Tailgating for two


      Unconventional tailgating at its very best. You have to understand that I don't have a television, so therefore watching the game at my house is virtually impossible. I just really wanted to have a reason to have some "football" food. I came up with the idea to have a "tailgate party", I sent out the invite (yes, just one, remember tailgating for two; plus no one wants to come tailgate without at t.v.) and thought that I could figure out the rest when game day came.
         Game day is here! Mr. Crumbs and I are tailgating together. We are listening to the game on the radio. It is cheesy, I know, but it is fun. I made a big spread of food and we are sitting back relaxing, having a few brew-skies all in the comfort of our home. It is different and I get to have "football" food. In a few years we will look back and say to each other "Remember that tailgate party we had?"


     The menu for tonights big game includes: Layered Taco Dip, Homemade Guacamole, Southwest BBQ Chicken Taquitos, Salted Kale Chips, Buffalo Garlic Chicken Chunks, Fifteen Bean Soup, Cornbread, and Brownies. All paired with a couple of longnecks, who can/could resist?


Portabella Caps with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese

     It's Meatless Monday! For those of you who haven't heard about Meatless Mondays I encourage you to try it. It is a big rage right now in the food world, including in restaurants and with chefs. Foodies are encouraging others to replace one "meaty" meal a week, to a vegetarian meal. It doesn't mean that you are turning into a tree hugging neurotic psycho, who will chain yourself to a tree or die, type of person. It is just creating a more healthy awareness for your body and for the environment. It is one meal a week. I am not asking you to forgo your carnivoristic behavior all together, but one meal will not kill you. Plus think of the money that you will save by substituting ONE meal to be meat free. Your worried about not getting enough protein? Don't. For one thing it is one meal. Add beans, grains, nuts, the world is your oyster err, I mean umm... pecan, (insert which ever unmeat protein here).

     For this "Meatless Monday" I made large portabella caps, grilled, and stuffed with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and blue cheese. These were quick and easy. Feel free stuff your mushrooms with whatever items sound delightful to you or, ingredients that you have on hand. Make it yours. These were Dee-licious! Resembling steak with creamed spinach and Gorgonzola. Try it. I promise it won't kill you!

Stuffed Portabella Caps with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese

4 large Portabella mushroom caps, wiped clean
10oz bag Spinach
1 Shallot, sliced (or small onion)
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
4oz Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 c. Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Place portabella caps on a hot grill, gill side down for 4 minutes. While caps are grilling, add olive oil to a large saute pan and heat. Add shallot, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic, saute until garlic and shallots are soft. Toss in spinach and wilt. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar and toss to coat. Turn mushrooms over, gill side up and divide hot spinach mix to all four mushroom caps. Top with blue cheese and heat until melted. Serve.
Serves 2.


Fall Strata

Fall is in full swing. That means the flavors of fall are here too. Pumpkin, Apple, Pear, Squash, etc... are amongst us. Sunday I wanted something different for breakfast that did not involve omelets or oatmeal. Don't get me wrong they are both good, but can get tiresome (I wanted waffles, but was out-voted, as usual). Plus we have  been on a health kick lately at the Crumbs... household (again), so I wanted to continue with this theme.

I started rummaging through cupboards, the refrigerator, the freezer, the pantry, looking for items. I didn't know what I was looking for; I was just looking. I pulled out a butternut squash, that sounded good. I was just at a class where they made a squash bread pudding, it was mighty tasty. I built on that idea, but instead of sweet, I was going to make it a savory, eggy, bread dish.
I continued my hunt for ingredients. I came across some mushrooms, left over chicken breast breasts, asiago cheese from the previous nights dinner party. I cut up an onion, threw in some fresh thyme from my garden, I was pretty much set.

I diced up my pretty little butternut squash, lightly toasted some 35 calorie bread, separated my eggs (remember this is healthy so I just used the egg whites), chopped my onions, chicken, and mushrooms, and thawed some chicken stock (no need to use homemade, if you have it great, if not use broth or even bouillon). This kind of reminds me of an eggy stuffing or dressing. Leave some of the eggs out, add some celery and garlic, saute in butter with some onion, and that is pretty much what you got.
This recipe weighs in at 180 calories. The following is the break down (thanks to the calorie calculator at sparkrecipes.com.)

Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Serving Size: 1 serving

Calories 179.7
Total Fat 5.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Cholesterol 33.2 mg
Sodium 493.3 mg
Potassium 413.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.3 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 23.0 g


2 c. Chicken Stock, Base, or Bouillon, heated
10 Egg whites, well beaten
8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 c. Butternut Squash, cubed
1 1/2 Chicken Breasts, cooked
1 Onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced
8 slices 35 calorie bread, slightly toasted. I used Aunt Millie's Light Potato Bread
3 oz Asiago Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss together all ingredients, EXCEPT egg whites, in a large casserole dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Then pour the well beaten, foamy egg whites over the top, do not mix the eggs will seep down into the crevices. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes, remove foil and bake another 30 minuted until set and golden brown.

Serves: 8