This dish is perfect for anyone on a low-carb diet. The firm, meaty texture of the mushrooms is a wonderful companion to the tender chicken and bright flavors from the pesto and fresh basil. Toss a handful of spring greens with a tangy vinaigrette, and you have a delicious, quick, healthy dinner.
I love making this pasta dish when we have company over because you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and allow the flavors to blend and deepen until you’re ready to warm it back up in time for dinner. I’m also a believer in the rule that you should always cook with the wine you plan to serve with the meal. The peppery, currant, berry flavor of Syrah wine adds a deep richness to the sauce and wonderfully compliments the earthy mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage and bright licorice essence of the fennel.
A rich, creamy sherry sauce folded into sweet, tender crawfish and earthy mushroom infused pasta is by far one of my favorite, decadent bites. When you order the dish in a restaurant, though, it’s often weighed down by unnecessary fat and calories, causing you to feel uncomfortable by the time you’re finished eating it.
Not wanting to give up on this delectable dish, I came up with this lightened version, replacing the heavy cream with reduced fat half and half and using light butter and heart-healthy olive oil. The sauce still has the rich, flavorful taste you look forward to, but you walk away from the table without any of the guilt!
While I was preparing a beef roast for dinner one night during the holidays, I was trying to decide what side dish I wanted to prepare instead of the typical rice dish, or cous cous, or pasta. Then I saw a box of barley in my pantry and decided it was time to try something new.
Barley really isn’t a new grain per say, however, it’s not a common option typically listed on many restaurant menus. It’s a cereal grain that’s very high in soluble fiber and is great for helping to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
As it turned out, my willingness to use the barley was a wise choice. Once cooked, it had a slight chewy nuttiness that paired wonderfully with the earthiness from the roasted mushrooms, the fresh thyme and the rich, robust beef stock from the roast. I will definitely make this again!
You know how a sandwich or a salad tastes better when someone else makes it? The reason is a combination of your visual perception along with a psychological response to the exposure of the ingredients. If you’re the one making the salad, your mind is thinking about how the finished dish will taste, so in the end, the resulting pleasure isn’t as strong as if someone else prepares and presents you with the finished dish.
Either way, this salad still tastes as delicious as my mind tells me it will, whether I make it or not. The warm roasted mushrooms and asparagus add a deep, earthy layer to the salad, and the dressing has just the right level of acidity to give your taste buds a bright pop of flavor.
And just a suggestion, go the extra step and buy a nice aged Parmesan and grate it yourself for this dish. The inherent nuttiness and buttery flavor of an aged Parmesan works well here.
Weekday mornings are most often very hurried, making sure our daughter ready for school, the dog is walked and fed and I’m ready to go at 7:30 AM. If I’m able to work in a quick healthy breakfast during that time, it’s been a successful morning.
The weekends; however, are more along my favored speed, where I can plan out and take my time preparing a nice flavorful, delicious breakfast like this caramelized onion, mushroom and Gruyere quiche. If you read my books, this recipe may sound familiar. It was featured in my second book, ‘The Enlightenment, Book Two in the Tori Cooper Novels’.
Traditional French and Italian cuisine used to lean towards heavy, cream based sauces referred to as ‘Haute Cuisine.’ Then in the 1980’s, ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ emerged, placing an emphasis on natural flavors, using the freshest possible ingredients and less heavy sauces, so you could actually taste all of the ingredients in the dish.
This version of garlic and sage browned butter sauce uses light butter; which has 50 calories per tablespoon, versus 100 calories of regular salted butter. Toasting the garlic brings out an inherent nutty flavor and the sage leaves delicately fragrant the butter as it cooks.
Have I mentioned that I love mushrooms? (Joking) Seriously, the first time I made this recipe, I approached it bravely, not realizing how much time it takes to successfully prepare risotto. I remember thinking as I was incorporating the final addition of the liquid that I would never make the recipe a second time because I was tired of stirring! Then I tasted it and I never complained again.
I absolutely love mushrooms. There can never be too much fungus, among us! I love their various colors, flavors, textures, and versatility, and I try to incorporate them into as many dishes as I can. They especially pair well with pasta, so imagine how excited I was when I found porcini fettuccine – even more mushroom flavor for me to play with!