Category Archives: Dinner

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Summer vegetables are at their peak and super tasty right now but you can always get zucchini and some sort of squash year-round if you are wanting a bit of summer when the temperature drops. Inspired and reconstructed from a dish at a restaurant this is a simple and tasty way to create a great topper to some salad greens or wonderful side dish.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom on Greens


  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 small to medium zucchini
  • 1 small to medium summer squash or golden zucchini
  • 1/2-1 red bell pepper
  • 5-6 mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes cut into strips (with or without oil)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Dried herbs – oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary OR italian spice blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse or brush any soil off the portobello mushrooms and using a sharp knife, cut the stems out of the center. If they are woody, discard/compost, if not cut into 1/4″ dice. Put mushrooms on a plate or dish to marinate, gill side up.
  2. Make a quick marinade of one minced garlic clove, 5-6 basil leaves sliced thin (chiffonade), 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 4 tbsp of olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. If you have other seasonings you like feel free to play! Give your marinade a good stir to blend the oil and vinegar and pour over the portobello mushrooms and let set at room temperature for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, time to dice some vegetables.
  4. While your portobellos are marinating, mince the remaining garlic cloves and shallot. Cut into 1/4″ dice the zucchini, summer squash, pepper and mushrooms. Half the cherry tomatoes.
  5. Put the portobellos in the oven for 15 minutes to cook.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. If you are using sundried tomatoes in oil put those in the skillet along with the shallots and garlic, saute until shallots are translucent. If you are using sundried tomatoes that aren’t in oil, add 2 tsp of olive oil to the pan before sauteing. Add a tbsp of dried herbs and a 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper and saute for 1 minute to release the aromatics.
  7. Add zucchini, peppers, squash and mushrooms to the pan and saute until softened. Add cherry tomatoes and saute for a minute to two to warm tomatoes through. Remove from heat. Add a 1/4 c of Parmesan cheese to the sauteed vegetable and stir. Sometime in this your portobellos should be done, remove from the oven but leave oven on for one final heat through.
  8. Now time to get a little messy, or not. After you have removed the portobellos from the oven, they will need their veggie topping. You can either spoon on the sauteed vegetables into a pile on each mushroom or you can be all restaurant-like mold your veggies before putting them on the portobellos. Get a small bowl that is the same diameter as the mushroom, pack the veggies in there and then turn out on the portobellos. I hate dirtying more dishes than need be unless I am feeling the need to make it pretty so I usually just spoon it on.
  9. Sprinkle the top with a tbsp of mozzarella and back in the 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes to warm throughout and melt the cheese.


  • I have tried to help with timing management with the steps as if you are making the dish.
  • If you are only making two portobellos I have found using my large toaster oven works well and you don’t heat up your kitchen for a small dish.
  • You can precook everything and just assemble and heat the day of your meal, bring everything to room temp and just do the final heat through it the oven for 10-15 minutes to heat everything through. Leave out the Parmesan cheese from the vegetable saute until you are right about to put on the portobellos, if not it will discolor and be sticky.
  • The amount of vegetables are always negotiable, have more of one thing or another? Cleaning out the fridge? Use what you have on hand.
  • You will probably have some vegetable saute left over, I toss it with scrambled eggs or in an omelet the next day.
  • Dairy-free or vegan? Leave out the cheeses. The vegetable saute may not hold together as well but it will still be delicious!

Cooking my crankypants off

Today was a MONDAY, one of ‘those’ Mondays. After a really busy day at work plus the heat and IMG_0699 humidity, I came home feeling sticky, cranky and crabby. I kept thinking of all the things that I should get done and it my mood turned even darker and more sour. I stood in the middle of my apartment unsure if crying or throwing something would make me feel better. Yes, I needed an intervention.

And that intervention started with a cantaloupe. A cantaloupe that needed to be cut up and refrigerated before the heat turned it into a biology experiment on my counter. Knife in hand, a deep breath and the pungent sweetness of the cantaloupe and the movement of slicing into the ripe fruit began to shift my focus. Doing a little QA (quality assurance) by eating the pieces that missed the container from the cutting board brought awareness that I was hungry. Low blood sugar=crankypants.

The last thing I wanted to do was make it any hotter by cooking but a well stocked fridge from weekend shopping yielded a Quinoa Salad on a bed of lettuce lightly tossed with basil olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Figs from Trader Joe’s along with some chevre and prosciutto filled my plate.


While giving the Quinoa Salad 30 minutes to chill  I threw together some dessert that I am bringing over to a friend’s house. Again, going with the “cooking cold” idea I was inspired by some sliced, frozen chocolate covered bananas that I had at a retreat and the Detoxinista’s Healthier Peanut Butter Eggs. I figured I was melting dark chocolate anyway, why not do double duty dipping? My adaptations to the original recipe included using raw almond butter rather than peanut butter, making them a bit smaller (yield 8 + a QA tester rather than 6 in the original recipe) and double dipped the almond butter eggs taking into the account the feedback I got from coworkers about wanting more chocolate.

End result? Had dinner, QAed the chocolate covered almond egg, successfully cooked cold, re-balanced blood sugar while doing cooking meditation, no more crankypants! Oh, bananas passed QA too.