Tag Archives: Italian

Italian Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas

Hi every body. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I had two of my best friends come in to visit this weekend. We hadn’t seen each other since June for Sarah’s wedding and it had been entirely too long. Thanks to both of them for making the drive! I  know it can be a slow, long drive. We spent the weekend eating deliciously salty, not the healthiest food and I personally enjoyed every minute of it. Except now my stomach may hate me. This week my goal is more veggies and less salt which is quite the opposite of this past weekend. Just want to point out all three of us are dietitians. See it is OK to have a splurge every so often. Even we do it! Below is the breakfast Amanda and I split on Sunday. It was a steak and eggs benedict with Parmesan hollandaise. Absolute heaven! Good thing we split it because I was stuffed after only half.


Since Alex and I moved in together I have implemented a meatless monday dinner rule in our house. It is just a simple way to get more veggies and explore with alternative protein foods. Tonight’s dinner highlighted quinoa, pronounced keen-wah. Though I love the football commercial where they pronounce it Key-no. I die everytime I watch that commercial. ugh kills me. Quinoa is a wonderful grain. It is gluten free, packed with vitamins and minerals, considered an anti-inflammatory food and a complete protein. It is a great alternative to rice or wheat products such as cous cous. I used quinoa to make an Italian stuffing for some mushroom caps. This would be great to scale down to an appetizer size by stuffing it into small button mushroom caps instead of large portabella caps. Just a thought!

I started by putting 1 cup water, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt into a pot and cooking according the the quinoa’s package directions.


Once it was cooked I mixed in chopped up sun dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil, a little more salt and gave it a mix before adding in some goat cheese. After stirring in the goat cheese well I spooned the mixture into the portabella caps. At this point I covered it with plastic wrap and shoved it in the fridge. I prepped it early while Alex was running because tonight was my first night back at Zumba. Late last week Alex and I joined our local YMCA with my sister and tonight I gave a class a go. I had high expectations as, if you remember, I loved my zumba instructor at my home gym. Unfortunately this class did not live up to my expectations. My search for a new zumba class continues.



Around 7-715 I had Alex preheat the oven and then throw the mushrooms in for about 15-20 minutes to cook. First tag teamed dinner was a success other than him leaving them in a little long.  A couple of the sun-dried tomatoes got a little burnt but we could pull them off and it was perfect.

We served our mushroom caps with a simple side salad. I am loving on Ranch dressing right now. Cannot get enough. Yum!20131007_194100

According to Alex, this meal was good. Not his favorite Meatless Monday meal but I enjoyed it immensely. I could have eaten another one but wanted to save room for some pumpkin ice cream which I am savoring slowly as I write. MMMM to all things pumpkin.

Italian Quinoa Stuffed Portbelaas (serves 4-5)

5 portabello caps (I grabbed two packages at TJs)

1/2 C dry quinoa

1 C water

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch red pepper flakes and salt

1/2 C chopped sun dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp thinly sliced basil leaves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2-3 ounces goat cheese (crumbles would work better than a log like I used)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine water, quinoa, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt in a small pot. Cook according to quinoa package directions

2. Once quinoa is cooked, add in sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Stir well to combine.

3. Add in goat cheese and mix well.

4. Spoon mixture into the mushroom caps

5. Bake 15-20 minutes until the quinoa mixture is heated through and portabellas are warm and soft.

What is your favorite way to stuff mushrooms?

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Italian Turkey Burgers

Well hello there blog world. I’m not quite sure what happened to all the time lately but let me fill you in on my life the past month! First off, Alex and I found an apartment! No pictures because our phones were dead but it is a beautiful 2nd story apartment of a little duplex in Chicago. Absolutely love it. The kitchen walls are greenish blue which I love and it has a walk in pantry. I was sold the moment I saw it. I can’t wait to start cooking in it!

Alex and I leave for Germany in less than two weeks. I am more than excited for this. We are spending ten days traveling Germany and Austria and plan on seeing many castles, cathedrals and beer gardens while over there. Oh, and doing a Sound of Music Tour. I’m totally going to sing the hills are alive. I’m sure Alex will be extremely embarrassed by me.

Other than that my life has included: zumba, tap, some running, lots of rain (we got hit hard up here last week), and a ton of eating out. I feel like I really need to get back to my roots here and watch what I’m eating again. Even if you work out a ton you really need to watch what you eat. Even fit people can have heart attacks if they eat like crap.

Today, I vow to reignite my love for cooking healthy foods. I promise to myself that I will limit the eating out and eat my leftovers instead. I’ve already started by making some turkey burgers. Dad told me yesterday that he was craving a burger but he would be ok with a turkey burger. I had originally planned to make this soup and cheese bread so I instead took idea behind the ingredients and made turkey burgers. Wonderful, delicious, full of flavor turkey burgers.


I had bought ground turkey on sale a few weeks ago and it was the perfect excuse to break it out even though I had ground beef in the freezer. I mixed the ground turkey with Italian bread crumbs, an egg, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. I formed the burgers into 6 large patties and one small one that I plan on using on a salad tomorrow for lunch.  I froze two of the turkey patties for future use since we are leaving for Iowa this weekend and I didn’t want them to go to waste. The rest were then grilled on the stove top because the grill isn’t set up yet outside and topped with an Italian 4 blend cheese. The flavors were so good I am already looking forward to my leftovers.


I served the burgers with a side of baked sweet potato fries. I could have added a salad but I just wasn’t feeling it. One step at a time back into the healthy eating right? For dessert I had a lovely bowl of fresh berries that were supposed to be my afternoon snack but I ended up not needing.  Look at that.. I had burgers and berries tonight! Didn’t even plan it. There is no picture of my pretty berries because I ate them out of an ugly orange bowl.20130422_174224

Italian Turkey Burgers (makes 6.5 patties)

1.25 pounds ground lean turkey

1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary about 1 sprig

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp Italian herb bread crumbs (I used 2 Tbsp regular and added a few dashes each parsley, basil and oregano)

1 egg


1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.

2. Form into 6-7 patties

3. Grill for 3-5 minutes per sid  e, until browned on each side

4. Top with preferred cheese and let melt. I used Land o Lakes Italian 4 blend. Soo tasty

5. Serve on a bun. Top with some romaine and tomato. Onion would probably be good too if you like that sort of thing.

Each burger has about 160 calories, 18 gm protein, 1 gm fiber. Not too bad. It’s definitely something I can feel good about eating.

I was definitely a happy and satisfied girl after eating my burger. Cannot wait for leftovers!. Yum. I realized after mixing my patties and forming them that I forgot the salt and pepper and ended up forgetting to add it to the burgers as they were cooking. I didn’t miss either one. Feel free to go salt-less on this one. The tang of the sun-dried tomatoes and zesty cheese gave them all the flavor they needed.

What are you trying to work on this month?

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