Here’s a quick weeknight meal. I took Martha’s quinoa, spinach and shiitake salad and mixed things up a bit by using arugula from my garden instead of the spinach. I also made it a little healthier and halved the recipe so it’s perfect for two people.
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and ground pepper
- 1/2 to 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 pound or large bunch of arugula
- 4 ounces feta cheese or chevre, crumbled
Combine vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Toss half of dressing with the prepared mushrooms. Then broil mushrooms until tender (about 15 minutes. Add quinoa to a pan with 1 1/2 cups of water and some salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Place arugula in bowl or large serving plate. Add mushrooms, quinoa and other half of dressing; toss. Top with feta or chevre.
Quinoa and mushrooms are a really good source of protein and this dish is so yummy! I think the extra spice from the arugula really kicks it up a notch.
I hosted a dinner party for six with this vegetarian Cinco de Mayo menu. Shamefully, I was too busy cooking to take photos of my food!
We started with a simple wild greens salad with a citrus vinaigrette dressing. Then I served two soups: creamy corn soup and vegetarian tortilla soup, with garnishes of tortilla strips, scallions, lime, avocado, green pepper, cilantro, pepper jack cheese and jalapeno. The corn soup is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food cookbook and it was super runny! I’m not sure I’d make it again, but thankfully there was plenty of food to go around and great garnishes so no one seemed to notice. I don’t have a “go to” recipe for vegetarian tortilla soup since I usually use up what I happen to have, but sometimes I combine this one and this one.
I also made a “chicken” taco casserole, a special recipe from Mr. Comma Happy’s mom. It’s bad for you, but a crowd-pleaser. We had several drink choices, but I think Mexican Coke and Jarritos are the only ones worth mentioning. The perfect dessert for this menu is churros with chocolate dipping sauce (including a kick of paprika and red pepper).
Overall, a great dinner party and something I need to plan more often. Who can resist a themed dinner?
The depths of winter weren’t so bad since I spent it eating comfort food, rocking out on roller skates and exploring on foot and snowshoe. Here are my top ten from February.
1. Green bean sandwich from Meat Cheese Bread. They also sell the amazing Boylan ginger ale. Southeast Portland is such a foodie haven.
2. Walking Powell Butte and finding this little critter. He told me it was a little too cold to be out crawling around.
3. Soup Spoon in Welches. Best soup ever. I visited a few years ago and have been dying to go back. Problem is they aren’t open on Sunday and they close early on Saturday. It is imperative that you snowshoe early in the day so you can make it here before 3 p.m. The baked potato soup was amazing, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their soups, salads, breads or desserts. Nom.
4. Snowshoeing Mt. Hood. Sometimes it’s fun to park in Government Camp and just wander up the trails. This time we hiked around Enid Lake.
5. Google’s roller skating concert. Google Hotpot/Places hosted a series of concerts in Portland called the “Best Ever” series. They gave out free passes/wristbands to the secret shows by tweeting the location you could pick them up. Pretty cool concept, but kind of a fail because of the disconnect to their actual Hotpot/Places product. But I still pledge allegiance to Google and I’m sure they got the local/WOM buzz they were looking for. But back to the rollerskating at Oaks Amusement Park. This place is awesome – even has a classic Wurlitzer. I rollerskated for three full hours and The Thermals were great. Even though it was my first time on skates in 10 years, it came back fairly quickly. It truly was a best ever concert!
6. This kitteh of mine. He never ceases to amuse me.
7. Jam on Hawthorne. don’t mind waiting in line for Ty’s big breakfast.
8. Snow in Portland. Yes!
10. The movies. One day I will see all of the “Best Picture” nominees before the Oscars. This year I only saw two: “True Grit” and “The Kings Speech.” They both reminded me of how much I love going to the movies.
This is a delicious, quick weeknight meal. I love that you can substitute any kind of pasta and cheese. I made it with wheels and Parmesan. Here’s my version of Martha’s recipe for two:
Broccoli on wheels
Cook pasta, add broccoli to pot two minutes before pasta is done. Save one cup of pasta water. Saute onion and garlic until browned. Add in pasta water, pasta and broccoli. Salt and pepper to taste and stir in Parmesan.
I love tilapia and I love soup, but I do not love dear Martha’s recipe for fish chowder. Boo hoo.
Granted, I did my own thing and left out the bacon but there was definitely something else missing.
Oh well, at least I learned something. Tomato-based or “red” chowder is called Manhattan chowder. Cream-based or “white” chowder is New England chowder.
Next time I’m trying this one from Epicurious.