Seasonal Eats: Mushrooms

standard February 6, 2017 Leave a response

With a wide assortment of varieties, mushrooms are a versatile veggie staple. From the standard white button to the uniquely shaped oyster or maitake, they all provide an array of nutrients and health benefits. Easily found year round, these hearty and flavorful fungi are perfect for winter meals, lending bulk, meatiness, and depth to casseroles, stews, and pasta.


One cup of sliced white button mushrooms contains 15 calories, 2 g carbohydrates, zero fat, and 2 g protein. Yup, its tiny, but there is a bit of protein in this little, overlooked vegetable. Over 5% DV of riboflavin, niacin, copper, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus can be found in this same single cup. Mushrooms also contain thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin D, folate, and iron.


Mushrooms are particularly rich in selenium and copper, compared to other vegetables, providing antioxidant properties and aiding in red blood cell production. This allows these fungi to be beneficial in providing immunity support to the body.

While low in calories and fat, mushrooms are dense and filling, allowing them to be a terrific addition to any weight management diet. Their high nutrient content also means that for little calories, they provide a lot of health benefits.

Mushrooms are also unique in that they are the only vegetable with a significant amount of vitamin D. Most of us get vitamin D through sun exposure, which can be difficult in the dreary winter months. Vitamin D works with calcium to strengthen bones, promote bone growth, aid in immunity protection, and support brain health.


Add some mushrooms to your winter menu with these hearty and flavorful dishes:

Mushrooms, raw. USDA Food and Nutrient Database.
Vitamin D. National Institute of Health.

Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

standard November 21, 2016 3 responses


I have a lot of memories related to food. Many events and significant milestones are marked by the food involved. And then there are some food memories that are so mundane, so routine, that I remember them for their simplicity, the taste of the meal, the emotions around the occurrence, the joy in the repetition of knowing those foods would always be a part of my life.


Many foods from my childhood I have not eaten since I left home. While not necessarily “unhealthy,” they were just foods that I forgot about as I paved my way in my first kitchen out on my own. And then I got pregnant, and literally woke up in the middle of the night craving a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter. And after not purchasing bagels ever in my adult life, I found myself in the bread aisle at the grocery store the next day.

My all-time favorite food, hands-down, growing up was my mother’s tuna noodle casserole. A food on the list of many that I forgot about as I started creating and making and forming my own culinary path. And then I made a vegan dish one Thanksgiving, that while not remotely similar to tuna casserole, had a distinctive taste that reminded me of these flavors that I had enjoyed so much as a child. And then I promptly forgot about it again, never trying to make my own variation of it, until today. So, thanks to the Vegan Month of Food, we have a fairly authentic, slightly healthier variation on this classic childhood comfort food.


Vegan “Tuna” Noodle Casserole

Yield: Serves 8

Calories per serving: 435 kcal


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 c mushrooms
  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (reserve 1/4 cup)
  • 1 T kelp flakes
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 c raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 16 oz curly noodles of choice
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs or almond meal


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and saute until translucent. Remove from pan. Add mushrooms and let cook down while preparing next steps.
  2. In a food processor, combine onion mixture, salt, pepper, chickpeas + 1/4 c liquid, kelp flake, walnuts, lemon juice, tamari, parsley, and thyme until roughly chopped and combined.
  3. Drain and rinse cashews. Add to blender with water, salt, pepper, vinegar, and nutritional yeast, and blend on high until smooth. You want this to be runny.
  4. Add cashew mixture to saucepan with mushrooms. Stir to combine. Remove from heat quickly.
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions, but undercook by a few minutes. You want the noodles to be a little firm still. Add mushroom sauce and chickpea mixture to noodles and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x11 baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs or almond meal. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes, until bubbling.


Per serving: 435 calories, 59 g carbohydrate, 16 g fat, 17 g protein, 210 mg sodium, 8 g sugar



Spring Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu

standard March 16, 2016 1 response

Spring Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu | Neat & Nutritious

The cauliflower rice craze has always struck me as a little odd. Rice is our friend. Carbs are good. They give us necessary energy to function everyday. So why replace rice with cauliflower? Wouldn’t it lack the satiety, the depth of flavors and fullness that hearty brown rice provides to this classic dish. Then I finally tried it. And, oh, is it good. You can eat so much more! And it’s not mushy and bland at all. Rather, its full of depth of flavor since cauliflower soaks up all the tamari and sesame oil. You get a hearty, rich dish with less sodium, more veggies, and plenty of carb-rich goodness.

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu | Neat & Nutritious

Spring Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 213 kcal

Spring Veggie Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu

Packed with spring veggies and scrambled tofu, this version of traditional fried rice is packed with flavor, without the heaviness of rice.


  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 T coconut oil, divided
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 c broccoli, diced
  • 1 c mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 c snap peas, diced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, diced in small florets
  • 1/4 c tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T green onion (optional)
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 T peanuts (optional)


  1. Open tofu package, drain liquid, and pat tofu dry. Slice into 8 equal slices and lay flat on a paper towel on a cutting board. Place another paper towel and cutting board on top of tofu. Stack a handful of heavy cookbooks on top and press for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/2 T oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Crumble tofu and stir frequently to heat through. Add turmeric and nutritional yeast and combine. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.
  3. Add remaining oil to pan. Add broccoli, carrots, and peas and quick stir fry until just cooked but still firm.
  4. Process cauliflower in food processor until it becomes consistency of rice. Add to hot skillet with veggies.
  5. Add tamari and stir to combine. Saute on low until cauliflower is just tender.
  6. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil, and (optional) green onion, cilantro, and peanuts. Serve hot.


Per serving: 213 kcal, 23 g carbs, 6 g fat, 19 g protein, 766 mg sodium, 8 g sugar

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Scrambled Tofu | Neat & Nutritious