Caprese Sliders

These little veggie sliders are so fun for an app or as lunch. They’d be great for a vegetarian option to build-your-own-slider bar. I can see these going quickly a a party as a filling appetizer or on a lunch spread. Little sliders are perfect alongside a few soups!

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider
Swap the pesto for basil leaves, or mix the pesto with a touch of mayo for a lighter flavor. I love pesto all the time, so I went full out, on each side of the bread. The tomatoes could be roasted in advance to speed it up even further. I only made a few so I popped my tomatoes into the toaster oven and melted the mozzarella in there too.

Caprese Sliders (for 2 sliders)


1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 slider rolls, or dinner rolls
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 fresh mozzarella ball


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Add the tomatoes and vinegar to a baking dish with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and roast for 5-10 minutes until they split.
Slice the mozzarella and slider rolls.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider

Spread the pesto onto the inside tops and bottoms of each rolls.
Spoon the tomatoes onto each roll and top with a slice of mozzarella onto each.
Bake for 5 minutes until melty.
The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider
Add the top roll and enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Slider

Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

I hadn’t anticipated what a hit these would be for the little one. He ate so much that he ate what would have been my leftovers for lunch the next day! The base is canned tomatoes, white beans, spinach, and basil topped with a polenta cake and melted cheese. It was an easy meal to prep in advance for a quick #meatlessmonday !
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
I liked the warm & comforting nature of this dinner, especially for a cold night. I imagine it would have reheated nicely, but some three-year-old I know ate about 4 servings-worth. Seriously, what am I going to do when he’s a teenager?

Ok, onto my soap box: go get some Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes. Not sponsored- they have no idea who I am. These are the best for pizza sauce and as an everyday tomato sauce. I looooove that there isn’t any sugar, check out your go-to tomato sauce. It likely has tons of sugar, and prob a surprising amount of sodium. Jazz it up however you like but I promise you’ll love it!

Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls


~2 cups Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes, or tomato sauce
1, 15 oz can of white beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups spinach, chopped
6-8 basil leaves, chopped chiffonade
1 cup instant polenta prepared, or 1- 18 oz tube sliced into disks
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
salt & pepper


If using dry, instant polenta, prepare according to directions and pour into a baking dish. (I used instant and prepared it the morning before serving. I covered and refrigerated until dinner time.)
Add Kitchen Ready Tomatoes, white beans, chopped spinach, salt & pepper to a large pan over low heat. Cook for ~10 minutes to warm through, stirring occasionally. Add in basil at the end.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
In a small skillet, pan fry disks of polenta in a drizzle of olive oil, just until crisped and warm. (I used instant polenta that I cut out with a biscuit cutter- or maybe it was a slider ring, who knows.)
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
Flip and top with shredded cheese. Pop under a broiler for just a minute to melt.
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls
Serve polenta cake on top of the bean mixture. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Tomato Basil Polenta Bowls

Guest Post: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

I’m so psyched to share this guest post with you today! I’d totally order this if I saw it on a menu too! This is such great timing because winter calls for flavor and decadence. These photos have me drooling. Sign me up. About the author: Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill. Here you go!

I’m an easy meal obsessive. Some people interpret that as ‘lazy’, and they might be right, but I prefer to say that I’m just more efficient. I like my recipes quick and simple, and today’s recipe is no exception.

Lately I’ve been going through a stage of trying to reimagine popular recipes for vegetarians. From breakfast egg pizzas to spicy quorn avocado wraps, I’ve been adamant to prove that meat-free options are in no way inferior to their non-vegetarian counterparts. Perhaps this recipe today is the best example of that: Portobello mushroom burgers.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I tried these at a restaurant in London last week, and at the time the only reason I chose it is because it looked like the only thing on the menu that wouldn’t give me a heart attack. I was right, and having survived I knew that I wanted to recreate this recipe as soon as possible.

It’s been a week and I’ve already made it twice. I’m completely hooked. This recipe is my favourite thing to cook at the moment, and pretty soon it will be yours too.
So what makes this so good? Its beautiful blend of spice, herbs and honey makes it a tangy and sweet blend of pure awesomeness. Plus it packs in haloumi – my favourite meal cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys, so do please let me know what you think! I’d love to know if any of you have made any variations of it, and I’m keen to find out if any of you don’t like haloumi… because I don’t think that such a person exists.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Portobello & Haloumi Burgers

Serves 4

You will need…

1 large avocado
1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 portobello mushrooms, stalks trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 thick slices of haloumi
4 burger buns, cut open
Wild rocket leaves, to serve
Mayonnaise, to serve

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Let’s Make This Thing!

Heat up the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. While it’s heating up, mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork or (my personal favourite) a potato masher. Once it reaches a good consistency, drizzle it with half the lemon juice and set aside or in your fridge.
Add the mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, or until slightly softened.
Add a little more oil to the pan (still with the mushrooms in) and add the thyme, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and remaining lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes, coating the mushrooms in the ingredients.
The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers
Add the honey, vinegar and ½ tsp salt and cook for a further minute, ensuring the mushrooms are as coated as possible. Then remove the pan from heat and set to one side, heat up a second frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the haloumi. Turn frequently and cook for between 2-4 minutes, until golden.
Lightly toast the buns either in a toaster or under the grill. Add the avocado between the bun bases, and top with a mushroom each, as well as the haloumi, rocket, mayo and bun tops.

The Three Bite Rule - Guest Post Portobello & Halloumi Burgers

Yum. Now, do you want to be a guest blogger? I’d be glad to have you! Feel free to reach out at  

Boursin Crostini with Apple & Caramelized Onions

Of course I love dips, but some parties, or layouts for that matter, call for crostini. They’re also helpful to incorporate a few flavors annnnnd a plate/tray of crostini mean a few people aren’t stationed in front of the dip all night. Note, I’m one of those who can’t separate from the dip! :-) This seems like the season of get-togethers, family meals, and having company which these are perfect for!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions

I prepped the boursin & the caramelized onions in advance. Then it took 5 minutes for assembly! I wanted it to be with pear, but mine weren’t ripe enough.

Crostini with Boursin, Apple, & Caramelized Onions

Ingredients: (Serves 8ish)

4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried mixed herbs (I used a dip mix, or have used Italian Seasoning before)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt & cracked pepper
splash of milk or cream
1 onion, caramelized
1 baguette, slices of Italian bread, or melba toasts
2 apples or pears, sliced thinly
~6 sprigs of fresh thyme


In advance, caramelize the onions & refrigerate or freeze until using.
In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, garlic, dried herbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add in a splash of milk to thin a bit to your preference.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
Refrigerate until using.
To assemble, toast the bread on a pan in the oven for just a few minutes. Then spread on the boursin, spoon on a some onions, lay on some apple slices, and sprinkle with thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions

Loooove that this can be mostly made in advance, but also that the leftover boursin is so great for crackers, on bagels, etc. I made a big batch of caramelized onions the last time and froze them. That was a huge time & prep savor for these. Hey, this is a busy season – buy some boursin from the dairy section of the grocery store- that’ll speed you up even more!

My test one became lunch but I intended these as an app and I’d love these alongside soup for dinner too!
The Three Bite Rule - Crostini with Boursin, Apple & Caramelized Onions
I have a quick & healthy soup and a cocktail coming up next week! Stay tuned!

Mushroom and Sundried Tomato Quiche

Most quiches I’ve made seem to nicely straddle the line of brunch/breakfast/light lunch. This one takes a firm stand at lunch/dinner. Maybe it is the lack of bacon I often/always add into quiche, but the sun dried tomatoes seem to take it away from breakfast to lunch/dinner for me. I made this to be lunch for a few days but I froze a serving so I don’t over-do it with the same thing on repeat. More on my new lunch tactics to come!

The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche

Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche (serves 4-5)


1 pie crust, defrosted
1 teaspoon butter
~1 1/2 cups mushrooms (I mixed crimini, portabello, shiitake)
1 tablespoon cooking Sherry
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk/cream
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese


Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Par-bake the crust in a 9″ pie pan, with a few fork holes poked into it, according to package directions.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and add in the mushrooms to cook for ~3 minutes. Add salt & pepper and stir well. Add in the sherry to deglaze and cook for 2 more minutes. Then remove from the heat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream of tartar, and salt & pepper.
Layer cheeses, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and repeat so everything will be evenly distributed.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
Then pour the egg mixture into the crust – mine had so much filling that I had a little egg mixture leftover.
Bake at 350-degrees for 35 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato QuicheAllow to fully cool before slicing.

The cheeses & mushrooms could have been in any format for me to love them, but paired with egg was spot on. I went full-in on the filling- just how I like it. It wasn’t dainty, but I cut into 4ths to be very solid lunch meals at work then I froze one to pull out another time when I’m out of ideas.

Another perk of any quiche, is that much can be prepped in advance! I baked the crust, sauteed the mushrooms, shredded the cheeses and literally assembled- without the egg mixture, the night before. I was too tired to do the whole she-bang. In the morning, I whisked the eggs mixture, poured it in, and baked while our normal getting-ready things happened. Ohh, and I snapped a few pictures for you!
The Three Bite Rule - Mushroom & Sun Dried Tomato Quiche
This quiche is my reminder that any fillings or flavors can go in a quiche, it makes a quick dinner during this busy season, and that it is so pack-able for lunch!

Veggie Calzone with Fire Roasted Tomatoes

I saw some really delicious sounding stuffed shells by How Sweet Eats and decided to turn them into a calzone. I loved the idea of fire-roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and veggies so I put ‘em into a calzone since I haven’t made one in awhile. I’d love these in a baked pasta with penne, or on a pizza, or for a panini! There’s lots of room here for any veggies. Artichokes, mushrooms, and eggplant would be good too!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone

Fire Roasted Tomato & Veggie Calzone

adapted from How Sweet Eats Vegetable Stuffed Shells

pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2  yellow onion
1 zucchini
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup fontina, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
sprinkle of wheat germ/semolina/corn meal


Caramelize the onions: chop and cook in a teaspoon of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil on low, for about 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees, and a pizza stone- if using one.
Chop the zucchini into 1/2-inch disks then into quarters. Roast in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
Roll out the dough, or manually stretch it out between 2 hands working it into a big circle.
Sprinkle some wheat germ/semolina/corn meal onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Next lay the dough out off center, so what will become the bottom is centered.
Assemble with shredded cheese, caramelized onions, ricotta dollops, fire roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and fontina are all spread out, then repeat. Fill it all the way getting close to the edges, and with toppings piled high.
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Fold the dough that will become the top over the insides. Pinch the edge closed, or roll it under the bottom. Poke a knife into the top to create some air vents.
Bake 30 minutes and check the dough has puffed and become golden brown. Then bake 10-15 minutes more, as needed. (Parbake just until set- 20 minutes and then refrigerate or freeze until serving. Then bake remaining 20 minutes until heated through).
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
Slice & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Fire Roasted Veggie Calzone
I loved this one. Ricotta and multiple other cheeses is right up my ally. I don’t often use fire roasted tomato sauce because I’m so obsessed with Pastene Kitchen Ready Tomatoes instead of sauce that I never even think twice, but I loved the smokey flavor in here! Canned tomatoes like my fav, and the fire roasted ones, are so great for pizza or pasta because they’re not loaded up with sugar- like jarred sauce. The tomato flavor is much better and was just like I had on pizza in Naples, Italy. The birthplace of pizza knows a thing or two! For this, I spooned out the tomato chunks so the calzone filling wouldn’t be too watery.

This was also great to prep in advance. I made the caramelized onions and roasted the zucchini first, then later I assembled and par-baked during nap time. That meant just popping it into the oven for dinner. Voila!

Fall Fettuccine

Fettuccine with alfredo, sage, and butternut squash. This felt like a the dinner equivalent of warm socks and a cozy blanket on a brisk evening. I roasted the butternut squash and infused the sage into the alfredo sauce.  It was so fast, and SO addicting! Psssst. It was so fast also because I roasted the squash in advance, and used jarred alfredo sauce. Both made life easier and got dinner on the table ohh-so-fast.

The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine

Fall Fettuccine


2 cups butternut squash, chopped into small cubes
2 cups alfredo sauce (use a jar, I won’t tell)
4-6 sage leaves (3 to cook in the sauce & 2-3 chopped)
1/2 pound of fettuccine pasta


Roast the butternut squash in a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400-degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once.
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta.
Warm the alfredo sauce in a large pot over low heat and drop in 1/2 the sage leaves. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, then remove the wilty sage.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine
Cook the fettuccine to al dente.
Drain the pasta and toss in the sauce.
Mix in the remaining chopped sage and the squash.
The Three Bite Rule - Fall Fettuccine

This is such a great weeknight meal. I’d totally serve this to a dinner party, my toddler, or anyone. Somehow this week was brought to you by the herb sage. I love it in small amounts but feel like it has serious flavor. Here’s a good use if you bought some for Thanksgiving and need a very different feeling meal before or after turkey day!

#grilledcheeseplease Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese

The grilled cheese series continues! This grilled cheese has some legit Thanksgiving flavors. They’re healthy, cheap, and quite filling. Win. Win. Win. This is what you need on Black Friday! Forget that 3am shopping shenanigans. Mash up some of those leftover sweet potatoes, chop the sage from the stuffing, and pillage those cheese plate leftovers!

The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese

Sweet Potato & Sage Grilled Cheese


2 slices sourdough bread
1/4 of a sweet potato, cooked and fork mashed
2 slices sharp white cheddar cheese
~3 leaves of sage, chopped chiffonade
2 teaspoons butter


Assemble the ingredients and heat a large pan to medium-low heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
Layer the sandwich with a slice of bread, 1/2 the cheese, the sweet potato, and sage, then the rest of the cheese and the other slice of bread.
Spread a little butter on the bread and turn the sandwich into the pan. Cover and cook for ~3 minutes. Spread the remaining butter onto the other slice of the bread.
Flip and cook for another ~3 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese
I love the sweetness of the sweet potato with the sharp cheddar and the sourdough bread. My sage plant is going strong so this came locally!

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms

As the only mushroom-eater in my house, I alone can testify that these have such great flavor. The marsala wine is unique and a fun addition to salads, as a side, or anywhere! Mushrooms are like little sponges for the flavor around them so marinating them is perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Marsala Marinated Mushrooms


8 oz mushrooms
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
In a glass jar, mix together the marsala wine, oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
Boil the mushrooms for 2 minutes then add into the jar.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms

Refrigerate 6+ hours.
The Three Bite Rule - Marsala Mushrooms
They pack a punch of legit flavor. I put a few into salads and plan to use the rest in some meatless lunches.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

This mac and cheese is veggie packed while still delightfully cheesey. Plus, the squash adds that iconic orange pop of color! This would be the perfect fuel before trick or treating!

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese


1/2 pound pasta
1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (10 oz frozen, or 1/2 butternut squash, roasted)
2 tablespoons cream cheese
4 oz Velveeta mini-block
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar


Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the pasta in and cook until al dente.
In a large pot over medium heat, mix together the squash puree, velveeta, cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Stir until smooth and all combined. Spoon 1/2 – 3/4 of the sauce onto the drained al dente pasta.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Mix well and add in more sauce, as desired.
Add in the shredded cheddar.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Mac & Cheese
Serve hot, or bake with cheese or breadcrumbs on top.

This was a good meal to feel like a treat, like true comfort food, without guilt. The little one loved it. I had some extra sauce so I froze it for a quick dinner another time to throw over some pasta.