Posts Tagged ‘food for my family shaina’

Leek and Mushroom Quinoa from Food for My Family

This gorgeous post, well-suited for a cool fall weeknight, is brought to you by Shaina of Food for My Family.

In the morning I wake up and roll into the space my husband just got up from. He showers first, and that means that the dip in the middle of the mattress is free for the taking for the next ten minutes while I wait. It’s a comfortable dip when there’s just one of us resting in it, but when there are two, it’s never quite big enough, and somebody invariably has to tilt to get halfway up and out of the dip and then pretend that a good night’s sleep is had on an incline.

Those comfortable spots, worn and used, can become a crutch. You return to them in the kitchen as well, knowing how they feel and move and knowing how they taste. When it comes to cooking, my comfortable spot is in rice. Whether it’s brown or white, sticky or risotto, creamy or pressed into balls I find it to be a satisfying meal and side, one I rely on all too frequently.

After all, there are so many other beautiful grains to be had, not the least of which being quinoa. Quinoa packs a nutty punch, and it pairs well with some of my other favorite flavors and vegetables like leeks and baby portabella mushrooms: strong and earthy and fit for a warm dinner.

Leek and Mushroom Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 leek, diced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Salt and pepper

Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until water is absorbed.

In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add in mushrooms and leek and sauté for 5 minutes until they start to become tender. Pour white wine over and cook for an additional 3 minutes until a thick sauce forms.

Stir mushrooms and leeks into the quinoa alone with the blue cheese crumbles. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Portabella and Halloumi "Burgers" from Food for My Family

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer, home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family and Olmanson Photography. This is her first recipe for the Mushroom Channel and we’re willing to cosign it as the one that could turn the meat-lovers in your house meatless…at least for one night a week.

I spent several years as a vegetarian, and it’s a lifestyle that still sings to me, calls me even.  Contrast that to my husband’s classic Midwestern meat-and-potatoes upbringing, sandwich them together and you’ll find us today where navigating the landscape of real food, and seeking to fuel our four children’s bodies with the best nutrition available, settled quite happily into omnivore status.

With an effort to change the way we think of food and the way we eat our food comes giving and taking, and sometimes it also means exploring those meatless meals for my husband, who loves vegetables but prefers to pair them with a side of meat (to help fill him up).  His dislike for meat-like products is strong, and he declares good vegetarian burgers to be something of a myth that is talked about but does not exist.  That is, he did until I changed the concept.

Rather than imitating meat, this meatless burger is a play on the whole sandwich with giant portabella mushroom caps as buns and a slice of grilled halloumi takes the place of the burger.  These were not only accepted, but devoured and raved about after dinner.  I may just turn the carnivore yet.

Portabella and Halloumi “Burgers”

  • 4 portabella mushroom caps with stems removed
  • 3 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 thin slices halloumi
  • 2 thick slices tomato
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 handful basil leaves

Heat grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees).  Wash mushroom caps and cry.  In a shallow bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Place mushrooms gill side down in the mixture.

When the grill is hot, grill the mushrooms on the gill side first for about 5 minutes or until they start to sweat.  Flip and grill 2-3 minutes more.  Add halloumi to the grill and grill 2 minutes on each side over relatively high heat until grill marks form on the cheese and it becomes soft and pliable.  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the tomato to taste.

Assemble the “burger” with the mushroom as the bun, the halloumi cheese as the burger, the lightly salted tomato and fresh basil leaves.  Wrap and serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

Of note:

:: For a true vegetarian meal, find a vegetarian halloumi made with non-animal rennet.

:: Be sure to wrap these sandwiches before serving or plan to eat them with a knife and fork, as they are a bit slippery.