Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creamy Soup of Field Mushrooms

I love me some Curtis Stone. He has been showing up on Biggest Loser now and again so I decided to pick up one of his cookbooks at the library. This recipe isn't healthy (hey there butter and cream) but it.is.so.good. The serving is a hearty bowl and served with a salad makes a perfect dinner. I made a few changes to the recipe because we like chunky soup. But, if prefer it to be smooth, blend the entire pot.

Side Note: Remember when we talked about this recipe? Don't be a dumb dumb when you blend HOT soup. Be careful, go slow, do it in batches if you need to and put a dishcloth on the top so you don't burn your hand. That was my PSA for the day.

Creamy Soup of Field Mushrooms
Serves 4

2 shallots, finely sliced
1 leek, white portion only, finely sliced
3 tbsp butter
1 2/3 lb portobello mushrooms
4 cups chicken stock
3 1/2 oz potato
2 cups heavy cream
1 3/4 cup milk


Melt the butter in a large soup pot, add the shallots and leek and let sweat for 2 minutes. Add the portobello mushrooms and cook for a further 10 minutes until most of the moisture has evaporated.

Place the chicken stock and potato slices in a separate saucepan and leave to simmer until the potato is soft. Pour the stock and potato into the mushrooms and bring to a rapid boil. Add the cream and milk and bring the soup to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Don't allow it to boil.

Transfer half the mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Return to soup pot and reheat gently, if needed. ENJOY!

Black Bean Burgers w/Mango Coleslaw

I normally don't cook vegetarian meals just because I enjoy my meats but this looked WAY too good to pass up! I made a few changes...mainly because I thought the salsa was a little boring and I wanted to add some cabbage. The original recipe also called for some avocado to be added but since I make meals a couple of days in advance, I didn't add that in. I'm thinking a small dollop of sour cream on top of this would be killer!

Side Note: These have a bit of a kick to them but not too much. If you like it SPICY, I would add the entire jalapeno

Site Note Part Deux: I didn't include a picture because honestly, it looks like mashed beans in a patty form. Not that appetizing.

Black Bean Burgers w/Mango Coleslaw
Serves 6


2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup panko
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2 large egg whites
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups chopped peeled mango (about 2 medium)
3 tbsp chopped shallots
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 bag of cabbage coleslaw
1 garlic clove, minced
6 whole-wheat hamburger buns or sandwich thins


Preheat oven to 350°

Place black beans in a medium bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and the next 6 ingredients (through egg whites). Shape bean mixture into 6 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Arrange patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, carefully turning once. And seriously, be careful! They fall apart pretty easily!

Combine remaining mango, and the next 4 ingredients (through minced garlic) in a medium bowl. Place a patty on bottom half of each hamburger bun; top each with 1/3 cup salsa, and top half of bun.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chicken and Two Pepper Calzones

These are insanely good, insanely easy and totally good for you! What's not to like?

Chicken and Two Pepper Calzones

Serves 4


1 tube pizza dough (or 1lb if you are using the non-tube kind)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 cup coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken (I de-skinned mine)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Cut dough into 4 rectangles. In the middle of each rectangle, divide ingredients evenly amongst themselves.

To close, bring all 4 corners of each calzone into the middle and seal around edges. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes EVER

All I can say is YUM! I converted a regular layer cake recipe to a cupcake one with awesome results. Happy Birthday to my sister. And thanks to sous chef Lucy for helping!

Side note: DO NOT not toast those nuts. It makes a world of difference, seriously. Don't know how to toast nuts? It's easy...stick them in a dry pan over medium heat, tossing often, until they become fragrant. Let them cool before using. SO easy. DO NOT SKIP! (hahaha, did I make my point clearly enough?)

Side note part deux: Want to be lazy? Buy the bagged shredded carrots (1 bag will be fine) and chop a bit smaller. No need to grate!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields 24, can easily be halved


For cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped toasted pecans, optional

For frosting:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Either grease the cupcake trays or place a liner in each.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add eggs and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, blend until combined. Add carrots and pecans, if using.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each hole 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, place on waxed paper and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:
Add all ingredients, except nuts, into a medium bowl and beat until fluffy using a hand mixer. Stir in the nuts. Spread frosting on top of each cupcake and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Scallop Chowder

Now this isn't Splash Cafe worthy or anything...but it is dang good for something healthy. Plus, its easy to make! I prepared 2 other dishes while it was simmering!

Side Note: If you consider yourself a budget shopping like Tenna does, prepare yourself for a bit of sticker shock. The scallops alone cost $25. The whole meal was probably around $40 for 8 servings. Just a heads up...doesn't make it any less delish.

Side Note Deux: Next time I make this, I may throw in a couple of strips of crumbled bacon. Because bacon makes everything THAT much better.

Scallop Chowder

Serves 8 (1 1/4 cup servings)


2 teaspoons butter
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups clam juice (found near the tuna)
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 lbs sea scallops, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (I used fat free)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add 1 teaspoon garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Add potato, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add clam juice and milk; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender.

Partially mash potato using a potato masher. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Pernod, and thyme; simmer 10 minutes. Add scallops and half-and-half; cook 5 minutes or until scallops are done. Sprinkle with chives.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tenna's Crab Cakes

After living just across the river from the Maryland state line for 4 years, I got quite spoiled by the incredible crab cakes the state has to offer. I found this recipe, made a few small changes to it, the most importantly was choosing to bake them, as opposed to frying. They turned out really well and with a side of fresh asparagus made an amazing dinner. Feel free to use Panko instead of regular bread crumbs...I just happened to not have Panko on hand (oddly enough).

Tenna's Crab Cakes

Serves 4 (two crab cakes each)


1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 tsp minced fresh parsley
Cayenne pepper
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound white or claw crab meat, picked free of any bits of shell


To prepare the crab cakes, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, cream, mustard, egg, parsley, cayenne pepper and 1/2 cup bread crumbs, to taste, and mix well. Gently fold in the crab meat.

Form the mixture into 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining bread crumbs with the Parmesan. Pat this topping onto both sides of the patties. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Baked for 7 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree F oven until lightly browned on top.

Italian Meatball Burgers

I love, LOVE this recipe. Why? Because it doesn't taste healthy, of course! I also served this with some fresh spinach that wilted when I heated the whole thing up in its tupperware. YUM!

Side note: The original recipe calls to grill the burgers...but some of us are not lucky enough to have an indoor grill. As with a lot of the recipes we post on here, grilled can equal using an outdoor grill, the George Foreman or using a broiler.

Side note Deux: Use fresh mozzarella...it makes all the difference in the world

Italian Meatball Burgers

Serves 6


8 oz sweet turkey Italian sausage
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 lb 4% fat ground beef

Cooking spray
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
6 Sandwich Thins
3/4 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce


Prepare grill.

Remove casings from sausage. Combine sausage, oregano, basil, salt, fennel seeds, garlic powder, and ground beef. Divide beef mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties over; grill 2 minutes. Divide fresh mozzarella cheese evenly over patties, and grill an additional 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.

Place 1 patty on bottom half of each thin; top each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce and top half of thin.

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