bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms

The strong bacon-y (seriously can’t think of another adjective right now…) flavor of the bacon is complemented by the mild sweetness of the enoki mushrooms in this crowd-pleasing (unless your guests are vegans) appetizer!

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Ingredients:

  • Enoki mushrooms, washed and stemmed
  • Bacon slices, halved
  • Soy sauce, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Separate the enoki mushrooms into small bundles and tightly wrap each bundle, starting at the base, with half a bacon slice. Lay each bundle on a baking sheet, leaving an inch between each one. Drizzle the tips of the enoki mushrooms with soy sauce and transfer to the oven. Bake until the bacon is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

 

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spinach & mushroom quinoa

So when did Meatless Mondays become a thing? I’ve heard of it, and occasionally practiced it, but I never really knew where it originated from. Until today. After a quick research online, I’ve learned that Meatless Mondays was launched in 2003 by The Monday Campaigns; the non-profit group that is also credited with several other Healthy Monday initiatives such as Move It Monday – how cute! Anyway, as found on their website, the goal of Meatless Mondays is “to reduce meat consumption by 15% for our personal health and the health of the planet.” I can stand behind that!

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Ingredients:

  • tricolor quinoa
  • spinach
  • cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • shallot, finely diced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • lemon, for juice (optional)
  • parmesan cheese, for grating (optional)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa and cook in a pot over the stove, 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, by bringing the water to a boil and then lowering to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the excess water has evaporated and the germs (the nutrient packed little white rings) are visible.
  2. When the quinoa is almost done cooking, start sweating the finely diced shallots in olive oil until translucent in a large pan.
  3. Add the cremini mushroom slices to the pan with the shallots, without overcrowding, and saute until browned. Turn off the heat.
  4. By now the quinoa should be done. Drop a large handful of spinach in a layer over the cooked mushrooms before scooping the cooked quinoa out of the pot and into the pan over the spinach. The residual heat from the mushrooms and the quinoa should wilt the spinach.
  5. Toss everything in the pan together, seasoning to taste with salt and an optional squeeze of lemon juice.
  6. I also grated in some parmesan cheese, but that’s just a personal preference. Feel free to tinker with the recipe as you wish!

bok choy & shiitake duo

Inspired by Jeong Kwan in the first episode of Chef’s Table Season 3, I tried my hand at cooking shiitake mushrooms that taste better than meat using the two ingredients she suggests: soy sauce and sesame oil. The end result was definitely good, but better than meat? Unfortunately I cannot make that claim. Maybe I should have fried the mushrooms a bit before poaching? Next time. For now though, this recipe will give you shiitake mushrooms that are delicious and certainly better than some meat dishes out there! I paired the shiitake with a head of bok choy to lighten up the plate from the earthy flavors of the mushrooms. I hope you enjoy the duo!

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Ingredients:

  • bok choy
  • shiitake mushrooms (optional, decorative cuts on top – can also just make an “X” cut)
  • salt
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Get a small pot of lightly salted water boiling for the bok choy. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat until it is just simmering and add in the bok choy. Let the bok choy simmer until it reaches your desired texture before removing from the water.
  2. In a large enough pan, lay the shiitake mushrooms top side down in sesame oil over medium-low heat. After about a minute, add in the soy sauce. You want the ratio to be about 1:5 of sesame oil to soy sauce. When the top changes to a darker color, flip each of the shiitake, turn up the heat a bit, and cook until done.
  3. Remove the shiitake from the pan and reduce the soy sauce & sesame oil mixture until the sauce thickens.
  4. Plate any way you desire being sure to include some of the sauce with the mushrooms!