Tag Archives: Mushrooms

Non-Stick Pan

A disclaimer:
I am in no way compensated by any company, nor do I get products for free. I just want to pass along my experience with trying products that are healthier for you and/or for the environment.
This week I tried out the Paderno Eco Pan, which is marketed as a ceramic base non-stick frying pan.
As you probably already know, the old school Teflon non-stick pans are really quite bad for you as if you get even tiny scratches on the surface of the pan, bits of Teflon get into your food. Teflon does not get digested and most of us have a store of this man-made substance in our bodies. One of the ingredients of Teflon is likely a carcinogen so avoidance is prudent. Here’s a link to a brief article about this.
I love non-stick pans, so several years ago I invested hundreds of dollars into an Anolon pan which was supposed to be very scratch resistant and last a lifetime. Hah!
As you can see from the picture it is really scratched up despite my exclusive use of bamboo or silicone cooking implements. It makes me mad that it now has to go into our already overful landfills. I am really hoping that this Paderno pan lives up to its promises, although I highly doubt the 25-year warranty. For a trial recipe I made sautéed mushrooms and onions. Normally I would use a bit of fat, oil or butter, but for experimental purposes here, I have used none.
Sure enough, the pan did not stick whatsoever, but allowed the caramelisation of the mushrooms to occur.
So far, I love it! Will report back if I have any problems with it.


my terribly scratched $200 Anolon pan. Ready for the landfill, sadly!



my new $35 Paderno eco pan. (on sale at Home Hardware)



shiny new pan!



I’m going to saute some mushroom without using any fat



I like to just wipe them clean with a paper towel, but you can wash them if you like



slice them and put them into the pan over medium heat



the water will start coming out of them




add half a finely minced onion: slice into very thin strips from root to stem, leaving 1/4″ of stem end unsliced to hold it together.




then slice crosswise and you will get a fine mince



but the strips have to be very thin, about 1/16″, so use a sharp knife




add to the mushrooms in the pan and continue cooking about another 5 minutes. You should start getting some deep caramelisation.



deglaze the pan with 1 teaspoon vodka (optional, but intensifies the mushroom-ey flavour)



Doesn’t stick at all! Add salt and pepper as desired.




make sure to re-use the mushroom container – as a small paint container for instance



Gluten free veggie lasagna

Gluten Free Veggie Lasagna

Prep time 30 minutes, Baking time: 60 minutes, Makes 12 servings

This is a hearty, flavourful vegetarian lasagna. Believe me, even the meat-eaters in your family will be satisfied with this dish! Although the list of ingredients looks long, it comes together very quickly and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand, especially those that need to be used up.


12 oz. package rice lasagna

1 Tablespoon avocado or other oil for sauteing
1 onion, chopped
8 oz. package mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 japanese eggplant, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
796 ml can of whole tomatoes
1 bouillon cube
1/2 head of cauliflower, finely chopped
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

8-10 oz. baby spinach leaves
800g of light ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup each shredded parmesan and asiago cheeses
salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste


12 oz. package mozzarella cheese, shredded


Saute all chopped veggies in avocado oil except cauliflower about 10 minutes, until well steamed.
Add the tin of tomatoes, the italian seasoning, bay leaf and bouillon cube and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or so. Then add the cauliflower and allow to heat to boiling, then switch off the heat. Taste and season to your preference.
Meanwhile, pack all the baby spinach leaves into a glass pot, cover and microwave 2 minutes to just wilt the spinach. Dump out onto a cutting board and chop coarsely. you don’t have to drain it.
Beat egg in a medium bowl, stir in ricotta, parmesan and asiago cheeses, then the chopped spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste, if desired.
Next assemble the lasagna:
Put about a third of the sauce on the bottom of a large 12″ X 15″ lasagna pan.
Next lay 3 2/3 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Make sure there is lots of space between noodles as they will really expand.
Layer 1/2 the spinach and cheese mixture, then another 1/3 of the sauce.
Repeat this layering process ending with the sauce.
Cover pan tightly with foil, put into a cold oven and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove foil and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the lasagna and continue baking for a further 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serve with a green salad, and love, of course.



gather all the ingredients. It looks like an awful lot, but it comes together very quickly.



saute all the chopped vegetables except the cauliflower (or broccoli, if using, as you don’t want these vegetables to be overcooked)



chop the cauliflower quite finely and reserve until the last few minutes of cooking



saute the veggies until quite steamed



then add the tinned tomatoes, italian seasoning, bay leaf and bouillon cube



and continue simmering until nice and saucy



meanwhile pack all the baby spinach leaves into a glass pot with a cover



cover and microwave 2 minutes, until wilted



beat egg in a large bowl and whisk in the ricotta cheese



now add the cauliflower to the sauce, heat to boiling, then remove from the heat.



dump wilted spinach out onto a board and chop coarsely



add chopped spinach, shredded parmesan and asiago cheeses to the egg and ricotta mixture and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg if using.



the finished sauce should have a lot of liquid, which will get absorbed by the pasta



Layer about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a large lasagna pan



then layer the uncooked noodles, leaving lots of space between them



layer 1/2 of the ricotta/spinach mixture over the noodles, repeat the layers ending with sauce



cover pan tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes



then layer the shredded mozzarella and bake an additional 15 minutes



until nicely browned



serve with a green salad – and love, of course.


Shortcut Boeuf Bourguignon

Does Boeuf Bourguignon or Beef Stew of any kind have to take hours and hours? Well, it depends.
Normally a tough cut of beef such as stewing beef can take 3 hours of simmering to break down the connective tissue and become tender. However, accidentally I have found that Field Gate Organics (available at Goodness Me!) produces a stewing beef which is so very tender and has no connective tissue that all it takes is about an hour to produce a truly delicious dish. Obviously that doesn’t help my readers in South America or Europe, but one way of knowing if a cut of stewing beef (or steak) is going to be tender is squeezing it between finger and thumb. A tender cut of beef will feel tender and soft when it’s raw. A cut of beef which will require more cooking will feel rubbery, like a pencil eraser.

Shortcut Boeuf Bourguignon, serves 6 (or 4 generously)
Total time: 1 1/2 hours (15 minute prep, 1 hour simmering, 15 minute finishing)


2 lbs lean, tender stewing beef
1 Tablespoon Avocado oil or ghee (as browning the beef requires a high temperature)
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb. small mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup hearty red wine, such as Zinfandel
1 cup warm water
3 Tablespoons spelt flour
2 Tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish


Pat the beef chunks dry with paper towels
Heat the Avocado oil over medium high heat in a large bottomed, shallow saute pan
Add 1/3 of the stewing beef chunks and allow to brown. Flip over onto the other side when it’s easy to do so. If the beef is sticking and won’t come away from the pan, it’s not ready to be flipped over so just wait a minute or two. After it’s browned on two sides, remove to a bowl.
Repeat by browning two more batches, removing each batch to the same bowl.
After all the beef is done, lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion and carrot right onto the browned bits in the pan. If your beef is very lean, you might need more oil. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the browned bits have released from the pan bottom.
Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes.
Add the browned beef back in as well as the bouillon cube, the thyme, bay leaf, tomato paste, wine and water.
Here is the important bit: cover the pan, reduce heat to a low simmer, but keep it bubbling and DO NOT remove the lid for one hour!! *Note: if using conventional heat, allow 2 hours simmering time.
In the meantime, mash the butter and flour together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
After an hour (or two, depending on your beef), add the butter and flour mixture, turn the heat to medium and cook until the gravy is thickened and shiny, about 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve over mashed potatoes, with love, of course!



You know the drill! Gather your ingredients



Pat the beef chunks dry using a paper towel



Saute batches in avocado oil over medium-high heat



until nicely browned



lower heat, remove meat to a bowl and add onions and carrots to the same pan



continue cooking until all the browned bits on the bottom have loosened



add garlic



and mushrooms



then add bouillon cube, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf, wine and water



cover with a lid, simmer on medium-low for one hour



in the meantime, mash butter and flour together



after the hour’s cooking time, stir in the butter and flour mixture. Simmer 15 more minutes.



garnish with parsley



and serve over mashed potatoes, with greens and love


(Lighter) French Canadian Tourtière

(Lighter) French Canadian Tourtiere – Serves 6. Calories per serving: 465

When it’s really cold outside I always want a heartier, stodgier meal. I thought I would try to lighten up a traditional French Canadian tourtière by minimizing the fat in the filling and crust, using just a top crust and using lots of vegetables, so it’s somewhere between a Shepherd’s Pie and a traditional tourtière and is scented with the traditional tourtière spices.


1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup light spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Tablespoons ice water

1 lb. very lean ground pork
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small russet potato, diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons white wine, white vermouth or water (for deglazing)
2 Tablespoons light spelt flour
1 cup chicken broth

Spelt flour has some gluten, but it is so fragile and easily broken that you have to be very gentle with it and not overwork it, or your crust will be very tough. This method makes a very flaky crust.
Combine flours and salt in a large measure. Add in the diced butter and start working it in using either two knives, a pastry cutter or a Danish Dough Whisk (available at Lee Valley). Add in the oil and work it in. You should have large granules. Now put the whole thing in the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
While you are dicing the vegetables, start sauteing the ground pork in a saute pan over medium heat. You don’t need to add any fat or oil.
Add the thyme, cloves and cinnamon and keep browning. When you have brown bits on the bottom of the pan remove the pork to another dish.
Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the diced potatoes, then the mushrooms and garlic. Keep sautéing over medium heat.
At this point the pan may be very brown on the bottom. Add the wine, vermouth or water to deglaze the pot. Scrape up all the brown bits, as they make the tastiest gravy.
Add the 2 Tablespoons of flour, stir.
Add the chicken stock and allow to come to the boil, stirring until the gravy is nicely thickened. Remove from the heat and pour into a deep pie dish.
Remove the pastry mixture from the freezer and add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the pastry stays together when you press some between your fingers.
Dump it all out onto either a silpat silicone mat, a piece of parchment, or a floured countertop.
Gather it together with your fingers and work it lightly until it forms a ball. Press it into a disk, then roll out into a circle about the size of your pie dish.
Carefully place the pastry over the pork mixture in the pie dish. If there are bits left hanging over, cut them off and you can use the bits to make a decorative pattern on top, if you wish.
Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with peas, a green salad, and Love, of course.


Gather your ingredients for the filling


and for the crust


cut about a quarter of a cup off the package of butter


dice it right in it’s package


add to the flour and salt mixture in the measuring cup


then add the oil


start working the dough with the Danish Dough whisk, or two knives


Keep working until large granules form


then put the whole thing in the freezer


meanwhile, start sauteing the pork in a dry pan


add the thyme, cinnamon and cloves


keep sauteing until brown bits form on the bottom


meanwhile, dice your vegetables


add the vegetables and oil to the pot after you have removed the pork to a bowl


add in the potatoes


keep sauteing


add the mushrooms and garlic, and keep sauteing until the pan bottom is quite brown


add in a couple of tablespoons of liquid to…


loosen the brown bits off the bottom


add in the flour


and stock, and continue simmering until the gravy is thick



put the mixture into a deep pie dish


remove the pastry mixture from the freezer


add the ice-cold water and work it in to the pastry


until it stays together if you take out a pinch


dump it out onto a silpat, a floured counter or a piece of parchment


work it gently with your hands until it comes together


into a ball. Note the flecks of frozen butter


roll it out into a circle


about the size of your pie dish


You may need to use a bit of flour


place the pastry crust on top of the pork mixture in the pie dish


trim the overhanging edges and make fancy shapes, if you like


Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown



serve with green peas and a salad