Redemption

September 25, 2012

After this weekend’s kitchen flop-a-palooza, I was in some serious need of culinary redemption.   I’m pretty hard on myself, so I wanted to get back in right away on Sunday night, but if I’ve learnt anything, its to never. EVER.  cook when you’re angry.  And Sunday definitely fit that bill.

Enter, last night’s dinner.

 

“Cheezy” Quinoa stuffed Portobella Caps.

I wasn’t following a specific recipe and they certainly weren’t perfect, but I’d say they definitely fall under “redemption” category.

Cheezy” Quinoa Stuffed Portobella Caps (Makes 3 bella caps)

1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to instructions (I used a rice cooker)

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (I think?)

6 Tbsp Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Flour

Cherry Tomatoes, sliced (optional)

3 Portobella caps

Salt & Pepper

Instructions:  While the quinoa is cooking, saute the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add the cooked quinoa, milk, flour , Nutritional yeast, salt & pepper on low heat and stir until combined.  You can tailor the amount of milk (and nutritional yeast) to your preferred taste and consistency.  Clean your bella caps of all the “gills” to leave room for stuffing, massage in some olive oil (*See notes below) and pile it in!  I topped my stuffing with sliced cherry tomatoes to brighten up the flavors just a bit and baked the caps at 350 until they were done (no more than 25-30 minutes).

Served with a side of sauted zucchini and squash, these were a perfect way to start off the week!

 

They just look good.  🙂  Needless to say I was pretty proud of how these turned out.  The past few times I’ve made stuffed bella caps, they haven’t stayed “stuffed” very well.  I think scraping the inside of the ‘shrooms out prior to stuffing them really helped and minimizing the liquid without sacrificing some creaminess helped to maintain that “cheezy” consistency.   That being said, there are a few things I would change when repeating the recipe.

The bellas were juicy, but I didn’t marinate them in anything before I stuffed them so they didn’t have a lot of flavor.  To change this I’m thinking of one of  the following options:

1.  Balsamic Vinegar

2.  Earth balance

3.  Hot sauce

4.  layer the tomatoes

I don’t think I’d marinate the whole shroom before baking, but I think a dash of vinegar or hot sauce (depending on the flavor you’re going for) or a little slap of Earth Balance in the cup of the mushroom would help add some flavor to each bite.

One of my favorite parts of this dish was the little slices of tomatoes.  They really do brighten up the flavors quite a bit and I found myself wanting a little tomato in each bite.  So next time I may layer the bottom with one large tomato slice to make that happen.

I think something that I’m particularly proud of is that even though these weren’t perfect, i’m ok with that – because I have ideas on how to make it better.  Which is a whole lightyear ahead of where I was even just a few short months ago.

xo

 

This vs That

May 24, 2012

Ugh.  Well.  This morning has been a morning.

1. running late

2. My strawberry cupcakes are more like…strawberry bread…

3. coffee machine ISN’T working

4. running late

5.  Grab an umbrella, find out later there’s already one in my bag (d’oh).

6.  Dear lady on 83, if your idea of merging is to first stop on the on ramp, then creep out onto the highway, then stop on the highway, all the while managing to almost merge into the ONE CAR that was in the lane for the entire process, go retake your drivers exam. Or stop texting. On second thought – do both.

Lets just say I will not be suffering fools gladly today.  But I’m trying super hard to not let it all get to me.  I’m currently trying to figure out a way to salvage the SECOND round of cupcakes (First round was edible, but not what I wanted or really presentable).  Strawberry Bread Bites has a nice ring to it, or maybe some sort of parfait? Any ideas?

But enough about crummy starts to a Thursday morning, I have my coffee now, so lets talk about breakfasts!

With the warmer temperatures creeping in, i’ve been shifting away from cooked oatmeal in the morning (although you couldn’t pay me to give up my overnight oats!) and into some more summer friendly breakfasts.  I don’t have a lot of time in the morning, so it ends to be something I can shovel into my mouth with a spoon while getting ready for work.  The less hassle and prep the better!

Lately i’ve been embracing two separate breakfasts and thought I’d share and take a peek at the nutritional value of each according to dailyplate.com, to see if I’m getting a decent meal in the morning!  Lets see:

Breakfast #1:  The best darn lookin’ bowl of cereal, ever.

   

Although I used to crave a more elaborate breakfast, I’ve found cereal to be simple and pretty filling if I do it right.  Nix the sugar cereals and add some more fiber with the berries and it turns into a pretty decent breakfast…This week i’ve been using Kashi Autumn Harvest Shredded Wheat, Almond Milk and berries.

Breakfast #2:  Millet/Quinoa bowl with Almond Milk and Berries

I have a rice cooker.  And I love it.  And its way underused.  Back when I was in grad school, one of my favorite ways to make sure I got some semblance of a nutritional meal during the day was to start with a bowl of quinoa and berries.  Millet has been floating around the blogosphere lately as a new and fun grain to try.  So this past week, when I (gasp) ran out of cereal, I decided to turn to my grad school standby, but wanted to make it a little more substantial.  Instead of going the traditional rolled oats route, I took a page from  Jenny’s book and decided to try some Millet.   Mixing and making the two together in my rice cooker resulted in some pretty creamy grains, which were easily broken up by a bit of Almond milk 🙂

In addition to the berries, I also added a drizzle of Maple syrup.  In the end, I’m not really sure it needed it (maybe my tastebuds have changed), but maple syrup is too delicious to pass up 🙂

   

Lets compare, shall we?

Head to head, the cereal seems to have less calories, fat, carbs and sodium,  the Quinoa/Millet breakfast bowl comes out on top for protein and less sugar.

I’ve never directly compared my breakfasts and I think its pretty interesting (and impressive!) that my two go-to breakfasts as of late seem to rate pretty well and so evenly for nutritional value – although disclaimer: I have had no nutritional training.   Based on the values, I’d probably opt for the Millet bowl on days when I have a little more time in the morning, but want to keep fuller for a longer period.

Have you ever compared your breakfasts for nutrition?  What’s your favorite?


xo