3 Ways to Use Mushrooms in Meatless Recipes
Mushrooms are absolutely one of the most versatile ingredients you can use when you’re looking for meatless meal inspiration. We are so fortunate to live in Kennett Square, where there are many local farms like Honeymoon Farm, that offer a wide variety of fresh mushrooms that we can pick up at our local farmers market.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and my wife, Kara, and I have been working to highlight meatless meal options, as studies show that reducing your meat consumption (particularly red meat and processed meats) reduces your risk of developing colorectal cancer. The meals detailed below (with links!) represent three approaches to using mushrooms -1. front and center mushrooms, 2. undercover mushrooms, and 3. meat imposter mushrooms (that even fooled one of my toughest critics).
Mushrooms Front and Center:
Gochujang Mushroom Bowls
Recipe from Budget Bytes
The spicy, meaty depth of gochujang sauce is highlighted in this recipe, along with whatever mushroom you choose to include. This recipe calls for sliced portobellos, but we love to use a mix of sliced baby bellas, shiitakes, and oyster mushrooms for a variety of textures.
What is gochujang, you might ask… it is a spicy Korean chile paste (move over, sriracha!) and is used in this recipe as the main ingredient in the marinade for the mushrooms.
I encourage you to make this one “by the book” - with the pickled cucumbers and rice. The spiciness and meatiness of the gochujang marinated mushrooms offers a delicious balance with the refreshing taste and crisp texture of the pickled cucumbers. The rice makes the meal filling and substantial.
If pickled cucumbers are not your style, we also love sauteeing the gochujang marinated mushrooms with some onions and use it as a filling in a wrap.
If you’re a fan of spicy, Asian-influenced flavors, this recipe will be a staple in your household. With so many options for both lunch and dinner (and leftovers!), you’ll find yourself making this one over and over.
Recipe adapted from Elavegan
Your home might look just like ours - two people who love mushrooms (and will put them in anything), one person who likes them conditionally, and two that don’t like them at all.
If this sounds like your family - this recipe is for you, for the conditional mushroom eater, and for the mushroom “haters.” Our modification of this vegan lasagna recipe is eaten by our ENTIRE family. So, what modifications do we make to knock this one out of the park.
First of all, this recipe calls for canned mushrooms…..ummm, what? Don’t do it!
Instead, find some Medina Mushrooms from Honeymoon Farm at your local farmers market.
For this recipe, we use baby bellas, white buttons, or a combination of both when we order online or shop in person at the Kennett Square Farmers Market. Both of these mushrooms get diced up nice and fine (they hide easier in the hummus layer of the lasagna).
Instead of making this recipe as roll-ups, we always make it in the traditional layers, with sauce on the bottom, followed by noodles, sauce, hummus mixture, and repeat). We use the vegan cheese sauce recipe linked above as the very top layer (if you’re going the 100% vegan route), or if you’d like, top it with some shredded mozzarella cheese.
Meat Imposter Mushrooms:
Lion’s Mane Crab Cakes
Recipe from Aubrey’s Kitchen
If you’ve never seen a Lion’s Mane mushroom… be ready, because this mushroom looks like something you’d find on the top of a tree in a Dr. Seuss book. These hairy puff ball-like mushrooms look like the last thing you could use to make a convincing crab cake substitute.
I’ll be honest, as a Maryland native (eastern shore, nonetheless), even attempting this recipe seemed sacrilegious. But one fateful Sunday, sitting on the kitchen island, staring me down, the mushrooms themselves seemed to challenge me to try out this recipe.
While that was the only time we have made them (so far), they turned out well, and actually fooled a renowned crab cake expert (my mother) when I sent her a picture of the finished product. This recipe is on our list to try again and improve upon - the challenge you will find is getting them to hold together! This recipe really highlights how versatile, delicious, and cool mushrooms can be to cook with.
These three recipes offer three different flavors, and three distinct ways that you can add mushrooms into your diet (and reduce your meat consumption, too). They are so versatile, so delicious, and so good for you (there are too many benefits to go into here - that’s for another blog post).
Head out to your local farmer’s market this week in search of mushroom inspiration, and keep an eye out for Medina Mushrooms from Honeymoon Farm!
Kris and Kara Gibbons of KSquared Health Coaching work with couples and families to spark changes to improve their emotions around food, realize the benefits of regular exercise, and strengthen their feeling of self-worth in all areas of their lives. You can learn more about them on their website (www.ksquaredhealthcoaching.com), or by following them on Facebook and Instagram.