Mushroom Bulgogi Tacos: Food Truck in Your Kitchen

This post got a little ahead of itself and posted itself long before I was done writing it. Sorry about that.


Who loves food trucks?

I think they’re pretty cool and there have been a lot of “food truck rodeos” around Raleigh lately.

Around here, there are a lot of pork barbecue food trucks but one of my favorite things about food trucks is that they often introduce us to new foods.

And one food truck food that has become really popular is the Korean-Mexican fusion bulgogi taco.

So here is my version of it, featuring the deliciously vegetarian mushroom!

Mushroom Bulgogi Taco from

Mushroom Bulgogi Taco Recipe

Start with 8 ounces of mushrooms (I used brown button, but you could just as easily use white button or portabella.

Sliced Mushrooms

Slice them up – if they are small, just cut them in half.

Mushrooms in bag

Put them in a ziplock bag.

Brown Sugar

Add a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Soy Sauce

A tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce.

Politely ask the cat to get off the counter.


A tablespoon of white wine.

They say to only cook with wine you would drink. Lucky for me, that means I cook with cheap wine.

Sesame Oil

Then add a tablespoon of sesame oil. You could use canola if you don’t have sesame.

Minced Garlic

Move back to the cutting board and massacre 3 garlic cloves. Add the garlic.

Minced Ginger

And then mince about a tablespoon of fresh ginger. You could use powdered ginger instead if that’s what you have on hand. Either way, add it to the baggie.

Marinading Mushrooms

Seal the bag. Shake it all about. Give it a little massage. Make sure everything gets good and friendly.

Leave it to marinade for 30 minutes to 3 hours – portabellas will need the most time.

Heat a skillet over medium heat – love my cast-iron skillet for things like this!

Pour in the contents of the baggie.

Yummy Mushrooms

Admire its beauty.

Question whether you know the difference between its and it’s anymore.

Try to resist sampling.

Mushroom Bulgogi Taco

Once the mushrooms start to brown, scoop them straight into your tortilla and garnish!

I used a 100% whole wheat tortilla and discovered that bowls work well for keeping soft tacos standing.

For garnish, I cut super thin slices of jalapeno and baby red and orange sweet peppers and put them in a bowl with a teaspoon of rice vinegar and a pinch of red pepper flakes to make a quick spicy and tangy relish. This was a great substitute for kimchi.

I also sprinkled on a few sesame seeds and some strips of basil, although I think I would have proffered cilantro if I had the choice.

This is a brand new creation so let me know what you think!

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal Recipe Rehab

Hello there,

What did you have for lunch?

I had oatmeal.

I know, it’s a breakfast food, but guess what? I’m a rule breaker.

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

If you could have this, wouldn’t you be a bad girl too?

And guess what?

It’s super heart-healthy in addition to being super tasty.

Do you think I should ask more questions?

I was hoping you would say yes!

Well anyway, before I give you the super-easy-probably-shouldn’t-even-call-it-a-recipe recipe, I thought I’d share the stats on a few popular restaurant oatmeals and store-bought brands: 

Serving Size (g) Calories (kcal) Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal 253 (wet) 290 4.5 2 5 5 160
Starbucks Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats 40 150 2.5 0 4 5 0
Quaker Oats, Steel-Cut 40 150 2.5 0.5 4 5 0
Quaker Oats, Old-Fashioned 40 150 3 0.5 4 5 0
Quaker Oats, Quick Oats 40 150 3 0.5 4 5 0
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Original 28 100 2 0 3 4 75
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries and Cream 35 130 2 0.5 2 3 180

Let’s talk about this.

First of all the McDonald’s oatmeal: Yikes! Here’s what I notice. The serving size is based on wet weight whereas all the others are dry weight so you can’t really tell if there’s more of it from the serving size. When you look at the calories, you think, it must be a bigger serving than the others. But then look over at the fiber and protein – pretty much the same as the next 4 on the list. Take a look at the ingredient list and you’ll see that the extra calories come from fat and added sugar, not a larger serving:

McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal: Oatmeal (Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color), Diced Apples, Cranberry Raisin Blend, Light Cream

Next on the list is the Starbucks Oatmeal, and Quaker’s Steel-Cut, Old-Fashioned, and Quick Oats. These 4 all have pretty much the same nutrition stats which is great news for the Starbucks Oatmeal. I couldn’t find an ingredient list for it, but given the name and the nutrition profile, I’m guessing it’s just a combination of steel-cut and old-fashioned oats. The ingredients for the other 3 are simply:

Quaker Oats, Steel-Cut: 100% natural whole grain steel-cut oats

Quaker Oats, Old-Fashioned: 100% natural whole grain rolled oats

Quaker Oats, Quick Oats: 100% natural whole grain rolled oats

Okay, on to the Quaker Original Instant Oatmeal. The serving size is 28g (1 package) instead of 40g (1/2 cup dry). What this means is that calories, fat, saturated fat, fiber, and protein would be similar (but not identical) if the products were compared gram for gram. But did you notice the sodium? The Instant Oatmeal also has more calcium, iron, and vitamin A. This is because these ingredients were added along with oat flour, caramel color, and guar gum. Check out this ingredient list:


And the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

Here’s the ingredient list for the Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal:


That list just goes on and on! The serving size is almost the same as the Quaker’s Steel-Cut, Old-Fashioned, and Quick Oats, but why is the protein and fiber so much lower? Even the fat is a little lower which tells me that even though oats are the first ingredient (and therefore the highest content by weight), the second ingredient (sugar) isn’t fat behind. There’s all sorts of other fun stuff in there to add vitamins and minerals, color, flavor, and texture, but wouldn’t you rather eat food with ingredients you can pronounce?

Enter home-made strawberries and cream oatmeal.

My oatmeal recipe looks like this:

Calories (kcal) Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Fiber (g) Protein (g) Sodium (mg)
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal 210 3 0.5 5 6 105

Yes, it has more calories than plain oatmeal but the added protein will help you stay full longer. It also has more sodium than plain oatmeal, but it’s natural, rather than from added salt. The real strawberries provide 70% of the daily value for vitamin C and the yogurt provides 30% of the daily value for calcium too!

Okay, so without further ado, here is my recipe:

Home-made Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Hulling Strawberries

Start by washing, drying, and removing the stem from 4 large strawberries. Remember why it’s important to wash before removing the stem?

Slicing Strawberries

Slice them up. You can dice them into smaller pieces but I’m a fan a big chunky slices. Set these aside.

Old-Fashioned Oats

Then dump 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a bowl. I like to measure my oatmeal because I forget how much it expands so if I don’t measure it, I always end up with way too much.


Pour in 1/2 cup of water.


Microwave for 1-3 minutes depending how your microwave works and how mushy you like your oatmeal.

Greek Yogurt

Add 1/4 dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt. This Chobani stuff is great – check out the ingredient list:

Cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, live and active cultures

It does go on to specify which cultures, but all I need to know is that they act as probiotics to help to keep my digestive tract healthy (read, no icky diarrhea.)

Now forget I said that and start thinking about strawberries.

Sliced Strawberries

Yum … Strawberries …

Strawberries in Oatmeal

Toss in those strawberries that you so beautifully sliced.

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

And then you could just eat it like this.

Messy Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Or mix it all up and enjoy how messy it looks.

But eat it up quick before that dang cat steals any!


Let me know what you think. Is this recipe easy enough for you?

Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe from “Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking”

I did a survey the other day for members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  (AND)  that asked how I felt about the fact that AND has sponsors like the Coke and Hershey’s.

My answer: I don’t love it, but it brings in money which means AND is able to pass along more benefits like continuing education to me so I can become a better dietitian. In turn, I am able to better help you improve your nutrition to help you become a healthier, happier person.

They also asked if having these sponsors made me more likely to recommend their products.

I can honestly say the answer to this is no – although I realize that’s not what they want to hear. The reason I’m not more likely to recommend their products is that I very rarely recommend any specific brand or product unless it’s something that really stands out.

Well, I’ve recently noticed one such company’s products while strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I don’t even think this company sponsors AND so don’t worry, I haven’t been brain-washed into liking them. Okay, here goes nothing!

Goya Foods

Goya is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company and they offer products such as beans, rice,  fruit beverages, and condiments that are perfect for Latin recipes. I recently discovered that their Low-Sodium Black Beans contain half the sodium of the brand I used to buy!

But I’ll be honest, the thing that made me think Goya is awesome is actually their packaging.

They are the only company that I’ve seen that features the MyPlate icon on some of their product labels.

Goya and MyPlate

I think that MyPlate is fancy and I think that more Americans would be healthier if they were aware of MyPlate.

Pssst! Go tell the first person you see about MyPlate!

Well anyway, it turns out that Goya teamed up with the First Lady’s LetsMove initiative and the USDA to launch a MyPlate/ MiPlato cookbook called Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking.

Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking

Goya MyPlate Cookbook

The cookbook features 10 complete, balanced meal ideas packed with 30 healthy Latin inspired recipes.

Think Avocado and Grapefruit Salad, Argentinean Grilled Steak , Pumpkin Flan, and so much more.

On second though, try not to think about it until dinner time.

Each of the meals incorporates all five basic food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy) for a healthy, well-rounded diet.

As an added bonus, the cookbook also includes nutritional information for every recipe, easy-to-follow cooking tips, and estimated costs for each meal.

It just so happens that Goya is providing cookbooks for three lucky winners of the Black Bean Eat Me Quiz so if you haven’t done it, go ahead and get your name in there.

Even if you don’t win, you can actually download a free PDF of Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking.

Just to give you a taste of what’s inside, here is the Black Bean Quesadilla recipe from the cookbook.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean Quesadilla

Makes 8 Servings
Prep time: 5 min.
Total time: 15 min.

¾ cup GOYA Pico de Gallo (I would probably use home-made)
1 can (15.5 oz.) GOYA Low Sodium Black Beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup shredded reduced fat Colby & Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 8″ GOYA Flour Tortillas (I usually prefer the healthier corn or whole wheat options, but there is actually something I like about flour tortillas with quesadillas)
½ tsp. GOYA Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Using small-hole strainer, drain liquid from Pico de Gallo; discard liquid. Transfer leftover tomato mixture to medium bowl. Mix in black beans, cheese and cilantro until combined.
2. Divide black bean mixture evenly over half of each tortilla (about ½ cup each). Fold tortillas in half.
3 Heat large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with oil. Place filled tortillas on griddle. Cook, carefully flipping once, until tortillas are golden brown and crisp and cheese filling melts, about 5 minutes. Cut quesadillas into wedges.

Serving Size: ½ quesadilla
170 Calories
5g Fat (2.5g Saturated, 0g Trans); 10mg Cholesterol; 21g Carbohydrate; 0g Sugar; 9g Protein; 4g Fiber; 470mg Sodium

The Black Bean Quesadilla is part of the Week Night Chicken Dinner – check out this description from Goya:

Enjoy a wholesome dinner, any night of the week! Here, chicken breasts are infused with healthy flavor thanks to fresh herbs and lemon juice. Serve with a side of vegetarian quesadillas and brown rice and vegetables, featuring whole grain GOYA® Brown Rice. We suggest a piece of fruit for dessert.

The whole dinner, featuring all five food groups, comes out to less than $3.50 per serving.

I’m drooling.

I think I’m making black bean quesadillas and salad for dinner. What’s your dinner plan?

Disclaimer:  The kind people at Goya Foods have offered to donate a prize for the Black Bean Eat Me Quiz. However, I was not compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Brownie Recipe Rehab

Hello there,

I love brownies.

But I’m probably the only one.

But take a look at this:


How could you resist a bite?

Trouble is, like many desserts, brownies tend to be high in calories, fat, and saturated fat. Here are the stats on a few popular restaurant brownies, mixes, and popular recipes:


Calories (kcal)

Fat (g)

Saturated Fat (g)

Fiber (g)

Protein (g)

Applebee’s Brownie Bite






Homemade Fudge Brownies from Better Homes






Brownie made from Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix






Chick-Fil-A Fudge Nut Brownie






Duncan Hines Brownie






Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie






Weight Watchers Chocolate Brownie






My brownie recipe looks like this:


Calories (kcal)

Fat (g)

Saturated Fat (g)

Fiber (g)

Protein (g)

Black Bean Brownies






So, they are lower in calories than all of the ones listed above. They are lower in fat and saturated fat than most, though a few of the other brownies have similar stats. The Chick-Fil-A and Applebee’s brownies have similar amounts of fiber and protein, but look at the calories again for those two!

The awesome protein and fiber stats are largely due to the black beans!

Okay, so without further ado, here is my recipe:

Black Bean Brownies

Black beans

Start by pouring a can of rinsed and drained black beans to a blender or large measuring cup if you have an immersion blender.


Then break and egg and add the contents of the egg. Toss the shell in the garbage.

egg white

Add 1/2 cup of egg white. You could use 3 eggs and forget about the white altogether, but the white adds more protein without the fat.

Canola Oil

Add 2.5 tablespoons of canola oil. You could use another vegetable oil but compared to other common oils, canola oil is:

  • the lowest in saturated fat (which raises LDL cholesterol and increases the risk of coronary heart disease)
  • second only to flaxseed oil in the amount of omega-3 fats (which help protect against heart attacks and strokes)
  • the third best source of monounsaturated fats (these are the fats that you hear so much about in olive oil)
  • grown primarily in the prairie regions of Western Canada, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
  • Saskatchewan is fun to say.
  • Three times fast. Try it.

Vanilla extract

Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Mint extract

And a teaspoon of mint extract. You could also play around with different flavors here and add a teaspoon of instant coffee, coconut extract, or orange extract.

Cocoa powder

Then add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder.


And 1/3 cup of sugar. Be sure to spill half of it on the counter. You wouldn’t be able to call yourself a baker otherwise.


Then go ahead and mix it up using a blender, immersion blender, or some other type of mixer. Puree until smooth.


Pour the batter into an 8×8 pan. I like using these silicone ones because they’re easy to clean and you don’t have to grease them.

chocolate chips

Sprinkle 1/3 cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter. If you skip the chocolate chips, you actually save 18 calories and 1g fat per brownie. But I wouldn’t recommend skipping the chocolate chips. They are delicious.

Toss the pan in the oven that you have cleverly pre-heated to 350°F and leave it there for 25-30 minutes.

Baked brownie

You will know that it is ready when the edges start the pull away from the pan, the top starts to crack, and a toothpick inserted into the brownie comes out clean.

Black Bean Brownies

Let it cool, cut into 12 pieces, and serve to unknowing friends.



Let me know what you think, and who you fool!

Pizza Healthy?

I’m home alone this week which is really just another way of saying I will probably be having pizza more than a couple of times this week.

Pizza is often thought of as an unhealthy food…and it often is, but it doesn’t have to be.

A new Scottish company called Eat Balanced has invented pizzas that contain “the correct proportions of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, salts, sugar, fiber, vitamins and minerals that humans need for a balanced meal.” The pizzas are designed to meet approximately a third of daily needs so theoretically, you could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect food which is why variety is so important. Although this pizza contains 30% of daily vitamin needs, it does not contain a variety of phytonutrients (beneficial compounds found naturally in different plant foods that are not yet established as essential nutrients).

So instead of relying on this recently invented pizza, invite some friends over and try making your own pizza. Mix up the toppings to get a variety of nutrients.

The Crust

The best option is to make your own crust. Try this recipe adapted from one shared by Project Eat Me reader Jacqueline Knights:


  • 100g (3/4 cup) whole wheat bread flour
  • 100g (3/4 cup) white bread flour
  • 1 tsp of dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • Warm water, about 125mls (1/2 cup)


  • Mix all ingredients except water together. Slowly add water and mix until you get a dough.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes).
  • Shape dough into a ball, put in a large bowl and cover with a tea towel. Set it aside for 45 min.
  • Roll it out to about 1 inch thick and place on a pizza pan.
  • Add delicious toppings.
  • Bake for about 15 min at 200C (400F)

You can also get store-bought crusts but keep an eye out for whole wheat ones if you can find them. You may also be able to find gluten-free crusts if you’re gluten-intolerant.


Add as many colorful vegetables as you want. They pack on flavor without packing on calories.

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms – try portabellas!
  • Onions
  • Peppers – red, yellow, or green bell peppers; jalapeno, banana, or other hot peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes – sliced or diced; sundried tomatoes
  • Zucchini


Pineapple is a popular topping but why not try other fruit?

  • Grapes
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries


No matter what sauce you choose, try to make or buy a lower sodium version. You can also add pureed veggies to your sauce (this is great if you/your boyfriend/your roommate doesn’t like chunky veggies).

  • Alfredo sauce – high fat so use very sparingly
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Curry sauce
  • Garlic – roasted, pureed, and mixed with olive oil
  • Hummus – experiment with different beans
  • Olive oil
  • Olive tapenade
  • Pesto – try it with different nuts and greens
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Tomato based sauce – homemade or store-bought


Cheese often gives pizza a bad nutritional rap, so don’t just dump on a pile of cheese. Instead, use it as an accent for other flavors.

  • Asiago
  • Feta
  • Goat cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Provolone
  • Romano
Hot tip: scatter cheese over the dough before adding other toppings to keep the crust crispy.

Other Toppings

  • Basil
  • Capers
  • Chicken breast
  • Cilantro
  • Olives
  • Shrimp
  • Turkey pepperoni

A Few Combos to Try

  • Pesto, sliced tomatoes, roasted yellow peppers, parmesan, kalamata olives, cilantro
  • Thinly spread hot sauce, jalapeno peppers, onions, blue cheese, chicken breast
  • Marinara sauce, button mushrooms, pineapple, mozzarella
  • Marinara sauce, red bell peppers, peaches, goat cheese, ham
What’s your favorite topping or combo? I need new ideas!
  • Follow to receive email notifications of new posts.

  • Follow Me on Twitter

  • Connect via Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Plate Community

    The Plate Community if full of nutrition experts, recipe gurus, and healthy eating champions who love to blog

  • Nutrition Blog Network

    Check out some of the other great blogs by Registered Dietitians

  • The Foodie Blog Roll
  • HealthFill

    The team at Health Fill combines web research with visitors’ tips to offer regularly updated health information. Check it out!

  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: