Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Featured Contributor: Yaki Shiitake from La Fuji Mama

Editor’s Note: Rachael is the inventive home chef behind La Fuji Mama. Now a mother of two, many of her dishes take inspiration from the time she spent living in Japan. While she’s no stranger to mushrooms (the Japanese diet are rich with them), this is her first post for the Mushroom Channel. Check out her recipe below but make the jump over to her main site when you’re done!

Yakitori, a dish of chicken threaded on skewers and cooked over a charcoal fire, is one of those foods that I start to crave when the weather turns sunny and warm. With all the beautiful weather we’ve been having, I decided it was time to break out the bamboo skewers and make some. Instead of making the traditional chicken skewers, I used fresh shiitake mushrooms and sliced scallions. Shiitake mushrooms, a native fungi of Japan, have a rich meaty and slightly smokey flavor. These mushrooms are fat free and a great source of protein, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. Grilling them brings out their wonderful meaty flavor. You’ll find you won’t miss the chicken!

This is also a great way to introduce kids to shiitake mushrooms. I’ve found that kids are more receptive to anything served on a stick. Case in point—when my three year old saw we were making yakitori, she got very excited and told me, “I want some!” She didn’t even know what we were putting on those skewers!

Yakitori, a dish of chicken threaded on skewers and cooked over a charcoal fire, is one of those foods that I start to crave when the weather turns sunny and warm. With all the beautiful weather we’ve been having, I decided it was time to break out the bamboo skewers and make some. Instead of making the traditional chicken skewers, I used fresh shiitake mushrooms and sliced scallions. Shiitake mushrooms, a native fungi of Japan, have a rich meaty and slightly smokey flavor. These mushrooms are fat free and a great source of protein, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. Grilling them brings out their wonderful meaty flavor. You’ll find you won’t miss the chicken!

When you are buying shiitake mushrooms, look for mushrooms that are plump, firm, and clean, and avoid any that have wet slimy spots on them or are wrinkled. They can be stored in the refrigerator in a loosely closed paper bag for about a week until you are ready to use them. Making the skewers is easy. You simple clean the mushrooms and discard their stems, and wash and cut the scallions into pieces. Then you thread the mushrooms and scallions onto the skewers. Make sure to soak your bamboo skewers beforehand so that they do not burn. Fresh shiitake mushrooms mushrooms are soft, so do not squeeze or push too hard. If you are having difficulty pushing the skewer through a mushroom, gently rotate the skewer as you are trying to push it through.

When you have finished putting the skewers together, you brush them with a tiny bit of vegetable oil and then set them on a preheated grill, with the mushrooms facing gill side up. You can also cook these skewers under the broiler. If you do this, make sure you start by cooking the skewers gill side down.

When the skewers have finished cooking and you are ready to serve them, brush them with a bit of tare (a slightly sweet and savory Japanese basting sauce) and serve them. They make a fabulous appetizer or side dish for a Spring or Summertime menu.

Yaki Shiitake (Shiitake & Scallion Yakitori)

Makes 8 skewers

For the tare (basting sauce):
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
¼ granulated sugar

For the skewers:
16 large fresh shiitake mushrooms, preferably donko
1 bunch scallions
Vegetable oil

1. Make the tare: Put the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. When the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking over low heat for 20 minutes. Skim any scum off the surface as the sauce is cooking. Set aside.

2. Make the skewers: Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. Preheat the grill. Clean the mushrooms with a slightly damp paper towel or cotton cloth, then cut away and discard the stems. Cut the firm white and whitish green parts of the scallions into 1 ¾ inch lengths.

3. Thread two mushrooms (lengthwise through the mushroom caps) and two pieces of scallion onto each skewer, alternating between the mushrooms and scallion pieces. Brush the mushrooms and scallions with a light layer of vegetable oil.

4. Place the skewers on the grill, with mushrooms facing gill side up. Cook the skewers until the tops of the mushroom caps are dry. Turn the skewers over (mushrooms gill side down), and cook them until the insides become wet with the mushrooms’ own juice. Turn the skewers over (mushrooms gill side up) one more time and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes more until the mushrooms and scallions are completely cooked through.

5. Remove the skewers from the grill, and with a pastry brush, baste them with the tare. Arrange the skewers on a large plate and serve.
Yakitori, a dish of chicken threaded on skewers and cooked over a charcoal fire, is one of those foods that I start to crave when the weather turns sunny and warm. With all the beautiful weather we’ve been having, I decided it was time to break out the bamboo skewers and make some. Instead of making the traditional chicken skewers, I used fresh shiitake mushrooms and sliced scallions. Shiitake mushrooms, a native fungi of Japan, have a rich meaty and slightly smokey flavor. These mushrooms are fat free and a great source of protein, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. Grilling them brings out their wonderful meaty flavor. You’ll find you won’t miss the chicken!

A Mid-Week Mushroom Salad Revelation

Mushroom Celery SaladI don’t know about you, but by mid-week? I’m usually pretty tired by the time I mosey into my tiny kitchen for mealtime.  That said, few things make me feel healthier or more productive than cooking.  Lucky that we live in times with such a plethora of simple but satisfying recipes at our fingertips!

This salad was introduced to me by a friend basing it loosely on a Giada De Laurentiis creation. It’s about as easy as it gets with 4 main ingredients plus seasoning and with no cooking required, it’s my perfect midweek mushroom fix!

  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 4 large celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Juice of half a lemon

Directions

Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Layer the mushrooms on the bottom of a straight-sided glass salad bowl. Place the celery in the same medium bowl used to toss the mushrooms. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Layer the celery on top of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the parsley over the celery. Squeeze lemon juice over the top. Serve.

The original recipe calls for sprinkled Romano as well but I find the vegan version seriously satisfying!

Mushroom Recipes of the Week: Feast Your Eyes

It would seem that many of you have taken on January with a walk on the lighter side and I have to say that we’re finding it very inspirational.  With that in mind, this week we’re focusing on family meals with taste toward healthy living.

Photo Credit: The Wright RecipesRed Quinoa and Almond Pilaf with Mixed Mushrooms. That’s one pretty plate and my guess is that leftovers make for happy next-day lunching.  Check out the recipe at The Wright Recipes.

Photo Credit: GoodLife EatsIf you follow us on Twitter, you may have noticed this call-out this morning. The combination sounded so good that it’s worth a second look.  Balsamic Roasted Mushroom Risotto.  Just let that sink in a moment with the thought that few things soak up flavor like a mushroom does.  So then you have that rich meaty texture soaked through with the sweet bite of vinegar and finished with fresh, herb-y rosemary.  I can’t wait to take this goodLife {eats} recipe back to my own kitchen!

Photo Credit: Kid AppealA big pile of delicious…that’s what this is. Jenna from Food with Kid Appeal is big on including mushrooms in her family meal plan (more about that here).  “Mushrooms are one optimal life food I want my family eating.” We’re glad to hear it!

Photo Credit: Recipe GirlJust in case you have the rest of dinner sorted out but need a stellar side dish, look no further than Recipe Girls easy peezy Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots.  Three items that add a lot of flavor without a lot of fat…you can find the recipe and the nutrition information here.

Umami Girl's Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffing with Gravy

MC Editor Note: We have a new guest contributor among us! Everyone give a warm, seasonal welcome to Umami Girl!

Photo Credit: Carolyn Cope for Umami GirlThanksgiving at our house inspires a devotion that borders on the comical. A day when the whole country stops to give thanks for delicious food is essentially a national endorsement of our family’s way of life, and we think that’s really something to celebrate.

Most of the time our devotion borders on the comical. Then, of course, there are the times when devotion shows its passport, crosses the border and never looks back. We train for Thanksgiving dinner the way runners train for a marathon. With a certain scientific precision, all meals on Thanksgiving Eve balance maximum stomach stretching with minimal caloric intake. Several family members arrive on the big day with elastic-waisted sweatpants in tow, in case the need arises before dessert. And then, of course, there’s the stuff-off.

Its proper name is The Great Great-Grandmas’ Stuff-Off, but don’t try to say that five times in a row after the tryptophan hits your bloodstream. Each year the two family matriarchs prepare their two outrageous stuffings. This recipe is adapted from one of them.

Although the original recipe contains no small amount of meat, I’ve adapted it over time into a vegetarian dish. With all the savory, meaty mushrooms in this version, it’s sure to please carnivores and vegetarians alike. The gravy is our go-to recipe for a versatile vegetarian sauce. It can also be prepared with turkey stock if that’s how you like to gobble.

Umami Girl’s Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffing

Ingredients
1 1/2 to 2 baguettes, cut into 1-inch cubes (12 slightly heaping cups)
6 Tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
3 stalks celery, with leaves, diced
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved if large and sliced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large and sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 cup dry white wine
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 25 minutes to dry. (Alternatively, leave the bread cubes out, uncovered, overnight.) Remove the bread from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 375° F.

2. Meanwhile, in a wide pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery along with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have halved in volume, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. There will still be liquid left in the pan. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

3. In a very large bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until slightly frothy. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the bread, the mushroom mixture and the parsley and stir to combine thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bread has absorbed all the liquid.

4. Bake in a 3-quart covered casserole or a deep 13×9-inch pan covered with aluminum foil for 35 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake 15 minutes more. Serve hot with mushroom gravy.

Note: You can, of course, also bake this recipe stuffed inside a turkey. It will fill an approximately 17-pound bird.

Umami Girl’s Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved if large and thinly sliced
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method
1. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a wide pan. (If making the stuffing, you can use the same pan from Step 2 without washing.) Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned in spots and substantially reduced in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning, for one minute.

2. Add the wine and stir for one minute, scraping up any bits of flour from the bottom of the pan. Then add the soy sauce and vegetable stock along with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer and cook until the gravy thickens slightly, 5 minutes or more.

Weekly Links: Mushroom News from Around the Web

Seasonal Influenza and H1N1 Today As H1N1 becomes more prevalent all around us, many people look for ways to boost their immunity to protect themselves. While basic measures can be taken to prevent the seasonal flu as well, Healthy News Digest reports on the extra steps that can be taken to strengthen the immune system. Dr. Cheri Quincy also shares a little background on how far we’ve come in fighting the flu since a pandemic in 1918 that killed 50 million people in twelve months.

‘Eat on $30 Challenge’ proves it’s possible to keep grocery costs low Kristina McLean took an interesting challenge to live on a $30 per week grocery budget while still eating well balanced meals. Using up food she already had, growing items in her garden and incorporating local ingredients was eye-opening, but more importantly, she learned to change recipes to fit her budget. Calculating everything down to cost-per-ingredient, McLean put together a low-cost Mushroom Barley Soup recipe you can totally afford to try.

Family Meals Matter: Meatless meals are healthy meals The Wichita Eagle reports on economical ways to eat and provide food for the whole family. Now it’s suggesting an economical and healthy way to stay full without the meaty ingredients we know and love.  It reports “even planning one or two meatless meals per week can help families save money without sacrificing taste or nutrition.” Best of all you can swap out meat for their recipe of cheese and spinach stuffed Portabella mushrooms.

Marvelous mushrooms Have you ever tried a “steak-like” mushroom the size of a saucer? The Portabella mushroom, a meaty variety perfect for adapting to many ways of cooking, is just that. Although its exotic looking, the Courier Journal explains that its simply a white button mushroom with “big size and flavor.” It’s large size is nothing to be afraid of however, it allows for more varied uses like stuffing. The Courier Journal includes their pick for Portabella use: KT’s Portabella Pasta. Enjoy!

Just Asking… Alicia Silverstone How many of our followers were once avid watchers of “Clueless”? Alicia Silverstone has come a long way since that time making a big change in her life in order to go vegan. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Silverstone about her new vegan cookbook which definitely includes mushrooms. She says, “one of my favorite dishes to serve at a party is the leek, pesto, mushroom crostini.” If any of you pick up her book, let us know if you test out her crostinis!

In Season: Stock up on fresh mushrooms Did you know that mushrooms have a season? Well, that season is now. Whether you’re into picking up produce at the local farmers market or the supermarket it’s always best to pick up what’s in season. The Dallas Morning News is telling us to stock up now on fresh mushrooms for upcoming occasions like Thanksgiving where they become a nice addition to side dishes and dressing.