Tag Archives | shitake mushrooms

Shitake Miso Gravy with Rutabaga Purée

Shitake Miso Gravy & Rutabaga Purée

Here’s a tip: you don’t need flour to make gravy. I discovered this when I first started dating my now husband who is (and apparently always has been, even in past lives) gluten-free. Personally, I might have said ‘hey Wes, don’t eat the gravy’ but instead when we went to my parent’s house for dinner, my Mom would make a gluten-free version of that and EVERYTHING ELSE and the rest of the family would avoid it.

Shitake Miso Gravy & Rutabaga Purée

Eventually, as I started cooking for nutritionally-minded clients, this early incarnation of my Mom’s g-free gravy got me thinking (I also started to understand the inflammatory effects of gluten). She would use rice or potato flour in place of the wheat flour and it tasted pretty much the same (My Mom was the best cook). From a whole food perspective, wouldn’t it be better to just use some fresh potato as thickener? Or even better, other flavourful, starchy vegetables?

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Mineral-rich Vegetable Broth (and Miso Soup)

The recipe I am sharing with you this week is almost always in my freezer, my clients’ freezers and simmering in my slow cooker. It is not always exactly the same, depending on what I have on hand and what I am using it for, but it is always filled with vitamins and minerals, easy to consume and very diverse.

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It is a vegetable stock, but even better. It’s made with lots of mineral-rich sea vegetables, the aromatic and powerful members of the allium family (onions, leek, garlic), the anti-inflammatory rhizome dream team (ginger and turmeric), immune-boosting shitake mushroom stems (you know, the part we sometimes throw out…), and of course, lots of clean, hydrating water.

I might be making this up, but I feel like ‘stock’ is a base to be made into something else (soup, sauce, stew) whereas ‘broth’ can be enjoyed as it is. This recipe can be both. On its own, with the help of a pinch of salt (and some turmeric –activating black pepper), it is a clean, flavourful, hydrating way to sip your nutrients. Especially when you might be going through a time when eating food and drinking water is not your favourite thing to do.

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Stuffed Grapevine Leaves

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This tail-end of the summer business really appeals to me. It’s this in-between summer and fall time when we seem to get the best of both worlds. Sweaters with shorts, jeans with t-shirts, less squinting while on the computer, fewer terrible runs, going to bed at 10pm without feeling nerdy (because it’s actually dark outside), I love it all. Equally great, the subtle shifts in food; soup is back, the tomatoes are still here, apples are crisp and juicy, warm breakfasts, and it’s no longer a sweat-based decision whether or not to turn your oven on.

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Cozying right into ‘pre-fall’, my oven is back in action and I’m making one of my favourite things. Just like this special time of year, this dish reminds me of my Mom, and embraces both really good tomatoes and the (slightly) cooler weather.

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Sprouted Lentil Hummus

Every time the little tails start to grow out of the sides of soaked beans, I am amazed. Each time, I think it might not happen, but somehow, miraculously, it always does. How can something that is so dry and sold in the bulk section, actually come to life and turn into an enzyme-rich vegetable? So cool.

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Although it takes a little more planning, soaking and sprouting your legumes (chick peas, lentils, black beans, mung beans etc.) is more than worthwhile. You can eat them raw, once sprouted, or simmer them the same way you would have after soaking, but they will require less time. There are several benefits to sprouting your legumes before cooking them: they will retain more enzymes and therefore be easier to digest (ahem, less gas), increased protein and lower glycemic -all good things for cancer crushers and the average Joe who is focused on prevention.

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Adding a piece of kombu to the legume’s cooking water while cooking (in this case, beluga lentils) will also help with digestion (prevent gas) while adding its sea vegetable super powers.

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