Avocado Veggie Quesadillas

I served this very green quesadilla with my vegetarian chili with quinoa.  I think the only way to make it more green is to use spinach tortillas… hmm… there’s a plan.



2 cups fresh spinach, wilted

1 cup mushrooms, sliced and sauteed with salt and pepper

1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 scallions, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, seeds included

1 avocado, sliced

4 8-inch flour tortillas

Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Heat a frying pan over low heat.

2.  While the pan is heating, assemble the quesadillas.  Place two tortillas on a plate or on your counter.  Spread 1/2 of the two cheeses on each tortilla.  Split the spinach and mushrooms between the tortillas, topping with the jalapenos, scallions and cilantro.  Next, top with the avocado slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread the remaining cheese over the top.

3.  Slide the loaded tortilla into the frying pan (one at a time).  Top with one of the unused tortillas.  Press down with a spatula.  Allow to heat until the bottom tortilla starts to brown.  Carefully flip the quesadilla and cook the second side.  Remove to a plate.  Allow to rest a few minutes before slicing.

4.  Serve warm, with salsa, soup or chili.  Ingredients can be stored separately in the refrigerator.


Healthy Stuffed Mushrooms

I loooooove stuffed mushrooms, but so many recipes call for cream cheese, mayonnaise, butter, oil or other high-fat ingredients.  Here’s a simple, healthy and tasty version.


15 to 20 large button mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed

1/2 cup (4 oz) low-fat cream cheese

1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt or Greek yogurt

1 tbsp garlic, minced or grated

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped)

1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

2 tbsp parmesan or peccorino romano cheese, grated

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2.  In a bowl, cream together the low-fat cream cheese and fat-free yogurt.  Add the garlic, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, cheese and breadcrumbs.  Mix well.  The stuffing mixture should be crumbly and slightly moist.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little extra yogurt.  If the mixture is too wet, add some extra bread crumbs.

3.  Use your hands to stuff the mushroom caps, mounding any excess stuffing on top of the mushrooms.

4.  Place stuffed mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375 for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing has browned.  If your mushrooms are tender but the stuffing has not browned, place the pan under a broiler for a minute or two to complete the browning process.

5.  Serve hot.  Left over stuffing can be stored in an airtight container for one or two days.

Note:  You can make these with any mushrooms with deep caps, including smaller white button mushrooms or baby portabellas.

6 New Recipes! – Follow Up

Here’s the follow up to the 1/29/2012 post on the Asian smorgasbord/cooking orgy from last weekend.  I’m giving you links to the original recipes along with alterations that I made.  Sorry, no pictures this time.  I’ll load pics when/if I repeat these recipes.

1.  Vegetable miso soup

My changes

I used vegetable stock and white button mushrooms, omitted the udon noodles, doubled up on all the veggies except the scallions, and used red instead of white miso paste.

2.  Malaysian potato and green bean curry

My changes

I used a small onion instead of shallots since I just hate peeling shallots, and new potatoes instead of fingerling potatoes.  Otherwise, no changes.  Oh, I did add a little extra water while the potatoes were cooking in order to have more sauce.

3.  Thai-style (-ish) veggie fried rice

My changes

I omitted the pork and fish sauce, doubled up on the bok choy and tripled the green chillies (we were itching for some really spicy food this week).  I also added a little bit of soy sauce for salt.

4.  Vegetarian ma-po tofu

My changes

I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and omitted the pork to make this vegetarian.  I wanted to use Sichuan peppercorns but, for some reason, my excellently stocked Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Indian/Mexican… heck, it’s a world super market… did not have any in stock.  I added a little extra red chilli paste to make up for the lack of peppercorns as I wanted to keep the spice level high.

5.  Vegetable pot stickers with spicy dipping sauce

My changes

I used plain old white button mushrooms and Savoy cabbage.  Otherwise, I made no other changes to the original recipe.  Next time, I will probably reduce the amount of Chinese five spice powder to about half the suggested amount.  The pot stickers were really good, but it was just a touch too much anise for me.

Update:  I used some leftover stuffing in grilled sandwiches today.  Gotta love an electric sandwich grill/press.  I just spread a teensy bit of margarine on the outsides of the whole wheat bread slices, smeared a little green chilli chutney on the insides, generously filled the bread, and put the lid down.  Yum!

This Week’s Menu… 6 New Recipes!

After Pongal festival cooking two weeks ago and an all Tamil menu last week, we needed something a little different this week. So, at the end of the day… after a couple of hours of food prep, an hour and a half or so of actual cook time, hanging a light fixture in the living room (finally!), and fifteen minutes of wrapping… we have:

1. Three quarts of vegetable miso soup
2. Two quarts of Malaysian potato and green bean curry
3. One quart of Thai-style (-ish) veggie fried rice
4. One quart of vegetarian Ma-po tofu
5. A gazillion vegetable pot stickers (some wrapped but not cooked, and enough filling and wrappers put aside to be wrapped and frozen for a rainy day) with spicy dipping sauce
6. Carrot, celery and avocado maki
7. Kale and cabbage slaw with ginger avocado dressing

The slaw is just a variation of the kale and celery root slaw I tried a few weeks ago. The maki was made by memory, based on what my friend Cathy’s mom showed me years ago. I’ll post the recipe when I get a chance. For the other dishes, I simply made slight alterations existing recipes to make them vegetarian and to adjust seasonings to taste. Thanks to the great cooks who shared their recipes!  I’ll post the links and alterations as soon as I can.