Put Vinny’s recipe for mushroom and kasha soup in your pocket, too, and try it out on a rainy day. It’s great on cycle 2 of the 17-day diet… or on any other day!
At the same time, if you aren’t of Ukrainian or Russian descent, try out an ancient grain that might be new to you. That would be kasha.
Actually, I misspoke. Kasha, otherwise known as toasted buckwheat groats, is NOT a grain. It’s a flower bud. How lovely is that!
We eat it on Christmas Eve, when we prepare 12 traditional Ukrainian delicacies to usher in the season. But once buckwheat is in the cupboard, we use it as a side dish with stews and in cabbage rolls and other hardy foods through the winter.
Kasha is perfect for people on gluten-free diets, as well as for folks on the 17-day diet, looking for good protein content in a slo-carb complex food.
Substituting kasha for refined grains adds nutrients, flavor and texture to your meals. Ready in 15 minutes, kasha is quick-cooking and versatile.
Leslie Beck, RD, Canada’s leading nutritionist, says, “Kasha is closer to being a complete protein than other plant sources, including soybeans, since it contains all eight essential amino acids in good proportion. In particular, kasha contains significant amounts of the amino acid lysine, which makes it unique as a grain substitute, since this amino acid is typically lacking in most true grains.”
One cup of kasha gives you 20% of your daily fiber. It is also full of B vitamins and important minerals, like magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure.
Another special benefit is that kasha is high in rutin, a flavonoid that strengthens blood vessels and prevents blood clotting. Kasha is truly good for your heart!
As it’s gluten-free, it’s also suitable for people with celiac disease.
Buckwheat lasts up to 3 months in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Use kasha wherever you would use rice. It’s also great as a cereal, as a filler in ground meat, as a replacement for pasta, and as an alternate for oats in cookies and muffins. But the recipe I’m sharing here is for soup. M-M Good.
Mushroom and kasha soup
(adapted from The Shiksa In the Kitchen)
While you’re cooking up this delicious soup, perhaps you’ll want to sing. Listen to “Catch a falling star” here - tralala!
- 1/3 cup dried mushrooms, soaked in 3 cups boiling water
- about 2 tablespoons canola oil, separated
- 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock (the soup thickens if you keep it in the fridge a day or two)
- 1 cup kasha
- 6 okra, washed and sliced (optional)
- enough salt and lots of pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add 2 teaspoons oil and saute the sliced mushrooms. Let the slices brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauteed mushrooms aside.
- In the same pot, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and sauté your onions and garlic for 5 minutes until they start to brown.
- Add the last 2 teaspoons of oil and then the carrots & celery.
- While the vegetables are cooking, drain the dried mushrooms but keep the soaking liquid. Dice the mushrooms and toss them into the pot. Once the vegetables are cooked nicely, stir in the soaking liquid. Keep the gritty stuff at the bottom from getting into your soup.
- Once the mushroom stock is bubbly, add the sautéed mushrooms, stock, kasha, okra, and bay leaves. Bring everything to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the kasha is cooked through and the soup is thick. Season to taste. Garnish with grated cheese or roasted pine nuts if you like.
Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains: Calories (kcal) 286.6, fat (g) 8.6, sodium (mg) 582.1, potassium (mg) 909.3, carbohydrate (g) 43.2 (fiber (g) 6.1, sugar (g) 7.3), protein (g) 13.2, vitamin A (RAE) 245.7, vitamin C (mg) 7.6, calcium (mg) 45.3, iron (mg) 2.1, folate (DFE) 73.7.
But how does it taste? Fabulous. It may take a few times out of the gate before you get to LOVE the essence that is kasha. It tastes nothing much like rice or even oats. To me, it has a meatiness, in keeping with all the protein it packs. The unusual flavor of kasha marries well with the earthiness of mushrooms. Kasha definitely perks up with a little salt. But don’t overdo it for your heart’s sake. The Worcestershire sauce gives the soup a real kick, almost like sweet and sour soup. Keep tasting until you like the result.
To your health/Na zdorov’ya!
Kick up your heels for kasha!
- The beet goes on – beets increase your stamina in sports. Make some beetniks.
- The 17-day diet, starring Dr. Mike Morano – Vinny’s intro to this meal plan
- Why did the Roman chicken cross the road? – 17-day diet, Cycle 1: Lean protein and cleansing fruits and veggies
- Grocery List for 17-day diet– Let’s go shopping! The foods for the three cycles are color coded. Pay attention. It’s easier if you focus only on cycle 1 foods (red) while you’re still in the 17-day accelerate phase. On day 18, take a look at cycle 2 And so on. Less confusing!
- Green tea for two – Green tea is a staple on the 17-day diet
- Hummus… Pretty in Pink! – A basic slo-carb food for cycle 2 of the 17-day diet