Mushroom Goat Cheese Tart

I’m excited to share an original recipe! Well I’m sure a savory vegetable and chicken tart is not really that original, but I did create this without following any recipes and had fun in the kitchen! IMG_2202I went a little overboard at the grocery store when mushrooms were on sale and I needed to figure out what to do with 16 oz of white mushrooms… if you don’t like mushrooms, that’s totally okay- this recipe is versatile and you can put almost any of your favorite combination of toppings on a puff pastry sheet and you’ll get a delicious savory tart!  IMG_2199For this tart I used…

  • about 10 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons of crumbled goat cheese (my fridge is constantly stocked with Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup of diced grilled chicken breast
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, prepare as directed on package
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Tools you will need:

  • pastry brush
  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoons
  • small pan
  • fork
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper or a silicone mat

IMG_2180Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF.

Start by lightly cooking the chopped mushrooms in a pan with a little bit of olive oil at medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and let it cool while you prep the pastry sheet. IMG_2182Gently roll out the thawed pastry sheet on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Fold in each side about 1/2 inch in to give it a border. If you want to get fancy, you can press the tines into the edges to create a pattern. Totally optional! IMG_2184This next part is not optional, but really important for the puff pastry to not puff up in the middle. Take the fork and poke holes evenly through the center. IMG_2187Now take the cooked mushrooms and spread it evenly on the pastry sheet. IMG_2188For the next part, if you have ever built your own pizza this is not that different. Pile on other toppings in whatever pattern you want to create.

I laid down strips of bell pepper in alternating colors over the mushrooms and sprinkled spoons of crumbled goat cheese and spread the grill chicken pieces over the whole thing.IMG_2191For the final touch, dip a pastry brush into the egg and cover the edges with a light egg wash. IMG_2192IMG_2194The puff pastry box said to bake this for 20-22 minutes, but I needed to bake it for a total of 30 minutes until the edges looked golden brown and the goat cheese had a slightly toasted tinge to ensure that the whole tart was fully baked. IMG_2200Let the tart cool for about 10 minutes and cut with a knife or a pizza cutter. Serve warm with a nice side salad. IMG_2203The puff pastry was flaky and crispy along the edges and the creamy goat cheese balanced out the sweet bell peppers and the umami of the mushrooms. As a meal entree, the chicken definitely helped give it some more fullness.

I always have a pastry sheets stored in the freeze just in case I want to whip up another tart!

Healthy Veggie Frittata

I have a confession, this was a recipe born out of necessity due to stupidity. I apparently love zucchinis too much and bought more from the store when I did not realize I had a whole bunch at home already! Lesson learned: always take inventory of the fridge before grocery shopping. So what’s a girl to do with a ton of zucchinis?

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Shred the heck outta them and put them in anything I can think of.

I wanted to make a egg bake/ frittata with zucchini and other vegetables in my fridge, but I couldn’t find the “perfect” recipe that uses all the ingredients that I had. So used this recipe as a “base” for the right proportion of eggs, milk, and flour and got creative with the rest.

Whisk together 6 eggs, 3/4 cup milk, and 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour.

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I had some fun adding tons of random spices! Got the idea from a variety of zucchini egg bake recipes. Of course fresh herbs would have been better.

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I took a buttered 9-in. round baking pan and filled the bottom up with all my favorites from my fridge: mini sweet bell peppers, asparagus cut into 1 in pieces, and shredded deli turkey meat. Look at those colors! Of course this is the fun part where you can add whatever you’d like: onions, peppers, corn, mushrooms, cheese, chicken strips, etc. Ooohhhhh, if only I had some bacon.

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Add about 2 cups of shredded zucchini. I actually wish I added it to the bottom and let the more colorful veggies be on top. Then pour the egg mixture into the pan until it fills up almost to the brim. When you bake it, it will puff up a little but it won’t spill over.

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Ready to go in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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I almost forgot to add the sundried tomatoes before I took the before-picture and I sprinkled some sundried tomatoes from Trader Joe’s on top, it really was the much needed final touch! It not only made the frittata extra flavorful, but really made the dish visually pop.

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Pair with a side of greens and you got yourself a delicious healthy brunch.

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Happy brunching!

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

I love baked pasta dishes because they are filling and, best of all, saves me time with an abundance of leftovers. I was also craving some roasted vegetables after eating some at a work potluck a few weeks ago, so this Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables recipe from Food Network just hits the spot.

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I went to 2 supermarkets to find summer squash but couldn’t find any so I just left it out. I also added Aidells artichoke and garlic chicken sausage to the recipe for flavor and meat. I love mushrooms so I added more than the recipe called for (I know, I know, I’m such a rebel!)

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I usually print my recipes out or just bring my laptop into the kitchen but I’m always worried about it falling or getting dirty. My kitchen is super tiny so I finally thought of using my Nexus 7 as a my recipe book! It’s so awesome!! Plus I can listen to some tunes and dance while I cook!

DSCN2830This is a pretty time consuming recipe just because there are many steps to go through: roasting, boiling, and baking. First I chopped up all my vegetables and tossed it with extra virgin olive oil and Italian Herb mix.

A new addition to my spice collection.

A new addition to my spice collection.

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After mixing it really well, spread the vegetables on a shallow pan and roast in the oven for 15 mins at 450 F.

While I waited for the vegetables to roast, I boiled the penne chopped up the sausage into coins and prepped my Pyrex glass pan (An AWESOME investment if you bake a lot).

Can I just eat it now???

Can I just eat it now???

In a giant bowl mix the marinara sauce, pasta, and roasted vegetables together with the frozen peas, cheeses and sausage. Mix gently so you don’t break the pasta. The spread the mix into the greased pan and sprinkle on parmesan cheese and…yes those are giant cubes of butter.

Ready to be popped into the oven.

Ready to be popped into the oven.

I really wanted to just start eating this but you know what they say: all good things come to those who wait. And there was just one more step to go: bake for 25 mins.

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This came out beautifully! And baking it was the grand finale- ooey-gooey cheeses melted, top layer of penne was slightly burnt and crispy which was the BEST part!!

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DSCN2841Dinner is served!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

It’s easy….

It’s versatile…

It’s yummy…

It’s healthy…

It’s kinda cute…

Colorful bell-peppers can be filled with all sorts of goodies to create a compact little meal. The best part is being able to throw in almost anything in a fridge-raid…

Go southwest-style with rice, black beans, salsa, corn, cheese and ground beef

Go for an Asian twist with jasmine rice, teriyaki chicken, mushrooms, and scallions

Vegetarian friendly…I love to chop up a veg-burger patty and mix it in.

Go super-healthy….stuff with quinoa instead of rice.

tri-color bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, and cooked brown rice

wash and slice off “tops”

cook up the “stuffing”

wrap up in foil and bake for 30-45 mins until peppers are tender

Dinner is served!