Friday, December 18, 2009

King Trumpet (Mushroom) Salad

I love, love, love mushrooms. Could eat them every day. I can think of countless ways to cook them. Recently, however, I was asked a question about mushrooms I couldn't answer. What nutritional value is in a mushroom? And, if there's no nutritional value, why bother eating them? (Now why don't people think that way when introduced to non-nutritional sweets?)
So, I've been digging through my nutritional food books, plus all the latest and greatest on the internet to find out all I can about why eating mushrooms is not only a tasty thing to do, but it's a nutritionally positive thing to do.

Who knew that mushrooms were so good for you? Most are excellent sources of B vitamins, like thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, in addition to B6 and B12. If that's not enough, they're also excellent sources of many minerals, specifically selenium and phytochemicals. Those phytochemicals have some well studied characteristics. The short version is that they enhance cells in the immune systems, and are thought to protect against and fight cancer cells.

Armed with the knowledge of the nutritional powerhouse of mushrooms, I went in search of the largest mushrooms I could find, and found some lovely and very large king trumpet mushrooms. I wanted to really taste them, and thought that tasting them raw would be fun. So here's a quick and easy mushroom salad!


2 cups torn spinach leaves
1 king trumpet mushroom, sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard


Arrange spinach leaves on 2 salad plates. Top with sliced mushrooms, beans, seeds and Parmesan. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Pour dressing over salads.

Serves 2

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Sometimes foods that we don't think of as healthy, like mushrooms, can be packed with nutrition. Next time you want mushrooms on anything, enjoy them knowing that they're good for you, too!

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