Subscribe -- FREE!
Shel Horowitz's monthly Clean and Green Newsletter
Receive these exciting bonuses: Seven Tips to Gain Marketing Traction as a Green Guerrilla plus Seven Weeks to a Greener Business
( Privacy Policy )

A Quick and Easy Gourmet Winter Pick-Me-Up

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip, Volume 3, #9 - February 2000

This is the time of year when I stare into my refrigerator and groan. All summer and fall, we feast on fresh organic vegetables. Our refrigerator is always green and overflowing.

But now, it's almost impossible to get decent greens at decent prices, we've used up the winter keeping squash, the last four potatoes of our 25-pound bag are sprouting, and there are eight inches of snow on the ground.

Still, it's possible to make some great meals with what veggies are around. Here's one I made the other night that was just scrumptious.

On our summer vacation in Montana this year, we took a side trip to Waterton Lakes, Alberta, where we had a wonderful meal. I'd ordered a portobello mushroom dish that was so good I asked for the recipe. It was quite complicated and involved heavy cream, Pernod liqueur, a sauce made of roasted red pepper, and various other things. I knew I'd never make it in that form, but I liked the idea.

This week, the big portobellos were on sale and I bought two (about $4, together). I also bought a red bell pepper. Got them home and cut the pepper in half and seeded it, threw both the pepper and the mushrooms into the oven for 40 minutes, then took the pepper out, put the mushrooms back in on broil for just four minutes--very important not to burn them, so watch them carefully. Meanwhile, I ran the pepper through the food processor, adding a little wine (since we don't happen to stock Pernod) and a touch of garlic. I skipped the cream entirely; this stuff was plenty rich enough without it. Then I took the pepper paste, spread it back across the mushroom's fins so it colorfully surrounded the thick stems--a brilliant splash of red against the deep rich brown of the mushrooms. As an added touch, I toasted a few pine nuts (bought months ago when they were cheap, and kept in the freezer) and sprinkled them as a garnish on top. It was a feast for the eyes, nose, and mouth; we got four portions out of the two mushrooms. Combined with a pasta dish that used basil frozen in the summer, it was a magnificent meal. Prep time, not counting baking, was only about ten minutes. Total cost was about $6, or a very reasonable $1.50 per portion. A good deal more expensive than our typical winter meals, but well worth it for the spiritual and sensory lift--and a whole lot less than we'd paid for the similar dish last summer.

Lots more great dining tips in my book, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook. Order online at or by phone at 413-586-2388 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern US Time)

Return to the Frugal Fun Tips Archives
Preview Shel Horowitz's Penny Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook a 280-page e-book that shows you how to save a big pile of money on travel, dining, entertainment, recreation, and all sorts of other fun.
This article originally appeared in Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tips. Please click here for your free subscription.

Share this article/site with a Friend

Bookmark Us

Many of the 1,000+ articles on Frugal Fun and Frugal Marketing have been gathered into magazines. If you'd like to read more great content on these topics, please click on the name of the magazine you'd like to visit.

Ethics Articles - Down to Business Magazine - Frugal & Fashionable Living Magazine
Global Travel Review - Global Arts Review - Peace & Politics Magazine
Frugal Marketing Tips - Frugal Fun Tips - Positive Power of Principled Profit

Clean and Green Marketing

Our Privacy Policy

Disclosures of Material Connections:
  • Some of the links on our site and items in our newsletters are sponsored ads or affiliate links. This financial support allows us to bring you the consistent high quality of information and constant flow of new content. Please thank our advertisers if you do business with them.
  • As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.

Site copyright © 1996-2011 by Shel Horowitz