Funky fungi

I bought the family value pack of baby bella, or crimini mushrooms this week and decided to try some new things with them. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamin B, specifically riboflavin – which helps to boost your metabolism. Besides their nutritional value and low calorie content, I just love love love mushrooms. I didn’t always – growing up as a kid I thought my sister was crazy when she would eat them out of the can… well I still do. Not a huge fan of the canned mushrooms, but give me a fresh fungus and I’ll go to town!

The local vegan restaurant has made “vegan jerky” before and it was made out of different mushrooms – tossed in soy sauce, or at least that’s what it tasted like. So, I decided to try it – I sliced the baby bella about 1/4 inch thick and spread them out on a cookie sheet that was lightly greased with olive oil.

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I put them in a 350 degree oven, about ten minutes per side & got this:

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Then I tossed them with a tiny bit more of olive oil and some spices (Rick’s Red Rub – my dad’s personal spice mix made mostly of red pepper, garlic and onion powder). They were delicious and I ate all of them within the day of making them — next time definitely have to make more at a time.

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Then with the rest of the mushrooms I made a mushroom bourguignon – Julia Child made beef bourguignon and it was a classic that many women cooked back in the day.  Instead of beef, obviously, I used mushrooms.

3 cups baby bellas, cleaned and cut in half

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped leeks

1/2 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup vegetable stock

spices (black pepper, salt, thyme, sage)

When making bourguignon you start by caramelizing the vegetables in oil (I used 1 tbs coconut oil) on a medium-high heat. The purpose of this is to brown the bottom of the pan – this is where the magical flavors are created.

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After about 15 minutes, I lowered the heat and added the wine – scrapping off all of that brown yumminess off the bottom of the pan. Then the vegetable stock, spices, and covered it to simmer for 2 hours.

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With normal beef bourguignon you would follow the same directions but then you would let it simmer for hours to cook the meat. Ah, the joys of being meat free – it just doesn’t take as much time to make even more delicious and healthy food!

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For lunches this week I made the cauliflower quinoa salad that I spoke of last week. I followed the recipe exactly as explained on the blog. I used cilantro and scallions in the dressing & it is super addicting. The crunchiness of the roasted cauliflower and quinoa with the spicy jalapenos and tangy lime dressing is a powerful combo of bursting flavors in your mouth.

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This is for sure a summer salad go to!

Lastly, breakfast. Oh the dreaded breakfast. I just don’t have time or energy in the morning to make pancakes or waffles. I always see wonderful vegan, gluten free recipes on Pinterest and I want to make them but just never have. I will push myself to do it one of these weekends, promise! Anyways, I just get sick of eating my 7 grain oatmeal or eggs in the morning. Both of these choices I don’t particularly like eating in the first place. No matter what I eat for breakfast I’m always starving by 10am anyways. So, for this week I made my quinoa breakfast bake that I’ve done before. But instead of doing banana and apple I did one banana and 3/4 cup of pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon and almonds and walnuts. It really doesn’t need to be baked as there is no dairy or eggs in it but I like to anyways because it gives that nice crispy crust on top. I’m thinking this week when I eat it for breakfast that I’ll spoon it out into a hot frying pan so that its nice and crispy and then top it off with some nut butter or almond milk.

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The weather is supposed to start warming up this week and the forecast has limited rain. Cinco de Mayo tomorrow – can’t wait to go dance and sing along to a live band with a tasty drink in my hand tomorrow night after school. Then for the rest of the week – tackling my gardening, finally! Oh an for snacks – something I’ve been doing this past week that I’m sure I’ll continue– Trader Joe’s everything crackers with my homemade peanut butter and sliced banana on top. Sounds strange, but the combination of salty, spicy and sweet is fantastic!

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