Spring has sprung, flower bulbs are making an appearance, and though the frequent rains may not be pleasant for the season’s festivities, many mushrooms thrive off this spring environment.
Mushrooms belong to the fungi kingdom, but they’re often grouped in with vegetables in food classification and offer a lot of the same nutritional benefits. Mushrooms’ nutrient profiles vary depending on type, but they’re a great way to add bulk to a meal without excess calories. High in soluble fiber, mushrooms may help reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. They’re also high in B vitamins, which help boost skin and heart health.
Beyond their health benefits, mushrooms are extremely versatile. Check out these three vegan and vegetarian simple recipes featuring mushrooms:
Creamy Thai Curry Pasta with Mushrooms and Peppers Recipe
This vegan creamy Thai curry pasta recipe is made with simple ingredients to make a bold-flavored meal. The peppers, mushrooms, pasta and cashews offer a variety of textures that comes together beautifully for the perfect bite. Just like the mushrooms inside, it’s an easy enough dish for a weeknight meal, but festive enough to serve at a dinner party.
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil (or other oil on hand)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Thai curry paste
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (use lite coconut milk for less saturated fat)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 whole lime, wedged
- 2 cups cooked fettucine pasta
- 2 sprigs cilantro
- ½ cups cashews (chili lime flavor if available)
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once heated, add garlic and onions and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently.
- Heat pasta water with some salt.
- Turn heat to medium, add peppers and mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened. Stir in curry paste until veggies are coated. Continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, stirring frequently so the curry paste doesn’t burn to the pan.
- Add coconut milk and soy sauce. Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. While curry is simmering, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
- Add the juice of 2 lime wedges to the curry and stir. Add in pasta water a little at a time to allow curry to thicken. Add pasta and coat with curry. Serve in a bowl and top each bowl with cilantro and 2 tablespoons cashews. Serve with a lime wedge and add to taste. Enjoy!
Zesty Whipped Ricotta and Sun-dried Tomato Roasted Portabella Caps Recipe
Makes 6 Caps
This vegetarian appetizer recipe is easy and full of flavor. The Italian-inspired flavors of ricotta, olive oil, lemon, garlic and parmesan complement each other wonderfully, while the arugula offers a peppery bite. Enjoy as an appetizer for a family meal or serve at your next get-together.
- 6 portabella mushroom caps
- Spray oil
- ½ cup ricotta
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. oil from sun-dried tomato jar
- 1 lemon, zested and wedged
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups arugula
- ¼ cup julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Clean and remove gills from portobello mushrooms. Place on a lined baking sheet and spray with oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and dry any wet content from the caps.
- Prepare the ricotta in a blender. Add ricotta, 2 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, zest from ½ lemon, juice from ½ lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Blend/process until smooth.
- Add whipped ricotta mixture to roasted mushroom caps and roast for another 10 minutes.
- Top with arugula, 4-5 slices of sun-dried tomatoes for each cap, shaved parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Serve with rest of lemon wedges. Enjoy!
White Wine Mushrooms and Zucchini Toasts Recipe
Makes 4 Toasts
This vegan toast recipe is full of flavor and vegetables, but quick and easy to make. It offers a ton of fiber and fullness from the whole wheat toast to the mushrooms and zucchini. Enjoy as a weekend breakfast or weekday lunch.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped, greens and whites separated
- 1 zucchini, sliced to thin half-moons
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (white or portobello)
- ¼ cup dry white wine (pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 Roma tomatoes, flesh removed and finely diced
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and green onion whites and cook until fragrant and lightly golden, stirring frequently.
- Add mushrooms and zucchini and turn heat to medium. Stir frequently. When mushrooms and zucchini are tender, add white wine along with salt and pepper to taste. Stir then allow to cook until wine is absorbed.
- While mushrooms are cooking, toast bread to desired darkness.
- Add mushroom mixture to toasts, top with green onion greens and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. Find out more on AHealthierMichigan.org.
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