Mushrooms are a fungus, but they are also very good for us. Mushrooms bring a savory flavor to meals without adding much fat, calories or sodium. The health benefits don’t stop there. Researchers continue to uncover how mushrooms can ward off chronic disease and improve your everyday health. It is also true that functional mushrooms, like maitake and shiitake, have been found to increase energy and lower stress. Here are some of our favorite healthy mushroom recipes.
CRISPY MUSHROOMS WITH CREAMY WHITE BEANS AND KALE
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves: 2
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 oz. maitake mushrooms, broken into large pieces
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, but into ½” slices
1 (14.5 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
4 medium size garlic cloves, divided
4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
1 bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts
1 cup cilantro leaves
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and cook about 4 minutes, toss and cook other side until browned and crispy about another 3 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate and season with salt. Meanwhile, purée beans, lime juice, 3 Tbsp oil, 2 garlic cloves, and 3 Tbsp. water in a blender until smooth, adding more water by the Tbsp. as needed to loosen mixture. Season. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add scallions and remaining garlic. Cook, tossing, until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add kale and cook, tossing often until wilted and crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate with mushrooms. Divide bean purée between bowls. Top with greens, mushrooms, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
ROASTED MUSHROOMS WITH THYME AND SMOKED SALT
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Cooling time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4
1 lb. assorted mushrooms, cleaned of dirt
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs thyme
1 Tbsp. ghee (or salted butter)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard, optional
1 tsp. dried thyme
Chop the mushrooms into 1-2 inch pieces and if small, leave them whole. Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and thyme and cook for one minute to flavor the oil. Add mushrooms stir and leave for a minute. Proceed to cook until caramelized. Do not overcrowd pan. Cool about 10 minutes. Season with salt and stir. Add butter, vinegar, and mustard. Stir and let reduce for one minute. Serve immediately.
THAI COCONUT MUSHROOM SOUP
1 (13 oz) can coconut milk
4 cups of vegetable stock
3 pieces root end lemongrass (bottom 3 inches) bruised
6 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice.
In a medium sized bot, put the coconut milk, vegetable stock, and bruised lemongrass and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, until the liquid is infused with the lemongrass flavor. Remove the lemongrass and discard. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, until just softened. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Note: You can store mushrooms in a loosely closed brown paper bag in the fridge, where they should stay fresh about a week.
Jan Robinson, Health Coach, Charter Yacht Consultant, 2019 CYBA Hall of Fame, Chef Competition Coordinator/Judge, and author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook collection; available on Amazon and www.shiptoshoreinc.com [email protected]