2017-01-22 / Food


Special to the Journal Tribune

I love mushrooms!  It’s true, I might have an addiction to them.  I already eat them 3-5 times a week and if I I could I would eat them multiple times a day. Now I know there are some haters out there, but maybe if you tried mushrooms a few different ways and you learned their health benefits, maybe, just maybe, I can convince you of their amazingness.  

This summer I am starting my first mushroom growing area, we live on 7 acres of woods and I can think of many prime areas to grow them.  Mushrooms like darker, damp areas, and the woods of Maine are great spots.  If you are a beginner, oyster mushrooms are the easiest to grow; you can even buy a kit and grow them on your counter.  

Mushrooms have many health benefits.  From helping to fight cancer (they contain selenium, antioxidants and vitamin D), to fighting diabetes, to helping with heart health, boosting immunity, and weight management, mushrooms are loaded with minerals, nutrients and health benefits.  They are filled with fiber, potassium, and B vitamins; all packed into that small little fungi.  

I enjoy eating mushrooms many ways.  You can sauté them up and add them to salads, baked potatoes, fish, or your favorite dish.  They go well into dips or casseroles,  or even just plain.  

Roasted Portobellos with Kale and Red Onion 

(serves 2)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. honey

4 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped and 2 thinly sliced

2 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

4 portabello mushrooms

stems removed

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

pinch of red-pepper flakes

6 cups thinly sliced kale.

Combine vinegar, honey, chopped garlic, and 1 tbsp. oil in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange mushrooms in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with vinaigrette, cover, and marinate, turning occasionally, at room temp for at least 30 min (or overnight in the fridge).  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, roast mushrooms flipping once, until tender, about 30 minutes (make rice during this time).

Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add red onions, sliced garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Cook stirring, until onion is softened, about five minutes.  Add kale and season with salt.  Cook, covered, until bright green and tender, tossing once or twice in about 4 minutes.

Top roasted mushrooms with kale mixture, sprinkle with more re-pepper flakes, and serve immediately over rice.

Mushroom Stroganoff

(double for leftovers)

½ cup roasted unsalted cashews

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

¾ tsp sea salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp unsalted tomato paste

1 tsp ground caraway

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

2 tsp paprika

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh dill, divided

8 oz whole-grain bow-tie pasta (can use gluten free pasta from trader joes is great)


In a blender, combine cashews, lemon juice and ½ cup hot (not boiling) water. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides. Set aside. In a large skillet on medium, 

heat oil. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and salt and sauté until liquid is evaporated and mushrooms begin 

to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 

about 45 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low; 

stir in tomato paste and caraway. Cook, stirring constantly, for 

1 minute. Add wine; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add broth, paprika and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cashew mixture and 3 tbsp dill; heat through. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente according to package instructions. Drain and divide among plates. Top with mushroom mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp dill.

I hope you will give mushrooms a chance! 

Until next time…keep on getting fit for life!

Dana Johnson is a local health coach with a practice on Main Street in Biddeford. She also runs a local beach exercise boot camp. For more information visit www.biddefordsacobootcamp.com.

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