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Neither a plant nor an animal species, mushrooms have a place all their own in the kingdom.

These fungi, which I eat almost every day, deliver many health benefits. Besides being fat-free, cholesterol-free and gluten-free they are also packed with protein and are good sources of vitamin B (niacin and riboflavin) and minerals such as copper, potassium, and selenium.

It is thought that Asian mushrooms (shitake, oyster, etc) deliver superior health benefits compared to their counterparts such as the button or portobello. I’m not a huge fan of the Asian variety and most often choose portobello’s over others.

It has been debated as to whether mushrooms should be cooked before being consumed due to the fact that they contain small amounts of toxins and natural carcinogens. Applying heat destroys these compounds. I fall on the side of cooking not only for the sake of the destruction of toxins but because I prefer the taste of a cooked mushroom.

 MUSHROOM STROGANOFF

This is one of my new favorite go-to dishes when we are short on time and long on hunger. The ingredients in this dish are usually on hand in our household. It takes little time to prepare and even less time to cook.

The type of mushrooms used can vary depending on the variety you enjoy the most. The “cream” is meant to thicken the vegetable broth and, as noted below in the ingredient list, there are a variety of sources from which to choose.  We prefer peanut butter (making my own, of course) but a dense non–dairy milk, which gives way to the earthy flavor of the mushroom, works well too.

Ingredients:
24 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp+ cream substitute –  peanut butter, non-dairy milk (almond or coconut), hummus or tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
cracked pepper, to taste
6-7 oz soba noodles

Directions:
Heat a large frying pan on high. Add onions and a little broth if necessary to keep onions from burning. Turn heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are tender.
Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, rosemary, tamari salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
While mixture is coming to a boil, cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
Once mixture boils, add chosen “cream”, and lemon. Heat through.
Mix in cooked soba noodles.
Adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve.

What is your favorite variety of mushroom? Please leave a comment…

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