Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

28 04 2014

This is such a tasty meatless meal, packed with loads of flavor and healthy ingredients! Tabbouleh is a Lebanese grain salad typically made with bulgur wheat. I didn’t have bulgur so I improvised with the ancient grain farro, but kept the rest of the traditional ingredients the same with mixing in parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes and dressing with lemon juice and olive oil. Heads up, there’s a lot of chopping to be had here, so grab yourself a sous chef to help!

Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Tabbouleh Salad With Farro and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

The following makes 4 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • Minced zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (10 oz) grape tomatoes, halved (you could also use a mix of tomatoes and chopped red bell pepper if you wanted)
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup sliced scallions or green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms (4-6 oz each) stemmed and gilled
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese

Cook the farro according to package directions. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette to brush on the portobellos.

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley, scallions, mint, olives, and cooled farro. Toss with vinaigrette and chill until ready to serve.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush grill grate with oil.

For the mushrooms, brush both sides with reserved vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms, uncovered, until grill marks appear and mushrooms are softened, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and transfer to a cutting board. Slice mushrooms into 1/2-inch-thick strips.

To serve, plate the tabbouleh salad, top with sliced mushrooms and garnish with feta.


Soba Noodles With Shitakes and Chicken

17 02 2014

This is a tasty, quick meal with notes of bright herbs and a little spice – great for a busy weeknight!

Soba noodles are a Japanese buckwheat noodle, made with wheat flour and buckwheat. High in fiber and protein, they offer a nuttier taste then their look-a-like, spaghetti noodle. They can be found in the Asian, or ethnic food aisle at the grocery store.

Soba Noodles With Shitakes and Chicken

Soba Noodles With Shitakes and Chicken

The following serves 3 (compliments of Food Network Magazine and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 oz shitake and baby bella mushrooms (I used a combo, you could use one or the other), stemmed and sliced
  • 12 oz soba noodles
  • 1 bunch cilantro (about 2 cups leaves)
  • 1 bunch mint (about 1 cup leaves)
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha (Asian chile sauce)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with a little salt and a dusting of cayenne pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the same skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the chicken.

Add the noodles to the boiling water. Cook until the noodles are al dente, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and add to the bowl with the chicken and mushrooms.

Pulse all but a few cilantro leaves, the mint, scallions, 2 Tbsp water, the soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and sesame oil in a food processor until roughly chopped. Toss with the noodles, chicken and mushrooms. Top with remaining cilantro. Can be enjoyed warm, at room temp or even cold.

Spiced Beef Patties with Whole Grain Naan and Yogurt Sauce

7 01 2014

This Mediterranean approach to the burger is packed with herbs and spices. Serve it with Greek yogurt and whole grain pita or Naan for an all-around healthier meal.

Spiced Beef Patties with Whole Grain Naan and Yogurt Sauce

Spiced Beef Patties with Whole Grain Naan and Yogurt Sauce

The following makes 2-4 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

For the sauce, combine:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp each chopped fresh mint and cilantro
  • 1 tsp each grated fresh garlic and ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the patties, mince:

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp each black pepper and ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/4 cup each minced fresh mint and cilantro


  • 2-4 whole grain Naan flatbreads, warmed
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

For the sauce, combine yogurt, mint, cilantro, garlic, ginger and season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the patties, mince garlic, onion, and ginger in a food processor. Saute the aromatics with 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, cardamom and pepper flakes in oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until onion is softened and dry, about 5 minutes; cool.

Pulse ground sirloin in a food processor until fine, then mix with sautéed garlic-onion mixture, 1/4 cup mint, and 1/4 cup cilantro. Shape meat mixture in 10-12 patties. Sear patties in the same large skillet you used to cook the garlic-onion mixture over medium heat until browned on both sides and cooked to your likeness, about 8-10 minutes.

While the patties cook, warm the Naan in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes.

Serve patties on warmed Naan bread topped with sauce, mint leaves and cilantro sprigs.

Lemon Chicken Cutlets, Roasted Eggplant and Baked Herbed Cauliflower Smash

8 09 2011

This recipe is a tasty This Girl original! While this looks like mashed potatoes, it’s really cauliflower treated in a very similar way. By swapping out potatoes and cream for cauliflower and chicken broth, I kept this dinner healthier with a double serving of veggies. I love coming up with new ways to use cauliflower because it’s a veggie that can take on many flavors. Give this one a try kids – your meat and potato night will thank you for adding a new twist!

Lemon Chicken Cutlets, Roasted Eggplant and Baked Herbed Cauliflower Smash

The following makes 2 large portions:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in half all the way through (equaling 4 pieces of chicken total)
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into rounds ( I got 8 rounds total)
  • 1 bag frozen cauliflower
  • Chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped basil
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Panko breadcrumbs

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and scatter out the eggplant rounds. Drizzle with oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven 8-10 minutes per side, flipping half way through. You may need to add another drizzle of oil when you flip the eggplant over if they look too dry.

I butterflied these chicken breasts to help them cook faster as well as for additional flavor because it gives you a chance to season more of the chicken, but you could keep them whole if you want. Season one side of the chicken cutlets with salt, garlic powder and the zest of half a lemon. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add chicken season-side down. Season the other side the same way while in the pan.

Cook the cauliflower according to the package. Drain and return to pan. Add some chicken broth (enough to have a little liquid left in the pan), salt and garlic powder and start to mash. The look should start to resemble smashed potatoes.  Toss with a few palm fulls of shredded mozzarella cheese and then add the mixture into a small casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Top the cauliflower smash with the chopped herbs and a good handful of panko breadcrumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs start to brown on the top.

I like to serve a lemon-wine sauce over the chicken, here’s how This Girl does it:

  • Melt 1 Tbsp unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the juice of 1 lemon (use the one you just zested). Cook for a minute and then add some dry white wine – a few turns of the pan. Cook together for another few minutes. Finally, whisk in 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter – the cold butter will help thicken the sauce.

To serve: Place the eggplant rounds on the bottom of the dish, next top with the chicken cutlets and serve the baked herbed cauliflower smash along side…finish by topping the chicken and eggplant with the lemon-wine sauce.