Stuffed Portobello Rice Bowl

IMAG0573Ok, so the title of this thing already sounds a little weird. I get it. Trust me on this, though, it was pretty darn good.

When I was in the store the other day buying about a million different kinds of veggies, these huge, beautiful portobellos were screaming at me to stuff and devour them. Of course I listened. How can you not listen when food speaks to you?? On my hour-long commute home today, I was pondering what exactly I was going to do for dinner, which turned in to how can I use stuff in my fridge and combine it together to make deliciousness? Per normal, I called on what I know. Here is how the train of thought went (make sure to hop off before it derails!)

My mom makes this stellar Spanish Squash (she calls it), and it’s zucchini and yellow squash with cheese, tomatoes corn, onions and some other stuff that she has told me and I’ve forgotten. Well wait now, I have all that. I can do that. And then put it in a mushroom. But I really want rice. I can put the mushroom on top. Is that too much starch? No. It’s veggies and cheese. Not starch. This is totally doable. What can I add to break up the vegetarian streak? Bacon. Genius! Wait, I need something not hot to bring it all together… Avocado? That could work… or be horrible. No way, it’s avocado, it’s going to work. Maybe a cream? Like a caesar dressing? I have lemon. But anchovies are not coming in to this picture. Too much salt…just a cream… (This is where I stop because it went on like this for the entire ride home).

So once I got home and tried not to kill my four-legged furry kiddos for being bad (you don’t want to know the details), I set to cooking. Got the squash, onion, garlic, and tomato chopped up; drained a can of corn, and cleaned out the moustache of the mushroom. I put those on a foil-lined baking sheet. Everything else hopped in a pan with some butter. And don’t be judging me for butter. I used a whole 2.5-3 tablespoons for the whole recipe, and aside from the good fat of the avocado, everything else is light and healthy! I forgot to mention here that my bacon wasn’t as fresh as I thought it was so it didn’t get added. But it will. Next time. Because that could only add to the awesomeness that is a portobello rice bowl.

Anyway. So everything cooks together. And then I add in spinach, and cheese. And then stuff the mushroom and put more cheese. While it bakes, I mix light sour cream, cilantro and avocado together with lemon juice to make an AMAZING cream which by the way with more lemon juice works great as a salad dressing. Ding! Microwave where the rice goes is done. Take that out, put it in the bowl and leave room for a mushroom cap. Bring those out of the oven. Yep, they’re done. Add to rice. Top with cream. YUM. Promptly devour in 10 minutes flat and sit in my food coma of happiness. I guess I should give you the recipe, huh?

Let me just put a disclaimer on this that when I made it tonight I made a double recipe of the squash mixture because I’ll eat it over the rice in the coming days.

Ingredients:

For the squash mixture:

  • 1 zucchini and 1 yellow crooked-neck squash, chopped somewhat small so it cooks quicker
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 can whole-kernel corn
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Butter/Margarine (whatever you prefer)
  • Shredded cheese (I used the mexican blend) to your liking
  • About a handful of spinach leaves, fresh (Can be omitted if you prefer)

For the Mushrooms

  • 2-3 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned of their mustache, and wiped of dirt

For the Cream

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 c. light sour cream
  • Cilantro (to taste, either fresh or dried)
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice

Rice – prepared per directions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep all your ingredients for the squash mixture and your mushroom caps. Put the cleaned mushrooms on to a foil-lined pan, upside down. Add just a small little bit of olive oil and 1/2 a pinch of salt. Too much will dry out the mushrooms.
  2. Add in to a pre-heated on medium heat high-sided pan or a pot the onion, garlic and one tablespoon of butter, along with just a touch of salt and pepper. The salt draws out the moisture in the onion to make them sweat. Stir occasionally until it starts to smell good, don’t let the garlic burn and your onions should be turning transparent.
  3. Add in the squash and another tablespoon of butter. Mix around and cover. Stir occasionally and cook for roughly 10 minutes. At this point, it should be letting out a lot of liquid. Add in your other tablespoon of butter to help speed up the process and draw out liquid. Your desired “done-ness” for the squash is soft, not crunchy – judge your time accordingly.
  4. Add in the tomato and the corn. Stir and cook about another 3 minutes. Then add in the spinach and cheese. At this point, there should be a lot of liquid in the bottom of your pot or pan, it should smell awesome and the squash should be soft. The benefit of cutting it smaller is that it doesn’t take as long to cook. Add in cumin and just a smidge more salt and pepper. Work the spinach and cheese around until the spinach is wilted and the cheese is melted, as well as the spices distributed. Remove from heat.
  5. Add a spoonful or two of the squash mixture to the mushroom caps. They should be heaping. Top with cheese, put in the oven for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese is melted on top.
  6. While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare your cream. In a small bowl, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and combine it with the other ingredients. Using a fork, mash it all together and mix it well until it’s a creamy consistency and very slightly lumpy. If you prefer, add just a pinch of salt to bring out more of the avocado flavor.
  7. Serve the mushrooms with a dollop of the avocado cream. If you’re like me, serve over prepared rice – to really make it a rice bowl. Mix it all together when you’re eating it.

 

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Spicy Chicken Chorizo Frittata

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I don’t normally make a big deal about breakfast. Every so often I will make waffles or french toast…but usually it is scrambled eggs and an english muffin. Or better yet, cereal. For some unknown reason to me, I got a wild hair this morning to make a frittata. I’ve never made a frittata. But I started pulling things out of the fridge and into my cast iron skillet they went. And you know what? It was freaking delicious. Even my hunny proclaimed that this was his new favorite breakfast. Weird. That never happens, he is normally very set in his eating habits, especially when it comes to favorites.

A little bit spicy, very savory, and very filling, we served this with honey covered biscuits and we were happy campers until almost two this afternoon.

Ingredients:
1/4 onion, chopped
1 cup shredded frozen hashbrowns, defrosted and patted dry
1 small casing of Mexican chorizo, about 1 cup
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup corn
1 cup chopped leftover rotisserie chicken
4 eggs
1 tablespoon each onion powder and garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon each cumin ground black pepper
3-5 tablespoons oil, I used canola oil. Dependent on how good your pan is at being not sticky.

Directions:
1. Heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet. I really liked using my cast iron skillet for this one (thanks sis-in-law!!). Cook the onions until they are fragrant. Add in the potatoes and one to two more tablespoons of the oil. Let those cook on a mexium low hezt until they start to get crispy. Preheat broiler to low.
2. Add in the chorizo. Stir everything together, and let cook for one minute. Ground chorizo typically comes precooked, so you’re basically just warming it. Next add in the corn, mushrooms, tomatoes and chicken. Stir everything together and let it warm through for about a minute while you prepare the eggs.
3. In a bowl, mix the spices and the eggs with 1/2 a teaspoon of water. Pour over the mixture in the pan. Move it around so that everything is relatively even, and let cook for one minute.
4. Put the pan in the oven under the broiler, and let cook for approximately 8 minutes until the eggs are set. They will spring back when pushed if they are ready. Slice like a pie and serve!

Scrambled Veggie Delight

Today I had plans to go shopping for some “grown up” clothes in preparation for finding a new job. But before I made my way down to the city, I had to get a good workout in, and follow up with some delicious breakfast.

(I have found that if I write about my workouts, I am more likely to stick to working out, because then I’m being held responsible. Skip the next paragraph if you’re just here for the food!)

Without my hunny here, I can get away with having breakfast that’s filled with vegetables. He would never hear of that. But first, the workout. I kind of invented a new workout that is based on some stuff I’ve seen on Pinterest. I did five exercises – jumping jacks, squats, crunches, mountain climbers, and push-ups. I started with 50 jumping jacks, then 40 squats, so on and so forth, and worked down the repetitions until I did 10 of each. Then I followed that up with some boxing strikes as my cardio. All in all, made for a good half hour.

Back to the food.

The original plan was for an omelet. I have yet to master the art of making eggs into a tortilla-type shape and folding them over in a pan. Therefore it became scrambled eggs with good stuff mixed in.

Tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and bell pepper, tossed over some light heat with some cooking spray, salt and pepper. Add in the egg that’s been mixed with garlic powder, ground sage and a touch of seasoned salt. Scramble. Just before it’s fully cooked, add in a few leaves of julienned spinach leaves and some feta cheese. Finish and plate with a whole wheat english muffin and tasty avocado. I have an avocado obsession. Did you know apple butter only has about 25 calories per tablespoon? That makes me super happy.

And yes I know I’m have a squirrel-complex moment.

Anyway, all that works out to be 554 calories, which works out just fine when I wanted to stay full for a while. It did mean that I ate a few too many calories today, but it was well deserved. I’m actually kind of excited for breakfast tomorrow.

Stuffed Burgers

I’m pretty sure this is about the simplest, yet one of the tastiest recipes I’ve ever made. I thought that stuffed burgers were common-place, that everyone had at least heard of them, if they hadn’t eaten them. Apparently I was wrong. My dinner date (the boyfriend) thought these burgers were the coolest things ever, once he finally grasped what I meant by “all the goodies are on the inside.”

So, what I did: a pound of ground beef – I’m sure ground turkey would work too – goes into a bowl, to which I added my scrumptious garlic mustard, ground oregano, steak sauce, and Worcestershire, just a bit of each (equal parts of the steak sauce and Worcestershire though).  Afterward, I caramelized onions and mushrooms, then some bacon that was chopped into little pieces. I took a quarter of the meat, divided it in two, and flattened it to make a patty shape. Then I put some of the onions, mushrooms and bacon, as well as two little cubes of cheese into the middle, and took the other half and shaped it on the top. I made sure the edges were closed up, and then patted it a bit flatter so it would cook evenly. I repeated the process for the other three quarters, broiled them in a pan until the edges weren’t pink anymore (which meant that the middle was still a tad pink), and served them on onion buns with mayo, mustard and ketchup. Mmmm tasty!

I’m betting that other ingredients in the middle would be pretty tasty too, or even just cheese. If I had some guacamole, that would have gone on top, to make a bacon avocado burger. Like I said, easy.