Buttery Pan Seared Oyster Mushrooms

A few weeks ago, I picked up a bag of oyster mushrooms from Brenda’s stand at the farmers market.

This is the first time that I cooked with oyster mushrooms. They turned out buttery and crispy. Very delicious and versatile. They can be used as a side dish, in omelettes or on toast. In the photo below, I served them for brunch with an omelette stuffed with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. I placed the oyster mushrooms on my Cheesy Jalapeno Keto “Corn Bread”. I will post the recipe for the bread later.


  • 1 pound of oyster mushrooms
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • Olive oil to coat the pan
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
  • A handful of your favorite herbs. I had oregano, thyme and basil growing in my garden, so I picked some to use in this recepie.
  • Sea salt and freshly gound black pepper to taste.


  • Tear the oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. I prefer tearing them so the mushrooms don’t get bruised.
  • Finely mince the garlic cloves.
  • Remove the herbs from their stems. Tear the basil leaves if they are large. The oregano and thyme leaves are small enough to leave whole.

Cooking The Mushrooms

Coat the skillet with olive oil and place 2 tablespoons of butter. Turn the flame to medium high. When the butter melts and starts to sizzle, add the oyster mushrooms.

Let them brown on one side. Do not add salt or stir them. Salt will draw out moisture preventing them from browning. Also stirring them will prevent a carmalized crust from forming. When one side is browned toss them to brown the other side.

When both sides are browned, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan.

In the center of the pan, add the finely minced garlic and a bit of olive oil. Let the garlic turn golden without burning, and stir it in. Again, push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan.

In the center of the pan, add the tomato paste with a bit of olive oil. Let the tomato paste cook for a minute and then stir it in. Turn off the heat. Add the herbs along with a tablespoon of butter.

Stir in the herbs and let the butter melt. We add the herbs last so that they don’t lose their flavor or bright green color. Also the extra butter on top adds so much flavor. Plate the mushrooms onto a pretty platter and serve them piping hot. It makes a great side dish for people who love mushrooms.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy these buttery oyster mushrooms. For those who are not a fan of mushrooms, you can use this recipe with diced potatoes or sweet potatoes. If you want to keep it keto, use small florets of cauliflower.

My next post will be the last of my mushroom series. It will be a Personal Portobello Pizza.

Bye till then. 💕🖐

Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Quiche

My last post was Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms . I had left over filling so I used it to make these two cute little quiches.

Ingredients For The Custard

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cheese for custard and a bit extra to surround the mushrooms. Use any grated cheese you like.
  • any herb you like (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepping The Custard

Add all ingredients to a large measuring cup.

Whip together till well mixed.

Prepping The Mushrooms

See my last post, Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms , for details. Here is a summary:

Season the mushrooms with salt, pepper and my Italian Spice Mix. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake at 400 F or 200 C, until the water releases. Let them cool so you can handle them without burning your hands. I used small custard cup (also called ramekins.)

Collect the water. You can use it in another recipe to add an umami flavor.

Stuff the cremini mushrooms with the left over filling from the Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms recipe. Top and surround with grated cheese.

Place the custard cups in a baking dish. Then place the baking dish on a baking tray lined with a silicone liner or some foil. This will catch spills so your oven stays clean.

Place in the oven at 350 F or 180 C. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the egg custard gets puffy and golden brown.

Serve as soon as it comes out of the oven with a salad or any side dish you like. Hope you enjoy.

I am going to continue the mushrooms series because I get so many lovely mushrooms form Brenda Lera’s farmers market stand.

Next post will be Buttery Pan Seared Oyster Mushrooms.

POST UPDATE: Sachi mentioned in her comment that she is not a fan of mushrooms. You can substitute zucchini or plum tomatoes for mushrooms. Please go to the Italian Stuffed Vegetables for the directions on the zucchini. Leave out the mozzarella because you will be using the grated cheese from this recipe. For the plum tomatoes, use the filling from the Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms, but substitute any vegetable you like for the mushrooms in the filling.

Hope the update helps to customize the recipe for your tastes and dietary restrictions.

Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms – gluten free & keto

I was inspired to create this recipe when I found these gorgeous cremini mushrooms at our neighborhood farmers market, which is held every Saturday morning in the beautiful Parque de Los Enamorados.

I love the mushroom stand set up by Brenda Lera, with a variety of mushrooms that I buy every Saturday.


  • 12 medium sized cremini mushrooms (they are also called Baby Bella)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium red onion
  • A variety of veggies can be used, such as, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes. Here I have used a red and an orange bell pepper.
  • 1 serrano chili, is optional, if you want to add a spicy kick.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • A handful of any herbs you like. Here I have used Italian parsley.
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Use your favorite melting cheese. I usually buy a block of the best cheese I can find. Then I get my husband to grate it for me. However, the Italian cheese in the photo, was on sale and it had no additives or anti-caking compounds, so I bought it.
  • 2 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix for sprinkling over the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon for the filling. The Italian Spice Mix consists of garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes and dried oregano.
  • Olive oil – enough to coat the pan and drizzle over the mushrooms.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Prepping The Mushrooms

Clean the mushrooms by carefully wiping off any dirt with a moist kitchen towel. Then remove the stems by gently snapping them off. Hollow out each mushroom with a grapefruit spoon. Set the stems and the mushroom innards aside in a bowl. We will use them as part of the mushroom filling. Nothing goes to waste around here!!! Place each prepped mushroom upside down on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and my Italian Spice Mix. Then drizzle with olive oil. Turn the mushrooms over and repeat the sprinkle and drizzle.

Turn the oven to 400F or 200C. Place the seasoned mushrooms into the oven and bake until they release their juices, as seen in the photo below. This should take about 10 minutes.

Let the mushrooms cool for about ten minutes. Then pour out the juices, that are full of umami flavor, into a small bowl. My motto is “SAVOR EVERY FLAVOR 😋” We will use this umami bomb as part of the mushroom filling. Umami is the savory or meaty taste of foods. It corresponds to the flavor of glutamates in foods. That is why monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancing agent. My husband and I are both very sensitive to artificial MSG, but mushrooms have a high concentration of natural glutamates which don’t produce the reaction that artificial MSG does.

TIP – By extracting the mushroom juices we accomplish two things:

1. Dehydrated the mushrooms so they will not be water-logged when they are stuffed and baked again.

2. Created a mushroom extract that is an umami bomb.

Prepping The Filling

Finely chop all the veggies and herbs. Place each one in a separate bowl because they do not all go in to the pan at the same time.

Cooking The Filling

Coat a heavy duty stainless steel pan with olive oil. Place the pan over a medium-low flame. Add the onion and a teaspoon of the Italian Spice Mix. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic. Continue sautéing until the garlic is soft. This should take about two minutes.

Add the peppers and the chili. The chili is optional if you want to add a spicy note. Add a dash of salt. Sauté until the peppers are soft.

Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle a dash of salt and a grind of black pepper over the mushrooms. Also drizzle a small amount of olive oil. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are soft.

Create a hot spot in the center of the pan by pushing the vegetables to the outer edge of the pan. Place the tomato paste in the center of the pan. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste in the center of the pan and let it cook for a minute. Then stir it into the rest of the vegetables.

Once the tomato paste is incorporated into the vegetables, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and reserved mushroom juices. Cook for about a minute and turn off the flame.

Add the herbs and stir them in. Taste the filling and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. The filling is now ready. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool so that you will not burn your fingers while stuffing the mushrooms.

Use a teaspoon to stuff each mushroom.
Top each stuffed mushroom with freshly grated cheese.

These stuffed mushrooms are very popular at our cocktail parties. They pair especially well with red wine. They are easy to make for a party because they can be made the day before. Just fill them but don’t top them with cheese. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator overnight. An hour before your guests arrive, top them with cheese. As your guests start arriving, pop them in a 350F or 180C oven for 5 to 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Before serving garnish each one with a little basil leaf or oregano leaf.

I often make these stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer to take to parties. I prepare them to the point where they are topped with cheese. Then I put them in a covered casserole dish so they transport well. When I get to the party, I pop them in the oven, so they are piping hot when put on the buffet table.

These stuffed mushrooms are very flavorful. I have been asked for this recipe so many times. I finally found time to write this post to share the recipe.

Sometimes I have filling leftover. It can be used for making omelets or a quiche. I used the leftover filling to Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Quiche. They turned out so cute and delicious. I will post the quiche recipe for my next post.

In the meantime, please enjoy the stuffed mushrooms with your favorite glass of red wine. 🍷😋💕

OVEN ROASTED ASPARAGUS (Part of A Farmers Market Lunch)

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I was so thrilled to find a big, fresh brunch at our local farmers market, which is held every Saturday from 9AM to noon in the beautiful Parque de Los Enamorados.

This beautiful asparagus was grown by Debbie of Chinaberry Farm. She also grew these hydroponic lettuces.

They are the best lettuces I have ever had. I also love that they look like a bouquet. I overheard a woman at the market say that she would like to have one of these lettuces as a bridal bouquet. I thought that was a great idea.

Debbie has these lettuces every Saturday along with a variety of seasonal vegetables. Yesterday, her San Marzano tomatoes and sweet Italian basil caught my eye, so I bought those too. These ultra fresh ingredients inspired me to make this simple salad. When I have such great produce, I keep things simple in order to let the ingredients shine.

I just hand tore the lettuce and basil. Sliced the San Marzano tomatoes and tossed the salad up with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. The dressing is easy to put together. Take a mason jar and add 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 table spoons of red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add in your favorite herbs and spices, such as, chili flakes, dried oregano, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder. Once all the ingredients are in the mason jar, close it tightly with its lid and shake vigorously.

After I left Debbie’s booth, I walked around and saw a lady, AnDy VZ (on Facebook), selling farm fresh eggs from her own chickens. I just had to buy some of those. I thought to myself, that I could make a pistachio pesto omelette stuffed with herb goat cheese that I have at home. The pistachio pesto came to mind because I had the fresh sweet Italian basil from Debbie and I had a bag of pistachios in my pantry. Most of my recipe ideas come from the ingredients I have on hand.

The omelette would go great with the salad and oven roasted asparagus. There it is. My farmers market inspired lunch. It was delicious if I do say so myself.

I am going to show you how I made the asparagus in this post. The omelette is easy. I made classic pesto, but substituted the pistachios for the pine nuts. I broke open 2 eggs, added a table spoon of the pistachio pesto along with a splash of cream. I whisked everything together and added it to a warm pan with melted butter. When the eggs were almost set, I placed some crumbled herb goat cheese in the center and folded the eggs over to form the omelette.

If you want my pesto recipe click on this link for Pesto Eggs “Benedict”. I show how to make the pesto on my eggs benedict post.

Ingredients for the Oven Roasted Asparagus:

  • 2 table spoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepping The Asparagus:

Snap the end of the asparagus. Do not throw the ends away. I will show you how they can be used.

Some of the asparagus was thick and some was thin. In the photo above the thick stalks are in the glass baking dish on the left and the thinner ones are on the right. The ends are in the glass bowl. The reason I sort out the sizes is that the thick ones will take longer to cook. If you put them all in the same baking dish they will cook unevenly.

Once the stalks are prepped sprinkle them with the Italian spice mix, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss so the asparagus is evenly coated.

Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 C. Place the seasoned asparagus in the oven and roast until the asparagus tips are browned.

This can take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. Halfway through the cooking time turn the asparagus over with tongs. I like to cook them so they are tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Do not overcook them because they will loose their lovely green color and turn mushy.

As for those asparagus ends. Slice them into discs and store them in the refrigerator. They can be added to soups, sautéed up with onions for an egg scramble or used in place of peas in any recipe that calls for peas. I am sure you can also think of other uses.

In order to minimize waste, It is best to slice each stalk individually because each stalk gets fibrous at a different point.

The fibrous portion is the stem of the asparagus and is not edible. When I had my own chickens, I used to feed it to them. I hope to have my own chickens again, but for now I am buying the eggs from Andy at the local farmers market.

The whole purpose of this post was to show you how I get recipe ideas from the local ingredients I find. I love going to the farmers market not just for the great produce, but also for the camaraderie with the people I meet there. I feel very lucky to have such a great community.

Spicy Pan Fried Nopales (Nopal Masala)

In July of 2018, I posted Spicy Pan Fried Okra (Bhindi Masala). Bhindi Masala is a classic Northern Indian recipe and one of my favorites. While in central Mexico, I could not find okra readily available. However, cactus leaves (nopales) are plentiful. The texture of nopales reminds me of okra so I decided to substitute them for the okra. I was amazed at how well the dish turned out, so I decided to post it. This is my first recipe using Indian techniques with a Mexican ingredient.

Nopales and okra are both slimy vegetables. In the original okra dish I de-slimed the okra by cutting it into slices and then pan frying at high heat to burn off the slime. I used the same technique for the nopales, but I had to take an extra step because the nopales are slimier than okra. Keep reading and you will see the easy trick that I used to dry out the sliminess.

I tasted a piece of nopal raw so I could understand the flavor. I noticed that the nopal has a sour flavor that the okra does not. In the original okra recipe, dried pomegranate seeds and lemon juice are used to add sourness to the okra. With the nopales, I left out the sour ingredients because the nopales are naturally sour.


  • 20 Nopales
  • 1 large plum tomato
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 1 Serrano chili
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala (this is a hot Indian spice mix. I make my own, but you can buy it at an Indian grocery store, or online.)
  • a high smoke point oil for cooking. Here I used a combination of avocado oil and ghee.
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepping the Nopales:

Here is the trick I used to dry out some of the slime from the nopales. I put them in a paper bag and placed them in the refrigerator for four days. The paper bag absorbs the moisture from the nopales. The less moisture there is the less slime you will have. When I bought the nopales they had already been cleaned and packed in a plastic bag. Do not wash them before placing them in the paper bag. The added moisture from washing them will cause them to become more slimy.

Slice the Nopales into bite-sized pieces. Make the pieces as equal in size as possible so that they will cook evenly.

Coat a heavy non-stick pan with the avocado oil and ghee. Place on high heat and let the oil get hot. Add the nopales slices in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan because then the nopales will steam instead of pan fry. If they steam they will remain slimy. Remember that moisture leads to sliminess. I fried the nopales in 4 batches to prevent over crowding the pan.

Let the nopales cook for 3-5 minutes. Then stir them and continue cooking until the nopales are browned and the slime has burnt off. This should take 5 to 10 minutes. You will know that the slime has burnt off, when you stir the nopales and you don’t see any slime. Transfer the browned nopales into a glass container. Then start with the the next batch of nopales. When all the nopales are browned, set them aside and start making the spicy base.

Prepping the Ingredients for the Spicy Base:

  • Chop the onion into thin slices
  • Mince the ginger and Serrano chili
  • Dice the tomato

Cooking the Spicy Base:

Add the onions, ginger, and chili to a pan coated with some avocado oil. Place on medium heat and sauté until the onions are translucent and slightly brown.

Once the onions are brown, add the garam masala. Stir it in and let it toast for a minute.

Add the tomato and smoked paprika. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir and let the tomato cook down for 5 minutes.

Add the browned and de-slimed nopales to the spicy onion and tomato base. Toss together. Turn off the heat. Taste the dish and adjust the salt and pepper as needed.

This is a tasty side dish. It can be served with any protein you like. I am amazed that it tastes very much like the original Spicy Pan Fried Okra (Bhindi Masala). Since I am a pescatarian, I served it topped with a piece of Tandoori Chilean Sea Bass.

Its fun that every time I am in a new area, the availability of local ingredients leads to new recipes.

Not only are nopales delicious, but they also fit into my keto life style. Nopales are low in calories and carbs. They are a rich source of fiber, vitamins A and C. They also contain B-complex and minerals and help lower blood sugar.

This is my first Indian/Mexican fusion recipe. It is also my 100th post!!! Hope you enjoy it.

Adios from Mexico. Hasta Luego. 💕😀

Keto Tiramisu Cream

During the holiday season I usually serve a Cranberry Tiramisu. It is very low in sugar and my dinner guests love it. For those who are leading a Keto Lifestyle, I have created this Keto Tiramisu Cream. It makes a great Keto Parfait dessert when served with berries.

Ingredients: for 2 servings

  1. yolks from 2 eggs at room temperature
  2. 1/2 tsp of fennel powder
  3. 2 packets of raw organic unbleached stevia
  4. 1/2 cup of cold heavy cream
  5. 4 ounces of room temperature mascarpone cheese
  6. 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
  7. 1 cup of your favorite berries (strawberries, blackberries and raspberries work best. I avoid blueberries because they are higher in sugar than the other berries. Here I was lucky enough to receive fresh blackberries from my neighbor’s garden 😋)

Just a note on the stevia powder I have used in this recipe. I bought it in packets so that it stays fresh. Note that the powder is green in color. It is made from dried stevia leaves that have been ground into a fine powder. It is not white because it has not been bleached. To my taste buds the unbleached powder is better because it is pure and does not leave an artificial after taste.

Making the Custard Base:

Bring water to a simmer in the base of a double boiler pan. While the water is coming to a simmer whisk together the 2 egg yolks with 1 packet of stevia and 1/2 tsp of fennel powder.

Place the egg mixture on top of the simmering water and continue to whisk until it turns frothy and pale.

Transfer the cooked egg mixture into a glass container and let it cool to room temperature.

While the egg mixture is cooling make the whip cream.

Place the cold heavy whipping cream into a cold bowl along with 1 stevia packet and the vanilla bean paste. Whip until you have medium peaks.

Putting the cream together:

Once the egg base is cooled, gently fold in the 4 ounces of room temperature mascarpone. Then fold in the whipped cream.

The cream is now ready to serve. Here I have used it in a berry parfait, but this cream is versatile. I have used it to stuff strawberries. You can also put it on a Keto biscuit. Actually, it is yummy enough to just eat with a spoon. 😋💖

Pork Piccata – gluten free

This is the Secondi we will be making and serving, for the Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry.

Secondi means second course in Italian. It is the main protein course which consists of meat, poultry or fish. I decided to create a play on the classic veal piccata, by using Berkshire Pork tenderloin supplied to me by our neighbors, Rose & James, at Peach Creek Farm. I like supporting our local producers and going straight from The Ranch to The Table. Couldn’t get any more local than the neighboring ranch! 👍😃

Berkshire pork is a gourmet product from a breed of pigs that originated in the English county of Berkshire. The meat has shorter muscle fibers than regular pork, making the meat more tender. The meat is also highly marbled with intramuscular fat, making the meat more succulent and flavorful. Rose & James treat their animals with care. The pigs are not caged and no hormones or chemicals are used in raising them.

In making classic veal piccata, the veal is pounded thin and dredged in flour. I decided to not use flour so I can make the dish gluten free and keto friendly. The flour dredging is traditionally used to protect the thin, lean veal cutlet from drying out, to create a golden brown crust and to thicken the piccata sauce. I will be using Berkshire pork medallions that are 1.25 inches thick and are higher in fat than veal, so they don’t need flour dredging to protect them from drying out. I will get additional flavor and a golden brown crust by coating the pork medallions with my Italian Spice Mix. I will be able to thicken the piccata sauce by adding and whisking in butter at the end. This is a French sauce making technique called Beurre Monte. Which means to mount with butter.

In the test recipe I used bone less pork chops. They turned out well, but I decided to use center cut pork loin medallions for the cooking class/supper club because it is a more tender cut of meat. I will be serving two 1.25 inch center cut pork medallions per person. The pork piccata will be accompanied by roasted squash medallions and seasonal vegetables. Click on the link in the previous sentence for the roasted squash recipe. It has turned out to to be my most viewed post. The recipe was posted on November 17, 2017.

Ingredients: for 4 servings

  • 8 – 1.25 inch thick center cut pork medallions
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (1 to coat the pork, 1 to coat the pan, and 1 for the piccata sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of my Italian Spice Mix
  • 3 pats of the best unsalted butter you can find
  • 2 tablespoons of small capers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of wine
  • 1 lemon
  • handful of Italian flat leaf parsley
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • Coat the pork with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the Italian spice mix. Rub the spices into the pork. Cover with plastic and set in the frig while you do the rest of the prep. If you marinate the pork overnight it will be even better.
  • Mince the garlic and parsley leaves
  • Zest and juice the lemon

Cooking the pork:

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on medium high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot place the pork medallions in the pan. Cook on first side for 2 minutes and then flip.
  • Cook on the second side for 1 minute. Do not over cook the pork or it will dry out.
  • Remove the pork medallions from the pan. Set aside and cover to keep warm. I used a crockpot container with its lid on to hold the pork warm.

Making the piccata sauce:

Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pat of butter to the pan you used to cook the pork medallions. Turn the flame to medium.
Sprinkle in the chopped parsley.

Taste the sauce. Adjust for salt pepper and acid. During the cooking process, I added only 1/2 the lemon juice. If you need more acid you can add it at this time. Once you are happy with the way the sauce tastes pour it over the pork medallions.

When I am doing a cooking class or a party, I hold the pork piccata in a warm crock pot until I am ready to serve. This makes it easier for all my guests to have warm plates of food, served simultaneously, so we can all eat together.

I have been told many times that the best part of our pop up supper club event is the camaraderie generated by sharing a meal together while supporting our community. It brings me a great deal of joy to be able to hold these events. 💕

Next week I will be posting the final recipe for our up coming cooking class/pop up supper club. Be on the look out for it. Until then ciao! 🖐😃

Italian Stuffed Vegetables – gluten free & keto

This is the Antipasto (appetizer) we will be making and serving, for the Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry.

The event will be held on October 30, 2020. I will use the freshest vegetable I can find for the class, but for this recipe I used round zucchini squash that was grown by my neighbor in his garden. My neighbor, Billy usually brings us vegetables and we provide him with fresh eggs from our chickens. I love living in the country and having access to simple fresh ingredients. So when I say “Farm-to-Table”, I really mean it. 😃


  • 2 round zucchini squash
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small tomato (in this photo I have a yellow tomato from the garden)
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 or 2 green chilies (optional – leave them out if you want to tone down the spice level)
  • 2 slices of fresh Mozzarella
  • 4 ounces of grated Parmesan
  • 3 sprigs of fresh herbs (here I have basil, oregano and thyme – I grow these in the sunroom just outside the kitchen)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (1 for coating the squash and 2 for coating the pan used for cooking the filling)
  • 1 tablespoon of my Italian Spice Mix
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Remove the stems from the squash and cut them in half going from stem to stern
  • Hollow out the squash using a grapefruit spoon. Don’t throw out the innards. Instead, dice them and set aside. We don’t waste anything. The innards will become part of the filling.
  • Dice the onion, tomato, bell pepper and Mozzarella slices
  • Mince the chilies and garlic
  • Finely chop the herbs
  • Season the hollowed out squash with salt, pepper, Italian spice mix and olive oil

Cooking the filling:

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a heavy duty stainless steel pan. Place the pan over a medium-low flame. Add the onion, bell pepper, chilies, garlic and herbs.
Sauté the vegetables until they are soft
Transfer the sautéed veggies to a bowl. Taste the filling and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Let the filling cool to room temp. before mixing in the cheeses.
Stuff each squash half with the filling. Place on an oven safe tray or baking dish.
Bake in a 350 F oven until the squash is tender and the cheese is melted and golden.

Most Italian stuffed vegetables have breadcrumbs in the mixture. But I decided to leave out the breadcrumbs so that I could make this recipe gluten free and also fit my ketogenic lifestyle. Trust me, you won’t even miss the breadcrumbs.

I have also made stuffed peppers and mushrooms using a similar recipe. I took photos of the mushroom recipe and just posted it. I posted Cauliflower Stuffed Peppers on November 7, 2018. The cauliflower stuffed peppers are also gluten free. Please click on the link in the previous sentence if you want to see the stuffed peppers recipe.

I am really looking forward to making this recipe with my students on October 30, 2020. My husband will be selecting a local Italian style wine to pair with this Antipasto course. Should be yummy and fun. 😋😃