Mushroom Kale Rice Bowl

I have been on a vegetarian kick this week if you haven’t noticed. It is just too hot here in South Carolina to sit down to a meal of meat and mashed potatoes. And honestly, I’m not feeling meat lately (sorry to my meat lover followers). The vegetarian dishes I’ve been making this week have been SO good and it doesn’t have anything weird in it like tofu (sorry to my tofu lovers but it is a little too bouncy for me). Anyways what I am trying to say is that I think many people would love this if they would venture out a little and try some awesome veggie dishes!

Also, as you may have noticed, I plated my dish without rice. I was really hungry, ok? It was good with out, but if you need some extra carbs to fill you up, go ahead and eat the rice with it!

Mushroom Kale Rice Bowl
Adapted from: Blog Babble

Serves 4
4 cups cooked white rice
2 bunches of kale, chopped
2 portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper for mushrooms
2 tbsp peanuts

Prepare rice in rice cooker and cook according to directions. Slice portabella mushrooms and chop up kale. In a large soup pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add kale over medium high until done (not too soggy, not too crunchy) Prepare Spicy Peanut Sauce (below). In a skillet, saute onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until tender. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender. Add salt and pepper and toss in pan.

Spicy Peanut Sauce
2 Tbsp creamy salted peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (yuzu flavored or add 1 tsp lemon juice)
5 dashes cayenne
fine black pepper to taste

Place a small pot over med-high heat on your stove top. Add all the sauce ingredients and stir briskly until they melt and blend together. Reduce heat to medium and simmer/stir for about two minutes. Turn heat to low.

Final Directions:
Add sauteed mushrooms, onions, 1 tsp soy sauce and spicy peanut sauce to the large pot with the kale. Toss until well mixed and garnish with peanuts.

Thanks for visiting!


Squash and Barley Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is going to be an interesting blog, so don’t skip it. It’s WORTH reading. Like how it is worth reading the ingredients in a recipe for a squash and barley salad. I can’t seem to follow directions well which is very important in baking. Cooking, not so much. I think I may have slight ADD or maybe I am just a little air headed. I don’t know. Anyways, hopefully I will get that straightened out before I go off to culinary school so I don’t add 4 sticks of butter when I am only supposed to add 2. I’ll save that story for another time.

So back to the story for today. I did not see all the ingredients for the recipe and I ASSUMED I only needed broccoli, squash, barley, and balsamic vinaigrette which was exciting for my mom. She doesn’t like spending a whole bunch of money on ingredients for one dish. So my mom went to the store and came home with the broccoli I needed. As she walked in the door, I saw the rest of the ingredients I needed for this dish. Major fail. So I made some adjustments. Then I realized the recipe was in grams and celsius which totally excited me even more because I hate math. When I say hate, I mean HATE. I have struggled with it for as long as I can remember. Google saved my life with a converter, thank God for Google or I would have died and you would have missed a great dish!

Squash and Barley Salad
Edited Recipe: BBC Good Food
Serves 8

1 cup barley
1 squash, cut into long pieces
2 zucchini, cut into long pieces
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp small capers, rinsed
1/3 cup basil, chopped

For the Dressing:
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced

Heat oven to 395F or 200C. Place the squash and zucchini on a baking tray and toss with olive oil. Roast for 20 mins. Meanwhile, boil the barley for about 25 mins in salted water until tender, but al dente. While this is happening, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Saute onions until tender and add roasted tomatoes, cover and turn heat to low. Drain the barley, then tip it into a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well and let it cool.

Boil the broccoli in salted water until just tender, then drain and rinse in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Add the broccoli and remaining ingredients to the barley and mix well. This will keep for 3 days in the fridge and is delicious warm or cold.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kung Pao Chicken with Fried Rice

One of my best friends absolutely loves chinese food. Unfortunately, she was also recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes. So being the foodie that I am, I immediately offered to help her find healthy recipes that she could make and eat. Of course I had to find recipes she would actually want to make. She is not much of a cook herself, so I needed to find recipes that were both healthy and delicious. I first went to her favorite; chinese food, and found plenty of healthy recipes that cut out many calories and other things that take-out chinese could not do. Although cooking is not her favorite, she has improved her diet and enjoys coming over to my house to enjoy the food I make. Some of her favorites that I make are chinese food, chicken parmesan, and salads. Apparently my salads are better than what she makes at home.

Mushrooms Done Two Ways

Tonight, I made mushrooms two ways. My family wanted both to be moderately healthy and vegetarian, but my mom and sister did not want stuffed mushrooms. They decided they wanted to try something different, so I made them basalmic glazed mushrooms. For my mom’s boyfriend, Curt and I, I made the stuffed mushrooms I usually make which are so delicious! Below are the recipes for each, hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Stuffed Mushrooms

2 portabellas
4 cloves garlic, coarsley chopped
2 tsp. vegetable oil
10 ounces ricotta or cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Bread crumbs and fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 2. Light coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 3. Clean mushrooms with a damp towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting aside for later. 4. Add stems to the bowl of a food processor, add garlic as well. Pulse in brief bursts until finely chopped. 5. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until moisture has disappeared, 5-7 minutes. 6. Lower heat to medium-low, stirring in both cheeses and spices. Stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat. 7. Using a spoon fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling. Top with bread crumbs if desired. 8. Bake twenty minutes or until mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under mushroom caps. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.

Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms

2 portabellas
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
olive oil

1. Carefully clean mushroom caps with a damp towel. 2.Place in a baking dish and cover mushrooms with balsamic vinegar. Put in fridge and marinate 30 minutes. 3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. 4. Carefully place mushrooms in the skillet, flipping 1-2 times until soft. (approx 2 minutes) 5. Sere sliced or as is.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Focaccia Bread

My culinary arts class has just begun our baking and pastry section of the year which is truly not my strong suit. Yesterday we were told to make two loaves of focaccia bread and thankfully with my group’s help it turned out wonderfully. Otherwise, if I was on my own it would probably end up like my pumpkin bread disaster; too much flour! I have had some other baking disasters which is why I like the culinary side of the restaurant industry and not baking and pastry. Although I can make some pretty cute cupcakes, if I do say so myself.

Anyways, we got to eat some in class and take some home! So I decided to have it with dinner when it’s nice and fresh. Let me tell you the wonderful smell of homemade baked bread makes your mouth water! The grilled chicken salad was made because my mom is starting her new year’s resolution a little late; eating healthy. Eating healthy may seem like it’s boring and tasteless, but you are completely wrong! Nowadays, we have some many options to choose from; like my personal favorite, quinoa! Portobellos can be sauteed and they taste like steak! Even if it’s as small as changing the normal bag of chips in your lunch to a small container of nuts, you are improving your diet! So don’t give up on the diet just yet, I have more healthy, delicious recipes headed your way!

Tonight’s dinner consisted of: romaine lettuce, spinach, grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, craisins, apples, almonds, and a raspberry walnut vinagrette, YUM!

Southwestern Style Quinoa

Quinoa is a traditional whole grain that is grown 12,000 feet above sea level. It has been classified by the National Academy as one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. quinoa, like rice is very versatile. *Quinoa can be made in the rice cooker

The receipe I made tonight was “Southwestern Style Quinoa”. The original receipe I derived mine from was bland, so I had to add my twist to it. I incorporate black beans (mostly drained), hominy (drained), salsa (to taste), a pinch of cheese, cilantro, 1/4 tsp of cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. This dish is so much better and can even be made into a vegetarian soup if you decided to take out the quinoa. If you wanted to make a soup, add some vegetable broth to make it more soup-like.

Six Italian Cheese Blend Pita Pizza

This olive oil based pizza is easy for lunches and tastes like the pizza you buy from your favorite hand tossed pizza restauraunt. I started out with the pita bread you can buy at a local grocery store and put a thick coating of olive oil (or as much as you like). Next I added my Italian Cheese blend and some herbs; parsley and basil. I finished it off with some minced onion and red pepper flakes. (Just a sprinkle of the red pepper flakes to give it a boost in flavor, you don’t want the spicyness to overpower.) I love these little pizzas for lunch at school, especially if your lunch is the same every day. You can change the pizzas by creating different sauces or toppings. Especially as a vegetarian now, I am experimenting more with foods so I don’t get bored. Feel free to leave comments or ideas for my blog! 🙂