Food, Recipes, Vegetarian

Creamy Mushroom Pasta For One!

English: mushrooms
Image via Wikipedia

This started out as sautéed mushrooms and ended up as a tasty, healthy-creamy pasta. Definitely a dish requiring an experienced, confident cook as I didn’t measure anything, rather just added and stirred lots.  I didn’t even taste this much – as I pretty well knew what was happening.  It turned out a nice variation to add to my predominantly vegetarian diet.  I prepared it after eating an appetizer of raw broccoli and carrots dipped in home-made houmous, so it was a well-balanced meal.

Mushroom and Quinoa Sauce: Part 1

In a medium-sized non-stick pan, sauté in a little oil:

  • 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced’n’diced
  • 1 smallish onion, sliced’n’diced
  • 6 medium-large chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 70 grams of tofu, cut into small cubes
  • a sprinkle of raw quinoa (enough to give the veggies a thin layer, 3-4 Tablespoons?)
  • a generous grinding of black pepper
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • a sprinkle of golden linseed

When onions and mushrooms are browned, add a little hot water – enough to stop it from sticking and burning, but not enough so the veg are swimming.  The quinoa needs water to cook, but you don’t want to drown the flavors.  Stir and scrape the bits from the sides of pan, put a lid on it and start preparing the pasta.

Pasta: Part 1

Whole wheat penne pasta, cooked (right) and un... I used whole wheat spaghetti, but you can use whatever you want.
  • Put some freshly boiled water in your pasta-cooking pot, enough to cook the pasta, about 3 inches.
  • Cut a sheet of kombu seaweed into the boiling water
  • Add enough whole-wheat pasta for a smallish serving
  • Bring to a boil and go back to your sauté pan

Mushroom and Quinoa Sauce: Part 2

Quinoa is not a grass, but its seeds have been...
Quinoa Image via Wikipedia
  • Sprinkle your veggies and quinoa with a little white flour and stir to make a kind of paste for a sauce
  • Add skim milk – gradually – stirring constantly till it starts to look like mushrooms in sauce.
  • Add 1 teaspoon prepared whole grain mustard
  • A very small dash of soya sauce
  • Stir lots, scraping the sauce and bits of quinoa off the sides of the pan
  • Gradually add more milk, stirring constantly to make it creamy
  • Cover and leave on the slowest heat on your stove

Pasta: Part 2

By now the pasta should be starting to tender, but still very dente.  Drain the pasta and kombu, and add to the mushroom-quinoa sauce.

Stir gently, yet thoroughly.

You will probably need to add more milk or water, your choice.  Not too much water or it will be tasteless, but you need enough to continue cooking the quinoa and pasta.

Cover and let simmer.


Grate some hard cheese, to make about 3 tablespoons and set aside.

Pasta with Mushrooms and Quinoa: Final Steps

Remove cover and stir.  Taste.  If the quinoa is cooked enough you can stop now, but if you want it softer you will need to possibly add more water or milk and continue cooking. I had mine when the quinoa  and pasta were still quite dente, and it added an interesting texture to the dish.

When it has reached your desired doneness, remove from heat and add a generous sprinkle of Engevita yeast.  (Too high a temperature will kill the benefits of the yeast so you always add it AFTER the cooking is finished.)

Serve on a plate and sprinkle with your grated cheese and voilà, you have a very healthy, creamy mushroom pasta.

Note: I think white or red wine would be a great addition to this dish.  I would add it to the sauté pan early in the cooking process, using it instead of water.
This meal has modest but enough protein for an adult.  The protein comes from the tofu, quinoa, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat, each bringing a small amount that when added together are enough! I don’t count grams of protein, fat or carbs – and I don’t worry about it. But I do buy semi-skimmed milk and low-fat spreads for bread, and try not to eat too much cheese, using it as a garnish rather than a main item.
Alison Boston, Experimental, Mixing Audio, Music

`☁ Twobob ☁` Mixes-up Fun Rock

`☁ Twobob ☁` Avatar on Soundcloud

There are two new tracks in the Collaborations player to the right. The `☁ Twobob ☁` track is a riot of fun – even if I do say so myself.  Go on click the arrow – have a listen while you read!

`☁ Twobob ☁` is one of those creative geniuses who hangs around Soundcloud.   He has 135 (and steadily increasing) tracks on his Soundcloud page, including 63 free downloads.  He also gives away original stems to feed the voracious hunger of deejays and sound creators who are always on the prowl for something new.  Matt (Twobob’s ‘other’ name) also mixes and remixes a range of voices from the Soundcloud community, and masters tracks – including a weekly radio show, which you can listen to on his MixCloud site.

I’d heard Matt’s work, contacted him and suggested we do a track together.  It was January.  I was in the blahs. Our email exchange had discussed laughter as a cure-all medicine.  I suggested we do a funny track, something to make people laugh.  We discussed the concept a little, and meanwhile….

….I received an email* from my mother; a collection of true stories taken from American courts.  I split a gut laughing when I read it, and thought it might be food for thought for our collaboration, so did two recordings of  myself reading them, the first where I couldn’t stop laughing and the second which I read dead-pan.  I also made a laugh track and sent the 3 tracks to `☁ Twobob ☁` saying: “Maybe you can do something with this.”

`☁ Twobob ☁` 's art work for Sexually Active

Twobob feat Alison Boston – Sexually Active (Fun Rock Mix) is the result.  It works!  It does exactly what I wanted it to do.  It makes me laugh, and makes others laugh as well.  So go on, have a listen and a giggle – perfectly innocent! I promise you won’t be embarrassed – he has titled it as cleverly as he has mixed it!

Click here to listen to Sexually Active on Soundcloud

Click here to visit `☁ Twobob ☁` on Soundcloud


The next track – PrimordialNotas – is my second collaboration with Piero Pizzul, an Italian producer and musician living on Naxos.  Shortly after we finished Fly to Absentia, Piero sent me a track mixed with my spoken word track Thank You.

I felt Piero’s instrumental track needed something more elegant and sophisticated.   Also Phil, of Night Network had just done a chill out mix of Thank You that I really liked and I didn’t want to pull attention from his work.

My original artwork for PrimordialNotas

So I went through my poetry and notes and came up with the text PrimordialNotas.  It’s a composite of a poem written while living in Ottawa in 1989 (the date says, though I think it was more like 1987) and notes for poetry compiled while listening to Hungarian jazz musicians in Budapest (2004).   I recorded the text over Piero’s track, sent it back, he mixed it, sent it back, we refined the arrangement  – and voilà – PrimordialNotas was born.
Click here to listen to Primordial Notas on Soundcloud
Click here to visit Piero Pizzul on Soundcloud


*Now here’s that joke email my mother sent – I split a gut laughing reading the jokes again today! They are so crazy!

ATTORNEY:  Are you sexually active?
WITNESS:     No , I just lie there.

English: Contagious Laughter

Galawebdesign  Image via Wikipedia

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place. (There is more than one version of this book published, and don’t know which this comes from, so am unable to credit.)

ATTORNEY:  What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS:     He said , ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY:  And why did that upset you?
WITNESS:     My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY:  What gear were you in at the moment of the mpact?
WITNESS:     Gucci sweats and Reeboks.


ATTORNEY:  This myasthenia gravis , does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS:     I forget..
ATTORNEY:  You forget?  Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY:  Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS:     We both do.
ATTORNEY:  Voodoo?
WITNESS:     We do..
ATTORNEY:  You do?
WITNESS:     Yes , voodoo.

ATTORNEY:  Now doctor , isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep , he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS:  Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY:  The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS:      He’s 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY:  Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS:     Are you shitting me?

ATTORNEY:  So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS:     Getting laid.

ATTORNEY:  She had three children , right?
WITNESS:     Yes.
ATTORNEY:  How many were boys?
ATTORNEY:   Were there any girls?
WITNESS:      Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

ATTORNEY:  How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:     By death..
ATTORNEY:  And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:     Take a guess.

ATTORNEY:  Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS:     He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY:  Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS:     Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

ATTORNEY:  Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS:  No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY:  Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS:     All of them.. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

ATTORNEY:  ALL your responses MUST be oral , OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS:     Oral…

ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS:     The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY:  And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS:     If not, he was by the time I finished.

ATTORNEY:  Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS:     Are you qualified to ask that question?

And last:

ATTORNEY:  Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS:     No..
ATTORNEY:  So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS:     No.
ATTORNEY:  How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS:     Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY:  I see, but could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
WITNESS:     Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.