How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
April 2, 2017 – 4:40 pm | Comments Off on How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

I’ll be the first to confess that elaborate mushrooms scare me a bit. The otherworldliness of enokis, the meatiness of King Trumpet stalks, the sponge-like texture of Lion’s Manes.
But I’ve been served Hen of the …

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How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
April 2, 2017 – 4:40 pm | Comments Off on How to Roast Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

IMG_2717I’ll be the first to confess that elaborate mushrooms scare me a bit. The otherworldliness of enokis, the meatiness of King Trumpet stalks, the sponge-like texture of Lion’s Manes.

But I’ve been served Hen of the Woods enough at high-end restaurants to know that something delicious would await me if I could just bring myself to push past the awkwardness of our first face-to-face kitchen encounter. So I did. And I’m glad.

If the name Hen of the Woods doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps you’ve encountered this mushroom elsewhere under its Japanese name, Maitake? Maitakes get a lot of good press for their high antioxidant content, and they’ve even shown promise as a food with cancer-preventive potential.

We’re going to skate past the question of “why” to roast Hen of the Woods mushrooms, because the answer is quite obvious. In short:

  • They’re a delicious umami bomb
  • They make mundane foods like polenta, plain pasta, mashed potatoes or burgers extremely fancy
  • They’re insanely nutritious and are a part of your balanced, inflammation-taming, disease-preventing diet
  • You’re getting sick of roasting cauliflower

Now: Hen of the Woods mushrooms grow in a log-like cluster (below, top) that can be a bit intimidating. But once you approach the cluster with a knife, you can cut off little florets that have such a strong resemblance to cauliflower, that you’ll feel comfortable in no time (below, bottom).  As you take apart the mass of mushrooms into smaller florets, use your finger or a paper towel to dust off any little clusters of dirt embedded among the stalks.

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Once you have the mushroom cluster cut down into florets, the rest is a cinch. Toss the florets in olive oil to lightly coat and sprinkle with salt. Arrange on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Roast in a 425 degree oven. Check on them after 10 minutes; smaller pieces may already be crisp on the edges. Remove these from the tray and put the tray back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes to get the larger pieces a little bit crispier. Remove from oven and serve!

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School Safe, Allergen Friendly Latkes for Hannukah
December 15, 2016 – 6:13 pm | 2 Comments
School Safe, Allergen Friendly Latkes for Hannukah

This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve brought my latke-making show on the road to my children’s school, staking out a corner in their classroom to fry up a seasonal storm of potato …

Root Vegetable Gratin (Vegan)
November 19, 2016 – 7:36 am | Comments Off on Root Vegetable Gratin (Vegan)
Root Vegetable Gratin (Vegan)

While I personally follow a omnivorous diet, I nonetheless believe in making it a plant-centric one. We do Meatless Mondays in my house, and on days we do eat meat of some kind, it’s limited …

Jicama Slaw
July 19, 2016 – 11:12 am | Comments Off on Jicama Slaw
Jicama Slaw

Hello again, friends! It’s been far too long since I last posted, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been mucking around in the kitchen.  I mark the passage of time by cycles of loading and …

Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette (FODMAP friendly)
November 29, 2015 – 2:23 pm | One Comment
Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette (FODMAP friendly)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I completely overdid it this past Thanksgiving weekend.
I’m in serious reining it in mode, and have committed to low carb, vegetably dinners for this coming week– …

Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Bites
January 6, 2015 – 12:10 pm | Comments Off on Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Bites
Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon Bites

Here’s a cute little appetizer recipe inspired by the 52 New Foods Challenge, my new year’s resolution to try one new food with my family each week in 2015.
While I’ve loved beets for ages, …

How to Eat a Pomegranate
November 4, 2014 – 7:51 pm | 3 Comments
How to Eat a Pomegranate

Some foods are just plain intimidating, and I’ve historically counted whole pomegranates among them.
Unlike other fruits, whose edible flesh lies directly under the skin, a pomegranate’s edible part is actually the hundreds of little juice-filled …