Mushroom Bourguignon

This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is one I’ve made a few times, and we’ve really enjoyed as a filling, comforting, and meat-free meal. It’s also great as a lighter alternative to the heavy and decadent foods of the holiday season. I’ve added the nutritional breakdown’s from My Fitness Pal to show just how “healthy lifestyle” friendly, notice I didn’t say “diet”, the recipe is, even with the pasta. Enjoy!



Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices (save the stems for another use) (you can use cremini instead, as well)
  • 1/2 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional but vegetable to make it vegetarian; it works with either)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
  • Egg noodles, for serving
  • Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.
  2. Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
  3. Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.
  4. Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10  more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
  5. To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles, dollop with sour cream (optional) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.


                          Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
Total: 1,896 237 56 65 1,844 19
Per Serving: 237 30 7 8 231 2

Texas Crockpot Chili

A few years ago I discovered Williams-Sonoma’s Texas Style Chili Starter. I really liked the flavor and the idea of using cubed beef rather than the traditional ground. What I didn’t like was the price tag. At $15 a jar, this made a relatively cheap comfort food into a meal that you almost needed to save up for. I’ve been experimenting with this recipe for awhile now, and I think I’ve both gotten it to where we want it, and, finally, remembered to write it down so it doesn’t feel like an experiment every time we want chili.

This definitely packs a punch, but I like mine with a little dollop of sour cream, so that mellows the heat. If it’s too hot for you, seed and remove the ribs from the jalapeño before adding it to the pot. I wouldn’t skip it completely, as it adds a depth of flavor (big fancy culinary term there for you) to the final dish that you won’t want to miss. Serve this as you like it. As you can see from the picture, we like ours over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese, and some sour cream for me. This pairs perfectly with an ice cold beer and some cornbread, or even some Jalapeño Cornbread Whoopie Pies if you’re feeling like taking things to the next level. You’ll want to take things to the next level, trust me.


  • 3 lbs Stew Beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper, freshly ground
  • ¼ cup Oil, divided
  • 1 Onion, cut into a large dice
  • 1 Jalapeño, stemmed, quartered, and roughly chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cans, 29 oz., Canned Diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Beef Broth (I use Penzey’s Beef Soup Starter)
  • 3 Poblano Peppers, roasted, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Oregano, Mexican if you have it
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 cup Black Beans, optional


  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, flour, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add in about 1/3 of the beef and brown for about 5 minutes on each side, stirring once or twice. Repeat with remaining beef. Add beef to slow cooker pot.
  2. In same skillet, add remaining Tbsp of oil, and sauté onions for about 5 minutes, stirring only once or twice, as you want them to brown slightly. Stir in jalapeño and garlic. Sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until peppers start to give off their heat. Add to slow cooker pot.
  3. Pour in tomatoes, broth, peppers, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Cook on high for 4 ½ hours or low for 9 hours.

    *If adding black beans, stir in when there is about 1 hour left in the cooking time. Keep in mind, you will no longer have a true “Texas chili”, but it will still be darn good, I promise.

White Chicken Chili with Poblano Peppers and Quinoa

I am woefully behind in my blogging, but I have a good excuse, as I have been busy and traveling for work the past couple of weeks. After being laid off for almost a year, I am still excited to be overly busy with my job. As gratifying as being a wife and mother can be, there is most absolutely a space within me that can only be satisfied with the feelings accomplishment that a job well done, in terms of my career, can bring. Now, onto the food . . .

There are many, many recipes for white chicken chili out there, but I wanted to try my hand at one that was truly my own. Oh, and I had Poblano peppers to use up, AND I wanted to use my crockpot, and this week was, unofficially, crockpot week at our house. I found a few recipes as jumping off points, like this one from Rachel Ray, and this one on Bakin’ and Eggs, and this one on Whole Grain Gourmet. I also consulted the White Chili with Chicken recipe found in the Cuisinart Slow Cooker manual.


  • 2 chicken breasts, bone-in
  • 2 tsp pepper, divided
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 Cups water, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken soup starter (if you’d rather, you can skip this, and use 2 cups of chicken stock in place of 2 cups of water)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (feel free to skip this if you have non-stick pans)
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 6 small or 4 large, Poblano peppers, cut into a large dice
  • 2 cans White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeño, veined, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 cup corn, frozen
  • ¾ cup quinoa


  1. Place chicken in slow cooker with 4 cups of water and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, depending on slow cooker and whether your chicken is frozen or thawed.
  2. When chicken is done, remove from slow cooker, and set aside. When cool enough to handle, shred with fingers or fork.
  3. Add last 2 cups of water to the pot with the juices from the chicken, and whisk in soup starter. (If you’re not using the soup starter, this is where you would add in your stock.)
  4. In a pan over medium heat, sauté onions, stirring infrequently so they get a little color, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add in garlic, and cook about 2 minutes more. Add to slow cooker pot. Add peppers to pan and cook, again stirring infrequently, for about 5 minutes. Add these to pot as well.
  5. Stir in beans, cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaf, remaining salt and pepper, and shredded chicken.
  6. Cook on high for 4 hours. When timer goes off, stir, add in corn and quinoa, and set on high for 1 additional hour.
  7. Discard bay leaf and serve with cornbread or chili-cheese quick bread.