Recipes provided by Mary Ellen Psaltis
Cooking Up Ideas for Life

Sumptuous Cooking for One or Two (or many more)

Best Bliss Bites - I don't buy bars anymore.

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans (use any nuts you prefer)
1/2 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
2 T coconut oil
1/3 cup local honey
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1-2 teaspoons vanilla and/or almond extract

LOTS of Options: oatmeal (1 cup), dried fruit pieces, chocolate pieces, plant based protein powder, other protein powder, agave or maple syrup instead of honey, coconut oil. The possibilities are endless.

Mix nut butter and honey and add dry ingredients one by one. Mix well.
Scoop into balls.
Store in an airtight container.
Keep in the freezer for longer life. Take them out as desired.
They are fun to eat frozen!
They are a little fat, sweet, crunchy and salty - and a lot delicious.

Crock Pot Thai Vegetables with or w/o Chicken

Fill your crock pot with chopped broccoli, cauliflower and carrots*
1-2 pounds chicken (not necessary) Can use tofu.
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup hot salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 T lime juice
1 T soy sauce
1 T fresh ginger

optional 1 T curry powder
*I like green beans and onions - and any vegetable you like is perfect to add.
Double the sauce if you have more vegetables.
Place in crock pot on low for 5-9 hours.  The longer you cook everything, the softer and more disintegrated it becomes.
All depends on your personal preferences.

Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about one bunch)
½ cup dried cherries*, chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
*could substitute chopped apricots, cranberries or raisins 


¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste 

Place quinoa and broth in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat’ simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat

Meanwhile, place almonds in a small pan over medium heat and toss until lightly browned and fragrant. 

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. 

While the quinoa is still warm, stir in the green onions, cherries, parsley and almonds, then toss with the dressing and serve. 

Recipe from Prevention magazine. 

If using red quinoa instead of white, it might take a little more liquid and a little more time.

Oatmeal Bake

1/2 - 2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 beaten eggs
1.5 cups sliced, chopped apple (one big apple)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 t. baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
3 cups old fashioned organic oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups almond milk or alternative

Mix sweetener, melted oil and eggs until blended. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Pour into a 8x10 (or so) pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Can be cooked in individual ramekins.
Grease dishes before baking.

You might substitute fruit juice for the milk and add other dried fruits or nuts.

This freezes very well. Make individual portions for breakfasts, snacks and lunches.

I love to eat food that is healthful and tastes great. Plus, I want it to take 30 minutes or less to get it on the table. There is no need to sacrifice your time or pleasure to enjoy meals that are satisfying. Add colors, textures and bursts of flavor and you are on your way. Here are three ideas for you.
Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese and Pecan drizzled with Maple Dressing

1 (10-ounce) bag baby spinach – or whatever portion you want to use
Quarter cup feta cheese, crumbled
Quarter cup pecans halves, toasted
Quarter cup strawberries (or other berry)
A few slices grapes
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place spinach on a large platter. Top with cheese, pecans and berries. Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Whisk oil into vinegar in a slow stream.  Whisk maple syrup into dressing in a slow stream. Drizzle dressing down over the salad platter and serve. Season lightly with salt and pepper.



Lively Chicken Wrap

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Cooked Chicken, put chicken in bottom of crock pot, cover lightly with salsa. You might add a little chicken or vegetable broth if it looks too dry. Set on low and let it be for a few hours.
Shredded cheese
Chopped onions and olives
Slices of avocado
Lettuce leaves
Chili beans or refried beans

Lightly heat tortilla on a skillet or flat pan. Put a little cheese down middle. Top with warm chicken, beans, salsa, onions and olives. Cover for a moment to melt. Top with a leaf of lettuce and roll up.

Add salsa for hot sauce for more zing.


Creamy Berry Dessert

Half cup plain Greek yogurt
Mix in berries on hand
I used a compote of blackberries and peaches

Add a splash of almond or vanilla. If you want a sweeter taste, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Serve in a fancy cup.

2010 Northwest Mushroom Festival Recipes

Mushroom Lasagna with Ham and Goat Cheese - FIRST PLACE 2010 Winner

Thank you to Brynn Rader, Olympia

Prep time:45 minutes
Bake time: 40 min + standing
Yield: 12 servings

1 package gluten-free lasagna noodles
1 lb.sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups chopped baby portobello mushrooms
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley -or can use 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
7 - 12 oz deli ham, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 cans ( 14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups goat cheddar cheese (available at Trader Joe's) - shredded OR goat mozzarella (available at Olympia Food Co-op) - shredded
3/4 cup mimic cream (available at J Vee health foods)  OR goat milk

Cook noodles according to package instructions.  In a dutch oven or large pot, cook and stir mushrooms and onion in oil til tender. Add parsley, ham, garlic, and seasoning. Cook 2 minutes longer. Add wine - cook and stir until liquid is evaporated.  Add drained tomatoes- heat through.
Spread 1 cup of this sauce in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Layer 1/3 of the noodles, 1  1/3 cups sauce, & a scant 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Repeat twice. In a small bowl combine mimic cream (or goat milk) and remaining shredded cheese. Spoon over the top.
Cover & bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy!

Exquisite Stacked Appetizer - SECOND PLACE WINNER 2010

Thank you to Jean-Pierre Simon, Chef at The Red Wind Casino

8 slices of Sour Dough Slices, crusts removed
2 oz. of Butter
1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove Minced
1/2 Small Onion Finely Chopped
12 oz. Assorted Mushrooms Sliced
1 Tbs. Sherry
1/3 Cup sour Cream
1 Tbs. A.P.  Flour
1 TBS. Finely Chopped Parsley
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
1 oz. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pkg. Fresh Basil Julienne
Balsamic Vinegar glaze to taste.

Preheat oven to 350, brush both sides of the bread with butter, cut each slice in half vertically, then each half in either thirds horizontally or in half diagonally.

Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Let cool on baking rack.

Heat EVO in large frying pan,  add onions and cook till half way done, add garlic and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until soft.

Add mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add sherry, let the alcohol evaporate, add sour cream,  salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle flour into the mushrooms and stir in as you add.

Bring mixture to a boil, stir until it thickens. Remove from heat and add herbs and stir. Allow to cool.

Arrange toasted bread on tray, top with mushroom mixture,  parmesan cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar glaze.

Note: Bread can be made two days in advance, store in airtight container. Balsamic glaze can be made by reducing balsamic vinegar in half or to desired consistency.

Fresh Chanterelle Soup - THIRD PLACE WINNER 2010 

Thank you, Maxine Williams, Olympia

(serves 6-8)

1 pound fresh chanterelles, rinsed quickly under cold water and dried well
5 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
 2 leeks, washed well (white part finely chopped)
1 and ½ cup potatoes, peeled and diced
6 and ½ cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 cup Greek yogurt or light sour cream
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1.   Chop mushrooms coarsely reserving 2-3 well shaped ones

2.   Sauté the chopped mushrooms in a large, heavy skillet with 2 tbsp. of butter;  season with lemon juice, salt & pepper.  Cook no more than 3-4 minutes until liquid is released—do not brown the mushrooms.

3.   Remove mushrooms to warm place, reserving the liquid.

4.   Heat the remaining butter in a 4 quart soup pot.  Add leeks, garlic, potatoes and sauté for 10 minutes over medium heat.

5.   Add reserved juices, broth, spices and bring to a boil—reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

6.   Add mushrooms and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes.

7.   Pour the soup through a sieve into a large bowl; reserve liquid.  Lett vegetables cool in sieve.  Puree in food processor or Foley food mill.

8.   Rinse out the soup pot—pour in reserved liquid.  Add vegetable-mushroom puree.  Add yogurt or sour cream and vinegar then whisk to mix together.  Simmer over very low heat. 

9.   Slice remaining chanterelles and add to soup to warm.  Taste for seasoning. 


[i] Adapted from The Northwest Kitchen:  A Seasonal Cookbook, by Judie Geise.

Banana Mushroom Tea Bread, HONORABLE MENTION 2010

Thank you to Darlene Kemery, KGY Olympia


1 ¾ cups sifted flour                                    2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder                        2 eggs, well beaten

¼ teaspoon baking soda                              3 large ripe bananas

1/3 cup soft margarine                                ¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms

Sautee mushrooms in ¼ cup butter until tender and set aside.

(Optional: add ½ cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons honey into mushrooms while cooking.)

      Preheat oven to 350º F

      Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt

      Ceam the shortening, add the sugar gradually and continue working until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, a small amount at a             time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add mushrooms and mix well.

    Turn into a well-greased bread pan (8½  x 4½ x 3) or two small mini loaf pans and bake about one hour 10 minutes.

    Add icing if desired.


Max’s Marvelous Marinated Mushrooms,
Bonus Recipe

Thank you, Maxine Williams, Olympia

(Serves 4 as hors d’oeuvre or on lettuce as a salad)
 ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound small fresh mushrooms, rinsed well, stems removed
1 and ½ cups of water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. sage
½ tsp. rosemary
½ tsp. coriander seed, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 peppercorns
1 tsp. sea salt

Place everything in a sauce pan, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Remove mushrooms from liquid, place mushrooms on tray or serve with antipasto.  


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