cartoon by marc johns.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Italian-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

These are delicious.  Portobello mushrooms are one of my favorite things ever.  I stuffed these with sauteed spinach, garlic, and onions, pesto, marinara sauce, and italian herb goat cheese with olives in it.  They provide a filling, healthy dinner with a wonderful layered taste.  The portobellos are meaty and the spinach and garlic add some heft (and iron) to the meal.  The marinara and pesto sauces go really well together, and they contrast deliciously with the salty olives and melty goat cheese.  These take basically no time to prepare and are so simple - so just try them!


4 large portobello mushroom caps
freshly ground black pepper
1 bag of baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives
2 logs of italian herb goat cheese
1 diced white onion
3 cloves minced garlic
4 tablespoons marinara sauce
4 tablespoons pesto

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and place the portobello caps, gill sides up, on the tray.  Sprinkle the mushrooms with ground pepper.  Roast until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Caps ready to be baked.
2.  Meanwhile, saute the onions over medium heat until soft.

3.  Once the onions are translucent and soft, remove and set aside.  In the same pan, add the minced garlic and the spinach.  Saute until the spinach shrinks.

Ready to saute. 
4.  Meanwhile, chop up the Kalamata olives and put them in a bowl.  Take the two logs of goat cheese and mash them with a fork.  Mix in the olive pieces.

Mashed goat cheese.
Mix in the Olives.
5.  Once the portobello caps are done, drain any liquid in the caps.  Then put the onions on the caps.

6.  Top the onions with about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce for each cap.

7.  Top the marinara sauce with the sauteed spinach and garlic.

Spinach and Garlic.
8.  Top the spinach and garlic with about 1 tablespoon of pesto for each mushroom cap.

9.  Top the pesto with the goat cheese and Kalamata olive mixture.

All ready for the oven.
10.  Put the mushroom cap stacks back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the goat cheese is browned and melty.  Serve hot.  Makes 4 servings.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Asian-Marinated Chicken Tenders

This chicken comes out tender, flavorful, and with a slight kick.  It would be delicious cut up and put on top of salad or in pasta, but we had it whole, with rice and veggies, and that was good too.  This recipe is easy too!  Just make the marinade, put the chicken in it, and then saute the chicken.  The marinade has sriracha in it.  For those of you that have never had sriracha, it is an Asian hot sauce.  It is originally from Thailand, but is now quite commonly used in other Asian cuisines.  It is made of chili paste, vinegar, and some other ingredients.  It is really spicy, so unless you really enjoy the heat, do not add extra sriracha into the marinade (and if you hate spicy, eliminate it).  I am not a big lover of spicy - I would never use sriracha as a condiment - but I liked the amount of heat that comes through in this chicken recipe.


2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
5 cloves of garlic, minced
about 1 pound of chicken breast tenders

1.  Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, sriracha, and minced garlic into a bowl.  Whisk until fully blended.  

2.  Pour marinade into a ziplock baggie with the chicken tenders.  Allow chicken to marinate for at least 2 hours.

Baggie of Chicken & Marinade.
3.  Once the chicken has marinated, pour the chicken and marinade into a pan and heat on medium low until the marinade begins to boil.

Chicken and Marinade.
4.  Once the marinade begins to boil, remove the chicken and set aside.  Boil the marinade for at least two minutes, stirring often.  Set aside in a separate bowl.

Boiling Marinade.
5.  Once the marinade is removed from the pan, spray pan with cooking spray and return the chicken to the pan, over medium heat.  Cook until browned and cooked through, occasionally basting with some of the marinade.

6.  Once chicken is cooked, brush with remainder of the marinade and enjoy.  Serves 2-4.

The Final Product.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, March 2011.