Wild Mushroom and Bacon Crostini

Mushrooms, bacon and thyme are one of my favourite flavour profiles and together they make a simple, easy to prepare appetizer.  Sliced mushrooms, onions and garlic are sautéed in bacon fat, with a touch of brandy and cream.  Crispy bacon bits and thyme are stirred in at the end, then spooned on to warm, toasted baguette that is lightly brushed with olive oil.  Preparation only takes minutes, leaving you time to get ready before the party, where I’m sure these tasty nibbles will be a hit.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Renee from Sweetsugarbean.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins.


5 pieces of bacon
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups assorted wild mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup brandy
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup whipping cream
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette, 1 inch slice
extra virgin olive oil
pea shoots for garnish


1. In a frying pan over medium high heat, cook the bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon from pan and add stir in  the minced onions and garlic.  Cook until golden brown, over medium heat, being careful not to burn.
2. Add the sliced mushrooms, brandy and mustard to the onions and garlic and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the cream, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer until thick.  Chop the bacon and stir it in along with thyme leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Brush sliced baguette with olive oil and toast in a preheated 375*F oven until just crispy, about 5 minutes.  Spoon mushroom and bacon mixture on top of warm bread, garnish with pea shoots and serve.

Bistro Mushroom and Salmon Salad

A new version of the classic Nicoise salad, which is lower in carbohydrates because mushrooms replace the potatoes. Serve with a whole wheat baguette for a light meal or luncheon.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 0 mins. | Marinating Time: 15-60 mins. | Serves: 6
Tip: Substitute 2 tsp (10 mL) dried dill weed for fresh dill and add ¼ ( 50 mL) chopped fresh parsley to the salad. Kalamata or Nicoise olives cured in oil or brine are more flavourful than canned.


1/2 cup olive oil 125 mL
5 tbsp lemon juice 75 mL
2 tsp Dijon mustard 10 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1/2 tsp Each salt and pepper 5 mL
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill 75 mL
1 lb. fresh Mushrooms, thinly sliced 500 g
8 oz. green beans, halved 250 g
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes 250 mL
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced 1/2
12 Romaine or Boston lettuce leaves 12
2 cans (213 g) red sockeye salmon, drained 2
3 hard cooked eggs (optional) 3
1/2 cup slivered black olives (optional) 125 mL
1 large lemon, cut in wedges 1
Fresh dill sprigs (optional)


  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and dill together. Place mushrooms in a large bowl; pour ¼ cup ( 50 ml) dressing over and stir to coat well. Marinate at room temperature 15- 60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile add beans to boiling water and cook until tender-crisp about 4-5 minutes; refresh under cold running water and drain well.
  3. Add tomatoes, beans, onion and remaining dressing to mushrooms; toss to mix well; arrange lettuce on large platter or on individual plates. Spoon mushroom salad onto lettuce leaves; remove bones from salmon, breaking into chunks and place on top of salad. Slice eggs or cut into wedges and arrange on top of salad if using, and garnish with olives if desired. Garnish with lemon wedges(to squeeze over salmon) and dill sprigs.


  • Omit canned salmon and top salad with grilled filets of salmon or cold poached salmon.
  • Substitute canned or grilled tuna for salmon and replace dill with tarragon.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving
Calories: 311
Sodium: 432 mg
Protein : 17.5 g
Fat: 22.8 g
Carbohydrates: 11.5 g
Dietary Fibre: 3.3 g


Porcupine Meatballs

They are so easy to put together and because you don’t have to brown the meatballs before baking them in the oven it cuts down on the mess and time. They are an excellent weeknight meal for this reason.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Christina from Strawberries for Supper.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 45 mins.


450 g/ 1 lb extra lean ground beef
230 g/ 8 oz cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup basmati rice (uncooked)
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp salt
pinch pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup low sodium beef broth
1 onion
1 clove garlic
½ tsp Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. In a food processor with the blade attachment, add the mushrooms and pulse until they are smaller than a peppercorn.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the pureed mushrooms with the ground beef, rice, spices, salt, and Worcestershire Sauce with your hands or a metal spoon.
4. Set the meat and mushroom mixture aside and mince the onion and garlic in the food processor (no need to clean it out).
5. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the minced onion and garlic over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
6. Mix the sautéed onion and garlic with the crushed tomatoes, broth, dried herbs, and salt & pepper in a large glass measuring cup or a bowl. Stir well and then transfer half the liquid to a large casserole dish (such as a lasagna pan).
7. Scoop out and shape slightly heaped tablespoon-size meatballs and place them in the dish on top of the sauce. It is best to use a measuring spoon to scoop out the meatballs. Do not make them larger than this or the rice won’t cook properly.
8. Once all the meatballs are shaped and in the dish, pour the remaining sauce over top of them. Don’t worry if they are not completely covered in the sauce.
9. Use either the lid to the casserole dish or snugly fit a large piece of foil over the dish if it did not come with a lid.
10. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 400 F. You can take the foil (or lid) off when there is about 10-15 minutes left if you want the sauce to thicken slightly.

Polpette di fungi (Meat(less)balls)

Recipe courtesy of Mardi from eat. live. travel. write.

Prep Time: 25 mins. | Cook Time: 15 mins. | Makes: 10 balls.


2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
50g freshly grated Parmesan
50g Panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for rolling
1/4 cup chopped plain parsley
1/2 cup finely diced fresh mushrooms (cremini, button, whatever you like!)?
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying
A jar (about 700mls) of your favourite pasta sauce


1. Beat the eggs and the baking soda with a whisk.
2. Slowly add the cheese, the breadcrumbs, the parsley and mushrooms to the egg mix. Season with sea salt and pepper and fold gently until all ingredients are combined.
3. Using a teaspoon form small balls of the mixture, then roll them in the extra Panko crumbs.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the egg balls 2-3 at a time and fry over medium heat until golden brown all round.  You will need to turn them to make sure they brown evenly.
5. Drain on a paper towel and continue until all balls are fried up.
6. Heat your pasta sauce over medium heat and then add the balls when the sauce is bubbling. Turn the heat down to low and partially cover the saucepan.  Continue to heat for about 7 minutes – the balls will be warm through and will have absorbed some of the sauce.
7. Serve topped with fresh basil.

Pepperoni Mushroom Pizza Wonton Cups

It’s a simple recipe that even the kids can help you make, and they make a great appetizer for a party or game day, or you can enjoy them for lunch with a side salad or veggies.It’s a simple recipe that even the kids can help you make, and they make a great appetizer for a party or game day, or you can enjoy them for lunch with a side salad or veggies.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chrissie from The Busy Baker.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 12 mins.


24 wonton wrappers
Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup dry mini pepperoni slices
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8-10 white button mushrooms, chopped, plus 2-3 more for slicing
1 small jar of your favourite pizza sauce
chopped cilantro or fresh parsley for garnish (optional)



1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with some canola oil cooking spray and line each muffin cup with 2 wonton wrappers, offsetting them to create a “flower petal” effect.
3. Layer some of the shredded cheese, the pepperoni slices, and the chopped mushrooms into each of the cups and spoon a tablespoon or so of the pizza sauce overtop.
4. Add another small sprinkling of cheese and a few more pepperoni slices on top of the sauce, and add one mushroom slice on the very top.
5. Bake the wonton cups for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and the mushrooms brown, and serve immediately.