I hope your transition into spring is doing well. I created this recipe in January, but forgot to post it until now. The irony is that this recipe is lighter and is another meal that easily transitions us from the winter to the spring diet.
Mushrooms are mysterious in nature. Some are beneficial where others are poisonous. Besides being low in calories, mushrooms feature numerous health benefits. Each specie of mushroom contains their own "special healthy power." I normally use brown crimini mushrooms as they are easy to find, affordable and delicious.
One lesser known nutritional value about crimini mushrooms is that it contains CLA or conjugated linolenic acid, "a type of fatty acid that can bind onto aromatase enzymes and lessen the production of estrogen." Thus, crimini mushrooms are an important part of a woman's diet who are at risk of hormone-dependent breast cancer.
According to whfoods.com, "Since some breast cancer tumors are dependent upon estrogen for their growth, this blocking of the aromatase enzyme by the mushrooms' CLA may lower risk of this breast cancer type. The presence of CLA in mushrooms is fascinating, because we typically expect to find this type of fatty acid exclusively in animal foods like milk, cheese, and meats."
Cancer is something that every-body should be concerned about. In fact, the human body is so resilient that I can't believe we all don't have cancer due to the exposure we have to chemicals from our food to our air. The American Cancer Society notes that there will be over 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2017.
If you know anyone who has breast cancer, tell them to research the effects of mushrooms and CLA. Happy eating!
Vegan Mushroom + Kale Ragout served with Creamy Polenta
Cook Time: 30 minutes
5 cups of crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup veggie broth
2 sprigs od fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: 1 tsp vegan butter
1 cup of corn meal
4 cups water
1 cup almond milk
optional: 1-4 tbsp vegan butter
salt + pepper to taste
Bring the liquid to a boil in a pot. Gradually, add the corn meal, continuously mixing. Lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to stir the polenta, scraping the sides of the pot, until edible (approximately 30 minutes). When done, add in the spices and butter. If you want a creamier taste, substitute another cup of water for almond milk.
Cook the garlic and shallot with olive oil in a pan until translucent. Next, add the mushroom and the thyme. If the mixture gets dry, add some of the broth. Cook until the mushrooms shrink. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro and butter. Cook until fragrant and flavorful. Once complete, add the cilantro and butter. Serve on top of the polenta.
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com