Skill Shop #9: Crispy Bread with Goat Cheese on a bed of Mushrooms and Spinach

Skill Sop#9: What to do with Frozen Vegetables.

People give frozen vegetables and fruit a bad reputation, but in truth, if you live in a country like the Philippines, where we do not have the same diverse produce variety you might find in the States or in Europe, they do the job pretty well. The produce is picked at its prime, blanched right away, cooled and then flash frozen. This quick process keeps all the nutritious goodness in the fruit or vegetable (very different from canned food). I always carry frozen goods in my freezer since they don’t rot as quickly as really fresh food and are always useful for last minute hunger pangs.

Talking about fruits and vegetables, what’s the deal with vegetarians? (I know, terrible transition, bear with me). If you are vegetarian or vegan because of your love for animals or for medical reasons, then yes, I respect that choice or consequence, more power to you. However i get very frustrated when people tell me that they are vegetarian because they want to lose weight. That’s just plain nonsense. Your body needs to eat what it’s used to right? So if you eat food which your body isn’t capable of digesting properly yet that could lead to weight gain correct? (All said with a very sarcastic tone)

My question to you is: what do you think human beings started eating first Meat, Wheat or Beans (Legumes)?

That’s right, the answer is Meat. Therefore we are better conditioned to digest Meat, then we are wheat (why do you think the Gluten free diet is all the rage nowadays?) or then we are beans (legumes contain lots of anti-nutrients if eaten in big quantities).

I came up this recipe when I was bored, I had eaten chicken for breakfast (weird I know), fish for lunch and had no will to go to the supermarket to buy another kind of protein, so I just grabbed whatever I had in my fridge. I also remembered one of my favourite dishes in Cantinetta (Spinaci e Funghi Al Vino Bianco) and drew inspiration from it. Unsurprisingly it turned out vegetarian friendly, so here is a dish for you my green friends (those of you I like).

My favourite kind of dish is the type where you can list down all the ingredients without any instructions and still figure out how everything will be put together.

Goat Cheese + Crusty Bread (not toast) + Spinach + Mushrooms + White Wine + Olive Oil

Read more for recipe.

Defrost the spinach with the help of a little water and some garlic. Fry off the the mushrooms (I used a mix of Portobello and white button -2 handfuls) with Filippo Berio Olive oil and garlic, salt and pepper, splash in about 1/3 to ½ cup of sweet white wine, reduce until the taste of alcohol is gone. Add in Spinach. Toast your crusty bread (not toast bread – the cut has to come from a hard loaf or a baguette) in some olive oil until crispy and browned. Place on top the spinach and mushroom mix, and spread on French goat cheese. Salt and Pepper to taste. Drizzle with Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


    1. joey August 16, 2012 at 2:58 am

      This looks delicious! I agree that I’ve never really understood why people become vegetarian to lose weight. But to each their own I suppose. In any case, this sounds fantastic, I love mushrooms!

      I always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer…my favorite frozen vegetable. Has saved me and our meals many a time :)

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:44 am


    1. ara August 16, 2012 at 6:58 am

      that looks delicious :)
      can’t wait to try cook it :D ~~
      thanks for the recipe erwan ~~~

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:44 am

        thanks ara

    1. Tippy August 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Insightful! I’ll let my dad read this. He loves avoiding meat but his carbs are redundant: think rice + coffee + bread per meal. Ugh.

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:43 am

        i’ll have a talk with him

    1. marchella August 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    1. marchella August 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Hi, Erwan
      It tastes so much like the bread with pesto and chicken in starbucks! I love it! You know what, from now on, whenever I need to cook for someone, I’ll just check thefatkidinside! I find your recipes easy to prepare and your videos fun to watch… you’re one of my favorite food enthusiasts! more power and keep on posting recipes :))

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:43 am

        thank you so much, glad you liked it.

    1. basil August 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      A perfect starter for a vegetarian-wannabe like me.haha. Although I must admit, I don’t think I can ever become a full-time vegetarian. I’d have to agree with your almost ‘irrelevant’ paragraph here. haha. Skill Shop #9 is definitely a must try… Thanks Erwan! :D

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

        thanks basil!

    1. Danielle August 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      What if i’ll use fresh spinach?

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:49 am

        if you find fresh non-bitter salad, send some over please haha

        1. Danielle April 18, 2013 at 5:40 am

          Well if I can send it by post I would! haha!
          Fresh spinach is widely available here in Qatar. I can’t even find frozen ones! :-P

    1. icee August 18, 2012 at 5:32 am

      hey mate, did you do something on the spinach before thawing it? grind, blend it or something to get that paste consistency?

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

        nope it was already chopped.

    1. Ann Lee August 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Hey Erwan,

      I was wondering where you bought your OCD chef cutting board! I have been looking for it here almost everywhere! Thanks! :D

      1. Erwan September 4, 2012 at 5:48 am

        from the US

    1. Tiny Littl3 August 26, 2012 at 4:53 am

      I don’t believe in going vegetarian simply to lose weight either. The body needs the nutrients it needs to fuel daily life. Thanks to running, I’m still able to lose a few kilograms and a few inches off my waist easily while still eating normally.

      Thanks for this entry! Now I have an idea on what to cook for dinner.

      1. Erwan August 30, 2012 at 8:22 am


    1. Liz August 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      where did you get the goat cheese? i can’t seem to find any in Manila! is it available in santi’s? :)

      1. Erwan August 30, 2012 at 8:12 am

        rustans and santis both have some

    1. G September 2, 2012 at 4:59 am

      I instantly remembered Cantinetta’s spinach and mushroom antipasti when I saw the title of your entry. So surprised to know you actually got it from there :) Thanks for posting this, Erwan. Can’t wait to recreate it!

      1. Erwan September 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

        yes i used to love it

    1. Ann Albano September 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      Hi Erwan!

      I want to try this Skill Shop #9 though what can be the substitute for the white wine since we got no alcohols here in KSA..I’m a fan of yours right here in the desert! I love trying your cooks as I’m a vegan too and oh so healthy! :)

    1. Superchef98 September 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Im trying this! ^first time to visit your blog :) Im enjoying ♥ Thanks.

    1. Jenny November 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Light, healthy & looks so yumm….. Gotta try this… :) first time to visit ur blog… Thank for sharing…

      1. Erwan November 20, 2012 at 3:40 am

        thanks Jenny!




I gained weight because of a sedentary lifestyle and overly indulging in foods I knew were bad for me, eating out too often, taking the easy route (microwavable dishes) and not caring what went in my body, before I knew it reached 240 lbs. I lost weight through pure dedication, tireless hours of hard work and yes, food. I cooked my way to fitness, making sure to only feed myself tasty well prepared dishes with all the right stuff, the perfect fuel, taking me down to 150lbs. Of course I indulge from time to time, as the fat kid still lurks inside of me; here you will find a little bit of everything for the sole purpose of sharing my passion for food and life.





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