Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Shrimp with Kale and Shitakes

This wonderful recipe came from Carolyn Cope, author of the Umami Girl blog.  It is very umami, indeed, with the shitakes, soy and shrimp doing their umami-ish thing and the kale going along for a little trendy veggie cred.  And it is so good that husband, when told of this dinner, started squawking (righteous indignation against kale) but promptly quieted down and finished his dinner happily.  

Please splurge on the shitakes and don't settle for criminis or other button mushrooms unless you have no choice...the shitakes really add the meaty quality that makes this dish sing.  If you can't find the lacinato kale, you could try another kind, but it will be more bitter.  And don't use bagged kale...you have to get those stems off. 


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced 
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bunches Lacinato (black) kale, stemmed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional and I used about 2 Tbsp instead of the full amount)


1.  Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a wide frying pan. Add the onion and shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute.

2.  Add the kale by the handful and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and almost tender, about 3 minutes. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan to make room for the shrimp. Then add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally , until not quite opaque, about 3 minutes.

3.  Add the soy sauce, wine, and cream if using, and cook until sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sweet Breakfast Quinoa

For years and years and years it was cereal as breakfast for me.  When I started hitting the gym in the morning, I finally realized why people drink their breakfast instead of eat it.  So a blueberry banana protein shake became the new morning routine.  But on the weekends, with no gym plan in the works, I wanted something a little different.  Tired of the cereal, loving the eggs (but who can eat them every single weekend,) I saw this recipe, scrounged the cupboard for the ingredients, got busy and fell in love....with my breakfast.

The most important part of this meal is the ricotta...without it, it is just sweet mushpaste.  But the ricotta elevates it to a super happy, this is not your mother's oatmeal kind of place.  And, no, my kids wouldn't touch it.  But now I have an inkling as to why.

Not super low fat (especially if you put in twice as much ricotta...yum,) but high in protein and iron and unlike cereal or even oatmeal for that matter, I stay full until lunchtime (a miracle!)  This recipe is adapted from Jill Donenfeld of Food & Wine.

You can make half a recipe, or you can make it all and store the leftovers to be heated up the next morning (well, don't reheat the ricotta, please.  That would be disgusting.)


  1. 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  5. 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  6. 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  7. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/4 cup fresh ricotta


  1. In a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover it again.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apricots, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir well until heated through.
  3. Add the quinoa to the skillet and stir gently to incorporate the almonds and apricots. Top each portion of quinoa with a tablespoon of ricotta and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The recipe can be made through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat as needed or serve cold.
NOTES One Serving 311 cal, 44 gm carb, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 10 gm protein, 4 gm fiber.