Welcome to a new and improved, more stream lined version of Guilty Kitchen. I’ve taken away some of the clutter on the sidebars and added a navigation bar at the top of the page to make finding everything you need just a little bit easier.
If you are one of the many people who use the print function that used to be (annoyingly) at the top of every page, you can now find it at the bottom of each post, located in the gray bar with the comments and date/time. I really hope you like it, because it took me a whole day of blood, sweat and tears. But mostly just tears. Let’s just say I’m not a technical wizard, I usually leave that up to the Mr.
On a completely different note, you might have noticed a sweet little icon up there in the top left column, “Simple Bites Contributor”. Well, the cat’s out of the bag, let’s say. I, along with six other amazing talents, are about to embark on a whole new adventure together. I will be regularly writing a column for Simple Bites and contributing as much to the conversation as I can. My posts on Guilty Kitchen will not be affected at all, so not to worry my faithful readers! You can’t get rid of me that easily.
Watch for our launch on February 8th, and for my first contribution on February 11th. I’m very excited and I hope you are too!
This recipe today is a fabulous vegetarian and gluten free meal. If you are unfamiliar with quinoa, you should get yourself out to your local health food or grocery store as soon as humanly possible. Quinoa is a very ancient grain, having originated in South America some 6000 years ago. It has a balanced set of essential amino acids making it a great complete protein source (unlike other grains), so it is an ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans.
I find the taste is nutty and complex, with a texture similar to rice, but smaller. It is quite easy to cook and does not require anything special to make it delicious. Just remember to rinse before cooking, as quinoa is covered in what is known as saponin, which can make it taste soapy or bitter. An hour long soak or a few rinses will take care of it though.
If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, I challenge you to try replacing your next rice meal with quinoa, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by how tasty it is.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Yield: 2 servings
2 large portobello mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 crimini mushrooms, diced
8 oz baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped or torn
75g goat feta
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1. Sauté 1 Tbsp of butter with onion and garlic in sauté pan on medium heat until onions begin to turn translucent.
2. Remove stems from portobellos and chop. Add tomatoes and diced mushrooms (including stems) to onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add second Tbsp of butter to pan and add in spinach leaves. Sauté until completely cooked, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
4. Place portobello caps on baking tray and pile spinach mix into them equally. Top with crumbled goat feta and bake in a 375°F oven for 20-25 minutes.
5. Serve on a bed of Quinoa and tomato sauce (recipe follows).
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups stock or water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil, oregano and black pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1. Rinse quinoa three times with plain water, draining as much as possible.
2. In medium saucepan mix quinoa, stock, salt, herbs and butter.
3. Bring to boil, cover and lower to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5 minutes, fluff with fork before serving.
Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 213 ml can of tomato sauce
1 tsp each of oregano, basil and marjoram
1. Heat oil in small saucepan, add garlic and stir for 1 minute.
2. Add tomato sauce and herbs.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.
4. Serve with portobellos.
I would also just like to dedicate this meal to my favourite aunt Barbara, who passed away in May of 2005. She was a great influence on my life and will always be remembered for her great love of food, drink, family, friends and great times. February 2nd would have been her 60th birthday and I just know it would have been a ruckus good time. I wish I could have made something a little more fantastic, but I know she appreciated even the littlest things, and every year I just like to make mention of her so that none of us ever forget. Here’s to you Barbara, cheers! We all miss you very much!