Archives for January 2012

Love my Pai Hand Cream and Body Cream!

Pai Review Comfrey and Calendula Lotion

I was first introduced to Pai when I won a gift set through NuboNau from a Facebook contest. I was super excited because I had read about the company, and loved the fact the entire line is made for sensitive and allergy-prone skin (HELLO, made for me??). It’s also organic, and made without parabens, alcohol, artificial fragrances, formaldehyde, SLS, phenoxyethanol, petrochemicals, and phthalates – impressive!

One of the items I won was the Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream. I will just start out with saying this stuff is awesome.

The texture is a cream, but it has a lighter texture and sinks in quickly. It doesn’t leave skin greasy at all, which is a bonus for me in the morning when I’m quickly trying to get ready for work – the last thing I want is greasy arms or legs!

The lotion has a soft fragrance due to extracts and essential oils. I can slightly smell the orange, but it’s a little sweet, perhaps due to the calendula and jasmine. It’s pretty faint, I have to lift my arm right up to my nose to smell. I like the fact that the lotion’s fragrance is from all natural extracts and oils, NOT artificial fragrance.

Is this lotion a little pricey? Yes. But is it worth it? To me, yes. Having an organic lotion that is free of all those nasty chemicals can be hard to come by. Plus, the cream texture with a soft finish leaves my skin super soft without being greasy. Double bonus!

Ingredients (from Pai’s website): purified water, sunflower oil*, olive oil*, shea butter*, coconut-derived emulsifier, vegetable glycerine*, jojoba oil*, plum kernel oil*, comfrey extract*, calendula extract*, corn-derived emulsifier, echium seed extract, natural vitamin e, jasmine oil*, orange oil*, corn extract, basil extract, natural lactic acid (from sugar beet)

*Certified organic

Pai Review Fragonia and Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream

So after falling in love with the lotion, I started looking more into the Pai products. I then picked up the Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Hand Therapy Cream (along with some others, which I will review another day) from Pai when they were having an online sale (yay sales!).

The hand cream is similar to the body cream in that it’s a cream, but has a light texture that sinks in quickly. There are a couple of differences though. One, is that this lotion is noticeably yellow-orange. I’m guessing this is due to the Sea Buckthorn. I’ve used that oil before, and it is very orange.

The smell is also a little stronger than the body cream. It’s sort of a floral citrus. I’m guessing I smell the fragonia and grapefruit oil. I’ve never smelled fragonia, but since it is a flower, and I’m smelling something floral, I put two and two together ;o)

Lastly, while this does sink in nicely without being greasy, it is a little more moisturizing than the body cream. If you look at the ingredients, it’s a little higher in the oils. Grapeseed oil and avocado oil are very moisturizing, as well as glycerin. Having them higher up in the ingredients list means a moisturizing hand cream, and that’s just what I have.

Similar to the body cream, this is a bit pricey, but gosh it sure is nice. The smell, texture and just the way it makes my hands soft is making me want to keep this as a hand-care staple!

Ingredients (from Pai’s website): purified water, grape seed oil*, vegetable glycerine*, avocado oil*, coconut derived emulsifier, rosehip oil*, macadamia oil*, shea butter*, plum kernel oil, sea buckthorn oil*, fragonia oil, palmarosa oil*, castor oil*, natural vitamin e, grapefruit oil*, basil extract, corn extract, coconut oil extract, sustainable palm oil extract, lactic acid (from sugar beet)

*Certified organic

Recipe ~ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipe

There are a few jobs that are dangerous. One, being a police officer – enough said. But there may be one that lies beneath the surface, and that, is working at Williams Sonoma. Yes, Williams Sonoma. It is very dangerous….. to your wallet. Because once you work there, you become so spoiled by the lovely food and cookware and tableware and glassware and knives , that you just can’t use anything else.

Since I no longer have a discount, and well – it’s Williams Sonoma and crazy expensive, I ask for things for Christmas. This year, it was a Le Creuset french oven. Customers would flock in raving about how much they loved their Le Creuset. So 8 years later, I asked for one and Santa (my mom) was so nice enough to get me one :o)

I started brainstorming what would be my first recipe in this marvelous cast iron dish. And then one night we went over to my mom’s for dinner and she made this amazing pulled pork that we gobbled up instantly. I knew – it would have to be pulled pork.

She used this recipe, which is what I used (minus a few ingredients I didn’t have/couldn’t find) and adapted because my pork shoulder (also called a pork butt…gross) was only 2.5 pounds instead of 4.

Pulled Pork (how I made it)

1.5 teaspoons salt
1.5 teaspoons black pepper
1.5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
2.5 pound shoulder pork roast
2 cups apple juice
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
4 gluten free soft hamburger buns
Bbq sauce
Cole slaw (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix the dry rub ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle dry rub all over the pork roast, pressing into the pork.

3. Combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder in a medium bowl and pour into a large Dutch oven (in my case, a french oven – but they are the same thing). Place pork in the oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil then lid. Roast for 3 hours or until fork tender and shreds easily. Brush the roast with cooking liquid every hour.

4. Remove from oven and move to a stove-top and heat to boiling to thicken the sauce. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs and mix with the sauce. Make sure to remove the fat pieces.

5. Serve on hamburger buns topped with BBQ sauce and cole slaw.


I didn’t use the original recipe my mom did because hers had sour cream and buttermilk, boo :o( But I found this one on food network that I made, you can read here. I didn’t have white wine vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar, still tasted fine :o)


These were gooooood. Really good, really really good. My boyfriend and I ate the entire pork roast in 24 hours. It was that good.

A few notes about making this. One, the end of the directions is slightly different than the original recipe. When looking for recipes, I read this one that had the idea to mix the pork with the apple cider and seasonings on the stove, and I really liked it so I did that. I think it gave it a lot more flavor and made the pork really moist.

Another, is the directions never mentioned removing the fat (of course, because it was from Paula Dean). The other recipe I mentioned did talk about removing fat, but at the end. I’m not going to lie, these pork sandwiches hurt my belleh. It could be because I ate SO much. But I’m thinking it could have been all the fat. I don’t normally eat a lot of fat, and while that pork roast cooked, all that fat melted and mixed with the sauce. Which of course I then mixed with the pork and gobbled down. When I make these again, I’m definitely going to trim the fat BEFORE cooking. I bet these will still be as flavorful and moist with all the wonderful seasonings and cider.

Blue Nails! Butter London Royal Navy


I had some girly friends over the other night, and we were doing the usual gossip, laughing and drinking wine. We decided to do our nails and what can I say, I was in a zany mood – or perhaps it was the pinot noir? Either or, I was feeling spunky so decided to paint my finger nails navy blue.

I originally picked up Butter London’s Royal Navy for my toes. I thought it would be a nice winter color, or perhaps I could do a cheesy red, white and blue in July. But that night, I thought, “what the heck, let’s be crazy.” And actually, I really really like my blue nails.

Butter London describes Royal Navy as: Nautical and naughty, this navy is the answer to your dark lacquer dreams.

Pretty saucy, but I was feeling saucy that night ;o) The truth is, Royal Navy is dark, really dark. It could almost pass for black in dark lighting. But in the light, it’s a beautiful dark blue. There is no shimmer, or glitter, just a nice navy with a cream finish.

Swatch Butter London Royal Navy

Don’t mind the little mess-ups, I mentioned I did paint this while drinking wine right?

Like other Butter London colors I’ve tried, this color is very opaque. With one coat, my nails were completely covered. A friend even noticed it and was impressed I didn’t necessarily have to add another coat. I did just to be safe though, since I abuse my finger nails and I was worried one coat may chip faster.

The one thing about this color is that the consistency is a little more gloopy than the other colors. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cold weather, or perhaps an off-bottle, but it was a little thicker than other nail polishes I’ve tried. This became apparent when I got little bubbles in my nail polish on a few nails. I’ve had this in the past with thicker or old nail polishes, I was bummed to see it on this one :o( I may use a nail polish thinner next time, and try harder to paint thinner coats. Or, it could be user error of me having too much fun with my girly friends and not paying attention to my nails!

Butter London is “3 Free” meaning no Formaldehyde, Toluene or DBP.

Ingredients (from bottle): Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, adipic acid, neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anhydride copolymer, isopropyl alcohol, propyl acetate, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, triphenyl phosphate, butyl alcohol, stearalkonium hectorite, stearalkonium bentonite, benzophenone-1., citric acid, dimethicone, acrylates copolymer and dimethiconol and mercaptopropionic acid, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid.

I was pretty impressed to see vitamin A, E and C in the ingredients!

Overall, this is an awesome color. Watch out, I’m feeling saucy with my blue nails!

Healthy, Beautiful Hair with Prive VERT Shampoo and Conditioner

Prive VERT review - canister

You know those girls that have long, beautiful, thick, shiny hair? Ya, I hate them too. I’ve never had hair like that. Mine is thin, curly and naturally dry. It doesn’t help I straighten it most days, so it can also get damaged and even more dry. I realized I had “difficult” hair pretty early on. In fact, my first beauty product addiction was with hair products. I was on the hunt for the perfect hair product before I even got into makeup or skincare. I’ve sort of been on the hunt ever since to get that long, beautiful, thick, shiny hair.

My hair stylist started carrying the Prive line a few years ago and I tried some of their stuff. It was all nice enough, but nothing that really wow’d me beyond what I was already using. Then, one day I went in and she told me about this new VERT line that is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, DEA, TEA, artificial colors and sodium – wow! This was before I was super eco-beauty chic and I was still impressed. It also comes in an aluminum can that can be returned to the salon and reused for a zero eco-footprint. That all sounded fine and dandy, but how does it make my hair look?

When she was washing my hair, I could instantly smell it. It smells heavenly. It’s sort of a fresh, green and sweet smell all at once. The other Prive products smelled good, but I swear this VERT stuff smelled even better. I wish I could get a perfume in this actually, it smells that good.

Then she styled. My hair was shiny and bouncy and wonderful! Now, my hair usually looks better at the stylist (I swear she uses some secret magic formula there and just won’t tell me), but even I could tell this was beyond the norm.

So of course I bought the shampoo and conditioner. That was two and a half years ago. It’s been a staple ever since. I’m actually amazed this wasn’t my first review, it’s by far one of my favorite beauty products ever.

Now, it’s a little pricey. I’m not going to lie. But it lasts a looong time, because of a unique delivery system. In fact, I’ve never tried any other shampoo or conditioner like it. How is it so unique you ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s like a mousse. Or, you know those shaving gels that come out gel and then foam up? It’s like that. So you only need a teensy bit of shampoo and conditioner, because it makes this gorgeous thick frothy foam.

If you’ve ever tried sulfate free shampoos, you know that some can suck. The reason is because sulfates are what make frothy bubbles. You know those hair commercials where the girl is in the shower just having the time of her life making frothy foam with her shampoo? That’s sulfates. So when you take those out, it can be difficult to foam, and clean. I’ve tried quite the number of sulfate-free shampoo in my day, and most of them I don’t care for. They always say “you don’t need foam to clean!” But many of them don’t even clean! Yuck. This VERT line on the other hand is pretty awesome because it creates a really nice foam and cleans without sulfates (or parabens, phthalates, DEA, TEA, artificial colors and sodium).


The canister head.

Prive VERT Review - foam

I tried to capture it still in its “gel” state, but wasn’t fast enough.


And it’s a foam!

I will be honest, I still use other hair products. I like to mix things up, be zany. But if I go too long without using VERT, I can tell. My hair just looks dull, and doesn’t have much body. So I go back to VERT and my hair is pretty again! So why don’t I only use VERT every day? I dunno, it’s that beauty product addiction in me, I love to try new things. But VERT will *always* be a staple for my hair.

Shampoo ingredients (from Prive’s website): Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Ammonium Cocoyl Isethionate, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Glycerin, Isopentane, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Wasabia Japonica Root Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Fruit Extract, Quercus Alba (White Oak) Bark Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Isobutane, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-7, C11-15 Pareth-7, Amodimethicone, Trideceth-12, Laureth-9, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Polyquaternium 59, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-10, Melanin, Superoxide Dismutase, Dimethiconol, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.

Conditioner ingredients (also from Prive’s website): Agave Rigida (Sisal) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract , Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Extract , Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Extract, Geranium Maculatum Extract, Cympobogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Quercus Alba (White Oak) Bark Extract, Glycerin, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phytantriol, Silicone Quaternium-18, Glutamic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Trideceth-6, Trideceth-12, Polyquaternium-7, Isobutane, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool

Natural, Affordable Eye Shadows ~ Silk Naturals

I love brown and neutral eyeshadows. I think I get it from my mom. I once discovered a makeup bag of hers, where she had accumulated quite a few eyeshadows, all of the same color. I took a picture of it as proof, and so I could laugh about it forever. As I write this, I wonder if I still have that picture….hmm….

And here it is!


So as you can see, through no fault of my own, I have been genetically pre-determined to like brown and neutral-toned eyeshadows.

I discovered Silk Naturals about a year ago. I heard great reviews of them on MUA, and so I checked out their website and was instantly impressed with not only their color selection and quality ingredients, but amazing prices! Eyeshadows and lipsticks for $4.50 each? Sign me up! They also offer a free eyeshadow or lipbalm of your choice with every $30 you spend, and a free sample with every purchase over $10. They also offer a point system. And I feel like I’m talking myself into shopping more right now…

I’ve since accumulated quite a few products by them, but today I will focus just on my 4 favorite brown and purply-brown shadows: Naughty, Fete, Custom and Saddle Up. Descriptions from Silk Naturals website.

Naughty: dirty pink color with just a hint of lavender

Fete: deepish coppery shimmer with just a hint of pink

Custom: plummy tan with golden highlights

Saddle Up: light medium brown tone with hints of gold and a bit of pink

These descriptions are very accurate. When I first swatched them on my arm, I realized that Naughty and Custom are very similar, and Fete and Saddle Up are very similar – must be why these 4 are my favorite!

Inside, the colors look more similar to each other, so I took a picture in the sun so you can see the subtle differences.

Swatch of Naughty, Fete, Custom and Saddle Up

Comparing Naughty to Custom, Naughty is a bit more neutral/brown. In Custom, you can really see its more of a plum base (as opposed to Naughty’s pink base) and the golden in it.

Comparing Fete to Saddle Up, Saddle Up is more golden while Fete is more coppery. Fete is also darker than Saddle Up. In their containers, Saddle Up looks much lighter than Fete, but I find on the eye (or arm as in the swatch above), they are a bit more similar, depending on how much you apply.

So besides the price, and pretty colors, and awesome ingredients, I also love how these wear. I admit, I use an eyeshadow primer (Tarte’s Firmitol Eye Primer). I’ve always used one because no eyeshadow has ever stayed long on my eyes without one (even before ‘going green’), I’m not sure why. Some eyeshadows though, even with the primer, will crease or are difficult to blend when I first apply them. Not Silk Naturals – they are smooth to apply, buildable, blend well and last ALL day. They are among my most favorite eyeshadows!

Ingredients (from Silk Naturals website): Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Myristate, Magnesium Stearate, Boron Nitride, Silica.  Each color may have slightly different additions based on the color.

Recipe ~ Fennel, Sausage and Tomato Soup

Recipe ~ Fennel Sausage Soup

I’ve always loved the taste of black licorice, or anything resembling. Fennel, anise, yum yum yum. And add some tomato and sausage? Yes please, and thank you.

Here is the original recipe. Instead of vegetarian sausage, I used real pork italian sauage (pssst, don’t tell Vegetarian Times).

Ingredients (how I made it):

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, diced (about 2.5 cups)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5 Italian pork sausages, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 Tbs. chopped fresh Italian parsley


1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add fennel, garlic and onion, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Stir in sausages and fennel seeds, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until fennel seeds are slightly softened.

3. Add broth, tomatoes, and parsley; cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

Overall, this was a yummy soup and super easy! I loved the subtle flavor of the fennel with the tomato. The sausage added a more bold flavor, especially because I used italian flavored sausage. Also, having the fennel seeds throughout were like little pockets of fennel/licorice flavor! The soup was warming and hearty, perfect for a winter night.

From the original recipe, I added more sausages and added onion and garlic. The recipe called for 1 large fennel bulb, which they said would be 4 cups but for me it was more like two and a half. I thought there was enough fennel in the soup, but if you want the full 4 cups, you might want to buy 2 bulbs to be safe.

Also, I think I did not use a large enough pan. The recipe mentioned the sausage sticking to the pan and adding wine to deglaze it, but I never had the sausage stick to the pan, because the pan wasn’t large enough. Make sure to use a large pan – there are a lot of ingredients! But then you will need to transfer to a large pot, so I’m not sure if it’s even worth it to use a large pan.

Two things I would change for the next time. I felt there was too much liquid/broth for the soup. I added more sausages and onion, and I felt there was still too much liquid. In step 3, after adding the tomatoes, I would add broth to a level that you want.

Also, I think the soup could use a little salt and other seasonings. It was very tasty, but both my boyfriend and I felt it could use a little salt. After I added salt, it was much tastier. I could see adding some basil or other seasonings as well.

The picture above showed the soup, with a side of gluten free bagel chips.

Coral Nails with Butter London Macbeth


When I’m feeling daring and sexy, I wear red nail polish. It’s loud and vibrant and pretty. But sometimes I feel vibrant and happy, but perhaps not so daring – and that’s when I turn to corals. I love the combination of peach and pink, the warmness of the peachy-orange goes well with my fair skin tone and the brightness of the pink makes the color fun and happy :o) It’s the perfect spring/summer color. Well, I guess it’s January – but I can pretend.

I may have already owned a coral nail polish… or two, but when I saw Macbeth, I couldn’t resist so of course I had to pick it up too. When I took it home, I saw it looks similar to my other two corals – but of course it’s *slightly* different, so totally acceptable to own!

Butter London describes Macbeth as: an orangey coral that will make you want to do terrible things and won’t wash off your hands.

Rowr! While I can’t say I feel like doing terrible things and not washing my hands (I’m a germ freak, I always wash my hands), I will say the orangey coral is very accurate! How orangey Macbeth is depends on the lighting. Sometimes it appears a bright pink and other times an orangey-red coral.

Butter London Macbeth Swatch - sunlight

Swatches of Butter London Macbeth

If you  are familiar with Zoya Kara, Macbeth is a shade darker and a little more red.

The color is very opaque. One coat completely covered my nail.

One of my favorite things about Butter London is how fast the nail polishes dry! It’s pretty awesome. And of course, it’s 3 Free – meaning free of Formaldehyde, Toluene or DBP.

Ingredients (from bottle): Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, adipic acid, neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anhydride copolymer, isopropyl alcohol, propyl acetate, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, triphenyl phosphate, butyl alcohol, stearalkonium hectorite, stearalkonium bentonite, benzophenone-1., citric acid, dimethicone, acrylates copolymer and dimethiconol and mercaptopropionic acid, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid.

Luxurious Skin ~ Patyka Precious Woods Body Oil

Patyka Precious Woods Body Oil review

When I was younger, body oil for me meant two things: Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil and Neutrogena Body Oil. I never had much luck with body oils, I never found them that moisturizing. When I switched to natural skincare, I tried using straight oils, and while they are moisturizing they would end up being greasy. So I gave up.

Then the lovely ladies at Spirit Beauty Lounge included a sample of Patyka’s Precious Woods Body Oil with my purchase of other eco-beauty goodies. They are always so generous with samples, and this was no exception. I tried it, just to moisturize my arms, and was planning on tossing it from my previous experiences with body oils, but I instantly fell in love. I held onto it and used every last drop, and then I bought a full bottle.

Not only is the oil moisturizing, it is not greasy. Sesame oil can have a very dry finish (what neutrogena oil uses), and I do not care for it on its own. Patyka has sesame oil as its main oil, but then adds sunflower oil, olive fruit oil and wheat germ oil for moisture. The blend is a perfect mix of moisturizing oils while having a soft finish.

I’ve found the best time to put on the oil is right after a shower or bath when my skin is still damp. It sinks in quickly and leaves my skin soft all day (or night).

And the smell, oh it’s heavenly. It’s described as a beautifully fragranced veil of precious woods and ylang ylang. I’m not sure what precious woods is, but mixed with ylang ylang it provides a soft, deep, sensual scent. And it lasts! I have put the oil on at night and waken up still smelling like it. That’s pretty impressive – natural formula or not.

Another nice quality of this oil is a little goes a long way. It’s a little on the pricey side (for me anyway), and so having it last awhile is important. A quarter size amount is all you need for each leg, and a quarter size works for both my arms.

Overall, this body oil is one of my favorite body care items. It leaves my skin soft, smooth and smelling wonderful, which I can only describe as being luxurious.

Ingredients: samum indicum (sesame) seed oil*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, hypericum perforatum (st. john’s wort) extract*, parfum (natural fragrance), olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, tocopherol, linalool, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil*, geraniol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, farnesol, coumarin, eugenol.

100.00 % Natural. 97.94 % Organic.

Recipe ~ Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Recipe - Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I’ve always liked mushrooms, even if they are considered a fungus. I mean, after all, you know why the mushroom always is invited to parties? Because he is a fun guy! (get it? fungi? fun guy? I’m so funny). Anyhoo, portobello mushrooms are no exception, and are probably my favorite mushroom.  Their rich flavor and meaty texture make for a great meat alternative.

I saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times, it won 2nd place in the reader recipe contest but after eating this, let me tell you – this should have been 1st. I guess I should probably try making the 1st place recipe before saying that, but really, this recipe is really really good – even with my revisions. This may be one of my favorite recipes….ever.

Because the recipe calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, I had to make a few small revisions. I substituted gluten free breadcrumbs and just left out the cheese. And it was still super yummy.

Ingredients (how I made it)

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large portobello mushroom caps

2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (has about 8 tomatoes), sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy creamer
5 oz fresh spinach leaves (usually 1 bag)


To make Mushrooms:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and garlic in bowl. Place mushroom upside down on their cap on a baking sheet and pour mixture into gills.


3. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. While they are baking, work on the filling below.


1. After taking out the mushrooms, toast breadcrumbs on baking sheet 2 to 3 minutes, or until light brown.

While baking, to make Filling:

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft.


2. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic; sauté 30 seconds.


3. Stir in cream, and cook 2 minutes.


4. Add spinach, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

5. Spoon filling into mushroom caps, and top with toasted breadcrumbs.  

Pretty easy, and very delicious!

For the mushrooms, the original recipe called for brushing the balsamic garlic mixture on the cap, but I decided to flip them and pour into the gills, I’m happy I did! They were super tasty that way.

Once I got the mushrooms in, I started chopping the onion and doing all of that and it ended up finishing at around the same time. If you already have the onions chopped etc, the mushrooms will finish before you are done with the filling, which will give you a few minutes to toast the bread crumbs.

The original recipe called for 4 mushrooms, but because of price I only bought 2. I meant to make the original filling recipe, but accidentally only bought 1 bag of spinach leaves, which is half of the original recipe. I actually liked the spinach to tomatoes ratio, but you could add another bag of spinach too. I also liked how much filling was for each mushroom so when I make this again, I will probably double the filling recipe for 4 mushrooms.

If you have trouble finding oil packed sun dried tomatoes, try cost plus (world market), it’s where I bought mine. Also, I think next time I make this I will use the sun dried tomato oil to fry the onion etc., rather than olive oil. I bet it would have more flavor! I unfortunately thought of this too late when making it this past time.