These days it seems like everywhere I turn I am hearing about Vitamin D deficiency, particularly in people who live in climates like we do here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where we don't always get a lot of sunlight. People seem to agree that there are many benefits to getting enough Vitamin D, one of them being the boost it gives to your immune system. Another thing making the nutritional news these days is that mushrooms are one of the main food sources where you can actually obtain Vitamin D.
When my husband and I returned from Victoria, we both had somehow come down with a little bit of a cold, nothing too bad but a case of the sniffles and a sore throat. That weekend I made the "Oyster Mushrooms Rockefeller" recipe featured in April's Vegetarian Times, and maybe it was a coincidence, but within 24 hours of eating it, we both were feeling remarkably better. I paired this dish with asparagus cooked my favorite way from a recipe from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, and I roasted some beets in a little balsamic and olive oil as well.
The mushroom recipe combines mushrooms and spinach, which is I think a combination that can never go wrong. When I made it, I cut the mushroom, spinach, and olive oil amounts in half and I still had a number of generous portions. The recipe calls for:
- Two 12 ounce packages of oyster mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 lbs of baby spinach
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped fennel
2 teaspoons mustard (the recipe calls for Dijon, but I only had the stone-ground with mustard seed, and so I also added a little white wine to it.)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped shallots
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 400. Spread the mushrooms along the bottom of a baking dish. Saute the spinach in two tablespoons of the olive oil until just barely wilted, (or 1 tablespoon of oil if you decided to cut the amounts in half like I did). Then spread the spinach over the mushrooms. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Spread the sauce over the spinach until well-covered. Bake for 15 minutes (I think I baked it for closer to 20 or 25), and then set oven to broil and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until golden and bubbly.
For the asparagus, you must use fresh asparagus cut into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and saute 3 cloves of minced garlic for about half a minute. Then add asparagus and saute for a few more minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus, but anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes. Then remove the pan from heat and toss the asparagus in a bowl with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
The beets I just drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and slow roasted at 350 in a pan covered with foil for something close to an hour--I can't remember for sure how long it ended up taking, but they were melt-in-your-mouth delicious once finished. The asparagus was perfect and tasted garden-fresh, and there is always something very satisfying about the chewy texture and the yummy flavor of oyster mushrooms combined with spinach. To me, this recipe is another keeper. All-in-all it was a great Sunday dinner and a terrific way to start another week.