Mushroom Veggie Chili Recipe

If you didn’t notice that Thanksgiving is basically around the corner, I am here to remind you!  I am teaching a Thanksgiving bootcamp starting next week (!) which will get you so prepared, you will actually be EXCITED and LOOKING FORWARD to hosting and enjoying the Thanksgiving of your dreams. For my community, I always like to entice you with a good discount.  Take $100 off with code TDAY100.  You don’t have to watch live. I have payment plans available. You don’t have to use PayPal. You can watch the videos over and over and over again. You can ask me any and all questions.  I’m like your personal Thanksgiving consultant until the day of. Menu suggestions, how to deal with different types of eating styles, limited resources in the kitchen, no oven, how to deal with the worst in-laws ever.  Just kidding!  Sign up today.  We are going to have so much fun and you’ll be able to use these tips and systems forever!Continue reading

Corn Puree with Mushrooms and Burst Tomatoes Recipe

BIG NEWS!  I am repeating my very popular and successful bootcamp, Raising Healthy Eaters.  I feel really good about the fact that I launched three healthy eaters into the world and have helped hundreds of students with their kiddos.  Take my course and you will be in very good hands.  Here’s the info and I am even adding BONUS OFFICE HOURS if you need extra support or the class times don’t work well for you.  Use the code KIDS100 for $100 OFF. Continue reading

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

This was originally published in January 2014, but I have been making it again on the regular and thought the website needed updated photos! 

You know what is just the worst?  Getting sick.  Life is great until you feel horrible.  I think most of us run around like maniacs until we’re so wiped out while our poor bodies are trying to tell us to slooooooow down and get some rest.  First it’s a little whisper like feeling so tired.  But we don’t listen.  Then we get a sore throat.  We don’t listen.  Then our bodies have to whack us over the head with a crazy cold and body aches until we have no other choice but to stay in bed.  A friend of mine who came down with a bad cold said to me the other day,”If I just spent a little time in bed resting when I wasn’t sick, maybe I would have stayed healthy!”  I think she’s onto something.Continue reading

Pea and Mushroom Sauté with Mint Recipe

I receive a lot of requests for recipes – more entrees, more low-carb, more “kid-friendly” (I don’t like that phrase, by the way), and the most popular, easy.  The term easy means different things to different people. In my opinion, easy means not complicated, something that a cook of any skill level can successfully prepare. Or perhaps easy implies very few steps.  But what I have deduced is that most of my students think that easy implies “quick,” as in quick to put together and minimal hands-on time.

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Chopped grilled vegetable salad recipe

Photo by Sarah Elliott
Photo by Sarah Elliott

Sometimes, a little freshening up is in order.  I put this chopped grilled vegetable salad on my weekly dinner planner and when I pulled the image for it, I cringed a little.  The photo did not do it justice at all.  This salad is one of my absolute favorites and one that I posted almost 5 years ago.  In all fairness to me, I didn’t even know how to use a camera when I started this blog, and although I am still no photography expert, I think my images have improved since 2011.  So I thought I would pull this post from the archives and give it a facelift, especially on the eve of Memorial Day weekend when you might be inclined to make a fantastic, crowd-pleasing salad such as this one.

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Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

I was talking to a few ladies in my class this week about the Thanksgiving meals we remember from our childhoods and how they have evolved, if at all.  We celebrated with my mother’s family some years and with my father’s family other years.  Even though my mother’s family is Italian-American, their Thanksgiving dinners were pretty straightforward, even including sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  My father grew up in Italy and therefore Thanksgiving was truly a foreign concept.  Suffice it to say, that side of the family served ravioli as a first course.  No, not pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage.  Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce!  Cracks me up to think about that now.

blanche and shock green beans

Then the discussion transitioned to new recipes which have made it onto our Thanksgiving menus in the last few years.  That’s a tough one, no?  I’ll tell you right now, I teach 5 new recipes every November and very few make it to my personal Thanksgiving table.  Not because they aren’t fantastic, but because how many recipes can you really have on one menu?  At some point, enough is enough and my menu has been at capacity for a few years now.

homemade crispy onions | pamela salzman

But, allow me to introduce a favorite newcomer to my Thanksgiving spread…..green bean casserole!  But not just any green bean casserole. I am not talking about canned green beans, coated with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onions.  Thanksgiving deserves more respect than cans, people.  Sure, we can use heavy cream and loads of butter instead, but we don’t have to.

clean mushroom sauce for green bean casserole | pamela salzman

This green bean casserole is fresher, lighter and even tastier than all of those.  I use mushroom stock with a little (and I mean little) flour and butter to thicken it up.  Super good flavor and super easy to make.  Plus homemade crispy onions that everyone will be sneaking bites of during the day.  Trust me — 100 times better than canned.  Voila!  The best green bean casserole ever.  I have served this the last two years and I have never had a single green bean left.  If you like getting stuff done ahead, here’s your plan:

  • Blanche the green beans the day before
  • wipe mushrooms clean and slice the day before
  • make the onions the morning of
  • make mushroom mixture and assemble casserole up to 2 hours ahead
  • bake when the turkey is resting out of the oven.

green bean casserole | pamela salzman

See you back here next week with some more fabulous Thanksgiving recipes and tips!

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

healthy green bean casserole | pamela salzman

5.0 from 2 reviews
Healthy Green Bean Casserole Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • Crispy Onion Topping:
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced and pieces separated
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • Unsalted butter
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed olive oil
  • Casserole:
  • 1 pound of green beans, trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, or flour of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mushroom stock (or chicken stock) + possibly a little more in case the gravy needs thinning
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Make the onion topping: Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl or paper bag and toss to combine.
  2. Warm 1 ½ Tablespoons of butter and 1 ½ Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop one piece of onion in the pan to make sure it sizzles. Add as many onion pieces as can fit in the pan in one layer. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Turn the onions when they become golden on the bottom. Cook until crispy and golden on the other side. Transfer onions to a plate lined with a paper towel. If you have to cook a second batch, you may need to wipe out the pan and start with fresh butter and oil.
  4. Prepare the green beans and casserole:
  5. Blanche green beans: prepare a bowl of ice water for the green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the kosher salt. Add the beans and set a timer for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in the ice water bath. Drain after 5 minutes or so, pat dry, and place green beans in a 9” square or round baking dish.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium skillet, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté over medium until mushrooms have lost their shape and released most of their liquid (about 5 minutes).
  7. Stir the flour and thyme into the mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the mushroom stock, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  9. Pour evenly over green beans, top with the crispy onions and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling on the sides and the beans are warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toast Recipe

Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toast | Pamela Salzman

I don’t eat out that much, but one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles is Gjelina in Venice.  I would probably go there more often, but getting a table at a reasonable hour is impossible!  Before my first visit a few years ago, a friend strongly suggested I order the Mushroom Toast.  Let me just say that when I saw items on the menu like “Crispy Purple Peruvian Potatoes!” and “Moroccan Chickpea and Black Kale Stew!,” (I used the exclamation points, Gjelina did not) I wasn’t overly excited about “Mushroom Toast.”  But I trust my friend and ordered the mushroom toast and it was ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I HAVE EVER EATEN.  Delicate, earthy mushrooms in a light, creamy white wine-infused sauce, all poured over grilled bread and drizzled with truffle oil, the nooks and crannies of the toast catching every bit of mushroom juiciness.  It was so delicious, I actually had dreams about it that night.  True story!

Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, aka Maitake mushrooms

 

chop the mushrooms of break apart with your hands

The problem is that Gjelina doesn’t share their recipes, at least not with little old me.  So after a game of 20 questions with my waiter, I had a game plan for attempting to recreate this dish at home.  The ingredients are ones I never would have thought to put together on my own: Hen of the Woods mushrooms (what??), creme fraiche and truffle oil.  Now I may not have gotten the recipe exactly right, and in fact I do believe my version is less rich and creamy, but I am so obsessed with the way this turned out, that I don’t care how different mine is.  First of all, even though I don’t eat too much bread, I think anything on grilled bread is DE-licious!  And grilled bread rubbed with garlic is SUPER DE-licious!

grilling bread

But mushrooms are the star of this show and Hen of the Woods mushrooms are so meaty and earthy with the most delicate texture.  They also go by the name “Maitake” mushrooms.  I found them easily at Whole Foods and I have seen them at several local farmers markets.  I will warn you, they are pricey, so if you can’t find them or you don’t want to spend the money, you can use oyster or chanterelle mushrooms.  You really can’t use button mushrooms or Portobellos in this recipe.  I tried them here, and they’re too firm.  You really need something light and delicate.  Japanese mushrooms, including Maitake, are really good for you and contain loads of immune-boosting compounds and have even been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor compounds.  They also have less water than traditional mushrooms, so they actually have a more mushroom-y flavor.  Yum!

reduce to a thickened sauce

I really went for it and bought truffle oil at Sur La Table to finish off the dish the way they do at Gjelina.  Yes, this mushroom mixture is already rich enough with the creme fraiche and the butter and the olive oil, but good gracious, a drizzle of truffle oil takes this over the top.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find truffle oil locally that was totally pure, without “truffle flavoring.”  But a quick search on amazon.com provided a few choices for all-natural truffle oils (like this one from JR Mushrooms & Specialties.)

pour the the mushrooms with the sauce over the toasts

a little garnish makes these look prettier

I taught this recipe in my class this month and more than one person asked, “why is this so good?”  It’s really everything, and not just one thing.  The grilled bread, the garlic rubbed on the grilled bread, the meaty, delicate mushrooms, the tangy creme fraiche (which is really just French sour cream), and the truffle oil all make this something so special.  The way I made it in these pictures would be amazing as an appetizer on a plate with or without a fresh green salad.  Or you can opt for a smaller piece of toast and serve this as an hors d’oeuvre, although it can be a tad messy.  I think even for brunch with a fried egg on top would be amazing.  Hoping you try this and love it as much as I do!

Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toasts

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toast
Author: 
Serves: about 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large slices of crusty peasant bread, about ½-inch thick
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + additional for brushing bread
  • 1 whole garlic clove + 2 cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces Hen of the Woods mushrooms, aka Maitake, chopped or broken apart with your hands
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 6 Tablespoons crème fraiche
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Truffle oil to drizzle
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat a grill over medium heat.
  2. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil.  Grill bread on both sides until toasted and slightly charred.  Thinly slice the end off of the whole garlic clove and rub one side of each piece of bread with the cut side of the garlic.  Cut the bread in half crosswise and arrange on a platter.
  3. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and sauté until softened.
  4. Add wine and cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  5. Stir in chicken stock and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.  Whisk in crème fraiche and butter and cook until slightly thickened, but still saucy.
  6. Spoon mushroom mixture with sauce over toasts.  Drizzle with truffle oil and a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives, if desired, and serve immediately.