Tag Archives: dinner

Hey! We’re Back with Braised Mushroom Pasta

10 Nov

by Green Gourmet L

Welcome back all you Green Gourmets! Green Gourmet K and I would like to tell you that we enjoyed our hiatus, but we missed blogging so much that we had to get back to it! A lot has happened during our time away. Green Gourmet K got pregnant! And Green Gourmet L moved to Texas and then got pregnant! Even though each of us is now eating for two, that doesn’t stop us from cooking green (local, organic, and budget friendly) now more than ever. And we would love to share our journey with you. So stay tuned for our usual awesome recipes, tips and tricks about being green, and new anecdotes about what happens when you get knocked up.

Alright, onto the food! When the weather in TX starts to cool down (from like 90s to 70s), I get excited that I can use my oven again. My absolute favorite way to cook anything when the weather gets a little chilly is a low and slow braise. Braising is just a form of slow cooking, usually some kind of meat in liquid, until it is very tender and the liquid has turned into a luscious sauce.

There are a couple rules to braising:

  1. Lower temperatures for a longer time are best
  2. Start with a good base- aromatic veggies like onions, carrots, celery give great flavor during a long cooking marathon
  3. Begin cooking on the stove first. Brown your meat, soften your veggies, simmer your liquid. It will make the actual braising process go by much faster
  4. Check your dish occasionally. You may need to add more liquid, stir or turn your meat, and you don’t want to find out after it’s too late
  5. Your dish might be better the next day. Once the flavors have had a chance to meld together in the fridge, you can enjoy your leftovers even more than the original meal!

I love to eat red meat but I am also sensitive to the fact that this is not a part of everyone’s diet. I mean, we are in TX now, but I am a Green Gourmet so I can adapt. I found a wonderful braised mushroom dish and decided to adapt it to fit my dinner last night. Hope you like it!

Braised Mushroom Pasta
Serves 8

  • 3oz prosciutto (or bacon), diced (if vegetarian, use smoked tofu)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3lbs mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small bunch thyme (leave on the stems)
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 TB butter (if vegan, use olive oil)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Heat an ovenproof casserole dish or a frying pan over a medium heat. Add a few tablespoons olive oil and cook prosciutto until golden brown and crispy (about 5 minutes).

Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel.

Add a little more oil to the pan and add onion. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and slightly golden (8-10 minutes).

Add carrots, celery, garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add half of the mushrooms, stir and cover for 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release moisture and cook down.

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Add the other half, stir and cover for an additional 5 minutes.

When the mushrooms have browned, add the crispy prosciutto, thyme, tomatoes, butter and salt/pepper.

Top with 3 cups chicken stock. Bring to a simmer on the stove then put in the oven.

Cook, uncovered for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. It’s ready when the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has reduced to a delicious sauce. Adjust seasonings and remove thyme stems.

Serve braised mushrooms over your favorite pasta (penne!) or over mashed potatoes, polenta, quinoa, or whatever your heart desires. This also makes a fabulous breakfast served as a bed for a poached egg, folded into an omelet, or as scrambled eggs with goat cheese.

Enjoy your new found mushroom braising addiction and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Daily Dinner Inspiration

10 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

If you are like me then you find it easy to cook something for dinner that will result in leftovers that you want to eat the next day.  I am always in a rush in the morning so I just grab my leftovers, already boxed up, or I come home and reheat.  I find this a good money saving strategy too.  If I make something delicious I will be glad to eat it the next day, instead of staring at my canned soup wishing it were anything else but canned soup.

So where do you all get your inspiration for dinner?  We all probably have a certain number of recipes in the rotation.  But sometimes you want something different.  I do love to see what other food bloggers are cooking up.  One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, whatever she makes is golden.  You all know I am a fan of the Bon Appetit, and one thing I have started to enjoy lately are the emails I get from them.  They are mostly, “hey, buy more subscriptions!” but they usually have a good roundup of recipes too.

I found recent inspiration from one of these emails, a recipe for Sauteed Bacon, Lentils and Mushrooms.  Say what!?!  I happened to have many of the ingredients so this was easy to pull together.

To be clear, this is not my recipe, it is from Leite’s Culinaria and it is dang good.  I made a few tweaks, my version is below, but please feel free to compare these and choose the one you like.

Here it is:

Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms, and Lentils

(serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups small brown or green lentils, rinsed  ( I used green)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 whole lemon, squeezed
  • 6 to 12 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut

Directions

1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. (The exact timing will depend on the type and age of the lentils.) Drain well.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, place your bacon on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.  Check and turn the bacon half way through.  When done place on paper towels to drain and crisp up.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened and pale golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, a few tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Remove and discard the garlic. Taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

4. Sprinkle the lentils with the parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better.

Now this is one dish I will be relishing at lunchtime today.

Green Truck Pub – Best Burger in Town

3 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

I am right at home at Green Truck Pub, I am ready to move in and eat their fries everyday.  Thankfully, the owners and my wallet would likely not allow me to do this.  Have you ever walked into a place and thought “yeah . . . this is MY kind of place”?  This has happened to me a few times, once several years ago at a My Morning Jacket concert (most of the people there were laid-back, hippie types and there were an inordinate amount of tall people – I am tall so this was awesome) and then again at Green Truck.  We walked in and the vibe from the place was artsy, friendly and relaxed, and customers were lining up that fine Saturday afternoon for a delicious, hormone-free grass-fed beef burger with fresh cut fries.  They make a lot of things from scratch at Green Truck and it’s unexpected because how many restaurants do you know that take the time to make their own condiments?  For instance, the ketchup at Green Truck is made in house and is a little different, it’s not Heinz, but I like it, it definitely tastes more fresh and less sugary sweet.

I decided to go to Green Truck for the second time last night.  Now that I am doing my “protein-type” meals I am a little apprehensive about eating out but Green Truck is one place I knew I could go and not worry about it.  I ordered the Rustico burger (with beef from Brooklet, GA).  The sources of their meats and other ingredients are right on their menu.  This burger is topped with goat cheese, caramelized onions, thin slices of roasted red pepper and fresh basil.  It was delicious, even minus the large bun.  I also had their Farm Truck salad on the side with the ranch dressing they make right there in the back, no gross processed ranch dressing there.

Green Truck also has a great rotating draft beer selection, along with an extensive bottled beer list.  They have some nice wine selections too but when having a burger a beer is usually in order.  Last night I tried the Wild Heaven Belgian Style Golden Ale and it was the perfect light, fruity accompaniment to my Rustico burger.  Wild Heaven is brewed in Decatur, GA so again, another great “local” item available at Green Truck.

See the full menu here.  Their website also updates regularly with specials, like a Kimchi burger, or the latest addition to their beer selection.  If you’re in Savannah, permanently or temporarily, you must stop here for a burger, it’s worth the wait.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

8 Dec

by Green Gourmet K

 

Yes, that’s right – L and I have back-to-back dueling Mac and Cheese recipes this week.  I initially started making a lightened-up Mac and Cheese recipe, which substitutes cottage cheese for some of the egg and cheese that one would ordinarily use.  But because I have gone a little crazy with the canned pumpkin lately I surreptitiously stirred in some pumpkin when the Husband was not looking, and made a few other tweaks.  The Husband really liked this version of Mac and Cheese, and I did too, but things went south when I told him it had pumpkin in it.  He’s a bit of a Mac and Cheese purist.  I, on the other hand, like to sneak vegetables into things.  Lesson learned – next time I will not tell him.

The pumpkin gives this dish a wonderful golden hue and lends a creaminess that would otherwise be missing in a “lightened up” Mac and Cheese.  The pumpkin flavor is not overwhelming at all, it just adds a little extra something.  Canned pumpkin is a great ingredient in so many dishes and it’s readily available this time of year.  L and I will do a post later in the week on the benefits of eating pumpkin.

The secret ingredient.

Enjoy this Mac and Cheese without (as much) guilt!

This recipe also freezes well.

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

1 box of macaroni
2 eggs
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 16 oz container of lowfat cottage cheese
1 package of shredded cheddar – or approximately 1.5 cups of cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp white ground pepper or whatever pepper you have
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup pumpkin

While cooking your noodles, mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1/2 cup of cheddar for the top. Add the cooked noodles, mix thoroughly. Butter your pan, put the noodle mixture in the pan, top with remainder of the shredded cheese. Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350. Start off with aluminum foil on top, take it off half way through so the cheese gets nice and toasty.

To print this recipe, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/greengourmetsprintablerecipes/green-gourmets-pumpkin-mac-and-cheese