Tag Archives: parmesan cheese

Mushroom and Rice Soup

7 Jul
Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

This recipe provides approximately four servings.

  • 1lb cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • about 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked with 2 cups of water for several hours until soft. Once ready, squeeze out any liquids (but save all the liquids) and then finely chop the mushrooms.
  • 1/3 cup rice (I used brown rice, but red or wild rice would also be ideal).
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups broth (I used chicken broth but vegetable or beef is fine, too; or even water)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs green onion, chopped
  • a few tsps freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat a large deep pot on high. Once hot, add butter, oil, onions and garlic. Turn down to a medium heat. Cook until onions are soft (approximately 5 minutes).

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauting.

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauteing.

2. Add the cremini and shitake mushrooms. Sprinkle a little salt as this will help the mushrooms soften faster.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

3. Once the mushrooms are soft add in bay leaves, honey/maple syrup, broth, liquid from the shitake mushrooms, rice and approximately 1 cup of water.

4. Allow soup to come to a boil, then turn down to a simmering heat.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

5. Cover and simmer until rice is super soft (approximately 1 hour). After 1 hour, the soup will have turned a warm taupe colour.

6. Add in milk and green onions. Once the soup begins to boil, it’s ready.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it's ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it’s ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

7. Dish into separate bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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Light Carbonara

1 Jan
Carbonara with chicken bacon.

Carbonara with chicken bacon.

Here is a healthier version of the Italian classic. (This recipe was inspired by Weelicious.)

  • 4 to 5 strips of chicken bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 small tomatoes*, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • cilantro or italian parsley leaves (optional)
  • spaghetti, enough for two people (about 250g or 9 ounces)

1. Cook pasta as instructed. Drain pasta well when done.

2. While pasta is cooking, in a large sautee pan, add in oil, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are soft (about 3 minutes) on medium heat.

3. Add in chicken bacon.  Cook for another 5 minutes or until chicken bacon begins to brown.

Onions and chicken bacon sauteing in a pan.

Onions and chicken bacon sauteing in a pan.

4. In a bowl, add parmesan cheese and eggs. Beat.

5. Right before the pasta is finished cooking, gradually laddle in about 1/3 cup of the boiling pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture. Whisk mixture while adding in water.  (This technique is known as tempering and increases the temperature of the eggs without  scrambling it.)

6. By now the chicken bacon and onions should also be done. Turn off burner but do not remove pan from burner.

7. Add pasta, egg mixture and tomatoes to sautee pan. Mix well. There should be enough residue heat from the burner to warm the pasta and sauce.

Carbonara in a pan.

Carbonara in a pan.

8. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

9. Dish out and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

*Other vegetables that go well with carbonara include sliced cremini mushrooms, asparagus, string beans and/or zucchini.

A Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

27 Mar

Whole wheat penne in a creamy spinach and mushroom sauce.

  • 100 grams whole wheat penne (can easily substitute with any type of short pasta), cook as instructed and also save some (1 cup should be sufficient) of the hot pasta water
  • 250g baby spinach, cut chiffonade style
  • 2 portobello mushrooms cut into bit-size pieces (any type of mushroom would work too)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups of skim milk
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg

Two Portobello mushrooms and baby spinach.

Heat a sauce pan on high. Once hot, add in olive oil and garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add in the flour. Cook the flour for 20 to 30 seconds, then gradually add in 1 cup of milk while stirring continuously.

Garlic, flour, olive oil and milk simmering to make base of sauce.

When the sauce begins to thicken, add in the spinach. If the mixture appears dry, add in a little more milk. Mix well and turn down heat to medium.

Spinach in a creamy milk sauce.

Add in the portobello mushrooms. Mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Add in the parmesan cheese.

Creamy spinach and mushroom sauce.

Once the mushrooms are soft, add in the pasta. Combine well.

Creamy spinach and mushroom sauce with penne.

In a large bowl, beat the egg. While beating, gradually add in a few spoonfuls of the hot pasta water to increase the temperature of the egg without scrambling it. Add enough water such that the egg is hot to the touch. This is known as tempering. It is important to continuously whisk the egg while the water is gradually being added, otherwise the egg may scramble.

Remove the pasta and sauce from the direct heat. Add in the warm beaten egg. Combine well. Add more grated parmesan if deserved. Serve immediately.