mushroom

Poached Egg on Savory Breakfast Crostinis

Poached Egg on Savory Breakfast Crostinis

 

Hey everyone… quick update on my dad…

He’s doing better and better each day. He finished his second round of chemo a week ago and the doctors are now watching his white blood cell counts and waiting for them to go back up to a normal level. With leukemia, you have to kill off pretty much every blood cell; the cancerous ones AND the good ones. That’s the way the chemo works for my dad’s particular leukemia (AML subtype: M2). Once the counts are up, he can go home. Obviously, he’s getting very antsy being stuck in one place for more than a month. Half of my last posts I write from the hospital room while he’s sleeping. Please send prayers out to him. Here’s to hoping cancer’s butt is kicked!

Now, onto some yummy food…

Walking through the grocery store last night I spotted the half-off day-old bread rack. Jackpot! I love a good sale. On the rack was a small loaf of sliced Italian bread. One of my favorite things to do with semi-stale bread is to make crostinis. And breakfast crostinis are simply scintilating.

For this tasty treat I used whatever ingredients I had at home. Lately, it’s been easier to cook with the bare essentials since half of my week is spent driving back and forth to the hospital to see dad, on top of work and spending time with the boyfriend. I haven’t even looked at my laundry basket yet – yikes!

A quick look in the fridge turned up an almost-too-ripe beefsteak tomato, some garlic cloves, a bag of spring leaf veggies, mushrooms, and part skim ricotta cheese. Okay.. hold the phone… skim ricotta? Ewwww… I must have grabbed this without reading the whole label. I almost NEVER buy skim anything — I figure dairy products were meant to be tasty with that delicious extra fat and if I want to be fit, I’ll just eat that great stuff in moderation and excersize. Skim = blech! Okay… done ranting. :)

Poached Eggs on Cheese Crostini

Cheese Garlic Tomato Crostiis

Cheese Tomato an Garlic Crostinis

 

Cheese, Tomato, Mushroom and Garlic Crostinis Topped with Poached Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 sliced tomato, medium - large size
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh grated cheese of your choice
  • 1 handful small baby bella or other small mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 loaf of bread, sliced (I used Italian, but french baguettes work great as does any type of small loaf)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon egg
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Layout sliced bread on a cookie baking sheet, laying each piece flat and next to each other. You may need more than one cookie sheet depending on how many crostinis you want to make.
Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. It's okay if some of it ends up sliding off the bread onto the pan.
Spread ricotta cheese on each slice.
Sprinkle other ingredients (cheese, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes) on each slice.
Put pan in oven and bake for 10 minute or until cheese is bubbling and edges of bread are golden brown. Enjoy!

Note

This recipe serves one. If you want more egg-topped crostinis, just add more eggs. Also, you can wing it with the ingredients. I just used what I had on hand. Things like sauteed onions or grilled brocoli or kale are also wonderful on crostinis. Have fun!

 

 

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup in a Bread Bowl

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup in a Bread Bowl

Recently, I read in the news that women who eat mushrooms may be lowering their risk of developing breast cancer.  Here’s a few online sites that talk about it:  Reuters.com, Huffington Post and Meals to Heal.  There was a study done in 2009 and the Reuters article states:

“Lab research has shown that mushroom extracts have anti-tumor properties and, in animals, can stimulate the immune system’s cancer defenses.”  

If this is true, then I’m going to pile up on mushrooms, big time.  And green tea. With this new info under my belt, I want to kick off this year with an attempt to eat more mushrooms and be more pro-active in eating cancer-fighting foods, in general. I hope this gives you motivation too.

Now, on to the soup…

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup Bread Bowl

I wanna call this soup “A Bowl of Awesome” because it consists of really good bread + soup + cancer-fighting mushrooms and it made the house smell yummy for hours.  Plus, it turned out better than I expected.

For the bread, I bought a day-old sourdough loaf at my neighborhood store: Weiss Market.  It was half off and I can’t resist a deal, especially if it’s on really good bread like foccaccia or hearty multi-grain.  Depending on the type of bread I’ll either make croutons, slice it up for baked crostinis or toast, or in this case, do something new and make a hearty soup bowl.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Since this is my first time making a soup bowl, I was nervous the broth would drip through and cause a huge mess.  Not so!  It stayed in the bowl.  The best part is the inner sides of the crust softened as they absorbed the broth so that when you spooned out the soup, some of the bread scraped off and you would have a delicious mouthful of soup and bread. Yum! Definitely need to mark this recipe as a successful “first try”.  I already have two people asking for a dinner date!

This recipe made around 3-5 servings. Three servings can be eaten in the bread bowl and the leftover soup made about 2 servings extra.

It’s relatively easy to make. You can make it even easier if you buy pre-diced chicken and using already prepared chicken broth or canned broth. I tend to buy chicken whole (or half a chicken) with the skin on.  For one, it’s cheaper.  And two, I actually enjoy boning and skinning chicken in a large pot while it cooks.  Call me strange… I guess it just gives me something to do with my hands and allows me to get out of my head for a bit.  Stress relief is good.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Veggie Chopping for Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Bread Bowl for Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

 

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Soup Bread Bowl

Serves 3-5
This soup bowl is soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and filled with a savory, thick, creamy chicken and mushroom soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of bread (I used sourdough because it was the first loaf I found at the store and it sounded good with the soup, but rhye, tuscan, multi-grain or other hearty/crusty bread will work too.)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk green onion (This is optional, but when sauteed with garlic and mushrooms I found it to be very good.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16oz baby bella or other small mushrooms
  • 3 small chicken breasts (or mix it up and replace one breast with a drumstick or thigh to give the soup more flavor)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (Heavy cream makes for a very rich, creamy broth. If you want to lighten the calorie content, go with half and half.)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt ((add more or less per your preference))
  • 1/2 cup raw broccoli
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander (dry spice)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (to thicken broth)

Directions

In a medium or large pot, bring chicken to a boil in 8 cups of water. I like to use chicken with the skin still on to make a nice, natural broth. Once chicken is cooked, remove from heat (turn off stove) and place on a plate to cool. Once cool, remove skins and bones and chop chicken into small pieces, then place back in the pot with the broth. (Do not poor out the broth - this will be the base for the creamy broth).
Slice garlic and green onion into small pieces.
In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and sautee mushrooms until they are soft, but not well done or browned. Add green onions and garlic - these are added last because they tend to burn quicker. Sautee until they are a nice brown and the green onions are slightly crispy.
Add sauteed veggies, broccoli, herbs, 2 tablespoons of butter, and salt to the pot with the cooked chicken and broth. Stir and let sit on high for 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
Reduce stove temperature to medium and stir in cup of heavy cream (or half and half). Taste and add more salt or herbs, as desired. Let sit for 10 minutes, then remove from heat.
Slice out the top portion of the loaf of bread. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. When oven is ready, place bread bowl in the oven and let heat for 10 minutes. Remove, then let cool.
Poor soup into bread bowl. Serve and enjoy!
Use remaining butter to spread on parts of bread bowl, if desired.
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