Mushroom quinoa “risotto” with roasted tomatoes


While I love risotto, sometimes it feels a little heavy for dinner (particularly if I am eating close to bedtime). A solution? Use another of my favourite ingredients in place of rice..


The added bonus being that it is quicker to prepare and packed with protein (especially if you are opting to otherwise keep the dish vegetarian).

On this occasion, I packed out the ‘risotto’ with mushrooms, zucchini and a good helping of spinach. The overall result was full of flavour, but not too heavy, and it turned out to be quite the tasty midweek meal.

img_1130 Finished with some cherry tomatoes that I had roasted in the oven until soft and starting to caramelise – which added nice little sweet bursts to the dish.

I’ll have to remember this dish for next time I have vegetarian friends in town!

Mushroom quinoa “risotto” with roasted tomatoes (serves 2)

  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 0.5 cups water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tri-colour quinoa
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place tomatoes on a lined backing tray and spray lightly with oil. Roast for 10 minutes or until starting to soften.
  2. Bring stock and water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Lower heat.
  3. Heat oil in a separate fry-pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook for a few minutes, or until starting to colour.
  4. Add the garlic and zucchini, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute, coating the grains in oil.
  6. Add the warm stock mixture, one ladle at a time. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next. Repeat until all the stock is used and the quinoa is cooked.
  7. Stir through the parmesan and spinach, and stir until the spinach has wilted.
  8. Divide the risotto amongst two serving bowls, and top with the roasted tomatoes.



Lazy brunch

IMG_9938 Long weekends, and lazy  brunches. The two go hand-in-hand just nicely. Well I think so anyway. And with an abundance of mushrooms in the fridge, we opted to ‘stay in’ and create a homemade brunch – instead of rugging up and joining the masses at what was probably a busy cafe down the road. On the menu? IMG_9936 Wholemeal toast, rocket, mushrooms and a poached egg. Oh and lots of cracked pepper too. With coffee on the side. The mushrooms, couldn’t have been simpler. Just pan-fried in a little butter for 5 minutes or so, then seasoned and finished with a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce. IMG_9939 From ‘thought bubble’ to plate in around 10 minutes. Not bad service from the BBB kitchen Winking smile  What about you? What do you like to serve for a homemade brunch?

Power of Mushrooms – Mushroom & Sourdough Soup

Earlier this month, I was approached about a fun campaign. For during June, ACT residents are being urged to “buy local” and support mushroom growers located on the doorstep of Canberra. IMG_9790 Not long after, a beautiful box of mushrooms from Majestic Mushrooms in Murrumbateman was delivered to my door. I was even more excited when I realised that these mushrooms are sold at my local greengrocer too – meaning that I never really have to go far to support out local growers. IMG_9787 I’ve actually been to a mushroom farm before (here) and what magical little places they are. For open a door inside, and you will be bound to find shelf upon shelf of mushrooms just waiting to be picked. IMG_0568IMG_0570 Although given the health benefits of mushrooms (low in sodium, low in kilojoules and a good source of selenium and vitamin D) it’s not hard to see why they are so popular. And even better that we have not one, but two local growers supplying the Canberra market (Canberra Mushrooms at Yass and Majestic Mushrooms at Murrumbateman). But what to do with this delicious bounty I received? It is not unusual for me to add mushrooms to a stir-fry or salad, or perhaps through some atop a pizza. And there are a lot of recipe ideas at . But I wanted to create, at least initially, a recipe in which mushrooms would be the star. And given the temperatures outside were far from balmy, a mushroom soup sounded just perfect. I’m not the biggest fan of creamy soups, so I left out the cream. But, instead, I threw in a couple slices of good sourdough to aid with thickening. IMG_9863 Simmered for 20 minutes or so, then pureed into a luscious soup. Topped, simply, with a dollop of natural yoghurt and a sprinkle of thyme leaves. IMG_9882 The mushroom flavour shone through, but was not overpowering. Making it a soup that was hearty, flavoursome but not too heavy. IMG_9881 One that we enjoyed on a cool Canberra evening, but equally one that would make for a fine lunch too. IMG_9886 A big thankyou to Australian Mushroom Growers for inviting me to participate in this campaign, and – of course – to Majestic Mushrooms for providing the all-important ingredient inspiration! I can’t wait to try out more recipes over the next few weeks. IMG_9885 - Copy Mushroom & Sourdough Soup (serves 3-4)

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 leek – sliced
  • 1 tbs garlic paste
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cup low salt chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 slices sourdough – crusts removed
  • thyme leaves + extra to serve
  • natural yoghurt to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook, stirring, until the leek softens.
  2. Add the mushrooms, stock, sourdough and thyme, and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Use a stick blender to puree into a smooth soup. Season to taste.
  5. Spoon into bowls, and top with a dollop of natural yoghurt and an extra sprinkling of thyme leaves to serve.

Also – this month – Australian Mushroom Growers are running a campaign on the health benefits of mushrooms on Radio 2CC along with a competition to win a $500 dining voucher AND a year’s supply of mushrooms. The competition runs from 9-22 June 2014, and you can enter via the website at .Check it out! What about you? What is you favourite way to use mushrooms?

Warm mushroom and spinach salad

hello, I’m here! *waves* Just a little overwhelmed by life at the moment. Although I am very pleased to report that with only 2 days left at work things are finally starting to calm down and work their way into place. So much so that Mr BBB and I even managed to get out for a much needed walk this evening. P2150001 (37 weeks tomorrow yay!) It was rather slow, but ever so glorious. And most certainly missed after the busy week we just put behind us. A little while ago I was approached to create a recipe for the Australian Mushroom Growers’ Association as part of their Summer Mushroom Campaign. IMG_4720 Being both a mushroom fan, and keen to get a veggie-fied meal on the menu this evening, I figured there was no better time than the present. IMG_4719 On the menu… IMG_4732 Warm mushroom and spinach salad. IMG_4739 With only 2 main ingredients, mushrooms and spinach, and the help of a variety of spices, the dish came together in no time at all. IMG_4724 The ‘shrooms… IMG_4725 The spices… IMG_4726 And the spinach… IMG_4727 Simmered until soft. IMG_4730 And we had ourselves a rather tasty mushroom side dish indeed. IMG_4733 The mushrooms soaked up the various spices really well, providing a spicy hit with every mouthful. IMG_4741 And although we served these as a side dish to accompany some roast lamb… IMG_4735 I would have probably been quite happy to eat the whole plate by itself too! IMG_4732 Delicious! (oh and head over to the Summer Mushroom Campaign website for even more ‘shrooms recipes!) Warm mushroom and spinach salad (serves 2 generously)

  • 500g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp mince garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 100g baby spinach
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium frypan, and add mushrooms.
  2. Add the spices, stirring to coat well, and cook over a medium heat until the mushrooms have softened and reduced in size (they will release some moisture at this point).
  3. Add the spinach, and continue to cook until the spinach has wilted and any moisture has evaporated.
  4. Serve warm.

What about you? Are you a fan of mushrooms?

Lazy gal’s herbed quinoa and mushrooms

Despite all appearances on this blog, I can assure you that some nights I find myself staring blankly in the fridge without a clue what to make for dinner. Throw in a long work day, an up and down pregnancy appetite, and the temptation to have a bowl of cereal instead of putting together a meal is ever present. However, knowing that I am ‘eating for two’, I have made a conscious effort when these moments strike to delve into the crisper drawer and try to put together something a little more nutritious. Tonight was one of those nights. Back in the pantry went the box of cornflakes, and out of the fridge came a bunch of mushrooms. IMG_4534 Along with a bag of herbs, picked from a friend’s garden, and kindly donated to the BBB kitchen. IMG_4535 Into a pan, with a heaped spoonful of ginger, IMG_4537 And a pile of quinoa (that I had pre-cooked for 15 minutes or so, until fluffy). IMG_4538 Warmed through for a couple minutes, and this lazy gal’s herbed quinoa and mushrooms was ready for the plate. And, with the help of Mr BBB who was out on BBQ duty, our dinner was complete. IMG_4539 Herb-filled quinoa… IMG_4540 Served with a sausage and grilled zucchini. IMG_4541 And certainly worth the effort! IMG_4542 Delish! What about you? What is your ‘fall back’ meal when the desire to cook is missing?

Vegetarian stroganoff

With our appetites ignited by the blini appetiser, it wasn’t long before we were keen to move onto the next course in our recent Russian-inspired lunch. Which just happened to be…..a battle of the stroganoffs! beefvtofu Mr BBB prepared a rich and creamy original version, with the trusty guidance of Maggie Fulton. IMG_2942 And, with the carnivores taken care of, I opted to try and make a vegetarian version. With tofu for protein… IMG_2918 Vegetables for bulk… IMG_2917  The assistance of our wok… IMG_2920 And a mixture of tomato passata, stock and peanut butter… IMG_2922 And I had something that started to almost resemble a stroganoff. IMG_2921 Finished with crème fraiche, and my meat-free take on an old classic was complete! IMG_2939 I was really pleased with how this stroganoff turned out. It was rich in flavour, and wonderfully creamy… IMG_2944 Just how a stroganoff should be really!  IMG_2945 I found it hard to compare the two versions, however, as they were both yummy in their own way. IMG_2947 Served with brown rice, and topped with fresh parsley, I am going to sit on the fence and call this a draw 😉 Although, I must say, I did love how vibrant in colour the vegetarian version turned out – and the tofu and mushrooms really take on the sweet and creamy flavours of the dish. Vegetarian stroganoff (serves 6 to 8) (adapted from here)

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 600g firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, sliced
  • 400g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup tomato passata
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 200g crème fraiche
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley to serve
  1. Heat oil in a large wok over a medium-high heat. Add tofu and stir fry until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add onion and garlic to the wok, and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add capsicum and mushrooms and cook for a further 4 minutes, stirring.
  4. Return the tofu to the pan. Add the passata, stock and peanut butter, stirring to coat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the liquids have mostly evaporated.
  5. Transfer to a medium sized saucepan, and place over a low heat.
  6. Mix cornflour with a little water to form a paste. Add to the tofu and vegetables, along with the tomato paste and crème fraiche. Stir to combine and heat over a low heat until warmed through (stirring often). Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Top with fresh parsley to serve.

My new favourite mushroom sauce

Training: Body Pump / Elliptical 22 mins / Sit-ups 160 Happy Monday! We ended up having a busy weekend, with some interstate family members unexpectedly dropping in and staying the night. It was a wonderful catch up on all things new and old, and we were so very sad to have to say goodbye when we did. Here’s hoping I can get across to Perth for a surprise visit of my own sometime soon. While I may not have had much time for blogging over the weekend, I did have time for cooking. And on Sunday night, it was time to try another recipe out of Julie Goodwin’s cookbook. IMG_9321 Veal with mushroom sauce. IMG_9324 I couldn’t help but BBB-ify the recipe a little. I am not a huge fan of creamy sauces, which I find to be too rich – both in flavour and calories. So, in place of the required cream, I used yoghurt. I also reduced the butter, and opted out of the white wine all together. But first, into a pan went sliced button mushrooms, sautéed in garlic, olive oil and a little butter. IMG_9328 Followed by vegetable stock and dijon mustard.  IMG_9330 When the liquids had almost evaporated, in went yoghurt, water and a spoonful of tahini. IMG_9332 Cooked until thick and creamy. IMG_9333 Meanwhile, Mr BBB (aka the Grill Master), pan fried some thin organic veal slices. IMG_9334   IMG_9335 Then it was time to serve.  IMG_9336 Veal and mushroom sauce, served with steamed broccoli and carrots.  IMG_9337 No joke. After just one bite I was sold!  IMG_9338 Yes this creamy sauce was definitely my new favourite mushroom sauce. IMG_9340 I loved the addition of yoghurt and tahini, and the abundance of flavoursome mushrooms. IMG_9342 And, despite my changes, it looked pretty close to the original photo! For vegetarians, I think this sauce would also work wonderfully served atop a big pile of vegetables, a roasted sweet potato or even oven baked tofu.  Well I know that I will be trying some of those combinations some time soon! My new favourite mushroom sauce (serves 4) Adapted from Our Family Table by Julie Goodwin

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs tahini
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large frypan. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until the mushrooms have softened.
  2. Add the stock, and simmer until almost evaporated.
  3. Remove from the heat, then stir through the yoghurt, water mustard and tahini.
  4. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

What about you? Do you have a favourite sauce to serve with steak or veal?