Lion’s mane mushrooms are large, white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow. This mushroom is popular in vegan and vegetarian recipes. It is absolutely delicious and provides an amazing hearty and firm texture, very similar to crab. It is mild in flavor and is an excellent vehicle to take on different flavors. Many describe their taste as “seafood-like,” often comparing it to crab or lobster. We source ours from Flat#12 Mushrooms in Buffalo.
These mushrooms have both culinary and medical uses in Asian countries like China, India, Japan and Korea. Lion’s mane mushrooms contain bioactive substances that have beneficial effects on the body, especially the brain, heart and gut. Thoroughly heating them softens the mushroom, releasing the nutrients and medicinal compounds.
9 Health Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom:
Storage & Preparation
Lion's mane mushrooms will last up to a week if properly stored and cared for, and they really aren't that finicky. Just keep them away from water—do not wash them until you are ready to eat them, if at all—and store them in your fridge away from the direct flow of cold air. (The crisper drawer will do just fine.) Brush off any dirt or black bits on the "fur" of the mushroom. Remove the "foot", where it was attached to the tree (it resembles the stalk of a cauliflower). Cut the mushroom into 1/2 inch steaks or as best you can, uniformly.
The furry fronds will go from soft to crispy and soak up all that butter. So satisfying as a side dish or served warm on top of salad.
Vegetarian "Crab" Cakes
The words base, foundation, and humble beginnings are all terms used to describe mirepoix. Pronounced meer-PWAH, this simple, yet essential flavor base was named in the 18th-century after the duke, Charles Pierre Gaston François de Lévis, or Duc de Mirepoix, a French general and diplomat. It is said that his chef de cuisine named this seasoning base after his patron- the Duke.
Many chefs consider mirepoix to be the key ingredient for adding that extra umph to a dish. It’s the secret sauce; the essential ingredient; the reason your food tastes so good. Mirepoix plays an important role in flavoring soups, stews, casseroles, braised meats, and marinades.
How to make mirepoix:
To make this mirepoix recipe you’ll need two parts onion, one part carrot, and one part celery plus olive oil.
While this winter vegetable may look like a magical mandrake from a Harry Potter film, it carries familiar traits of potatoes and celery. Celeriac’s texture is comparable to that of a potato. However, it low in carbohydrates and can be eaten raw. Served raw, this vegetable is crunchy and presents a mild celery flavor with a hint of parsley. Roasting develops a subtle earthy, sweetness. Celeriac can also be boiled, broiled, steamed, sautéed, deep fried. You will enjoy preparing this vegetable in a variety of ways.
Storage & Preparation
Trim any greenery and root ends and store unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper. Scrub thoroughly with a stiff bristle brush under cold running water. To peel this root vegetable cut the top and bottom off and set I flat on a cutting board. Peel the hard brown skin and dunk in lemon water immediately to prevent any discoloration from oxidation.
To get the most nutritional value out of this vegetable, consume it raw. A single serving of celeriac contains 80% of the Daily Value of vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, heart health and bone health. Additionally, celeriac contains abundant antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Vitamin C is especially important during winter to keep your immune system strong.
Heart of Gold Squash is an early winter squash that is hybrid variety of Sweet Dumpling and Acorn. The skin is cream with green vertical stripes with an acorn shape and a delicately sweet flavor. This squash can be used in recipes that call for acorn squash.
Squash is a micronutrient powerhouse. While low in fat and calories they are high in fat-soluble beta carotene, calcium, potassium, folate, magnesium and more. Calcium is crucial for proper heart, bone, muscle and nerve function. Squash is rich in carbohydrates, your body and brain’s preferred source of energy. Folate assists with the conversion of squash’s carbohydrates into energy. There are a dozen carotenoids in winter squash varieties that all present different health benefits.
Storage & Preparation
This squash can be stored up to 6 months if kept in a cool and dry place. The longer the squash is stored the sweeter it becomes. The skin of this squash can be peeled off using a vegetable peeler. Halve and scoop out the seeds, which can be roasted with oil and seasoning for a fiber packed snack.
Squash & Apple Baked Oatmeal
Acorn Squash Gnocchi
Did you know there are multiple types of broccoli? Oh yes, there’s a whole world of this deep green veggie. Including broccolini, featured in this week's Farm and Family boxes, there are as many as 27 different varieties. These Old World cabbage relatives can be sown in early spring, midsummer, or even late fall.
It is best to store broccoli, in any of it's forms, in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's vegetable drawer. Remove as much air as possible from the bag. Some varieties will last longer than others.
Think broccoli but on thinner, more tender stalks with smaller heads and a sweeter taste. It’s a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. You might also compare its appearance to asparagus. Invented in 1993, broccolini was first grown under the name “Asparation” because of its asparagus-flavor undertones. But then some genius was like “that is a truly horrible name for a vegetable” and decided to market it as “broccolini” in the United States instead.
Broccolini is basically broccoli’s lazier — and arguably tastier — cousin. Because there’s almost no prep involved, it can be on the table in next to no time. The best way to prepare it is also the simplest: Toss it in a hot pan with olive oil and lots of garlic until it’s vibrantly green and tender. Try this recipe for Easy 10-minute Garlic Broccolini.
Sprouting broccoli is grown for its long, tender shoots, which are prepared in the same way as asparagus, or used in stir-fries. Serve the florets with leaves and stems attached, as all are quite tender. Also, don’t be surprised when the purple turns to green during cooking!
Broccoli has bigger, rounder florets and heads than broccolini, which is defined by its thinner stems and smaller heads. It is an incredibly nutritious vegetable, full of Vitamin C and other good nutrients. If you find yourself avoiding fresh broccoli because you’re worried it will go bad before you can get to it, steam until bright green and freeze in Ziploc bags for later. Frozen broccoli is great for bulking up a skillet meal, pairing with protein in a stir-fry, or adding to soup in a flash. Did you know you can even roast broccoli straight from the freezer?
Creative Cooking Ideas
Also known as Roman cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli has a gorgeous texture like sea coral. It’s no surprise that this kind has an equally interesting flavor, best described as “nutty.” What a conversation piece for both the veggie garden and the dinner table!
Like broccoli, Romanesco can be eaten raw, but also holds up well under various cooking methods like stir frying or roasting in an oven. As the florets heat up, they can become surprisingly sweet, making Romanesco a perfect addition to curries and other spicy dishes. Romanesco also goes very well with pasta. Keep it simple with a hard, aged cheese and olive oil.