Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms
Serve 6

Served here with roasted fingerling potatoes and a baked Atlantic cod.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts (approximately) halved it they are large
1 pound mushrooms, any type, washed and sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Seasoning of your choice (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris)

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large Ziploc baggies.
  3. Add half the oil and the seasoning. Toss to coat.
  4. Empty the baggie into a 9×13 pan or other roasting pan.
  5. When the oven is ready, place on top shelf.
  6. Using the same baggies, place the mushrooms in it.
  7. Add remaining oil.
  8. After 15 minutes, stir the Brussels sprouts and pour the mushrooms on top.
  9. Roast for 15 more minutes, stirring half way through.
Nutritional data (1/6 of the pan, approximately 1 heaping cup):
Calories:       145
Fat:             12.9g
Sat fat:          3.7g
Chol:        13.3mg
Sodium:    20.6mg
Carbs:           7.1g
Fiber:            2.5g
Protein:         3.1g

To roast fingerling potatoes, toss with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and your preferred seasoning. (I used Penzey’s California Style Seasoned Black Pepper, which is black pepper, red and green bell peppers, onion and garlic.) Place in a roasting pan at the same time you start the Brussels sprouts, tossing them half way through. The potatos will be done with the sprouts and mushrooms.

To bake the cod, spread 1-2 tablespoon butter in a 8×8 or 9×13 baking pan (depends on how much you are baking). Lay the cod on the butter in a single layer. Sprinkle with pepper (and salt, if desired.) Place in the oven when you add the mushrooms to the Brussels sprouts.

The entire meal will be done at the same time.

Grilled French Bread Pizzas–Four Ways

Grilled French Bread Pizzas, Four Ways
Each pizza serves 2 or more, depending on if used as a meal or appetizer

French bread loaf, 12 inches (approximately)
Your choice of toppings (your options are infinite.) I used (from top to bottom):

Cheesy Garlic Bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
1 tablespoon bacon grease (you can use olive oil if you prefer)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
4 ounces ground beef, cooked
2 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
2 slices cheddar cheese (sharp if possible) or 2 ounces shredded

Olive, Mushroom & Spinach Pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
1/2 can (4 ounce can) mushrooms (I use Pennsylvania Dutch brand, no added salt)
4 green olives, sliced thinly
4 Kalamata olive, sliced thinly
1 ounce fresh baby spinach, chopped finely
1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded mozzarella

Mushroom & Swiss Pizza
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
8 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 slices Swiss cheese (or 2 ounces)

The instructions are basically the same for each and only vary with the difference in toppings.

  1. Preheat your grill in high, or set your oven’s broiler on high.
  2. Cut the loaf in half, lengthwise. 
  3. Carefully remove as much the bread from the cut face of each half, creating a long bowl for the crust. When finished, each shell should weight about 2 or 2.5 ounces. (Save the removed bread to make bread crumbs, if you want.)
  4. Evenly spread the oil (or bacon grease) over the cut surface (not the crust). Spread garlic if the recipe calls for it.
  5. Prepare all fillings. If you didn’t cook the ground beef specifically for this recipe, warm it in a microwave oven in a skillet on the stove. (Do the same for the bacon.) Slice and chop all ingredients, and pre-measure the cheeses if needed.
  6. For the mushroom filling, preheat a nonstick skillet. Add a bit of cooking spray. Saute the onions and mushrooms until everything is softened the the mushrooms have released their water.
  7. When all toppings are ready, take the bread to the grill. Turn the heat to low and lay them, cut side DOWN, on the grill. Don’t walk away. The crusts go from raw to crispy to burned with very little time in between those stages. (Mine were getting close to burnt!)  This will take 1-2 minutes. If you are using your broiler, place them cut side UP, and give them the same 1-2 minutes. The idea is to crisp the crust, and help it resist absorbing any juices from the fillings and getting soggy.
  8. Take the crusts back to your work area. Fill the crusts in the order that they are given.
  9. Return the pizzas to the grill or broiler (in both cases, cut side UP.) 
  10. Remove when the cheese is melted.
  11. Let rest briefly, then cut and serve.
Nutritional data (per half of one pizza):
             Cheesy Bread    Bacon-Cheese  Olive & Spinach   Mush & Swiss
Calories       160                     322                    202                       245
Fat:             9.4g                     19g                 12.5g                    13.3g
Sat fat:        2.4g                    9.1g                   2.6g                      5.1g
Chol:        7.6mg                  54mg                7.5mg                    20mg
Sodium:   227mg                328mg                550mg                  209mg
Carbs:       14.4g                  17.9g                  16.9g                       22g
Fiber:          0.4g                    1.1g                   1.5g                      1.5g
Protein:       5.2g                  19.1g                    6.6g                    11.2g
Note: This is my first attempt at these recipes, and I liked the crispy crust. At Tammy’s request, I will try these techniques again, but not toast the bread initially for a softer crust. I will also use some different fillings (yet to be decided.) I will post the results here, later this week.

Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein
Serve 6 (or fewer if there are hungry teenagers involved.)
6 ounces angel hair pasta (dry)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced and quartered
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced (8 ounces by weight)
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 cup Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 pound precooked chicken, shredded and heated.
  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large (10-11″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until they are beginning to become soft.
  4. Add carrots, green peppers, red peppers and mushrooms.
  5. Turn heat to high and add wine.
  6. In a small dish, combine salad dressing and peanut butter. Warm in microwave to melt the peanut butter. Stir together.
  7. Add salad dressing/peanut butter mixture to the vegetables. Stir to coat.
  8. Add chicken. Stir to combine.
  9. Either mix the angel hair into the chicken-vegetable mixture, or portion out the pasta per plate and top with 1/6 of the chicken-vegetable mixture.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        345
Fat:              17.6g
Sat fat:           4.2g
Chol:              60mg
Sodium:        248mg
Carbs:          28.5g
Fiber:             2.3g
Protein:        18.6g

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 24 Mushrooms

24 large button mushrooms
2 slices bread, torn
3 tablespoons bacon bits (or 2 slices bacon, crumbled)
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Remove stems from cleaned mushrooms. Finely mince the stems.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Preheat a 10″ non-stick skillet and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Add minced mushrooms stems. Saute until then get soft (4-6 minutes.)
  5. Add torn bread. Continue to cook and stir until the bread becomes well-mixed.
  6. Add bacon. Stir.
  7. Add cheese and remove from the heat. Stir until well-mixed.
  8. Fill each cap with a teaspoon of filling.
  9. Place all caps in a 9×13 baking pan.
  10. Bake, uncovered for 30-45 minutes, or until the mushrooms get hot and the stuffing browns.

Nutritional data (per mushroom):
Calories:     29
Fat:           1.9g
Sat fat:      1.1g
Chol:        5.5mg
Sodium:  72.4mg
Carbs:       1.2g
Fiber:        0.3g
Protein:     2.1g

Onions, garlic instead of bacon
Crab meat instead of bacon
Onion and avocado instead of bacon and cheddar
Onion, sausage and mozzarella instead of bacon and cheddar
Sun-dried tomato, garlic and mozzarella instead of bacon and cheddar
Onion, black olive and feta instead of bacon and cheddar
Minced ham and shredded Swiss instead of bacon and cheddar

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin
Serves 8 (average 6 ounce portion by weight)

Meals like this are great for cool days, or when you need to feed many people on a budget. It is fast, simple (with a few easy steps) and is a healthy choice. On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, a common topic regarding health and weight loss is finding meals that taste incredible and are still easy to fit into a calorie budget. This recipe works!

Special equipment: Pressure Cooker

1 chicken (4-5 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (remove the wings from the breast, Cut the breasts in half, separate the drumsticks from the thighs.)
Flour, for dusting the chicken pieces
1 tablespoons cooking oil (canola or olive)
3 strips of bacon, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large (3″) potato, peeled and diced
6 ounces baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry red wine
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper as needed

  1. Dust the chicken parts with flour. 
  2. In the pressure cooker, add canola oil and heat the oil until very hot and brown the chicken pieces. 
  3. Remove the chicken to a warm platter. 
  4. Add to the pressure cooker the bacon, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potatoe, and saute until the onion is wilted. 
  5. Carefully whisk in the 1 tablespoon of flour, then gradually add the wine and stir until thickened and smooth. 
  6. Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pressure cooker.
  7. Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure, then lower heat and cook for 8 minutes under pressure. 
  8. Allow pressure to drop by the naturally and remove the lid. 
  9. Add the mushrooms and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.

Nutritional data (for 6 ounces of chicken, average of white and dark):
Calories:     434
Fat:           25.8g
Sat fat:        7.4g
Chol:         137mg
Sodium:     285mg
Carbs:       14.5g
Fiber:          2.1g
Protein:     31.7g

Optional: if you want this creamy, stir in 1/2 cup (5 ounces by weight) plain Greek Yogurt when you add the mushrooms and heat through.


My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen! 

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Serve 4
2 ounces (dry) mushroom blend. I used a blend of porcini, shiitake, oyster and black mushrooms.
8 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Vidalia onions, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rehydrate mushrooms with one quart boiling water. Let set for 30 minutes or more.
  2. In a 2-3 quart non-stick sauce pan, preheat over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil.
  3. Place onions in pan. Cook until beginning to get translucent.
  4. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. In the same pan, add remaining oil.
  6. Add white button mushrooms.  Cook until they are beginning to get soft.
  7. Drain rehydrated mushrooms. SAVE THE JUICE! Squeeze the mushrooms to get them as dry as possible. Add to button mushrooms.
  8. Cook mushrooms until they are about half their volume (10 minutes).
  9. Return onions to mushrooms.
  10. Measure and add mushroom water to pan. (There should be about 2 cups)
  11. Add wine.  Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. While the broth returns to a boil, make the roux.
  14. When the broth boils, stir in the roux. Simmer until the desired thickness.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk

  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in flour to make a paste.
  3. Add Greek yogurt, stir until well mixed.
  4. Add milk. Stir until smooth. Return to heat over low-medium, just to get it warm.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         253
Fat:               14.4g   
Sat fat:               7g
Chol:               28mg
Sodium:           46mg
Carbs:           18.5g
Fiber:              2.8g
Protein:         10.1g

Simple Steak Dinner

I made this on the eve before our eldest returned to college. 
I asked what he wanted and he told me steak and my spinach salad. 
I like to make the foods that people specifically want.

Steak Dinner
Serves ? (Depends on how many steaks you make. I made four.)

4 boneless rib eye steaks, about 1 inch thick. 14-16 ounces each is great.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick and then quartered
2-4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
3 cups (8 ounces) sliced crimini (baby portabella) mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat grill on high for 15 minutes.  Get it HOT.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add olive oil.
  4. Add onions and salt/pepper to taste. Saute until they begin to get translucent (3-5 minutes).
  5. Add mushrooms. Continue to saute until the mushrooms get soft (5-8 minutes).
  6. In the last minute, add garlic.
  7. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

When the mushrooms and onions are done, season the steaks with salt/pepper or any other seasonings. I use a pepper mill filled with black pepper, coriander, celery seed, mustard seed, and a bit of dried red pepper flakes. No salt.

Clean the grates with a brush. Using long tongs, dip a folded paper towel into cooking oil (any kind) and rub the grates with the oil. It may catch fire.  That is okay.  Just wipe a little more on the grate.

Place the steaks on the grill.

  Yeah, those are good steaks, each 14-16 ounces, and one inch thick

After 2 minutes, you can lift them and twist them about 90 degrees to form cross hashed grill marks. This is certainly not necessary, but it looks nice.

After a total of 6-7 minutes, turn the steaks over.  (A one inch steak will be rare in about 12 minutes total cooking time, medium rare in about 14 minutes.  Medium in about 16-18 minutes.  I don’t know what will happen with longer times.  I never intentionally cook a steak beyond medium.)

See the grill marks?
When fully cooked, remove from the grill and set on a cooling rack. Cover and keep warm. Don’t let them sit in their juices. (Instead, later add the juices to the mushrooms.)
In the photo above, I served the steak with a pat of butter on it, and a spinach-strawberry salad and sauteed mushrooms and onions.
Nutritional data will vary based on type of steak and size.

Chicken Breast and Mushrooms in a Vinegar-Cream Sauce

Chicken Breast and Mushrooms in a Vinegar-Cream Sauce
Serves 4

4 chicken breasts (I used 4 ounce breasts)
Your preferred herb blend (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced and quartered
6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3 cups (8 ounces) crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters
8 ounces white wine
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 ounces (by weight) plain Greek yogurt

  1. Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag. With a mallet, pound them thin (1/4 – 1/2 inch). Season with your favorite seasoning.
  2. Preheat a large non-stick skillet. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Pan fry breasts, on both sides, until fully cooked (8-12 minutes). Remove from the pan, cover to keep warm.
  4. Place olive oil in the skillet (do not wipe it clean of chicken residue.) Add mushrooms. Saute until beginning to get soft  (4-6 minutes over medium heat.)
  5. Add onion. Continue to saute until the onions are beginning to get translucent.
  6. Add garlic. Let cook for 1 minute.
  7. Remove and cover to keep warm.
  8. Again, without cleaning the skillet, carefully pour in the wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  9. Add vinegar and tomato paste. Stir until mixed.
  10. Add yogurt, stir until mixed.
  11. Return chicken and mushrooms to the skillet. Toss to coat.
  12. Serve over rice, pasta, or other starch (if desired.)

The picture shows Summer Quinoa Salad and steamed broccoli.

Nutritional Data for one chicken breast and 1 portion of sauce:
Calories:       257
Fat:               6.2g
Sat fat:             1g
Chol:              65mg
Sodium:        207mg
Carbs:          14.2g
Fiber:            2.3g
Protein:          28g

Crimini, Onion and Bleu Cheese Pizza

Crimini, Onion and Bleu Cheese Ultra-Thin Pizza
Serves 2

1.  Preheat oven as directed on the package.

2.  Slice one-half Vidalia onion into 1/8 inch thick slices, and then quarter those.
3.  Clean and slice 8 ounces crimini mushrooms.
4.  Heat a 10″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Spray with cooking spray, add onions.
5.  Saute onions until golden brown and caramelized (6-10 minutes.) In the last minute, add 2-4 cloves smashed and minced garlic.  Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.
6.  In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add mushrooms. Toss frequently. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Saute until the mushrooms become soft and have released a lot of their water.
7.  While mushrooms cook, prepare the Golden Home Ultra Thin pizza crust. Evenly coat the surface with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
8.  Layer the onions evenly over the cheese. Top with mushrooms.
9.  Evenly sprinkle 1/4 cup bleu cheese over mushrooms. (I was able to use sliced BleuJack cheese, the amounts are the same.)
10. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is brown.

Note: In my photo, I actually have two versions. The left half is made with mozzarella replacing the bleu for my wife. The right half is made according to the above recipe.

Nutritional Data (for the bleu cheese variety)–portion size is half the pizza:
Calories:     528
Fat:           28.6g
Sat fat:        9.9g
Chol:           41mg
Sodium:     339mg
Carbs:       51.9g
Fiber:         8.1g
Protein:    19.3g

Portabella “Burger” and “Fries”

Portabella Burger and Fries
Serves 2

1 large baker potato, washed, but not peeled
2 large portabella caps
1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced
1+1 tablespoon olive oil
Mustard (I like a spicy brown)
1 slice of cheese (optional and your preferred variety)
2 hamburger buns (Optional, but it makes for a more enjoyable “burger” experience)

Preheat oven to 450, and turn your grill on high.
Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sized bowl.
Slice the potato into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Then cut into 1/2 thick fries. (I used a crinkle cutter from Pampered Chef.)
Place fries in the bowl and toss in the olive oil to coat.
Place fries on a baking pan, spread out so they are not touching.
Bake for 18-24 minutes (or until the outside is brown and crispy and the inside is soft and hot), turning halfway.
Remove and sprinkle with your preferred seasoning. I used Penzey’s Sunny Spain.

Take the portabella cap and remove the stem. With a spoon, scrape the gills off the underside. Coat the upper surface with the residual olive oil from the potatoes. Set aside.

While the fries bake, place the remaining olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions. Saute until soft and caramelized (5-10 minutes.)  Set aside.

After the onions are done, place the portabella caps on the grill (they could also be pan-fried on the stove.) Grill until they are hot and starting to sweat their juices.  Lay the slice of cheese (if using) on the cap to let it melt. (I used a smoked Swiss.)

If you want, place your buns on the grill grate, cut side down, to toast them.

Place the portabella cap on the bottom of the bun. Place half of the caramelized onions on the cheese, and top with mustard. Serve with half the baked fries.

Nutritional data (Portabella Burger with 1 slice cheese and bun):
Calories:        255
Fat:                 11g
Sat fat:           4.7g
Chol:              20mg
Sodium:        381mg
Carbs:         26.7g
Fiber:            6.5g
Protein:       12.7g

Nutritional data for the fries:
Calories:        175
Fat:                3.7g
Sat fat:           0.5g
Chol:                0mg
Sodium:          21mg
Carbs:          32.1g
Fiber:             3.4g
Protein:          3.9g

Other options:
Add fresh or sauteed jalapenos.
A slice of tomato
Sun-dried tomato
Barbeque sauce and bacon (Yum!)