Tag Archives: mushrooms

The Morel of the Story is…

…they make everything they touch insanely delicious. (Dessert may be an exception, but I haven’t tried that… yet.)

morels in a jar

I have most of a quart jar of these delicious dried morels. I think of them as The Truffle of the Midwest. Some would say they’re almost as difficult to find. My dad gave me these, and they keep for many months in a tightly-sealed Ball jar. It only takes a few of these dried delights to add earthy complexity to any dish.

Chicken Tenderloins with Mushroom Sauce


For tonight’s dinner, I thinly-sliced and sauteed about 8 oz. of baby bella mushrooms in a bit of butter, added a handful of fresh thyme leaves, and crumbled in two dried morel mushroom halves. (I should have added one more half.) I added white wine to deglaze, seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper, and reduced it all a bit.

chicken in a skilletAfter removing the mushroom sauce from the pan, I added a bit of olive oil and seasoned some chicken breast tenders with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves.

After they had cooked nearly through, I added the mushroom sauce back to the pan with the chicken, and garnished with fresh chopped chives from my front yard.

I served my portion with greens, topped with a basic vinaigrette (one part vinegar, three parts oil) to which I added some sun-dried tomato and balsamic mustard.





Corn and Chives


The boys had two ears of corn left over from the weekend. I had leftover curried roasted carrot soup.

So good!



Quinoa Taters

mushroom walnut loaf, quinoa mashed potatoes, sesame green beans, cornbread

The pinnacle of my dining-out experiences this week was the deliciously square meal pictured above: mushroom walnut loaf and quinoa mashed potatoes topped with delicious vegan gravy. It’s served beside sesame green beans and cornbread. This is one of the best meals I’ve ever had, at the Red Herring or otherwise.

These mashed potatoes… with red quinoa? Yes, please. The next time you think someone’s about to ask, “where do you get your protein?”, put a plate of these in front of them (with gravy, of course) and they’ll be too busy inhaling them to ask. (Quinoa is a protein-rich grain – 8 grams per cup, cooked. A medium red potato with skin on has 4 grams too.)

quinoa taters

Let’s have a close-up shot of those taters, shall we? The camera loves you, baby.

Junior Chef Lance Presents: Spinach Mushroom Quesadillas

spinach mushroom quesadillas

My son Lance is 6 and a half. He loves Cholula, swimming, Legos, and Plants vs. Zombies (arguably the cutest, most addictive game ever, and the inspiration behind the name of this blog). He eats just about everything, except brains. He also likes to cook. Last week, he made himself dinner: pasta, black olives, and Tabasco, with raw oatmeal for a garnish. He ate it, so what can I say?

Ball Small Batch Pectin
If you have 2 cups of fruit, you can make our own jam. And control the sugar. It's so easy!

When asked what he wants for dinner, he’s likely to say, “quesadillas”. I asked, and we invented. We sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. He added pepper, and tasted the cooked mushrooms with a toothpick. (Curious George says food always tastes better when it’s served on toothpicks.) He said it needed more salt, and he was right. We heated some tortillas on a griddle and added some Daiya Mozzarella. The garnish was completely his idea. These quesadillas remind me of what used to be my favorite meal at Chili’s. I think their version contained artichoke hearts, which would be a nice addition here as well. I love my little junior chef!

Blueberries are also in season. My mom and dad gave us 10 pounds of berries on their way back from Michigan. It’s a yearly trip for them, and each year I pledge to freeze some… but they’re always eaten fresh, or given to friends and neighbors. Lance and I ate at least a pound over the weekend.

I really need to save some berries so I can veganize my mom’s famous Blueberry Cream Muffins, which have earned her the name “Grandma Who Makes Muffins.” They are arguably the best blueberry muffins on the planet.

We also made freezer jam, which was so easy, you could do it while watching Doctor Who. Cook and mash 2 cups of fresh berries, add a packet of Ball Low or No-Sugar Pectin, some lemon juice and sugar (or no sugar), then ladle into freezer cups. It can also be canned in a water bath if you’re awesome and know how to do that.

blueberry freezer jam