Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms

Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms - This easy to prepare, nutty rice will add a gourmet flair to your dinner

 Do you need a fancy recipe for date night?  A romantic dinner for two?  Are your in-laws or boss coming over for dinner, and you need to impress?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Gourmet’ recipes.  These will still be budget friendly and relatively simple, but will help you confidently serve a gourmet meal without hiring a chef.

Awhile back, I found myself staring at a restaurant menu, asking the husband, “What in the world is Forbidden Rice?  Also, if it’s forbidden, how are they allowed to sell it?”  (If you want to leave now, before the puns get worse, I totally understand).  I didn’t try it that day, but a few days later, while walking through Jungle Jim’s, I saw it again.  And no worries, even though it was marked “forbidden” rice, they didn’t confiscate it at the cash register.  I did, in fact, make it home with this odd little grain.  I even successfully cooked the contraband rice, without any strange rice regulators banging through my front door.  I later learned that this nutty, gluten-free grain is not only delicious, it’s also definitely NOT forbidden. (I’m just kidding guys, I totally knew that right away).  This recipe for Forbidden Rice with Mushrooms is easy to make, delicious, and will impress all your guests (because, you know, they’ll be wondering how you got the off-limits rice).

Continue reading

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Roasted Asparagus - Simple, Fast, + Vegan

If you’ve been smiling at the warmer weather forecasts, grinning at the flowering trees, and popping allergy pills like crazy, you too may be enjoying spring.  You know what else is fantastic in the spring?  Asparagus.  When you aren’t dodging water puddles, realizing you forgot your umbrella in the car, and debating on how to dress when it’s frigid in the morning and downright hot in the afternoon, you should be eating asparagus.  It’s in season right now, and its crisp green goodness is the perfect addition to any springtime meal.  If you’re looking for a simple and quick way to prepare your asparagus– this Lemon Roasted Asparagus is just about as easy and delicious as you can get.

Continue reading

Easy, Vegan Poached Pears cooked in White Wine and Cardamom. Ready in 15 min

Poached Pears with Cardamom

Easy, Vegan Poached Pears cooked in White Wine and Cardamom. Ready in 15 min

Poached Pears

A few weeks ago, I found myself watching, in complete suspense, episode after episode of “The Great British Bake Off.” (Keep it coming, BBC!)  At one point, everyone in the show had to tackle the tricky ‘pear pie.”  Have you seen photos of (or maybe even eaten) these pretty poached pears wrapped in puff pastry?  Apparently, mastering these little beauties is more difficult and time consuming than it appears.  After seeing everyone on the show struggle with pear pie after pear pie– poaching pears, cooling them down and glazing them, and then oh so carefully wrapping them in puff pastry– I had little desire to make my own.  It did, however, most definitely cause me to start craving the un-glazed and pastry free Poached Pears with Cardamom.

Continue reading

Lemon Risotto

Gourmet Special: Lemon Risotto

Do you need a fancy recipe for date night?  A romantic dinner for two?  Are your in-laws or boss coming over for dinner, and you need to impress?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Gourmet’ recipes.  These will still be budget friendly and relatively simple, but will help you confidently serve a gourmet meal without hiring a chef.

How do you feel about rice?  Have you given that much thought?  (I can’t be the only one fixating on rice… right?)  Personally, I think rice is delicious.  I even love plain old white rice– add a little butter, pepper, and soy sauce– and you have an easy, if somewhat bland, side dish or snack. However, my favorite rice, the star of rice dishes, the rice dish that is not simply a background for your main dish, is risotto.

Continue reading

This vegan Red Wine Pasta is perfect for wine lovers on a date night, and is ready start to finish in about 20 minutes.

Red Wine Pasta

This vegan Red Wine Pasta is perfect for wine lovers on a date night, and is ready start to finish in about 20 minutes.

Red Wine Pasta

This vegan Red Wine Pasta is perfect for wine lovers on a date night, and is ready start to finish in about 20 minutes.

Picture the following:  You have a date, you’re supposed to cook, and you only have about 20 minutes to get the food ready.   What do you do?  Panic?  (Yes, of course.)  Call for a restaurant reservation?  (Maybe.)  However, there’s another option.  Are you ready for this?  You can make fancy pasta.  That’s right– pasta that looks terribly impressive, but in reality only takes a few minutes longer to prepare than plain old spaghetti marinara.  This Red Wine Pasta is vegan, flavorful, and incredibly quick to prepare.

Continue reading

Lobster with Cayenne Butter Sauce

Gourmet Special: Lobster Tails with Cayenne Butter

Do you need a fancy recipe for date night?  A romantic dinner for two?  Are your in-laws or boss coming over for dinner, and you need to impress?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Gourmet’ recipes.  These will still be budget friendly and relatively simple, but will help you confidently serve a gourmet meal without hiring a chef.

This week: Lobster Tails with Cayenne Butter Sauce.  “Lobster?!” you say? “I thought this was a budget friendly food blog!”  My response: If you’re on a budget and you want lobster, you better learn to cook it yourself (unless you live in New England, where I hear it’s cheaper. I don’t live in New England).  I will admit, I don’t decide to make lobster and go buy it- I watch for lobster on sale and then decide to make it.  Aldi’s will periodically get lobster tails that are 2 for $12, usually in the fall and winter.  (If you aren’t shopping at Aldi’s, read this post on why you should be).  Other grocery stores also will run sales on lobster (I usually just buy the tails- they have the most meat for the least amount of work).

Continue reading