Let’s talk about mushrooms. Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan. In fact, I used to despise mushrooms. Now that I have committed to a vegan meal plan, however, I’m trying to get better at sneaking them into my diet. After all, mushrooms are relatively cheap and they’re an easy substitute for meat when you want to add some bulk to your meals.
Aside from being fleshy in consistency, mushrooms don’t have much in common with the animal kingdom – or plants, for that matter. Though mushrooms are commonly placed in the vegetable category for dietary recommendations, they’re not really vegetables at all. Mushrooms are the edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi. We know, it sounds gross. But many types of mushrooms are totally safe to eat and even provide some pretty impressive health benefits.
For starters, mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium. They’re also the only vegan non-fortified dietary source of vitamin D. Awesome.
Despite being light, airy and nearly weightless, mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins and are the leading source of the antioxidant selenium. Mushrooms also offer a healthy dose of potassium, copper, and beta-glucans, which have immunity-stimulating effects and contribute to resistance against allergies.
Now, on to the good stuff. We came up with a few of our favorite recipes where mushrooms play the leading role. Not a fan of fungi? I feel you. Start small by adding them to your favorite foods, like vegan pizza or stir-fry, and work your way up to the delicious vegan mushroom recipes below.
Mushrooms and Tofu in Paprika Cream over Noodles
From: Well Vegan
- 1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream
- 1 carton firm tofu, drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced about 1/3 inch thick
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mild (sweet) paprika
- 1/3 cup white wine or sherry
- 2/3 cup water or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill or tarragon
- 8 ounces short pasta, like a farfalle
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Well Vegan.
White Bean and Roasted Mushroom Soup
From: She Wears Many Hats
- 16 oz. mushrooms, halved or quartered
- 2 large sweet onions, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons pepper, divided
- 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
- 8 to 10 stems + 1 tablespoon leaves fresh thyme, divided
- 48 oz. vegetable broth
- 3 to 15 oz. cans white beans, not drained
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from She Wears Many Hats.
Cashew Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
From: Glue and Glitter
- 2 8-ounce packages button mushrooms stems removed and reserved
- 1 slice of bread, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup baby spinach, baby kale, or other tender, leafy green
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and onion powder, to taste
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Glue and Glitter.
Here are a few More Great Mushroom Recipes from Well Vegan
- Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Basil Aioli
- Tacos with Spinach, Mushroom, Potato and Caramelized Onions
- Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
- Saffron and Mushroom Barley Risotto
- Brown Rice with Tofu, Dried Mushrooms and Baby Spinach