Tag Archives: mushroom

Hardcore Hobbit: Mushroom Pie

Yesterday, I logged on and found out it was national pie day. Well, being the obedient gamer that I am I have to make pie. The first thing that leaps to mind when I think pie is definitely a dessert, and I’ve made one of those too. Since today is hardcore hobbit day though I figured I should post what I think is a most hobbit of hobbit pies, the mushroom pie ofcourse. In the game the pie is made simply with mushrooms and pie crust. Pie crust for this pie was a phyllo dough, I had some leftover from a strudel craving…don’t worry I’ll post that another day. I made my pies as tarts but you can make a full on pie using the same method. I just like the portion control and epic cuteness of a hobbit tart.

  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms (any kind will do, this is the type I used), sliced
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough
  • 1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  1. Lay out a sheet of phyllo dough. Spray with cooking spray and top with another layer of phyllo dough. Repeat until all layers have been sprayed.
  2. Carefully cut the phyllo dough with a knife into 12 squares. Spray a muffin tin, place each layered square into a muffin cup forming a crust.
  3. Heat a pan to medium and saute garlic and mushrooms. Pour into blender. Add mushroom soup, rosemary, egg white, salt and pepper. Blend to desired consistency.
  4. Divide the mixture into the 12 phyllo cups. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 12. Each mushroom tart contains 37 calories, 1 gram of fat, and .5 gram of fibre. If you have extra calories and fat to spend that day I highly recommend topping the pies with a bit of cheese in the last 5 minutes of cooking. My husband said his mozzarella topped one were nummy. I recommend goat cheese…but then I just love goat cheese on everything. These would be great to serve at a party or keep to yourself omnomnom. If you are making this as a pie all you do is fit the sheets into a pie pan instead of cutting them up, the cooking time is increased by 5 minutes. Pair this with a salad and you have dinner!!

Boeuf Bourguignon

Putting the peasant back into this peasant food inspired haute cuisine dish. This is only vaguely close to the cooking processes used for this dish today. It’s easy and tasty this way though…and I don’t argue with tasty. She fights dirty. Ofcourse, the other thing that makes this dish a good idea for hungry hobbits all over the world….MUSHROOMS!! See? Tasty fights dirty bigtime. The key to make this healthier is really in the cut of your stewing beef. Try to get one that only has a bit of marbling. If you can get sirloin stewing beef then you are golden. Some butchers offer “steak ends” which are the bits they cut off those sirloin steaks to make them beautiful. These are awesome lean cuts that are perfect for this dish. The other reason I absolutely had to post a beef dish today? I was watching ‘Come Dine with me Canada’. On it was this woman who kept complaining that when she was dieting all she could eat was chicken, that is why she dislikes chicken. Sheesh. No idea what diet she was trying but I seem to be doing just fine and NOT living on just chicken. So there. It’s not a beautiful picture, as I embraced it’s peasant roots, but it sure was tasty.

  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 1 pkg crimini mushrooms, sliced or puree (according to preference)
  • 8 pearl onions (I used red pearl onions for colour)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbl cornstarch (I like my boeuf with a thick sauce, if you don’t skip this)
  • 1 tsp poultry spice
  • 1/2 chicken broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 8 oz stewing beef
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a pan to medium, add bacon, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the bacon is crispy. Drain the fat and pour into a crockpot.
  2. Toss the beef in cornstarch to coat then add to the pan and brown. You just want to sear the meat here, not cook it. Pour into the crockpot.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping off the browned bits from the pan. Pour into the crockpot.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and allow to cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains 278 calories, 5.7 grams of fat and 3.8 grams of fibre. Very diet friendly to me. Living on chicken, heh, the very idea!



It’s a faux risotto! It’s summer, it’s too hot outside to be babysitting a real risotto…but having a nice risotto with a glass of wine al fresco just sounds so lovely right about now. What is a hungry hobbit to do? Well…fake it! This tastes rather like a risotto but without all the babysitting and fuss. Yesterday was the hottest day we have had all summer and I found this didn’t heat up our kitchen much at all. Granted, we quickly escaped from it to devour our tasty bowls of faux-tto. Here’s the photo of our faux-tto…o.k. maybe I just like saying faux-tto. hehe.

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 200g Portobello mushrooms, grilled
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pkg uncle ben’s fine herb and wild rice
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  1. This is an optional step. For our mushrooms we use leftovers from making portobello burgers. Marinate the mushrooms in a splash of olive oil, 4 tbl balsamic vinegar, and 1 tsp rosemary. Grill to desired doneness. Slice up the leftovers for this faux-tto. You can skip this step by just cooking the mushrooms during the garlic and onion stage. I recommend the leftover method highly though.
  2. Slice the chicken and slightly brown in a skillet, set aside. OR grill the chicken to get a sear, 3 minutes on each side, let sit for 5 minutes and slice. Chicken will be slightly underdone. Don’t worry we will take care of it.
  3. Add garlic and onion to the pan and cook until softened.
  4. Add rice and seasoning packet. Mix well and cook for 30 seconds. The rice should get a nice sheen to it. Stir in the broth and wine. Add the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. The rice should be tender and the liquid should be mostly absorbed.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir, cover and let stand for another 10 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese and serve!

Makes four servings. Each serving contains 403 calories, 6.1 grams of fat and 1.2 grams of fiber. A very enjoyable dish for dining outside. Something different from the everyday bbq.

African Chow Mein

So apparently this dish comes to us from the chinatowns that have cropped up in various major cities on the African continent. To me it sounds like yet another delicious way to use ground beef. You see, I’m usually not much of a ground beef user but I ended up with a bunch of it in my freezer so I’ve been trying to work on ways to use it that aren’t my usual burger or slider standby. The dish is mainly ground beef, celery, and rice, Nice and simple. I have no idea how authentic my flavour is. My dad is the one who has visited several countries in Africa not me. So here is my effort based on what I’ve had described to me.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked brown minute rice
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 can fat free cream of celery soup
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (kikoman ofcourse!)
  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cup mushrooms cut to desired consistency (I puree mine, mushroom flavour in every bite! I use crimini, oyster, or shiitake mainly)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Use a large wok to sautee the onions until the edges turn slightly brown. Add the ground beef. Cook until browned. Drain the fat.
  3. Add the other ingredients to the pan and mix well.
  4. Pour the ingredients into a casserole dish and bake, covered, for 45 minutes.
  5. Stir and return to the oven uncovered for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chives (optional).

This makes four servings. Each serving has 484 calories, 26 grams of fat (lower this by using extra lean), and 2 grams of fiber. I know at first glance that may seem like a lot but consider this is a one dish meal. You have veggies, grains and proteins all in one. I served this all by itself and went from starving hungry (I was late getting dinner going) to happily satisfied with just one serving. I liked it so much I’m actually having a serving leftover for lunch today…as is my husband. This dish was a bit of a crowd pleaser. My husband came home yesterday with a headache and completely drained of umpf. At this for dinner and was back to his old self. Maybe that qualifies this as a comfort food?

Claypot Oyster Chicken

Lucky enough to have a claypot? Have I got a recipe for you! Don’t have one? Go out and get one, then cook this recipe! Hehe you can modify it to cook in the oven quite easily. I just don’t know if the full effect will be achieved. Good in a pinch though. For years the claypot I had was just sitting there under the sink. I had bought it on sale for 10$ way back when. Then one day I proclaimed that I would use it. It was one of those adventurous days which can go either way really hehe. This time I definitely conquered the clay pot. My parents do a roast chicken with wine in theirs which served as the inspiration for this dish.

  • 2 tbl. soy sauce
  • 5 tbl. sake
  • 2 tbl canola oil
  • 2 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 2 inch piece of ginger cut into six slices
  • 6 pieces of chicken thighs (I tend to go for skinless, bone in)
  • 10-15 shiitake (fresh is good, if dried steep them in hot water for 20 minutes until soft. Keep the water. Make sure the stems are removed)
  • 2 pouches of chicken oxo
  • 3 tbl. oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbl flour
  • 1 1/2 water (if you used dry some of this will be from your mushroom water)
  1. Mix the soy sauce, 2 tbl of sake, 1 tbl canola oil, shallots, and ginger in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat throughly. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a wok to medium. Swirl in the remaining oil and place the chicken pieces in the wok allowing them to brown on each side. Drizzle marinade on top. Approx. 5 minutes each side. Remove.
  3. Soak your claypot in cold water for atleast 15 minutes. Arrange the chicken inside the claypot and top with the shallots.
  4. Puree the mushrooms in the water until desired consistency.
  5. In a saucepan combine the flour, oxo, oyster sauce, sugar, remaining sake, and mushroom puree. Heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour over top the chicken arranged in the claypot.
  6. Place the claypot in the oven and start heating to 475F. Do not put the claypot in a hot oven, always preheat with your claypot in it. Once the oven reaches temperature allow the dish to cook for 45 minutes.

Each thigh with a bit of sauce is 172 calories, 7.5 grams of fat and 0.8 grams of fiber. This dish was claypot licking good. That thing was full of sauce and goodies! Before we knew it, it had been spooned out and practically licked clean. This was great served over rice. My husband even proclaimed that it was rather like eating a chinese styled risotto. A big winner and highly recommended.

Mushroom and Barley Chicken Soup

I knew today was going to be a long day with work and the gym so once again time to bring out ye old crockpot again. It is so wonderful to know you are coming home to a tasty healthy meal instead of blowing my efforts on fast food. Friends don’t let friends eat fast food right?

Hardcore Hobbit edit: In the game there is a mushroom chicken soup. It calls for chicken stock, mushrooms and green onions. To make this a hardcore hobbit triumph maybe this soup should be garnished with green onions at the end? I definitely think it would make a tasty soup even tastier. Hehe this one even has the mastery option of parsley. Crit!!

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 300 grams or more crimini mushrooms, puree
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (works great with my turkey broth posted earlier in my blog too)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp italian spice mix
  • 1 1/2 cup cubed cooked chicken breast (Leftovers, or just toss a couple of breasts in the oven with some seasoning on them till cooked)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Melt the butter at the bottom of the crockpot on low. Stir in the carrots, saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms, broth, water, barley, salt, pepper, and italian spice. Allow to cook for 5-6 hours, more won’t really hurt it if needed.
  3. 30 minutes before serving add the chicken, parsley, and cheese. Allow to heat through. It’s good to take this time to make a nice salad or garlic bread to go with this soup.

Makes four hearty servings of approx 2.5 cups each. Nutritionals: 282 calories, 5.7 g fat, 6.8 g fiber. Warning this is one filling soup! Be light on those side dishes or you just plain won’t finish it all.

The Modest Calorie Mushroom Soup and Goat Cheese Stuffed Buns

What good hobbit doesn’t love things done with mushrooms? This hobbit though refuses to be as wide as she is tall. Although she is a very hungry hobbit. What is a hobbit to do? Why, have some modest calorie mushroom soup ofcourse! Hurray! I have tried a number of low calorie recipes for mushroom soups but they all seemed to lack the flavour I was looking for. After tweeking, taking ideas from some and pitching others I came up with a combo that worked for me. Want to go vegetarian? Just skip the bacon this recipe is still tasty just not as decadent.

  • 2 lbs of mushrooms (I typically use crimini, or a blend of wild mushrooms)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1 can beef broth or 1 cup beef broth homemade
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tsp flour
  • 2 tbl light butter
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  1. Saute the bacon until it is beginning to get crispy. Add the onions, garlic and olive oil and saute until they are slightly browned.
  2. Add the mushrooms. If you preblend them like I do mix them with a cup of water, if not just saute until they are slightly cooked.
  3. Add milk, broth, flour and water (if you did not with the mushrooms). Stir, use immulsifier to thicken if you did not preblend your mushrooms. If you did you can skim the immulsifier.
  4. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Stir in the oregano, cayenne and rosemary. Simmer for 30 minutes on low.
  5. Add the white wine, stir in and give the soup a taste. Salt and Pepper as needed and serve.

4 generous dinner servings. 220 calories.

I served these with some goat cheese stuffed buns. These are so easy to pop in while you are in the final stages of the soup. Just grab a can of the reduced fat pilsbury crescent rolls and some herb and garlic goat cheese. Add a half tsp of the goat cheese to each triagle and then proceed to roll them up, making sure you pinch closed the side and give them that crescent shape. Cook as directed. Each roll came to 107 calories each using a goat cheese that was just 70 calories per 2 tablespoons. What a tasty side to a delicious dish!

Edit: I just had some of the leftovers from this reheated…OMG! I didn’t think it was possible but it tasted even better. I would definitely reccommend packing leftovers of this soup up for lunch the next day. I know it brightened my day!

Low Calorie Mushroom and Herb Risotto

Mmm good hobbits love their mushrooms. I find I love the taste of mushrooms but not the texture, so I tend to purée some of the mushrooms that go into my recipes. This gives my risotto a brown saucy look but makes it oh so tasty with mushroom flavour in every bite. Take a look:

This lovely serving came to only 300 calories and 10 grams of fat approximately. Totally reasonable for a dinner portion, you can even pair it with a salad if you are still feeling hungry. Plenty of calories to spare!

Here is my recipe:

  • about 3 cups of defatted turkey broth (I’ll post some details about how I make mine later this week), chicken will do fine too.
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, slice as many as you want and purée the rest if you are like me about the texture.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat the broth in a separate saucepan on low, you don’t want it to boil just be hot.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a skillet or pot.  Add the diced shallot and cook until translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are browned on the edges. Add the garlic, rosemary and about 3 tbl of the mushroom purée if you did this. Cook two minutes. Add the rest of the purée to your broth and stir.
  3. Add the rice to the skillet and turn the heat to low. Stir, once the kernels are a bit shiny and translucent add the white wine and cook until the wine has reduced by half.
  4. Add 1 cup of the broth to the rice and stir slowly until it has been absorbed into the rice. Continue to add the broth one cup at a time, stirring slowly and letting the rice absorb it before adding the next. The risotto is done when it is creamy on the outside and slightly firm on the inside. This usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide into dishes and top with extra parmesan cheese if you like. I added about 2 tbl on top of mine and added the calories to the total for the recipe.

Serves 2

This made for such a lovely dinner last night for the two of us. It was creamy, full of mushroom flavour, and most of all satisfying for my foodie urges. Risotto sounds so intimidating when you hear those chefs being yelled at for their on shows like Hell’s Kitchen but it really isn’t. When you don’t have chef Ramsey in your face all it takes is stirring and patience and a tasty rich dish will be yours to savour in no time!