Green Papaya Salad with MATCH Mini Thai Crab Cakes

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

So if you read my post yesterday, I mentioned I would continue to share what meal we enjoyed with our Thai Basil Spritzer. When I started preparing a menu, I had to think about the flavors, making sure that none overpowered the other. How can I do this if I have not had them before? Good question. Sometimes I read about the traditional recipe and the origins, then I decide what would combine with that specific dish. On other occasions, I will remember when I had the dish the last time and TRY to imagine the flavors and fly by the seat of my pants.

This is how I decided to start my menu. Before I got married, Ryan and I met up with my mother at a nice little Thai restaurant near my mom's house. The restaurant was having an anniversary and guests were allowed to choose from 3 different salads, so I decided to try the green papaya salad for the first time. Let me tell you, that was more than 3 years ago and I have been thinking about it ever since and I finally decided to try my hand at it. What does a green papaya look like? Well, green of course!

I used my handy dandy julienne slicer to slice up this bad boy.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Did you know that papaya aids in digestion? It has papain, which is a specific enzyme that breaks up protein. I specifically require this fruit since I do not have a gall bladder to aid in my own digestion process. Nice fact of the day!

So I went about making this salad with the help of many resources, detailing the requirement of thai chilis and fish sauce, but being a vegan I had modify. I made a healthier version and its raw too! That is always a plus. And since I did not have the fish sauce aspect of the recipe I accompanied this salad with a recipe for mini "crab" cakes using MATCH vegan crab made from plant protein.

Ryan thought these were GREAT! I realized I made a mistake when making the salad y'all! Make sure you PEEL the green papaya or else it will have a small bitter flavor with each bite. I enjoyed it but Ryan noticeably was affected by the flavor and then I realized I made a mistake. Oh well, next time!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Green Papaya Salad

serves 2

1 small green papaya, peeled outer layer and then julienned
(yielding 2 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup crushed toasted peanuts

1 1/2 Tbsp tamarind paste
2 tsp sriracha sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 key limes, juiced
1 Tbsp palm sugar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Green Papayas are available at your local Asian Market. Buy a small one and wash and peel the green layer. Julienne the fruit until almost reaching the core. Dispose.

In a medium bowl, add julienned papaya, carrots, tomatoes and red onions. Toss until mixed well.

In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and mix well until the palm sugar is dissolved. Add dressing to the salad and massage salad with dressing.

As far as flavor goes, this salad is combination of sweet, slighty spicy, and tangy. It can be eaten with rice noodles to offset the combination of flavors but it is optional.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

MATCH Mini Thai Crab Cakes

makes 16 mini crab cakes

1 1/4 cups MATCH "crab" meat
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thai basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1.5 Tbsp hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and let sit for 10 minutes for flavors to somewhat blend.

Make into 16 mini patties. Heat a non-stick skillet with 1 to 2 Tbsp of coconut oil. Cook patties for 5-7 minutes or until browned on each side.

Serve with the green Papaya salad and remember to enjoy with the Thai Basil Spritzer!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Thai Basil Spritzer

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

So the weekend came and went even though it is Memorial Day today, I am still going to call it a work day. We somewhat celebrated our time off Saturday and Sunday, so we will continue to catch up on items that require our attention this coming week.

Saturday I had an AMAZING voice lesson with my teacher. We worked through certain scales and then proceeded to continue working with my aria of a century. I do not know if I mentioned before but Depuis le jour by Charpetier from the opera Louise has been the scariest aria for me since my FIRST voice teacher gave it to me my sophomore year in college. He was a wonderful man but everytime he told me to stop using my "little girl" sound I STILL kept doing it. He gave me no instruction how to obtain a soaring sound that brought abour full sound.

Fast forward 10 years and BAM! I have acheived freedom in my upper range, to reach notedlike I have never reached them before. Here at my 6th voice teacher and I have someone who explains things to me like he knows me inside and out. When I do not achieve a sound he tells to work on, he tries a different technique and explains it to me differently. He has even told me now that he feels that my voice is learning my NEW technique and feeling at home with it. By the grace of God I was able to sing a very HIGH note with light sound, for effect of course, and increasing sound by using my diaphragm and  correct breathe control. I felt so free and so giddy at the same time. I look forward starting my work with the rest of my arias.

After this marvelous voice lesson, I mentioned to Ryan that I really wished to lounge in the sun somewhere near water. A friend of ours had mentioned that a park near our house called Lake Lansing park had a great area to lay out and soak some rays while people enjoyed swimming in the lake. That sounded like a great plan to me. We took our towels and a change of clothes and immediately picked up a spot on the grasss among the hoards of people. Ryan suprisingly ventured into the lake while I read my book for a little and then just relaxed and stared at the sky. How great is that?

So relaxing! I hope you get to do this later on today!

On that note, make sure you stay hydrated. I leave you with a simple BUT DELICIOUS beverage that will make you want to preapre it all the time. I made a totally new meal today which I will feature in the next couple of days accomopanied by this delicious spritzer that I found on a beautiful blog called The Daily Raw Cafe. Terilynn featured a recipe from Raw Food Celebrations cookbook called thai basil tea, but I changed it a tad bit by adding my own twist to it.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Before you shake your head and realize that this is made with Thai Basil leaves, let me tell you that I was as skeptical like you. I have only used basil for cooking or maybe in salads, but as a beverage? It was so refreshing and so completely different than anything I have ever had.

Basil has many benefits and aids in digestion and upset stomach. This herb also has a nice serving of magnesium, iron, vitamin K and many others. This is just another great excuse to get your greens on! Whoop whoop! I made a whole pitcher of it and we finished it by the end of the day. Ryan liked it alot!! Make it for YOUR Memorial Day or any day in this hot summer and you are sure to be cooled off!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Thai Basil Spritzer

makes 8-10 servings

slightly adapted from Raw Food Celebrations

6 cups water
4 cups loosely packed Thai basil leaves (approximately 32 leaves)
4 key limes, juiced
4 Tbsp agave nectar
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh peeled ginger
2 cups seltzer water

Combine water and basil in a blender. Process until basil is mostly liquefied and blended.

Strain the mixture through a sieve in a separate bowl.

Add basil water to a glass and add the lime juice, agave nectar and ginger.

Blend until well-combined. Add the seltzer water and serve over ice.

Note: This is not a super sweet beverage but should have only a slight sweetness but otherwise, the sweetener can be adjusted to taste. The original recipe called for 1/4 tsp of stevia.


Spanish Gazpacho Soup in the RAW with Broiled "Cheese" Toast

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Today is Day 4 working out twice a day and I am a lovin' it! I took a break yesterday from going to Zumba and instead volunteered to mow the lawn. We live in a duplex and our neighbors have decided that they would hire someone to mow our huge front and back lawn when it is theor turn. Well, the guy they hired is doing a horrible job, the kind where they only mow, 1/2inch short so that they can be back in 5 days. BOO! Well, there was one rain shower and it was back to being LONG again. Anyway, I decided to give Ryan a break and try my hand at it. I have a friend in New Mexico who LOVES mowing the lawn but I somehow could not believe why.

Several years back, about 6 years I think, I attempted to mow my mom's yard on a SAturday morning. I got through only half the back and I was about to pass out from the heat. Texas is known for their humidity and extreme heat, but still, it did not take long before I got dehydrated and all. My mom said I should not do THAT anymore.

Come now the future and I decided to risk it. I was going to wear my water pack on my back but decided I would look like too much of a dork since I was not cycling, so I filled a water bottle to keep handy. I start using the jack-up mower that Ryan has and 20 minutes into mowing the back yard, the mower DIES. Boo. Ryan is no where around and I am looking like a foo' with half-mowed lawn. I venture to neighbor's homes down the block and I find someone out their home and they gladly allow me to borrow their mower so I can finish my lawn. I offered to pay, but they just told me to fill it up with gas upon return.

It was an HOUR long before I was done and I can't begin to tell you how soaking wet I was. Michigan has a humidity of its own, but it is not Texas. Thank GOD! I waited and downed my water and prayed that a headache from heat exhaustion would not come upon me. I was proud of myself for surviving my first successful lawn mowing and I thank God!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Question of the day.
Do you listen to your body when it craves something specifically healthy?

I have been craving raw food lately and in the form of tomatoes and soup. Something cool to refresh from the lack of A/C in my home. Ha! A/C unit hopefully to be installed this weekend BTW. Anyway, I have had 3 very ripe on the vine tomatoes staring at me and I knew I had to take a chance at making a cold tomato soup, otherwise known as gazpacho.

Gazpacho is traditionally enjoyed in Spain in the region of Andalucia. It is primarily consumed cold and is a tomato-based raw vegetable soup.

I grew up having my very American grandmother prepare this, but not in the way that many recipes explained. I could either taste too much green pepper or too much onion and it was hard to swallow. My preference was never to eat it whether it was my grandma's recipe or my own, but I broke down. My body shouted for something refreshing and therefore I heeded.

I researched traditional recipes online and in my cookbooks and I finally came to terms with my own version that proved to be SCRUMPTIOUS. Ryan even had 2nd helpings! Yay! He thought the flavor was almost sweet to the taste but perfectly spicy as it went down his throat. Hey, I liked the sound of that! I used red onion to have more sweetness instead of a strong winte onion flavor. I also used orange bell pepper because green pepper tends to give me indigestion. I really enjoyed that substitution.

I decided to make melted "cheese" toast on the side to accompany along with a spinach salad that I will share tomorrow. Daiya vegan cheddar crumbles came to the rescue and made for a delicious melted toast that completed a great summer dinner.

I hope you try this recipe, because not only was it quick, it is also VERY healthy! :)

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Spanish Gazpacho Soup in the RAW

serves 4

3 ripe on the vine tomatoes, cored
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 of an English cucumber, peeled and seeded
4 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs
1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup water
2 tsp fine sea salt
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and blend well until smooth for about 3 minutes.

Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Garnish with organic crunchy onions and chopped parsley (or dried).

Prepare "cheese" toasts.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Broiled "Cheese" Toast

serves 1

(vegan cheese toasts on the right)

2 slices rye bread
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar crumbles
2 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp salt

Postition oven rack to second to highest rack from the top. Turn oven to broil.

On baking sheet , lay out bread and split "cheese" between both slices.

Sprinkle parsley and salt and place in oven rack.

Broil until slightly browned and cheese is broiled. Slice in half once toast is somewhat cool.

Spanish Gazpacho Soup In The Raw With Broiled


Cherry Parfaits with Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream and Galaxy Granola

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Before I get started I want to ask forgiveness for the delay in announcing the winner of the hand mixer. The days fly by so fast that it is hard for me to catch up! Not to delay it any longer Graygrrrl @ Veggie Sometimes wins the Sunbeam Hand Mixer and Cake Mixes! Please contact me so I can mail your goodies!! Stay tuned for more giveaways!

So the last 3 days I have been trying out something new with my exercise routine. I have been playing racquetball with my husband and then going to Zumba in the evenings. I actually have NOT felt overworked or tired, but the evening workout has been a stress reliever from working at my computer all day! We'll see where it gets me.

Question for you readers out there. Anyone dealt with thyroid issues or is anyone currently getting treatment for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. I have thinking that I have this problem since I have not been able to lose weight like normal people who workout and eat well. I only say this because I found out that people who have had hepatitis tend to have thyroid problems. If anyone has any advice or can direct me to the right person, let me know!

Ever since I made my own granola, I am looking forward trying out different recipes. I am looking at making some without the puffed cereal for a different heartier crunch to each bite. Meanwhile I continue experiencing different companies granola and enjoy the fresh ingredients that they use.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Galaxy Granola sent me 3 bags of their product for me to try last week and I put it to good use immediately! This copmany bakes their granola in fruit and not in oil. How fantastic is that? It has no processed sugar, no artificial ingredients, no oil and no corn syrup, most important of all.

It is perfect in sweetness and crunchy with every bite. Even though they do not sell this granola anywhere in Michigan, I am happy that I can purchase some online and at only $5.49 a bag. GO to their website and find where they carry this delicious brand.

I quickly put a recipe together for a light dessert I wanted to prepare for company. I bought a yummy pint of So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream and made a Cherry Compote to create a simple parfait.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Since I did not have parfait glasses, I decided to use my lovely coffe glasses with hints of red in them! It went so well!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Cherry Parfaits with Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream

serves 6

1 cup Galaxy Almond Granola or any other brand
2 1/2 cups Montmorency cherries (sour cherries), previously frozen
1 pint of Purely Decadent Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 1/4 cup palm sugar
2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 Tbsp arrowroot powder (thickner)

IN a small pot, add cherries, orange juice, and zest and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add almond extract and palm sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 more minutes. Dissolve the arrowroot powder in 2 Tbsp water and add to cherry mixture.

Boil for another 10 minutes until it thickens.

Set aside and cool completely.Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Add 2 Tbsp granola to bottom of parfait glass, then add 3 TBsp ice cream, followed by the cherry compote, then 2 more Tbsp granola and top with 3 Tbsp ice cream and a few cherries.


From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen


Supreme Vegan Pizza

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

What a hot day folks! Did you melt? It felt like 95 here in Michigan. My poor husband was having a hard time with the fact we do not have central air in our duplex. We dealt with it pretty hard last summer but we have some nice friends who are lending us their A/C to out in our bedroom. HOw about that??

We woke up this morning after having slept withall 4 windows open. We had a comfortable night's rest so I can't complain. I decided to try something new today when it came to my exercise routine.

Ryan and I have been consistent playing racquetball in the evenings after I am done with work, but this girl needs variety you know? So I told Ryan this last night that I wanted to play rball in the morning so I could go to zumba in the evening. My fear is that I would still be too tired by the end of the evening or really just pushing it. What are my feelings this evening? I felt great! Workout in the morning proved energizing during the day which gave me strength to sweat like nothing else in this zumba workout. I have some girlfriends that are even wanting to go with me some time so I hope that works out too!

This past Friday we had friends of ours come over for pizza. I have been wanting for Ryan to cook so her= knew he had a great opportunity to make his FAMOUS deep dish pizza. Since I went vegan, he has not made it because it is way to much for one person, obviously, so now it has become "company" pizza. Why not have a great excuse to make pizza?

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Ryan has been keeping a spreadsheet of all the ingredients he uses and makes notes when he tweaks the recipe. He even orders special sauce from California that does not contain citric acid. He is all about a perfect pizza. I think Ryan is the greatest. He is so methodical EVEN if he IS the messiest in the kitchen! Ha! Here was his finished product:

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

What was I going to prepare for myself? Last time he made this pizza, I made some pasta with marinara for myself, but I was not convinced I could let that happen again. Since I had Daiya vegan cheese and Upton's Naturals Italian Sausage Seitan, I knew I had to try my hand at making a great vegan pizza. This stuff was delicious!! It was so close to the real stuff and even Ryan was intrigued by this substitute.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I used an already prepared vegan whole wheat crust from Trader Joes with marinara, mushrooms, basil, sausage, and Daiya with parsley added after the pizza was cooked.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

It was probably the closest REAL pizza I had had in a while. I hope you are able to enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Remember to use a pizza stone if you have it!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Supreme Vegan Pizza

makes a 12' pizza (8 slices)

1 whole wheat crust recipe or Trader Joes prepared dough
3/4 cup marinara or pizza sauce
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2/3 cup Upton's Naturals Italian Sausage-Style Seitan, crumbled
1 cup Daiya vegan mozzarella crumbles
1/8 cup coarse cornmeal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place pizza stone in oven to heat.

Meanwhile, prepare dough recipe for recipe before starting on pizza and heating oven, but if using a prepared dough, sprinkle a little flour and coat the dough and flatten to make a disc. Sprinkel some cornmeal on clean surface and roll out dough to 12' diameter.

Place flattened dough on pizza peel. Add marinara first then sprinkle fresh basil and mushrooms evenly on pizza.

Sprinkle the Italian Sausage-style seitan over pizza and cover with Daiya cheese.

Sprinkle cornmeal over hot pizza stone and slide pizza on pizza stone.

Cook for 15 minutes on middle rack. Remove from oven and raise rack to the top. Raise temp to 375 degrees and cook until crust is browned and vegan cheesefully melted and a little browned. (aprox. 10-15 more minutes)

Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley and enjoy while hot with a glass of wine.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen


Peanut Butter Granola Bars and Bora Bora

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I have been in the mood for granola lately. I know it is thought to be an easy way to ingest calories and fat but when one has the luxury of making it at home, then you are able to see what all can go in the recipe.

Ryan had been enjoying the granola bars I had purchasged from Angela at Oh She Glows while we were in Toronto in March. Then I received a nice box of granola bars from Bora Bora Organic Foods back in February. Can you believe that we JUST finished them? Ryan actually liked them and was very specific to the ones he enjoyed. Here are the flavors I received:

  • Island Brazil Nut Almond
  • Tribal Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • Volcanic Chocolate Banana
  • Tropical Sesame Cranberry
  • Wild Pomegranate Pecan
  • Native Acai Walnut
  • Tiki Blueberry Flax
  • Pacific Mango Macadamia
Their bars are gluten-free and are all certified organic. I would say they are all vegan but only 2 of the flavors are not vegan. Exotic Coconut Almond and Paradise Walnut Pistachio. While these two bars are certified organic, they’re sweetened with organic honey, instead of vegan agave nectar.

If you are one that does not have time to bake THAT often, these granola bars are very tasty. I saw them at Whole Foods last week so I know they are being stocked there in addition to Kroger, Safeway, The Vitamin Shopped, CVS, and Meijer. That is a lot of stores!

Despite these delicious bars, I decided that it was time to try my hand at making my own granola bars. YES! Ryan had been asking me for some and then I had a friend ask me if I had a recipe.Well, that convinced me to create one PRONTO.

Even though I had a list of ingredients from various granola bars I had had in the past, I wanted to make my unique or at least healthy with fun ingredients. Where I saw that I could agave nectar, I decided to use brown rice syrup. I had read that when use in baking that it would harden when cooled. This was ideal for me since I had only a little over a 1/2 cup of it left. Yikes! I thought I had more but I thought it would work.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

What were the next ingredients going to be? How about something creamy and something fruity? The dried cherries have been on sale lately so I knew I had plenty of that on hand. I keep my raw nuts in the freezer so they won't go stale. I found raw pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and then also decided to add hemp seeds to the mixture. How about some Trader Joe's peanut butter with flaxseeds?

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

How about some oats? Rolled oats joined puffed brown rice and puffed millet for a crunch and for the mixture to come together. It started looking really good!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I then combined the wet ingredients and mixed the dry ingredients with the wet. I made to mix together until everything seemed evenly distributed. I then patted the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

I baked it for 15 minutes and then let it cool for10 minutes before cutting. They came out really well!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

makes 18 bars plus 1 1/2 cups granola

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup puffed millet cereal
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cup dried sweet cherries
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup Trader Joe's Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with coconut non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients like the oats, millet, brown rice, nuts and seeds, and cherries.

In a small bowl add the peanut butter and the brown rice syrup. Place in microwave for 30 seconds.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until evenly distributed. Reserve 1 1/2 cups on the side.

Use the rest of the mixed ingredients and place on baking sheet. Pat until evenly distributed.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a knife, cut into 4x2 inche bars.

Cool completely and then wrap individually in seran wrap or store in a plastic container.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Peanut Butter Granola

makes 1 1/2 cups

Spread the rest of the mixture and loosely spread on baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes and remove from oven and cool.

Store in airtight container.


From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen
Peanut Butter Granola Bars and cereal on Foodista


Dirty Cuban Portabella Caps

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Happy Friday everyone! I am so glad it is the weekend. If you get a chance, visit Made in Kitchen's Blog to read my interview with them about my blog. I had so much fun answering VERY specific questions. Make sure to visit and make a comment!

Intriguing title eh? I had a hard time trying to come up for a title for this new dish I came up with last night. I grew up learning about ROPA VIEJA which means OLD CLOTHING.

Great name for a dish right? Growing up my mom would make different versions of this dish which consisted of leftover pot roast or meat that could be shredded that was then mixed in with leftovers. This included rice, beans ,veggies, a scrambled egg, you name it.

Yesterday morning I looked at my husband and said, "This is going to be a meatless meal tonight." He promptly asked what we were having for dinner. Ummmm, did I know yet early in the morning? No. But as I worked, I started thinking about different ideas.

I looked in my fridge and noticed I had some leftover yellow rice and I had some large portabella caps staring at me. I decided it was going to be a dinner all about fusion of flavors al la cubana.

After we played an hour of insane racquetball, (I should be losing pounds, but not, just inches) Ryan claimed he was HUNGRY. After a full day of work and a hard workout I really did not feel like making a huge meal or even a complicated one but I still wanted to make something different.

What was the end result: Dirty Cuban Portabella Caps. It is a black beans and rice mixture with spices to add a hot factor. That is then stuffed or placed on top of large portabella caps that have been lightly doused in salt, pepper, and olive oil.

This is then cooked for 15 minutes on 425F. While that is cooking, I made a grape tomato-avocado salsa and a shredded lettuce and cucumber salad to accompany the caps. SO delicious and so quick.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Protein and carbs making a complete meal with the essential veggies on the side. Hope you like it as much as I did!

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Dirty Cuban Portabella Caps

makes 4 caps

1 cup leftover rice
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/3 cup pimentos
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 large portabella mushroom caps, washed and patted dry

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium skillet, heat olive over medium heat.

Add beans and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice and the rest of the ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Take each portabella cap and rub in 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil sprinkle a little salt and pepper.

Divide the rice mixture between the 4 caps.

Cook for 15 minutes. Prepare salsa and salad in the meantime.

From An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

Avocado and Grape Tomato Salsa

makes 2 cups

1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, slice in half
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion, diced finely
3 Tbsp tomatillo salsa
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Prepare all the vegetables and place in a medium bowl. Mix well and serve on the side.

Shredded Greens and Cucumber Salad

1 cup romaine, thinly chopped
1 cup spinach, thinly chopped
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place lettuce in a medium bowl. Massage lettuce with olive oil. Add lime juice and spices. Serve and enjoy.

Dirty Cuban Portabella Caps on Foodista
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