Mushroom Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff. Just the mention of this makes my poor husband drool. I made it regularly before his AG diagnosis and it’s a meal he truly hopes to be able to have again someday. I tried a recipe for wild mushroom sauce the other week that I thought might be a good substitute for my old stroganoff standby. Unfortunately, it was kind of bland and needed some tweaking. So this past week I tried merging it with my old recipe and it turned out to be a winning combination! My hubby still misses the meat of course, but the mushrooms are hearty and filling, and the sherry and shallots give it the same delicious flavor and warmth as my original recipe. I served it over egg noodles (just like I used to), but you could use any pasta, rice, or I think it would even be fabulous over toast. Happy Fall Y’all!


1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2  tablespoons minced shallots

4 to 5 cups chopped wild mushrooms (I used shiitake, baby portobellos, and cremini and filled my 4 cup glass measuring cup to the very top)

1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2  cup water

3  tablespoons sherry cooking wine

1/4  teaspoon dried thyme

1/2  teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

2  tablespoons butter or earth balance

3  tablespoons flour

3  tablespoons heavy cream, half & half, milk, soy milk (whatever is safe for your family)

2  tablespoons fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Egg noodles, rice, or toast


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, a minute or so. Add all the mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes depending on the mushrooms (shiitakes may take a couple minutes longer). Add the broth, water, sherry, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Melt the butter or earth balance in a glass measuring cup in the microwave. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Stir into the mushroom mixture; increase heat, and cook until mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream and parsley. Salt generously again to your taste and serve over noodles, rice, or toast.


Salmon Caesar Salad

We were having this for dinner on Tuesday night and it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t shared this yet! We seriously eat this almost EVERY week. I love the oak roasted salmon from Fresh Market for ease and speed on busy week nights. But you could make or grill your own or even use the salmon pouches found near the canned tuna in the grocery store. Grilled chicken strips work just as well here if you prefer. Or set up a Caesar salad bar: big bowl of chopped romaine, the dressing, shredded parmesan, chopped salmon, grilled chicken, anchovy fillets, and hearty rolls or good bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping as a side. It’s especially good with fresh romaine from our local farmer’s market. Hope you are still finding amazing farm to table food in your area! 

P.S. I spent last weekend in Wilmington. NC, and at a WordPress conference. I met some amazing people and am looking forward to learning more about how to improve the blog for y’all. Stay tuned!!

1  tablespoon lemon juice (fresh or whatever you have on hand)

1  teaspoon minced garlic

1  teaspoon dijon mustard

1  tablespoon plus more for the salad, freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4  cup extra-virgin olive oil

1  head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2  pound cooked salmon (or chicken), chopped

Anchovy fillets, if desired


Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and 1 tablespoon parmesan in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until it is the desired consistency (I usually don’t use the whole 1/4 cup). Salt and pepper to taste. Toss well with romaine in a large bowl. Add salmon and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese.


Adapted from The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook, Arthur Agatston, MD, 2005



Summer Veggie Penne

I just LOVE the flavors in this dish: farm fresh veggies, a little heat from the red pepper flakes, sweet summer basil, … YUM! It is a little more time consuming than my usual dinners, but definitely worth it. As usual, I have edited the original recipe to minimize the prep time without sacrificing the overall taste of the dish. Apparently, I am completely incapable of following a recipe exactly as its written. This is a source of much agitation in my house, however no one ever seems to complain about the results! LOL Check out the original recipe from Williams-Sonoma using the link below. As always, omit the cheese or use a a vegan substitute if you need to be dairy free. Happy Labor Day weekend US peeps!

8  ounces+ penne (I use about 3/4 of a pound)

6  tablespoons olive oil

Kernels from 2 ears of corn

2  large zucchini, cut into half moons

1/2  yellow onion, diced

4  tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced

1  tablespoon chopped  garlic (or about 1 1/2 teaspoons minced)

1/2  teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon fresh if you have it)

1/4  teaspoon red pepper flakes

1  tablespoon tomato paste

1/4  cup white wine

1/4 to 1/2  cup thinly sliced fresh basil

6  ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

2  ounces grated Parmesan-Reggiano


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta to al dente per package directions, drain and put in a large bowl.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the corn, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until lightly golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add to the bowl with the pasta. In the same pan, put remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil; add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and golden brown, about 6-8 minutes. (If you are short on time, microwave the zucchini for a few minutes on high before adding it to the pan.) Add to the bowl with corn and pasta.

To the same skillet, on medium low, add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced and the sauce thickens, a few minutes more.

Add the tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and half the parmesan to the bowl with the vegetables and stir to combine. Transfer back to the pan if it’s oven safe or a 9×13 dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and bake until golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.


Adapted from here: