Marvelous Mushrooms


Mushrooms are yummy. Mushrooms are versatile. Mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses. Mushrooms can even be economical! Well, you get the picture… I love mushrooms.

There are so many kinds of mushrooms obtainable in our supermarkets these days. Some of the most popular are the White Button, Crimini, Shitake, and Portobello. In addition to these few, there are many other delicious gourmet mushroom varieties available today.

Shitake mushrooms are native to East Asia and are very popular in vegan cuisine due to their meaty texture and flavor. Remove the stems of this delicate mushroom and cook them thoroughly in any dish you are preparing.

Portobello mushrooms have large flat caps and are ideal for stuffing, baking, grilling or breading. They have a hearty texture and taste and are excellent when marinated, then grilled or baked, and served on a bun as a “burger.” Crimini, (or Baby Bella) mushrooms, are great for stuffing too, and they are mellower in flavor than Portobello mushrooms. You can use Crimini mushrooms in any recipe requiring the basic white or button mushroom.

Mushrooms are delectable featured in stir-fries, steamed vegetable dishes, salads, casseroles, and soups. They are wonderful stuffed and served as an appetizer, first course, or main course entrée.

Here are two fabulous mushroom recipes!

Stuffed Mushrooms, Jazzy Style

Makes 6 servings

16 crimini mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed and reserved

2 slices sprouted whole grain bread

3 tablespoons minced onion

10 green olives, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth or bouillon, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon tamari

1 ½  teaspoons italian herbs

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the mushroom stems into a small dice. Cut bread into small cubes. Place the chopped stems, bread cubes, onion, olives, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, tamari, salt and pepper into a medium-mixing bowl. Combine well. Add a bit more vegetable broth, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture seems dry.

Overstuff each mushroom with 2 teaspoons (or more) of the stuffing, packing it down firmly. Place the mushrooms in a shallow casserole dish. Pour the remaining vegetable broth over the mushrooms, to reach about 1 inch in height. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and stuffing starts to crisp a bit.


Soba Noodles with Shitake Mushrooms

Makes 2 to 3 servings

3/4 pound soba noodles or whole wheat fettuccine

8 to 10 large shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, sliced thinly

1/2 large sweet onion, sliced thinly

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons tamari, plus more as needed

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup dark raisins

1 pound organic baby spinach, washed

Freshly ground pepper

Gomasio, for garnish (see note)

       In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil for the soba noodles.

       Meanwhile, place the mushrooms, onions and olive oil into a very large sauté pan. Sauté the mushrooms and onion in the olive oil, for 5 minutes, then add one teaspoon of the tamari. As the mushrooms cook add water, one tablespoon at a time, if mushrooms become too dry. Add the garlic and cook about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Add the raisins, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more tamari, to taste and more water as needed.

Add the soba noodles to the boiling water. Meanwhile, add the baby spinach to the mushroom mixture and cover. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the soba noodles are cooked al dente, drain and add to the mushroom sauce.

Toss together and serve immediately, topped with fresh ground pepper and gomasio, if desired.

NOTE: Gomasio is a nutritious and flavorful dry condiment made from unhulled toasted sesame seeds and sea salt.

Jazzy “Green Spring Cleaning Tip” of the Week:  Use Baking Soda to clean your bathtub. Wet the surface, sprinkle liberally, let set for a few minutes, scrub clean and rinse thoroughly.