Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, a touch of fiber, and—surprise!—some protein, mushrooms add a party of texture and flavor to meals.
Work these recipes into your weekly menu for a hearty, earthy treat.
Recipe: Porcini-Crusted Filet Mignon
4 6-ounce let mignon steaks 1 ounce dried porcini or wild mushrooms
1 1⁄2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 T freshly chopped chives
Heat oven to 450 degrees with a rack placed in the middle of the oven.
In a spice grinder or food processor, grind the mushrooms into a fine powder, and spread onto a cutting board.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper, then coat both sides of the meat with the mushrooms by pressing into the powder.
Heat oil in a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steaks 60-90 seconds per side until a crust forms.
Place the skillet in preheated oven and cook for 6-8 minutes for medium rare (time varies depending on meat thickness).
Remove steaks from oven, tent skillet with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chives.
The Nutritional Benefits of Porcini Mushrooms
Nutritional Edge: Using dried mushrooms is a clever way to ensure they don’t turn bad in your fridge. Just 1 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms contains 7 grams of protein.
Performance Benefits: The antioxidant level in porcinis is high and is believed to help reduce chronic inflammation. This mushroom variety also promotes regularity and digestive health via high fiber content.
Hot Tip: Not a red meat fan? Try chicken, pork, halibut, sea bass, or brush portobello mushrooms with olive oil and then coat with the porcini powder.
Fun Fact: Porcini mushrooms wouldn’t exist without the assistance of trees. Their fungal tissue wraps around tree roots, producing spores above ground that bear the “fruit” of the porcini.
Recipe: Braised Creminis
2 pounds cremini mushrooms, cleaned
1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
1 cup vegetable or beef stock
2 T balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled 2 sprigs each: rosemary and thyme Salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, gently stir together all ingredients except salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover, and let simmer for 5 hours. Uncover and simmer 3 hours longer. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
The Nutritional Benefits of Cremini Mushrooms
Nutritional Edge: It’s rare to find a single food that contains both carbohydrate and protein, but you may want to supplement the roughly 2g of protein per cup with a little meat or legume boost. If necessary, add whole grain carbohydrates like wild rice, and serve with a heap of veggies.
Performance Benefits: The protein found in cremini mushrooms contains an amino acid with antioxidants that fight against chronic oxidative stress. Translation: Recover faster, experience less soreness, and boost your immune system with this recipe.
Hot Tip: Utilize that slow cooker or crockpot idling in your pantry: Throw all of the recipe ingredients in, and cook on the 8-hour setting.
Fun Fact: Cremini mushrooms are simply mature white button mushrooms, or rather young and budding portabella mushrooms.