Pizza Rustica

by Jennifer

This recipe comes from Cooking Light, and I changed very little, but next time I will increase the crust by half;  I did substitute whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour, which may have made the dough slightly harder to roll thin enough, but I rolled it pretty thin and it barely covered the pie plate or the top.  Still quite good, though!  Serves 6 – 8.


  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Pour in the olive oil and water and stir to combine.  Knead in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface for just a couple minutes, then divide the dough in two and wrap each in a piece of plastic wrap.  Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling out on a lightly floured surface.


  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb Swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
  • 8 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded fontina cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray

Place red peppers on a tray a few inches from the broiler and broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are blackened and blistered.

Transfer peppers to a ziplock bag and seal the bag, letting the steam loosen the skins.  When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off and discard skin (and stem and seeds), then chop peppers.  (You can do this step up to one day ahead and refrigerate.)

Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook chard, tossing occasionally,

until it wilts.  Transfer chard to a colander in the sink.  Wipe pan clean with a paper towel, then heat the remaining TBS oil in the skillet.

Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally,

for 5 minutes.  Transfer mushroom mixture to a fine-mesh sieve to drain.

Press on chard, and the mushroom mixture, to drain off as much liquid as possible, and drain off any liquid from the roasted red peppers.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together ricotta cheese through egg white.

Add vegetables and stir well to combine.

Coat a 9” pie plate with cooking spray;  roll out half of the dough and transfer to pie plate.  Pour vegetable mixture into the bottom crust, then roll out and top with the remaining dough.  Crimp crust edges.  Cut slits in the top crust for the steam to vent.

Bake for 45 minutes, then let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Portobello-Balsamic Burgers with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions

By Ira,

The Portobello mushrooms are marinated in balsamic vinegar, garlic, and fresh rosemary which makes them very delicious. After cooking them, they are topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions. I recommend you use fresh rosemary instead of the dried one for this meal. You can marinade the mushrooms in the morning, but you can also do that just before you cook dinner.

Serves 4 – Adapted from a recipe from Emeril Lagasse

Caramelized onions:

  • 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper

Portobello mushroom burgers

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
  • blue cheese crumbles or slices
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat burger rolls


  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • 1 avocado
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the butter or oil, then the onions, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and rosemary.

Cook until the onions start to caramelize, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set them aside.

Meanwhile, cut the stalks off the mushrooms. Add them to a plate, caps side down, and divide the balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, and rosemary equally among the 4 mushrooms. Set it aside until the onions finish cooking.

You can cook the mushrooms in the same skillet as the onions (2 at a time), or you can use a separate larger skillet (more washing up!). Add butter or oil to the skillet over medium heat, and add the mushrooms caps side down. Cook on one side for a few minutes, flip and cook the other side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the salad by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut the burger rolls and toast them slightly under the broiler. On each roll, add a portobello burger,

top it with the blue cheese,

then the caramelized onions. Serve it with the salad.

Grilled Portabello Mushroom Pasta, Broccoli Rabe

by Jennifer

My father visited recently and brought us bags of dried pasta he had bought at Claudio’s at 924 South 9th in Philadelphia, and it’s fantastic.  I used one of the bags for this meal;  in the past, I’ve used regular store-bought penne, and it was delicious, but if you can get your hands on amazing Italian pasta, do it as it really elevates this simple dish.  More broccoli rabe from my CSA (hurray!);

this time I just sauteed a couple chopped garlic cloves in some olive oil until fragrant,

then added the broccoli rabe (any tough stems removed, washed) and cooked, tossing in the garlic and oil occasionally,

until it wilted, then seasoned it with Maldon sea salt.  The original pasta recipe, from Gourmet magazine, calls for 1 TBS of fresh chopped marjoram or oregano, and tonight I had neither, and it was still, well, you know!  Serves 4.

  • 1 1/4 lbs portabella mushrooms (6 – 7)
  • 3 TBS neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. short pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Prepare your grill.

Slice stems off mushrooms and, using a spoon, gently scrape off the mushrooms’ gills.  Brush both sides of mushrooms with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill for 5 minutes on the first side, or until grill marks begin to appear, then flip and cook 2 – 3 minutes on the other side.

Remove from grill and when cool enough to handle, cut each mushroom in half, then into slices.  Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, reserving 3 TBS cooking water before draining.

Toss together drained pasta, reserved cooking water, extra-virgin olive oil, mushrooms, cheese and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Moo Shu Shrimp and Szechwan Green Beans

by Jennifer

This meal is just plain yummy, and comes together very quickly once the vegetables are prepped and the shrimp are cleaned.  This was a night when we rushed in at 5:50 from after-school activities, but I did have some time earlier in the day to get stuff prepped and ready.  Adding in time to deal with the dog, feed the rabbit and persuade (read: nag) my kids to wash their hands, dinner was on the table at 6:30.  (The green beans are delicious hot or at room temperature, so you can make them first, wipe the wok clean and then make the shrimp.)

Moo Shu Shrimp – adapted from Cooking Light, serves 4

  • 2 tsp neutral high heat-stable oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined (preferably wild and sustainably caught)
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, thinly, vertically sliced
  • 1 medium head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBS water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Sriracha (hot chile sauce…I used 1/2 tsp to decrease the heat for my kids)
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (6 – 8”)

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-hight heat.  Add half the garlic and the shrimp,

stir-frying just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Transfer shrimp to a clean bowl and wipe down the wok with a paper towel.  Heat remaining tsp oil in the wok,

add the remaining garlic and the mushrooms and stir-fry for a few minutes, until the mushrooms are seared and starting to become tender.

Add the carrots and onion, stir-frying for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the Napa cabbage,

stir-frying until wilted.

Whisk together the soy sauce through Sriracha, then add to the vegetables.

Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the shrimp and toss together until heated through.  Serve with tortillas and hoisin sauce.

Szechwan Green Beans – from Still Life with Menu by Mollie Katzen, serves 4

  • 2 TBS sesame oil
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat until sizzling.

Add green beans and stir-fry until generally seared, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, salt and red pepper, continuing to stir-fry for another 4 – 5 minutes.

Herbed Tofu and Vegetable Saute

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook, is great:  fast, light, fresh, healthy and delicious.

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 – 6 garlic cloves, depending on size, chopped, divided
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, stems removed or trimmed, sliced
  • 14 oz. package firm tofu, drained, cut into about 1/2” cubes
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, half of the garlic, and salt for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broccoli and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes,

or until the broccoli turns a deeper shade of green.

Add the tofu through pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 – 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender.

Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute or so, then stir in the cheese until it melts and serve.

Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Quiche, Asparagus and Greens Salad

by Jennifer

The quiche serves 4 – 6;  the salad serves 4.

Mushroom and Sun-dried Tomato Quiche – adapted from the quiche recipe in the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

  • 1 single unbaked pie crust, store-bought or homemade (I used the Fool-Proof Pie Dough recipe)
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • Paprika for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a 9” or 10” pan with pie crust dough, crimping edges.

In a small bowl, cover the tomatoes with hot water and let sit until softened, about 15 minutes.  Drain and squeeze the tomatoes dry.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat;  cook mushrooms until

they’ve given off their liquid and are golden brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour and mustard.

Scatter cheese over the pie crust;

then scatter the mushrooms and tomatoes.

Sprinkle the scallions over the mushrooms and tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over everything,

then sprinkle generously with paprika.

Bake for 50 minutes or until puffed, golden, and the center is solid when the pan is jiggled.

Asparagus and Greens Salad

  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2” long pieces
  • 7 cups gourmet salad greens, washed and spun dry
  • 5 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a skillet filled halfway with salted water to a strong simmer;  add asparagus and simmer for 4 minutes.  Drain and rinse the asparagus with cool water;  set aside.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Place salad greens in a serving bowl;

add the asparagus, then the dressing, tossing well to combine.

White Bean and Mushroom Stuffed Bell Peppers, Challah

by Jennifer

This is my adaptation of a recipe I cut out of a newspaper (can’t remember which one!  Chicago Tribune?) ages ago.  You can make the filling and stuff the peppers ahead;  top with the panko mixture right before baking.  It serves 3 – 6, depending on if you serve anything else with it, or if some of the people eating are smaller, or have smaller appetites.

  • 3 large bell peppers, any color
  • 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 oz white mushrooms, stems removed, sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 15.5-oz cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 oz. package fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or an estimation of that amount)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice peppers lengthwise and clean out seeds and membranes.  Place in a casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 TBS of olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms, turning the heat up to medium high, and cook until

the mushrooms are golden, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.

Add the beans, basil, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.  Remove the skillet from heat.

Fill the peppers with the bean and mushroom mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the panko and Parmesan cheese.  Drizzle in the remaining 2 TBS olive oil and stir well to combine.

Sprinkle the panko mixture over the peppers.  Add 2 TBS water to the casserole dish.

Bake the peppers, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot (if the topping gets too brown, gently tent a piece of foil over the dish).

Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust, Spinach Salad with Basalmic-Thyme Vinaigrette, Pumpkin Pie

by Jennifer

This was a company night, hence the extra nice dinner and Pumpkin Pie for dessert!

Vegetable Pot Pie with Wine Sauce and Polenta Crust – adapted from Bon Appetit

If the pot pie seems a little daunting, it’s really not;  there’s some down-time while the vegetables are roasting, and you can even roast the vegetables a day ahead…just bring them to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.   I add baked tofu for protein, but you can leave it out if you’d rather.  I also used instant polenta, which cooks slightly faster than regular polenta;  you can use either.  Photo caveat:  the sun was streaming in my kitchen window, pots were steaming and at one point, polenta was exploding on the stove-top, so my apologies for not having as many photos as I would have liked!

Serves 6.


  • 15 frozen pearl onions, thawed (such as Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 12 oz. rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 leek, chopped and rinsed (white and pale green parts only)
  • 12 oz white mushrooms, stems removed and quartered
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried herbs de Provence, OR 1/2 tsp each dried basil, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 7 oz. package organic baked tofu, savory flavor (such as Trader Joe’s brand), diced

Wine Sauce:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup good red wine (a kind you’d like to drink), divided
  • 1 TBS cornstarch


  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups instant polenta (from a 9.2 oz package)
  • 2 TBS freshly grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine pearl onions through dried herbs in a large roasting pan;  roast for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until all vegetables are tender.

Stir in the peas and tofu, if using.  Transfer vegetables to a serving dish;  mine was 8×12”, like a lasagne pan.  Turn down oven heat to 350.  In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable broth and 3/4 cup wine to a simmer.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup wine and 1 TBS cornstarch, then

add it to the simmering broth/wine mixture;  cook for a few minutes, or until it thickens.

Pour sauce over vegetables.

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth, water and salt to a boil.  Add the polenta slowing, stirring constantly, and stir until it thickens (turn down the heat quickly to avoid a similar polenta explosion), about 3 minutes for instant, 10 minutes for regular polenta.

Pour polenta over vegetables and smooth out;  sprinkle with Romano cheese.

Bake pie at 350 degrees for 15 minutes;  turn on broiler and broil until polenta is golden, about 4 minutes.  (I will admit, after the polenta explosion and my kids simultaneously playing the piano, drums and running around the kitchen, I forgot the broiling part.  Still tasty, though!)

Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Thyme Vinaigrette

Serves 6.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 7 oz. baby spinach

Whisk together dressing ingredients, oil through pepper.

Toss with spinach and serve.

Millet and Vegetable Pilaf with Almond-Orange Sauce

By Jennifer

Millet and Vegetable Pilaf with Almond-Orange Sauce

This recipe is from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook, and not only is it tasty, you feel really healthy after eating it.  If you like, rather than have this as the main dish, serve it as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish.

Serves 4 – 6, depending on if it’s the main meal or a side.

Millet and Vegetable Pilaf – adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook

  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 3 leeks, coarsely chopped (cut lengthwise into quarters, then chop crosswise), and rinsed
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups raw millet
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 large carrot, diced or quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen cut green beans, ideally organic

Leeks chopped and rinsed

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat;

Mushrooms, leeks and salt in the pot

add the mushrooms, leeks and salt and saute for 5 minutes.

Adding the millet

Add the millet and continue to saute, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

After removing the cover

Add the boiling water, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.

Adding green beans and carrots

Add the carrots and green beans, just placing them on top, and cook, covered, with the heat reduced to medium-low, for 15 minutes.

Millet pilaf is finished

Stir pilaf, mixing in the carrots and green beans, and serve hot, topped with Almond-Orange Sauce (see below for recipe).

Dinner is served

Almond-Orange Sauce – from Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook

  • 1 cup almond butter OR a little over 1 cup roasted almonds, ground into a paste in the  food processor
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger OR 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh orange rind
  • salt, to taste


Combine the almond butter and boiling water in a bowl and carefully mix until uniform, or, if you ground almonds, add the boiling water to the processor and process until smooth.

Almond butter

Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring well.  Serve warm or at room temperature;  left-over sauce goes well with grilled fish or grilled chicken.

Almond orange sauce