Mushrooms Recipes

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Portobello Mushroom Blue Cheese Tart Recipe Recipe

Most of the time, I have puff pastry in the freezer. That means that when I’m in a pinch, as I was today, I can always whip up a light meal with a few vegetables and make a savory tart. This time around I made a caramelized onion and fennel filling, topped with sliced grilled Portobello mushrooms and blue cheese. I paired the individual tarts with mixed greens and a simple vinaigrette.

Sunny days are back, so I tend to prepare easy, lighter meals like this one and a lot of cooling drinks to fight off the heat. Who wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen when the weather is this nice? 


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Braised Straw Mushrooms (Nam Kho Ca Recipe) Recipe

Nấm kho cà tô mát, which translates to "braised mushrooms in tomatoes" in Vietnamese, was my late grandma's (Bà Ngoại) specialty. Bà Ngoại was an excellent cook; she mastered vegetarian cooking in particular. This dish resembles sweet tomato beef because of the texture of dried straw mushrooms in the sweet and sour sauce. The preparation is fairly simple. A lot of garlic and a fair amount of different soy sauces (zesty, sweet and salty) really make the dish flavorful. The sweetness and tanginess from the fresh tomatoes gives the final touch for this quick side dish.

As a child, I didn't come often to Vietnam to visit my grandma but I always remember all the wonderful stories she told me. Bà Ngoại used to be the director of a Saigonese school and was proud to educate and empower Vietnamese women through various disciplines, including culinary arts among others. I remember she was a very strong-minded lady who really represented the essence of Vietnam. I'm not saying this just because she was my grandmother, but she was such a great role model, always dedicated to excellence and so devoted to her children, especially during times of crisis. She was an admirable woman.


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King Mushrooms in Pineapple Sauce Recipe

King mushrooms braised in pineapple sauce makes a quick and easy side dish. The beautiful part of this dish is that it works both as a vegetable side dish and a meat substitute. King mushrooms have a chewier, more meaty texture than Portobello mushrooms, which is very pleasant if you're looking for a filling meal without a ton of calories.

The mushrooms are sliced, then braised in crushed pineapple and soy sauce. If you’re a true carnivore though, you could always replace the mushrooms with chicken breast.


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Bow Tie Pasta in Asparagus Sauce Recipe

Our whole family,  especially the little ones, loves bow tie pasta. The cute shape isn't the best way to hold on to sauce, but it’s a welcome change ffrom macaroni or penne. This time, I sautéed the pasta with caramelized onions and spinach and added a few other ingredients. I used grilled Portobello mushrooms for a meaty texture, diced red bell peppers for color and fresh mozzarella for extra creaminess.

The asparagus sauce is an improvisation using leftover asparagus stalks (I used the tips for making risotto). I blended them into a thick sauce and separately cooked onions with diced tomatoes, a few spices and yogurt. The sauce is quite healthy but so flavorful. If you're minding calories, you could omit the mozzarella garnish or use a low-calorie cheese such as feta cheese.


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Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu Recipe

Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu

01.24.11 by Jackie

Trái bàu translates to calabash, bottle gourd, long melon or opo squash. It's a very common vegetable used in Vietnamese cuisine. The shape is cylindrical and the color is light green. It's best harvested while still young. It can be boiled, stir-fried or added to soups. The texture is very similar to zucchini; the flesh is very soft, spongy and tastes mildly sweet.

Whenever I look at calabash, it makes me think of a very nice lady named Trần and her lovely family. Last year, I got to meet Trần through PhamFatale.com. She read my article about the dragon fruit that I bought at the market and she kindly offered to give me dragon fruit trees her mother grows as a hobby. Trần's mom has magical hands and is a very talented gardener. While visiting their garden in San Jose, I noticed beautiful, giant calabash growing on vines hung over a trellis. I took a few home with me and they were the some of the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to try and to grow some of my own this year, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

For this particular version I made a quick vegetable stir-fry, using miso and honey. In honor of the upcoming Asian New Year, I'm determined to eat vegetarian for a week and at the same time, shed a few pounds.  This recipe was a great way to kick off my challenge.


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