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toast-and-jam

Breakfast in Britain

Breakfast in Britain is a bit of a brain twist for Americans. They serve beans (pretty much like the pork n’ beans in a can we know from home) and mushrooms, cooked tomatoes, along with bacon, ham or sausage, or sometimes all three if you get the big breakfast, eggs of your choice and toast, brown or white.

Poached eggs on toast with a mushroom

Granted, eggs and meat are quite familiar in the USA, it’s the beans, mushrooms and tomatoes that throw us. There is also tea or coffee, of course.

Tea cup made in Worcester with Wittard’s English Rose Tea

And sometimes, even a great view!

View from County Arms, Truro, Cornwall

Since I have grown used to my green super smoothies at home, I have readjusted my breakfast thinking when I am traveling. Mushrooms are a super food, so I love that I can have them for breakfast and I quite like eggs, so I have them either poached or boiled, but occasionally fried. I was really impressed one evening at Three Tuns pub, Hay-on-Wye, Wales, when I also had a mushroom risotto with a breaded poached egg on top. Now that was delicious.

Three Tuns Pub Mixed Olive & Fennel Risotto, Creme Fraiche, Deep Fried Poached Egg, Pecorino Crackling

I have had more toast here than a year of breakfasts at home, but the jams are so delicious, it’s hard to pass up, even when making breakfast in my flat. I passed an honor jar jam sale on the street one day and paid 2 pounds, a steal compared to other jams I’ve seen, (or bought) for Ed’s Forest Fruits, which my friend Rachel tells me would be blackberries and currants.

Ed’s Forest Fruits bought at an honor jar table on street
Scrumptious Strawberry and Rose Jam from the Old Stables Tea House, Hay on Wye, Wales

Whatever it is, the fruit is big and chunky and super delicious and so I’ve had toast on more than several occasions. However, for breakfast, most days in my flat, even though there is a blender and I could make a smoothie, I have taken to having salad,

Salad for breakfast? Yes!

sweet potato and fruit.

Delicious for breakfast with a small pat of organic butter

Now that is a breakfast to write home about! Fills me up and tastes great. I am definitely adding mushrooms to the mix when I get home and I may never go back to the smoothie. What?? That’s right, as great as they are, why not have all that yumminess in it’s natural state? We will see, but for now…please pass the jam!

If you like this post, please share, and don’t forget to say what YOU are having for breakfast these days!

 

caramelized mushrooms and shallots

Friday Foodie: Savory Mushrooms and Shallots

 

 

 

 

I love mushrooms, especially in recipes that bring out their meaty goodness. This is just such a recipe. Though this would serve four as a side dish, we divided it into two servings and ate as our main dish alongside a hearty salad. Delicious!

I used a 10 ounce bag of white button mushrooms and a 10 ounce bag of baby bellas.

mushrooms

2 Tbs. of grated ginger and 4 cloves of crushed garlic

ginger and garlic

2 Tbs. sesame oil and 3 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce or you could use tamari

soy and sesame

2 shallots cut into 1/4 inch slices (I would use at least 2 or 3 more shallots next time)

mushrooms with shallots

Toss the mushrooms and shallots in the sauce

mushrooms tossed in sauce

Bake at 400 for 30 mins. Stir half way through

Caramelized deliciousness!

caramelized mushrooms and shallots

Serve with a favorite salad. This is a variation of my favorite salad.

salad of choice

For a simple dressing, sprinkle with a high quality balsamic.

This was an easy meal to prepare after a long day at work. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Friday Foodie: Savory Mushrooms and Shallots
Author: 
Recipe type: Main dish or side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
This caramelized mushrooms and shallots dish makes a great main course for two or a side dish for four.
Ingredients
  • 10 ounce bag white button mushrooms
  • 10 ounce bag baby bella mushrooms
  • (Or any combination of mushrooms resulting in 20 ounces to 1½ pounds)
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 Tbs. grated ginger root
  • 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce or tamari sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place mushrooms and sliced shallots in large bowl
  3. Grate ginger
  4. Crush garlic cloves
  5. Place in small bowl and add soy sauce and sesame oil
  6. Pour sauce over mushrooms and shallots
  7. Mix until evenly coated
  8. Spread onto baking sheet
  9. Bake for 30 mins, stirring after 15 minutes
  10. May be eaten hot or at room temperature

 

Friday Foodie: Incredible Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti sauce

This is my much loved meatless spaghetti sauce. This recipe is full of veggies, which makes for a super hearty, rich sauce. You can adjust this recipe with more or less veggies. To make it saucier, add another can of tomatoes. Add more spice as you desire. Extra Oregano would be super! I also love garlic, so I usually up the garlic depending on the size of the cloves. Chopping the cauliflower finely will keep anyone from knowing it’s there, if you have picky eaters.  In the above picture you can see the bay leaves there on the top. Those come out before serving. Just dig around with your spoon and you’ll find them. If you don’t find them all, just warn people ahead of time, but generally when you start serving up plates any lost leave will present itself. This makes enough for a family of four to have three or four meals. Store in quart size containers in your freezer and pull out to defrost for a quick evening meal. You can also use this as a pizza sauce.

3 large onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 ½ pounds of mushrooms, sliced (I prefer baby Bella’s’, but white buttons are fine)

3 zucchini squash, grated

1 cup finely chopped cauliflower

4 large carrots, grated

3 Tbs. Italian seasoning

2 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, pick the lowest sodium and sugar content

1 28 ounce can of tomato puree or sauce, lowest sodium and sugar (Wal-Mart Great Value   Puree has no other added ingredients)

1 can tomato paste with no other ingredients listed on can

3 large bay leaves

Place a large Dutch oven or large soup pot on oven burner set to high. Once pan is hot and water drops skid across pan, add two Tbs. of water and immediately add onions. Turn heat to medium/high and sauté the onions for about three minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms  and cook until they release their juices, stirring occasionally.

Add the crushed garlic and cook one minute more. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for five minutes, until all have begun to soften.

Add the Italian seasoning and stir to coat vegetables. Cook for one more minute then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and the paste. If you wish to add salt, add about a teaspoon.  Stir all ingredients together and bring to just boiling, then turn the heat to low. Place three large bay leaves on the top of the sauce and fold them in. Cover and allow to simmer for an hour.

Friday Foodie: Incredible Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This veggie filled spaghetti sauce is a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 3
 large
 onions,
 chopped
  • 6 
cloves 
garlic,
crushed
  • 1
1⁄2 
pounds 
of
 mushrooms, 
sliced
  • 3 
zucchini 
squash,
 grated
  • 1 
cup 
finely 
chopped
 cauliflower
  • 4
l arge
 carrots,
 grated
  • 3
Tbs.
Italian
 seasoning
  • 2 
28 
ounce 
cans 
of 
diced 
tomatoes,
  • 1 
28 
ounce
 can
 of 
tomato 
puree 
or 
sauce,
  • 1 
can 
tomato 
paste 
with 
no 
other 
ingredients 
listed 
on 
can
  • 3 
large 
bay 
leaves
Instructions
  1. Place 
a 
large 
Dutch 
oven 
or 
large 
soup 
pot 
on 
oven 
burner 
set 
to 
high.
  2. Once 
pan 
is
 hot 
and 
water 
drops 
skid 
across
 pan, 
add 
two
Tbs 
of 
water 
and
immediately
 add
 onions.
  3. Turn 
heat 
to 
medium/high 
and 
sauté 
the 
onions 
for 
about 
three 
minutes,
 until 
they
begin 
to 
soften.
  4. Add
 the 
mushrooms 
and 
cook 
until
 they 
release 
their
 juices, 
stirring
 occasionally.
Add
 the 
crushed 
garlic 
and 
cook 
one 
minute 
more.
  5. Add
 the 
rest 
of 
the 
vegetables 
and
 cook 
for 
five 
minutes,
 until
 all
 have 
begun 
to
soften.
  6. Add
 the 
Italian 
seasoning 
and 
stir
 to 
coat
 vegetables.
  7. Cook 
for 
one 
more 
minute 
then
 add
 the 
tomatoes, 
tomato
 puree
 and 
the 
paste.
  8. If
 you 
wish 
to 
add
 salt,
 add 
about 
a
 teaspoon.
  9. Stir 
all
 ingredients 
together 
and
 bring 
to 
just
 boiling, 
then 
turn 
the 
heat
 to
 low.
  10. Place 
three 
large 
bay 
leaves 
on 
the 
top 
of 
the 
sauce 
and 
fold 
them 
in.
  11. Cover 
and
 allow
 to 
simmer
 for 
an 
hour.

 

TIME EFFICIENCY USING A 6 QT CROCK POT: The night before you wish to make this,  sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic as directed above. Chop and grate all remaining vegetables. Place them, all in refrigerator for the night. (If you have a crock pot with removable crock, place them in the covered crock for the night.) The next morning, add remaining ingredients, turn crock pot setting to low and come home to a ready made sauce.

Are you eating your GOMBBS?

broccoli from web

Two weeks ago, I busted my computer screen (that’s why you haven’t seen a post from me lately). I had taken my computer along on a trip and slid it into the outside pocket of my carryon. When I had to plane-side check the bag, due to the small size of the plane, I forgot to remove the computer and getting slammed around by baggage handlers, did my poor computer in. A heartbreaking moment then, to open my computer and see a screen that looked like someone had thrown a baseball through it. The weird thing on a computer though, the glass is not broken, it’s just on the inside.

We too can get “broken” on the inside if we do not take protective measures. Eating junk food may not make our outsides look bad, but the inside may be cracked and dying. But there’s a lot we can do to protect ourselves. The tip I want to share today is to eat your GOMBBS! Say what? GOMBBS: GREENS, ONIONS, MUSHROOMS, BEANS, BERRIES AND SEEDS. These are the super foods that can keep us healthy. They are packed full of phytonutrients, as well as both soluble and/or non-soluble fiber.  Eating a variety of these everyday, can help protect you against cancer and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). And in case you didn’t know, greens are 25% protein, so cut back on the meat which is mostly fat, and up the greens to get your daily protein intake. Eat your SUPER FOODS and protect your insides from being “broken.”

Peace and joy!