Tag Archives: one pot meal

Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

With the last remnants of winter hanging by a thread, I will succumb with one final post to the Gods of Comfort Food. Yes, as we all bid a fond farewell to cold weather veggies I thought I would share one of my favorites that I don’t get to make all that often anymore (my kids are not fans of mushrooms). This recipe although time consuming can be made ahead and re-purposed into a second meal or appetizer, which makes it so much more appealing in my eyes. So this might not be one of those recipes that you make on the fly, but may be the perfect capstone to a Sunday evening family meal.

As we’re trying to eat a bit more meatless, I noticed that the Wynn Las Vegas has revamped their menus to include vegan and vegetarian recipes at each of their eateries. What better way to get a little bit of Vegas at home?  Ok, so maybe it’s not the same, but I started with my classic mushroom risotto (one of the dishes on the Wynn’s menu), and then I decided to add some fresh spinach for a bit of texture and freshness.

Shopping List:

  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup of red onions, diced
  • 2 cups of your favorite mushrooms, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup of baby spinach torn into bite sized pieces
  •  1 cup of Arborrio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese


1. In a medium saute pan on medium heat melt the butter and olive oil together. Once melted toss in the smashed garlic and onions. Lower the temperature to low and stir the onions and garlic occasionally for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are nice and caramelized.

2. Remove the onions from the pan at this point and add the chopped mushrooms to the same pan to cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms to the onion mixture and then toast the rice in the same pan for about 2 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and add 1 cup of stock and stir the rice occasionally for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process of one cup of liquid every ten minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is chewy.

4. Finally, add the cream cheese, the spinach, and the mushroom and onion mixture into the rice. Stir it all so that the cheese is evenly distributed.  Serve with a few sliced almonds on top and Viola!

Serves: 4 entree portions


Creamy Ratatouille Sauce

Creamy Ratatouille Pasta Sauce, see it as a side dish below.

Pasta is such kid-friendly food that I experiment with it quite a bit in hopes that the little ones won’t notice…but they always do. One day while we were watching the Disney movie by the same name I thought, why not try to make ratatouille and serve it over pasta. And that’s how this recipe came to be.

When I started looking for recipes I wasn’t sure I’d even had it before. In fact, now I know I haven’t tried because I avoid eggplant wherever it might be. So, I thought, you know this whole experimenting with flavor thing that I’m trying isn’t just for the kids it’s for me too. So, the first night I made this we all tried something new, and much to my delight this recipe has become an easy way to get some veggies into my kids…and me.

The nice thing about this dish is that you can serve it over pasta (like the above photo) or as a side dish (like below) or on a toasted baguette as appetizer at a potluck. And it’s got very little hands-on time! And anyone who has little ones knows–every hand you’ve got needs to be used in that witching hour before dinner.

Ratatouille as a side dish

Shopping List:

1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 red pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons 1/2 inch thick

1/2 an onion, chopped

1/2 cup of low sodium broth (I used chicken, but veggie works too.)

1/4 cup cream cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon garlic


1. On medium-high heat a saute the olive oil and the garlic in a large pan until the garlic is fragrant and begins to sizzle in the pan. 

2. Next, add the eggplant to the pan and sear it for 5-8 minutes without stirring it. It will get some nice color to it this way.

 3. Then, as you chop the zucchini, red pepper and onion add them to the pan with the broth and put a lid on the pan. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

4. At this stage remove the lid and stir the veggies around a bit. The eggplant and zucchini will start to fall disintegrate into a lovely sauce now.

5. This is when you need to decide: sauce or side dish. If you’re making a pasta sauce, skip to step 6. If you’re making a side dish, add salt and pepper and you’re done! I kind of feel like that was like Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style…remember those books anyone? I loved them. I reread (past tense 🙂 ) them all the time.

6. To turn this into a kid-friendly sauce, pop it into the blender or food processor and give it a whirl. This is especially important for those of us with good detectives who will find all these new veggies in the sauce.

7. Once smooth, return it to the pan and stir in the cream cheese. Taste test it. Then add some salt and pepper, if you choose. Toss it with a pound of cooked spaghetti and call it a day!

1/2 cup broth

pinch of salt

cover low heat 10 minutes