Aug 4, 2012

Quinoa-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from Pampered Chef

I have been wanting more healthy dinner ideas but amidst the room re-model we've eaten ALOT of pizza.  Here was a yummy looking recipe that I'm pretty sure my kids won't eat...  And I KNOW my husband won't eat (mushrooms) - but who's up for lunch??

Quinoa-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4 large portobello mushrooms with stems divided
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
3 TBS balsamic vinegar, divided
1 small zuchini
3/4 cup canned quaretered artichoke hears, drained
4 green onions with tops
2 plum tomatoes
2oz Asiago cheese
2 TBS chopped fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tsp coarsly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line
Large Sheet Pan with foil. Remove stems from

mushrooms; set caps aside. Chop mushroom stems to measure 1/2 cup (125 mL) using

Food Chopper
. Place quinoa in (7-in./18-cm) Strainer and rinse under cold water 30

seconds. Bring broth to a boil in
(2-qt./1.9-L) Saucepan over medium-high heat; add

quinoa and mushroom stems. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or

until liquid is absorbed. Place quinoa mixture in
Classic Batter Bowl.

2. Meanwhile, remove and discard brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps (see

Cook's Tip). Place mushrooms, rounded side down, onto pan. Place 5 tsp (25 mL) of the

vinegar in
(1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl; brush generously over both sides of mushrooms

Chef's Silicone Basting Brush.

3. For filling, chop zucchini using
Santoku Knife. Thinly slice artichokes and green onions.

Seed and dice tomatoes. Grate cheese using
Rotary Grater. Add zucchini, artichokes,

onions, tomatoes, cheese, basil, pressed garlic, black pepper and 1 tsp (5 mL) of the

vinegar to quinoa mixture; toss thoroughly to combine.

4. Spoon filling evenly into mushrooms. Bake 20-25 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Place mixed greens and remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) vinegar in
Stainless (2-qt./2-L)

Mixing Bowl
; toss to coat. Serve mushrooms with mixed greens.

Yield: 4

Cook's Country Poke Cake

Cook's Country and Cook's Illustrated are great places to find really yummy recipes.  This one is no exception.  But in their typical style, don't expect it to be fast or too simple.  Worth it?  Oh yea.  If you are interested in another Cook's Illustrated recipe, see my recipe for Enchiladas Verde.  YUM.  Ahem, back to cake.  You c-o-u-l-d just do it the Kraft way.  Buy a cake mix.  Mix up some strawberry jell-o.  Poke the cake, pour jello over, and there you go...  But I warn you - from experience, you get a wet cake that tastes like fake strawberries.  I also tried the strawberry gelatin recipe from this recipe poured over a boxed cake mix. That didn't work either.  In fact, it was far worse.  My sugar loving nieces and nephew wouldn't even eat it.  This cake is dense and holds up well to the strawberry gelatin.  Plus I think it goes perfectly at a summer BBQ especially if all you have to bring is dessert!

Strawberry Poke Cake


    • 3 cups frozen strawberries
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons orange juice
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 cup milk
    • 6 egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
    • 2 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (strawberry Jell-o)
    • 1 cup frozen strawberries
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • whipped cream 

  1. Combine 3 cups strawberries, 1/4 c sugar, orange juice and water in a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until strawberries break down and become soft. (Strawberries do not need to be thawed before beginning.).
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F Butter and flour a 13x9x2" baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla, just until egg whites are broken up.
  5. In the work bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric hand beater), cream together 1 3/4 cups sugar and butter, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add half the wet ingredients, then half the dry ingredients, then the remaining wet followed by the remaining dry. (This step IS important to get a nice flat cake!).
  1. Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly. Bake on middle rack of preheated oven for 35 minute.
  2. Separate strawberry solids from liquid; set the solids aside (you will use these later). Add gelatin powder to liquid. Stir well and let stand until cake is baked.
  3. When done, set cake on a baking rack and let cool at least one hour. Using a large skewer, poke cake about 50 times. Do not poke all the way to the bottom, or the gelatin will run underneath. Pour gelatin all over the top of the cake. Refrigerate 3 hours, or up to 1 day in advance.
  4. Combine reserved cooked strawberry solids with 1 c frozen strawberries and 2 tbsp sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it has the consistency of strawberry jam. Spread evenly over top of cake. Spread cake with whipped cream.

Potato, Squash, and Cheese Gratin

This recipe was originally from entitled: Potato, Squash, and Goat Cheese Gratin.  It looked good but I was missing some things and frankly, I don't like goat cheese (yes I try it over and over and still come to the same conclusion).  So I changed it and it came out great!  But if you like goat cheese (bleck) maybe you should try the original and see how it goes.  As mentioned in her post,  you're going to want a mandolin.  There is one on Amazon for only $20 that gets great reviews.  After giving myself carpal tunnel making this the first time, I decided to buy one myself.  As for my version, here is:

Potato, Squash, and Cheese Gratin
9x12 serves 6-8

4-6 small/medium yellow squash (large squash are bitter)
6-8 red potatoes
1 small/medium red or Vidallia onion (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
8oz sharp cheddar, graded (again, Cabbot Seriously Sharp is my favorite)
4oz (or more if you like) cream cheese
1/2 cup milk (don't use skim - if that is all you have, half/half or cream can be used)

Preheat oven to 400.

Use a mandolin or chef's knife to cut the squash, potatoes, and onion very thin - 1/8inch or less - and as evenly as possible.  Place in a large bowl.  Pour olive oil over the sliced veggies and stir or toss to coat.

Layer in 9x12 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick oil - sliced veggies, dots of cream cheese over the whole pan (2oz) (take two spoons, get some on one spoon and push off dots with the other spoon), layer of 1/3 of the cheese.  Sliced veggies, dots of cream cheese (2oz), layer of cheese (1/3 of the cheese).  Layer of veggies, last of the cheese. 

Pour milk over the whole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and brown.  Serve warm.  Left overs don't fair that well just so you know.  So eat up!