Mushroom Quinoa-sotto

Work was particularly stressful on Friday. Then, it started snowing an hour before I left the office. My 45 minute commute turned into almost 2 hours. By the time I arrived home, all I was planning on eating cereal for dinner.

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That’s what I was planning, but that’s not what happened…

As I stood in front of my open refrigerator door, I realized that a bowl of cereal was not quite the soul-nourishing meal I needed. I needed something that would warm me from the inside out. I needed to stand in front of a bubbling pot, methodically stirring away the days’ stresses. I needed risotto.

My long time readers know that I rarely make a traditional risotto. To be honest, it is because I am a complete dunce when it comes to cooking rice! It always comes out over done or under done, and just isn’t worth the hassle. Instead, I turn to my favorite “grain”, Quinoa. Quinoa is better for you than rice, and makes a delicious faux risotto.

Since I will be heading out of town again on Sunday, I did not want to open any new ingredients. Instead, I emptied my produce drawer, grabbed the only open carton of stock in the refrigerator, which turned out to be beef stock, and set to work.

I chopped and stirred for the better part of an hour. By the time I sat down to eat, my mind was calm, my body was relaxed, and my soul had been fed. Who needs a shrink when you have a stove?

Mushroom Quinoa-sotto

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried Thyme
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dry White Wine
  • 2 cups Beef Stock, warmed
  • 1/4 cup Smoked, Sundried Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup frozen Green Peas, defrosted
  • 2-3 handfuls Baby Spinach, plus move for serving, if desired
  • 1/3 cup Lentils, cooked
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan, or small pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to sweat.
  4. Add minced garlic, thyme, salt & pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Next goes in the quinoa, gently toast for 30 seconds.
  6. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and stir until absorbed.
  7. Stirring continuously to keep liquid from coming to a boil, add warm beef stock, 1/3 cup at a time. Wait until all liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/3 cup stock.
  8. Continue until you only have 1/3 cup stock remaining to add to the pot. At this time, add the remaining ingredients, along with the remaining beef stock.
  9. Stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  10. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately on a bed of fresh baby spinach.
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BBQ White Bean & Kale Sweet Potato Pocket

Thursday already? This week is flying by!

Recently (and by recently I mean yesterday), I came to a big conclusion. I am a small fry.

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What brought this revelation about, you ask? Well, these last 2 days I have been a part of some pretty big meetings at work. I would sit there all prim and proper listening to those around me discussing quarter objectives and ACVs and wondering how the heck I managed to get asked to participate in these meetings! I mean seriously! I must have been the youngest person in the room by at least 10 years (with 2 exceptions). The breadth of knowledge and experience of everyone was down right intimidating and more than a little inspiring. Long story short…. I came to the realization that I am completely content in the position that I am in, for the time being. I need to focus and pay attention to what is going on around me. I need to be challenged to learn and grow by my peers.

For now, I am a small fry. BUT, soon I will grow to be a medium fry, and eventually to a pretty sizable fry. I’m only 27. I’ve got all the time in the world. I’m okay with that…. for now! 😉

Now, the food!

Today’s recipe is a quick, week night supper that uses pre-made salsa and BBQ sauce for a cheaters version of baked beans. I may love to cook, but not after crazy long work day. I have my limits!

BBQ White Bean & Kale Sweet Potato Pocket

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 3 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch Green Curly Kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cannelini Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/3 cup Salsa
  • 3 Tbsp BBQ Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake in oven about 1 hour, until soft.
  3. When potatoes are almost done begin making the stuffing.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted and skillet is hot.
  5. Saute onions about 5 minutes, until translucent.
  6. Add mushrooms and continue to cook 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to “sweat”. (Watch the heat. You may need to reduce it to medium.)
  7. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute before adding the kale in 3 batches, sauteing until wilted before adding another. If needed, add 1-2 Tbsp water to help the kale cook.
  8. Add remaining ingredients cooking until heated through.
  9. Unwrap cooked sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise down the center.
  10. Stuff kale and white bean filling in each sweet potato.
  11. Top with sliced avocado to serve, optional.