so I could have it again after reheating it.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans of coconut milk/cream
  • 1/3 cup red curry paste (taste as you go, you may want to use more or less)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 package of frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
In a bowl, mix the coconut milk with the curry paste.  At this point taste for how much paste you want to add.  Pour it into the crock pot and place the chicken breasts in also.  Set the crock pot for how ever long you need it to run, I set it for a 6 hours, since I was home all day.     Once there is about 45 minutes left of cooking add the sliced vegetables.  I add them at the end so they still have some texture.  If you don't have time to do this either add them at the the beginning or saute them separately and mix in with chicken.  I served this over rice!

Roasted Eggplant Dip

This dip is inspired by the Melitzanosalata we order every time we eat at our favorite greek restaurant, Greek Taverna in Montclair.  The amounts of each vegetable are not exact, you just want there to be more eggplant that the other vegetables.

  • 1 large eggplant, chopped with skin left on
  • 1/2 of a large, or 1 whole small red bell pepper
  • A quarter of a large red onion or half of small one, cut in chunks
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic, left in the covering
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of non fat greek yogurt
Heat the over to 400 degrees F.  On a baking sheet, add the vegetables and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Place the garlic on the side of baking sheet so you don't lose them in the other vegetables.  Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes so each piece cooks evenly.  They are done when they look wilted, browned and are tender.  Add the vegetables to a blender or food processor.  Squeeze the garlic out of the covering into the vegetables.  Add the greek yogurt and blend until smooth.  If it is too thick, add some water, a little at a time.  I served this with whole wheat pita chips.

Creamy Spinach Pizza

After an intense summer semester I again have time to update with the recipes I have made and also develop new ones!  Yes, very exciting because my focus can now shift back to food.  My approach is still to fill recipes with a lot of vegetables (or fruits), use little oil (especially butter) and still get great tasting and satisfying meals.   

So I wanted to make pizza one night but not the typical red sauce/cheese combo that I frequently make. 

  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part skim Mozzarella
  • 1/2 pound of pizza dough (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 tomato, chopped (Yellow tomato in the photo)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion (if you don't have either garlic or onion just sprinkle some powdered of each over the spinach) 
  • 1 1/2 cup of frozen spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
To start, heat a skillet to medium low and cook the garlic and onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium and add the frozen spinach.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until the spinach is thawed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the ricotta cheese and stir into the spinach.  Now heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Flatten the pizza dough to whatever size and thickness you desire and place on a pizza stone or a greased baking sheet.  Spread the spinach mixture on the dough, then top with mozzarella cheese and the chopped tomatoes.  Bake in the over until the dough is crispy and the cheese is bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.