Mac + Cheese Stuffed Brown Sugar Balsamic Portobellos

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This time last year: Homemade Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (2013)

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I think one of my favorite foods, in extremely close competition with sweet potatoes, are mushrooms.  Mushrooms are not only incredibly flavorful (I mean, have you seen those Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms?!?!), but they also are so very good for you- low in fat, high in iron, and a good source of protein.  What’s not to love?

After you sauté these bad boys in a little balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, you could eat them straight. Stuffing them with mac and cheese, makes them literally irresistible!

So, if a healthier take on comfort food sounds like your dream, then look no further!

If you’re looking for a good vegetarian entree, then look no further!

If mac and cheese is your jam, or you happen to have a left over tub in your fridge, then look no further!

This dish is a winner, love at first bite.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups (leftover) macaroni and cheese
  • 2 ounces freshly grated cheese (your favorite kind!)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

Breadcrumb Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Prepare the mushrooms: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once warm, add the mushrooms, stem side up, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Flip once more and add the vinegar and brown sugar, evenly coating the mushrooms.  Cook for one more minute and then remove from the heat.
  3. Assemble: Scoop heaping spoonfuls of mac and cheese (at least 1/2 cup) into each mushroom. (The mac and cheese can be straight from the fridge!). Place in the oven, until the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the breadcrumbs: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk until it bubbles.  The minute the brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds.  Let the butter stand for 2 minutes, then whisk in the garlic and bread crumbs.
  5. Top: As soon as the mushrooms are done cooking, cover them with the breadcrumbs, herbs, and green onions, and serve immediately!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Source: How Sweet It Is
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other winner from A Rented Kitchen (recipe links below):

Roasted Cauliflower, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche with Quinoa Crust

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This time last year: Therapy Cookies (AKA Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Bites) (2013)

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It may not be surprising to you, but one of the most common reasons people find my blog, is in a pursuit for gluten free recipes! There are a lot of recipes that I make intentionally vegetarian, but unintentionally gluten free, which is a win-win for everyone! However, because I have noticed the trend for increased gluten free searches, I have tried to start making more intentionally gluten free recipes, seeking out ways I can cut out flour when possible.

For example, this last year I shared a Berry Quinoa Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing, Flourless Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes, and a Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust! All gluten free, and all incredibly delicious!

When I stumbled upon this recipe I thought it would be a perfect recipe to try for my gluten free quiche friends, and I was right! At first I was worried that a quinoa crust would crumble and fall apart as soon as you cut it, however the crust held together amazingly well! We had no trouble cutting or serving the quiche, and the quinoa packed in tons of additional protein and nutrients, a value you do not get with a simple flour crust.

In other words- you should try this recipe, because it’s awesome, incredibly delicious, healthy, gluten free, and it has goat cheese! What more could you want?

And if you are in the market for other gluten free recipes, make sure you check out the Gluten Free section under my recipe page! There is a whole lot of love and flavor to go around!

Come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Crust Ingredients:

  • ½ cup quinoa (I used red, but any variety will do!)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, grated

Quiche Ingredients:

  • ½ medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup milk or heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. In a medium sized pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to sit, covered, for an additional five minutes.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, toss the cauliflower and mushrooms with the olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once lightly brown and slightly caramelized, remove from the heat and reduce the oven to 375˚F.
  4. Combine the cooked quinoa, one egg, and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly and press into a pie pan. Cook at 375˚F for ten minutes.
  5. Mix the cauliflower, mushrooms, eggs, milk, thyme, goat cheese, salt, and pepper, and pour into the cooked piecrust. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes at 375˚F, until the center of the quiche is set and the top is lightly browned.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • The quiche tends to cut better when the quinoa crust is cool, thus, try making this recipe in advance, allowing the quiche to cool, and then cutting, heating, and serving.
  • Source: Closet Cooking
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below)

Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms

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One of the best parts of my week is the community potluck that takes place in the basement of my building. Every Tuesday night, about 20 of us Seminary students gather together to eat. It’s a glorious few hours filled with a lot of food and laughter.

I made these mushrooms for one of our community potlucks a few months ago. At first I was nervous, because a lot of people don’t like mushrooms. I cannot understand that because I love mushrooms, and find them to be incredibly delicious! Thus, because I thought I might be alone in that love, I did not photograph the mushrooms for this post. I was sorely mistaken.

These scrumptious mushrooms were devoured at that potluck! There were zero leftovers- nothing left for me to enjoy or photograph! I could not be upset about that, because I was very grateful the group enjoyed them, and it gave me an excuse to make them again!

One fun fact about mushrooms is that they contain twice the amount of protein as other vegetables, making this side dish a very healthy option at your vegetarian dinner table. Thus, in addition to your regular vegetable health benefits, you are also racking up on protein points- a win-win in this situation!

Bookmark this recipe! With a little bit of salt, garlic, and parmesan, these mushrooms will disappear before your eyes. You’ve been warned.

Come back soon!

With love,

A Rented Kitchen

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 Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare the mushrooms by rinsing, removing their stems, and slicing them into strips.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
  3. Once melted, add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic salt (to taste), and stir.
  5. Remove the mushrooms from the heat, place in a bowl, and toss with Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted and dispersed.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: yourLDSblog 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious vegetable dishes by ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (recipe links found below photos):

Hawaiian Quesadillas with Caramelized Onion, Roasted Mushrooms, and Spinach

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Whenever I get invited to potlucks, I get stressed out. That probably sounds silly coming from the girl who runs a food blog, but it’s true!

I don’t want to bring anything that’s going to require a ton of preparation or assembly required, once arriving at the potluck. I don’t want to bring anything that’s already being made, so mac and cheese is perpetually off the list. I want my dish to be easy to carry around in case there is not enough table seating, and I want it to be friendly for those with dietary restrictions.

Whew! Now you see why I find potlucks slightly stressful?

Well put your stress aside, because I have some good news for you! My recent potluck friendly dish of choice has been to make homemade fancy quesadillas! I used this particular filling combination for my a dinner with my a cappella group recently, and despite having made enough to feed an army, every single one of these little quesadilla triangles was devoured! That’s a good sign you’re doing something right! Thus, I thought I would share, for those of you with similar potluck anxiety as myself.

Gluten free? Use corn tortillas! Vegan? Try substituting with vegan cheese!

These little guys really are a win-win-win.

Try them yourself! There’s so much to love.

XO, A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 package of button mushrooms (your preference on type), diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 8 Whole wheat Tortillas
  • 1 bag of shredded blended white cheese (mozzarella based)
  • 1 16 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, reserve the juice
  • 1 package of fresh spinach leaves, chopped and stems removed

Directions:

  1. Heat one Tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the diced onion and mushrooms. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the vegetables are lightly browning.
  2. Add the Balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to the pan. Stir and allow to cook for a few more minutes, as the veggies absorb some of the balsamic vinegar. (At this stage, I also liked to add some of the pineapple juice from the can to the pan, however I love pineapple, and if that is not your favorite flavor, you can leave the juice out!)
  3. In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. To arrange the quesadilla: Place one tortilla in the pan and top with a generous layer of cheese.  Then add some of the mushroom/onion mixture, pineapple tidbits, and chopped spinach on top. Finish with an additional layer of cheese and another tortilla.
  4. Allow for the quesadilla to cook on its original side for a few minutes, allowing for the bottom layer of cheese to melt and the tortilla to lightly brown. Flip sides and continue cooking for another few minutes.
  5. Place on a cutting board and cut into triangles using a pizza cutter. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • I made this dish for a party, thus I bought all the ingredients in mass and made dozens of quesadillas. Consequently, I cannot give you very accurate quantities in the ingredients list, but I trust you to favor whatever flavor combination you prefer and to highlight that.
  • Prefer fresh pineapple?! Check out this step-by-step photo tutorial on how to cut a fresh pineapple for a quick and easy process!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious dishes by ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below):

Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad

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Wow summer has flown by.  Usually summer is my season with the most cooking, because I have the most free time, however this summer has been a very different story.  My last ten weeks have been entirely consumed by three summer courses, a part time job, an internship, one week as a camp counselor, a trip to the lake house, and moving into a new house.  So much for slowing down!

I know from personal experience that when life gets too busy, cooking is often one of the first things pushed aside. Instead of taking the time or energy to cook a nutritious meal, we often end up turning to junk food, microwaveable options, and eating out.  Guilty as charged.

There is hope though! This salad is something I whipped together over my lunch break this afternoon, and was so pleasantly surprised at how quickly it all came together, and how delicious it tasted, that I knew I had to share it with you.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and I hope your August is filled with porch swings, slow evenings, ice tea, and friends.  I’m still holding out hope for that slow summer pace  🙂

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 large button mushrooms
  • 2 cups mixed spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup rinsed blueberries
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (as desired)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice from ¼ of an orange
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon agave (a little more if the balsamic is too strong for you!)

Instructions:

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan.  Rinse and slice the mushrooms, and add to the frying pan once hot.
  2. Sautee for one minute, then drizzle 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar over the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, flipping occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small cup and whisk thoroughly.
  4. Toss the spinach leaves in a medium-sized bowl.  Add the sliced strawberries, blueberries, and crumbled goat cheese over the top.  Then add the warm mushrooms and top with a drizzle of dressing.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Try marinating your mushrooms in the dressing for a few hours prior to sautéing them for a fuller flavor!
  • Vegan? Leave out the goat cheese and replace it with a vegan cheese substitute if desired!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’ and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!