Immunity boost coconut mushroom soup

This fall my family has been amping up our intake of mushrooms in order to boost our bodies’ armor for cold and flu season.

After learning that Tufts medical researchers found that even white button mushrooms (cooked) can protect us against cold and flu, we’ve been trying out different ways to eat them.

Last night my husband made quite possibly the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. So here it is for your eating enjoyment.

This soup is dairy free, and could easlily be made vegan by substituting maple syrup for honey, and Paleo by leaving out the rice noodles. Bon appetit!

Ingredients:
1/2 oz dried mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 white sections of scallions (or a small onion, or 2 shallots), chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 medium carrot, diced
1 tablespoon dried lemongrass (I put it in a pouch I could put into soup and later retrieve, you could also use fresh)
~2 pounds fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
3-4 cups of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Braggs or soy sauce
1 tablespoon (or more) of honey
1-2 tablespoons red miso paste (could be any miso; some people use red curry paste instead)
Some paprika
Some salt
Some pepper
1/2 package uncooked rice noodles

Optional garnishes:
Lime juice
Parsley
Bean sprouts

Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for 20 minutes. Take out the mushrooms and chop, save the mushroom broth.
Heat the oil, cook and stir shallots/onions, ginger and carrot.
Turn up the heat, add the fresh and dried mushrooms, then add all the soaking liquid (mushroom broth).
Add coconut milk, veggie broth, soy sauce, honey, paprika, miso, salt, pepper and lemongrass.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Turn off heat, add rice noodles and let stand for 10 minutes.
Take out the lemongrass.

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Summer Fresh: Basil and Bulgar Salad

This recipe is always a total crowd pleaser (and won’t heat up your kitchen). As the tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers are flourishing in ours gardens and at the farmer’s markets, let’s keep it fresh! Bulgar wheat is easily found in the bulk food sections of more natural-type grocery stores. If you are cutting gluten from your diet, try quinoa instead. It is just as delicious!

Basil and Bulgur Salad

Base

1 cup fine bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
salt, to taste

A drizzle of olive oil

Topping

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. olive oil

1tbsp. red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the bulgur. Remove from the heat and cover. Let it stand about 20 minutes until wheat is tender and water is absorbed.

Place the walnuts into the food processor and puree. And the basil, garlic, and half of the lemon juice, and process until a coarse paste is formed. Add salt and olive oil  and additional lemon juice to taste. Process one more time. Combine the bulgur with the pesto and toss well. Set aside. (The bulgar/pesto combo can either be served warm or at room temperature…both equally delicious).

For the topping, combine all ingredients and toss to coat.

Divide the bulgar between bowls and top with the cucumber/tomato topping. Eat it all up! (A little secret? It’s vegan too!)

Happy Eating!

 

Stephanie is currently trying to tackle apartment gardening. So far, the leafy greens are rocking the house!

Raw Cherry-Blueberry Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream

When it is a bazillian degrees out I can’t bear to cook. So I don’t. I turn to my raw foods cookbooks (or un-cookbooks if you want to get technical) and whip up some surprisingly satisfying fresh and tasty meals all made without so much as turning on the oven or stove. The inspiration for this recipe came from a particularly steamy week in Boston a few weeks ago. Even though I was simmering in my own juices while giggling at my toddler who was sitting naked on the couch eating a popsicle, I still wanted something sinful for dessert that night. A little chop chop and zip zip of the food processor and I was done. Tasty, decadent, and nutritious (yes, no empty calories here!). It was a hit!

Raw Cherry-Blueberry Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream

Serves 8

Filling:

2 pounds (about 8 cups) cherries (pitted and chopped) and blueberries (any ratio of the two fruits will do…whatever makes you happy)

2 Tablespoons raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crust:

1 cup pitted dates

3/4 cup nuts (I like a combo of walnuts and almonds)

1/3 cup chia seeds*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

*if you don’t have chia seeds on hand, add 1/4 cup more nuts

To make the filling, combine the cherries, blueberries, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix well to coat. Set aside. To make the crust, combine the nuts, chia seeds, salt, and spices (if using) in the food processor and pulse into coarse pieces. Add the dates and process until mixed well. If you are using one, large serving dish, sprinkle half off the crust in the bottom of the dish, scoop in the fruit mixture and then top the fruit with the remaining crust. My favorite way to eat this treat? Layer it parfait-style in individual glasses and top with the Coconut whipped cream…

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 can full fat coconut milk

powdered sugar to taste

Place the unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight or for 8 hours. Put your feet up. A magical thing happens. When you open the chilled can you will find that all of the creamy coconut has risen to the top. Skim it off and place it in a bowl (add the liquid below the cream to your next smoothie). Whip the creamy coconut with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff peaks form. If you desire, add a bit of powdered sugar for increased sweetness.  A perfect way to top off your cobbler!

Enjoy!

Stephanie’s new obsession is Coconut Whipped Cream. After her daughter goes to bed, she often finds herself rummaging through the fridge for a rogue can of coconut milk she may have forgotten about and that she can subject to the mixer. Lately, she has come up snake eyes.