Meatless Monday – Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

Another Meatless Monday is here with another lure to the grill. It’s just so stinking hot here in FL, that grilling is a much welcome end to a busy day. It certainly beats standing over the hot stove!! I loved the last grilled portobellos that we made, so I was in search of another variation to try. This sandwich combines all of my favorite things in the world – balsamic vinegar, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and mushrooms! It’s SUPER easy to put together and you can customize it to your tastes. On a diet? Cut the cheese in half. Don’t like red peppers? Go for tomatoes instead. The variations are endless!

A quick note on the goat cheese
– for this recipe, use a log of goat cheese, not the precrumbled stuff. I find that goat cheese dries out considerably when it’s precrumbled. That’s fine for a salad or a casserole where it will be mixed with other things, but for this recipe, you need the creamy texture of a good goat cheese.

Balsamic Grilled Portobello Sandwiches
with Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large portobello mushroom caps – washed and stems removed
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 large slices roasted red peppers (freshly made or from a jar)
4 ounces goat cheese
2 ounces arugula

1) Combine first 7 ingredients (garlic through olive oil) in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Place the mushrooms in a large container with a lid or a plastic zip-top bag and pour the marinade over top. When the container is sealed tight, give it a few turns to make sure that the mushrooms are well covered with the marinade. Keep at room temperature for about an hour (more is fine) and turn once or twice.

2) Preheat grill to medium heat. Place mushroom caps on the grill and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, until they are soft. Use the remaining marinade to baste the mushrooms as they cook.

3) Toast the buns and then on each of the bottom halves place 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 ounce arugula, 1 large slice of roasted red pepper. On each of the top buns place 1 ounce of goat cheese. Add the mushrooms and close the bun to make the juiciest, tangiest dinner feast! Enjoy!

Makes 4 sandwiches

Meatless Monday – Very Veggie Fettucine Alfredo

Are you new to Meatless Monday? Check out this post for more details…

I have been having so much fun with Meatless Monday. I’m really having to stretch outside of my normal kitchen comfort zone to find meatless meals that will be satisfying for this carnivorous family of mine. This recipe is a combination of several recipes I had been wanting to try for a while. You’re going to look at it and think ‘wow, that’s a lot of stuff’, but I promise you, it took no more than 45 minutes from first chop to on the table. You can work on several things at once and when it all comes together in the end, you will be glad you took the chance!

I will say that this dish does use a lot of pans, and for that, I apologize. The reason I cook so much is that I hate washing dishes. You see, whoever cooks dinner, the other spouse washes dishes, sooooooooo….

Very Veggie Fettucine Alfredo

Serves Four

8 ounces uncooked fettucine

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 (8oz) package sliced mushrooms
1/2 c finely chopped green onion (use the whites and green part)
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stems removed and torn into pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1) Prepare fettucine according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain remaining water and set pasta aside.

2) Prepare the sauce: Heat butter over medium heat in a large saucepan (until it foams). Whisk in flour until the mixture is smooth and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, heavy cream, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Bring to a simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

3) Prepare the vegetables: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute carrots and red peppers for 4-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic; saute 1 minute. Add mushrooms and onions, stirring until mushrooms are tender (3-4 minutes). Pile spinach into the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is wilted and excess liquid is mostly evaporated. Season with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper.

4) Time to assemble! Pour the cooked pasta into the vegetable mix and give it a stir. Next, whisk 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water into the alfredo sauce to help thin it out. I ended up using about 3/4 of a cup, but you can use the whole 1 cup if the mix is dryer than you’d like it. Start small, though – it’s easier to add than take away! Pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta and vegetables and sprinkle in the fresh basil. Stir to combine well (a good pair of kitchen tongs work wonders right about now!) If you’re feeling adventurous, you can top your dish with more freshly grated Parmesan.  Enjoy!

Meatless Monday – Grilled Portobello Burgers

This summer is quickly on it’s way to becoming “The summer of the grill”. I can’t get enough of the charbroiled goodness! When thinking about Meatless Monday, I knew that our love for the grill would eventually have to join our meatless crusade (ok, not really a crusade, but it sounds fun, doesn’t it?!) and that one week would have to be portobello mushrooms on the grill. Portobello mushrooms are a surprisingly rugged stand in for hamburgers and can be doctored up a thousand ways! I roasted my own peppers, but you could easily use pre-roasted peppers from a jar, add pickles, banana peppers, anything your heart desires, really.

I realize that Worcestershire sauce is not normally a meatless item (it contains anchovies?! Surprising, huh?!). You can, however, buy a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce! Learn something new every day, don’t you!!? 🙂

Grilled Portobello Burgers

3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 large portobello mushroom caps
1 medium onion, sliced into thick slices
4 pieces of roasted red pepper (or roast your own – pepper cut into quarters)
4 (1-ounce each) slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
lettuce, tomato, ketchup

1. Prepare grill.

2. If roasting your own pepper – quarter a large red pepper and remove the stem and seeds. Place the pepper on a baking sheet covered in foil, skin side up underneath the broiler for 10 minutes or until slightly charred. Place in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel off the skin. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, stir together honey and mustard.

4. Stir together 1 Tbsp of the honey mustard mixture, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Brush both sides of the portobello caps with the sauce mixture.

5. Place the mushroom caps and onion rings on the grill and cook 4 minutes on each side or until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are soft and starting to blacken. Top the mushrooms with cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted.

6. Time to build your sandwiches! On the 4 buns, share the remaining honey mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, roasted pepper, and a top each with one grilled portobello. Have napkins ready, these babies are juicy and delicious!

Another favorite – Chicken Tetrazzini

This recipe is another one that I make all the time. I love it with all my heart and I recommend it to anyone who will listen!! Just like the stuffed shells, it makes 2 dishes. I love that because I can make one for a friend who’s been sick or just had a baby and I can keep the other for us to eat! This also freezes beautifully, so you can freeze one and eat the other right away!

PS: I have made just half a recipe before and that worked out fine (but really, you might as well make 2!)
PPS: Amy’s opera note – it’s named after opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini!

Chicken Tetrazzini

Yield: 2 casseroles, 6 servings each (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2003

1 tablespoon butter
cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages pre-sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 (14.5 oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups (9 oz) grated fresh parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup (4 oz) 1/3-less fat cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 lb uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken (about 1.5 lbs)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread (Amy’s note: I used canned breadcrumbs, just estimated the amt.)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.

3. Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

4. Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

5. Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

* To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

* To Prepare Frozen Unbaked Casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hrs). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Calories – 380 (29% from fat); fat 12.2 g (sat 6.6, mono 3.4, poly .7); protein 33 g; carb 32.7g; fiber 2g; cholesterol 66 mg; iron 2.8 mg; sodium 964 mg; calcium 319 mg.

Print This Recipe

Bookmark and Share

(45) Chicken and Vegetables with Herbs

I just got a new shelf for my cookbooks (pictures coming shortly…) and this allowed me to actually organize my collection vs having it look like Barnes & Noble threw up in my family room. One of the things I found was this slow cooker magazine/cookbook! Yes! I’m feeling like slow cooking this week as things are gonna be a little crazy! So tonight was chicken. Chicken legs (thigh + drumstick) are on sale at Publix this week for CHEAP, so that was a double bonus on this meal!!

This recipe was a cinch to prepare. The picture in the magazine shows these beautifully intact chicken legs, but that was NOT the case here! The chicken completely fell apart so I ended up spooning it out in a pile and shredding/chunking the chicken and removing all of the bones. The baby was going to eat this, too (she loved it!), so I figured the boneless method was safest all around.

The flavor on this dish is very ‘comfort-y’. It’s not a strong, WOW flavor, but it was quite good! My only comment is that I think it needed a pinch of salt at the end, so use your tastebuds and add some if you think it needs it. I served over mashed potatoes (egg noodles would be good too!) for a totally comforting Sunday dinner.

Chicken and Vegetables with Herbs

Yield: 4 servings
Source: Better Homes & Gardens Slow Cooker Meals

While fresh pearl onions need to be blanched and peeled, you can skip those steps with the frozen ones.

8 ounces mushrooms, halved
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (you gotta know I skipped this….)
4 small chicken legs (drumstick-thigh portion; skinned) (2 to 2-1/2 pounds total)
Chicken broth (optional)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Hot cooked mashed potatoes (optional)
Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

1. In a 5-1/2- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine mushrooms and pearl onions. Stir in the 1/2 cup broth, the wine, tomato paste, garlic salt, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf. Add chicken legs to cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter. Discard bay leaf. Cover chicken and vegetables and keep warm.

4. For sauce: Skim fat from cooking liquid. Measure 2 cups of the cooking liquid, adding additional chicken broth, if necessary, to equal 2 cups total liquid. Transfer liquid to a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, stir the 1/4 cup broth into the flour; stir into liquid in saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 1 minute more. Spoon some of the sauce over chicken. Pass remaining sauce. If desired, serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 304, Total Fat (g) 9, Saturated Fat (g) 2, Cholesterol (mg) 159, Sodium (mg) 548, Carbohydrate (g) 9, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 43

Print This Recipe

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts with Thumbnails