Do you ever have those weekends where things just align? I love that. I particularly love when it happens with great food, when inspiration strikes and the necessary ingredients to act on it happen at the same time.
This was one of those weekends! We had some wonderful friends from Toronto visiting - two of my favorite people in the world - and had a great time sampling the many [vegan] flavors of New York. Of course, we had to take them to Hu Kitchen, Union Square's incredible paleo dining experience. [You can read about my obsession with it here.] One of their delicious quinoa bowls, topped with roasted wild mushrooms, ended up at our table and I decided I had to try to recreate it at home. Conveniently, the next morning, we found ourselves at the Upper West Side's farmers' market, stumbling upon John Madura Farm's stand chock-full of mushrooms. Clearly, this was the universe instructing that it was a perfect day for some edible fungus.
Apart from being delicious, mushrooms are a highly powerful anti-cancer food and very much in season. They contain chemicals that bind to precancerous cells, essentially 'labeling' them so the immune system can destroy them. Mushrooms also have angiogenic properties, which means they reduce the growth of blood vessels to cancerous cells and fat cells (less blood supply means less growth, less growth means fewer cancerous cells and less dangerous fat cells). Eating a mix of mushrooms is a great way to reduce risk of developing cancer - and they're a delicious addition to any meal. [Mushroom varieties include white, crimini, baby button, reishi, maitake, portobello, shiitake, morels, chanterelle -- and more, depending on how adventurous you're feeling and what season it is. Check out the link to John Madura's Farm above for some ideas on what's available in the NYC area.]
The recipe below is a re-creation of the Hu Kitchen version. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Anti-Cancer Diet and the 'GOMBS' principle, there are six key foods we should add into each day: greens, onions, mushrooms, beans + berries, and seeds. This recipe has 3 of 6 (not bad!), plus quinoa for high-intensity protein and the hazelnuts and coconut oil for healthy fats. It's flexible enough that you can throw in veggies you have on hand or a different blend of spices to your taste. Grab your chopsticks and dig in!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 tsp coconut oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms, destemmed, washed, dried, and sliced (I used shiitake, baby button, and crimini)
- 1/2 cup eggplant, sliced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cups kale, destemmed and chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 10 one-inch pieces of nori (dried seaweed)
- 2 tbsp tamari, divided
- 1 tsbp brown rice miso
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts
- 1. In two separate skillets, heat 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions + eggplant to one skillet and mushrooms to the other. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- 2. Add 1 tsp tamari to the eggplant/ onion and 1 tsp garlic powder to the mushrooms. Sautee 2 minutes more.
- 3. Remove mushrooms from heat.
- 4. Add kale to eggplant/ onion skillet, cover with lid, and let cook for 2 minutes.
- 5. Remove lid, add seaweed, and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- 6. Add remaining tamari and miso to quinoa and stir to combine. This works best if the quinoa is warm. Stir until the quinoa reaches a creamy consistency.
- 7. Layer into bowls: quinoa, veggies, mushrooms, then top with hazelnuts.