Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seafood Stuffed Portabellas with Faux-Tatoes

Yum! Get ready for a fantastic, healthy grilled main dish for two that will knock your socks off!


2 large Portabella Mushrooms
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc

1 Green Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc
2 Seafood Sausages, thawed (check out Trader Joe's brand)
1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Soy Sour Cream (or the real deal, if you want all that extra fat)
2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten
2 teaspoons dried Fine Bread Crumbs

Remove stems from Portabellas and discard. Place Portabellas in a pan or on a large plate, gill side up. Pour half of the white wine into each cup. Set aside.

Heat grill.

Saute onions and garlic in white wine. Meanwhile, use a kitchen scissors to cut open the seafood sausage casing. Remove the casing, discard.

Grill Portabellas gill side down until heated but not charred.

When the onions and garlic are soft, crumble seafood sausage into pan. Heat 6-8 minutes or less if shrimp turns pink/orange.

Whisk together vegetable broth, sour cream, wheat gluten and bread crumbs. Stir into seafood mixture until blended and thick. Turn off heat.

Remove Portabellas from grill.

Place half of the seafood mixture in each Portabella. Carefully return mushrooms to grill, stuffed side up, for several minutes until hot and seafood mixture starts to char slightly.

Remove from grill and serve immediately.

I also made "Faux-Tatoes" and steamed Brussels Sprouts.


1 large head of Cauliflower, cut into large florets
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup Non-Fat Unsweetened Evaporated Milk
Fresh Ground Pepper
Paprika, for garnish

Place cauliflower florets in a large pot and add vegetable broth.

Cover and cook over medium low heat for 25-30 minutes until all pieces are very soft. Turn of heat.

Add evaporate milk and some pepper.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy. Or use a hand blender to avoid transferring the hot food.

If excess liquid remains, cook it off over low heat with the cover slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Stir frequently to avoid burning on pan bottom.

Serve hot like mashed potatoes!

Makes four servings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mustard Marinated Grilled Salmon & Veggies

I'm in a phase with Salmon, and it's all about the marinade/sauce. This is so easy you'll wish you had invented it yourself! So do I, but the truth is, I modified the marinade recipe from the back of some cedar grilling planks!

Okay, here we go:


8-12 oz. Salmon (No Atlantic; I prefer King, the photo shows Coho)

2 Bell Peppers, halved, seeds removed
3 medium Zucchini, cut into discs
1 large Onion, peeled and quartered
Steamed Brussels Sprouts

For the Marinade/Sauce:
1/4 cup Coarse Grain Mustard
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc (or Pinot Grigio)
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2 Tbsp Apricot Preserves or All-Fruit
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

1 Cedar Plank, for grilling the Salmon
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc

Mix 1 cup Sauvignon Blanc into a pan or bucket of water large enough to hold and cover Cedar plank. Add plank and allow to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients for marinade/sauce.

Pour 1/4 cup of marinade into a suitable pan. Add salmon, flesh side down. Pour another 2 Tbsp of marinade over fish. Cover and refrigerate the fish and, separately, the remaining marinade at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Start Brussels Sprouts to allow 20-25 minutes of steaming time, depending on their size.

When ready to light the grill, remove fish and remaining marinade from refrigeration, set aside on counter.

Prepare vegetables decoratively on skewers then brush with marinade from separate bowl.

Place the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan and heat until bubbly over low flame while grilling salmon and skewered vegetables finish on the grill.

Remove Brussels Sprouts from steamer.

Arrange salmon, steamed Brussels Sprouts and grilled vegetables on plates and drizzle with that yummy mustard sauce!

Serves 2.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Easy Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Hummus

Hummus is a lovely spread or dip made from my favorite legume, garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas.

I make a batch of hummus every week! Our house fave is made with roasted peppers. Here's the latest concoction, made simply with some jarred Roasted Pepper & Artichoke spread from Trader Joe's.

TIP: Don't leave out the Tahini!

You can find it in most grocery stores, often near the peanut butter or in the ethnic food aisle.

What is Tahini, you ask? Crushed sesame seeds!

Also, I make my own beans to reduce intake of sodium and other chemical preservatives. The process is simple and the results, delicious and healthy!


1 1/2 cups cooked Garbanzo Beans
2 Tbsp Tahini
1/2 Lemon, juice of
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper & Artichoke Spread
1/2 cup low sodium Vegetable Broth
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
Cayenne and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients but begin with just 1/4 cup of Vegetable Broth. Pulse gently a few times to incorporate, and then puree for 20 seconds. If necessary, add more brothe, 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing food processor and testing for smooth and creamy consistency.

(Using a hand blender saves cleanup time!)

Scrape into glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Flavors get better overnight!


Use Lime Juice instead of Lemon to give your hummus a Cuban vibe! Add Chipotle or Red Chile Powder for a warm & spicy Mexican flavor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Easy Blueberry Smoothie!

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I hated making smoothies in the past because it required pulling out the blender and then of course, washing the apparatus. I suppose the average cook would be guilty of being lazy, but the average cook doesn't spend an average of 6 hours in the kitchen each day!

That said, I use a miraculous kitchen tool called a HAND BLENDER to make smoothies, and now the process takes just moments!

Check out this pretty purple delight and go make one now!


1 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 Banana, fresh or frozen
4-6 oz. plain Soy Yogurt
1/2 cup Soy Milk
1/2 cup Blueberry Juice
(Optional: Use all of one liquid or the other)

Put all ingredients in a tall container. Using a hand blender, pulse until smooth and thoroughly combined. Use more or less liquid depending on how thick you like your smoothies.

Pour into two glasses and share with a special someone!

P.S. It will take approximately 20 seconds to clean and dry the blade attachment... sweet!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Eve Seafood Fantasia!

Our dear friends Nina and Jim are Italian.

Here's a photo of them: Nina is the cute little blonde next to the debonair dude in the blue shirt. They are enjoying a moment with friends Keith and Laurinda.

Nina and Jim host a hugely fun and extremely delicious traditional Italian Christmas Eve party, featuring every kind of seafood they can get their hands on, and then some!

We're talking deep fried shrimp, calamari and scallops, lobster tails in a cioppino sauce, not to mention stuffed lobster tails, calamari salad plus crackers and cheeses (provolone, of course), delicious spreads, olives, arugula wrapped in prosciutto, salami, and more!

So much delicious and decadent food!

This year, there was so much food that their daughter Angela pitched in to do all the deep-frying with her aunt.

Jim does a great deal of the cooking, and their son Christopher helps with whatever needs to be done.

Friends and family are gathered in the kitchen, dining area, living room to enjoy the fantastic food, good company and warm holiday spirit!

Here is friend Ron opening a bottle of red, probably a Cabernet Sauvignon.

We brought a bottle of our Lucky 7: Rebel Red.

In a surprise statement, Nina said she preferred it to the expensive vintages she had been sampling!

Nina always makes cannoli, and friends and family at the party bring finger foods and wine, lots of wine.

I contributed a homemade whole wheat focaccia with caramelized onions, garlic and poppy seeds.

I served it with super-fresh and grassy olive oil, with olives grown by our friends Richard and Myrna.

Well, here we are prior to saying good-bye, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Thanks to Nina and Jim and your family for opening your home, cooking out-of-this-world delicacies, and warming all our hearts!