The Faerie Queene hung her head. Her heart ached and she knew not what might mend it.
She summoned her trusty knights to her fortress deep in the forest. “Dear Sirs,” she began. “Your mission is to find a way to chase the chill from my blood.”
Sir Woe-be-Gone spoke first. “Rub a paste of mustard and lemon over your neck,” he said. “And get a good night’s sleep.”
Sir Cry-No-Tears piped up next. “Balderdash! What’s needed is a steamy tea, flavored with garlic and thin slices of onion.”
Then a sweet voice sang out above the rest. “If you don’t wish to see your wings fall off at the time of the next frost,” said the Queene’s blue-haired assistant, “You must solve this riddle: What funny-looking food mysteriously pops up in a forest glade over night? It’s not a veggie. It’s so much more!”
The crowd was stunned into silence. The Faerie Queene drooped under the prospect of another winter coming, without a cure in sight.
I know, I know,” said the Veggie Queen Jill Nussinow, author of Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. “The answer is the blue oyster mushroom. Because they are fungi, not vegetables, mushrooms contain compounds found in no other foods.”
As it turns out, the peculiar blue oyster mushrooms are nature’s answer to prescription cholesterol medications, such as Lovastatin.
“Oyster mushrooms contain compounds as effective as statins, but without harmful side effects,” says Nussinow. “And you don’t need to eat that many of them to have benefits.”
Other mushrooms have amazing health benefits, too. Shiitake mushrooms are said to be effective against breast cancer.
The Faerie Queene snapped her fingers and immediately heard a thump in her mailbox. Lo and behold, it was a gift from dietitian Diane Wilson… a large box with instructions on how to grow oyster mushrooms in your very own castle in less than 10 days! There were also recipes!
“Grow me some mushrooms,” commanded the Queene to the blue-haired one. “We’ll have the mushroom salad for dessert straight away.”
And so it happened just this way. The Faerie Queene and all her fine knights lived happily on blue oyster mushrooms forever after.
The blue-haired one’s warm mushroom, asparagus & goats cheese salad
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 pound mushrooms (oyster, king, cremini, shiitake etc)
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 5 stocks asparagus, sliced lengthwise into four, then crosswise
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 6 cups salad greens
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil (or truffle oil…)
- 1/2 cup pinenuts
- 1/2 cup crumbly goats cheese
- Fry the mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until they release their moisture and it cooks off, about 10 minutes
- Add the onion and asparagus and fry an additional 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and thyme and saute 1 minute
- In a small jar with a lid, shake the balsamic vinegar with the truffle (or walnut) oil.
- Put the washed greens in the bottom of your salad bowl. Add the warm mushroom mix. Sprinkle with the crumbly goats cheese and decorate with pine nuts. Dress with the vinaigrette. Toss and serve.
Recipe adapted from Mushrooms Canada.
Mushrooms Canada tells us how much goodness we get from this wonder food, mushrooms.
- Mushrooms are the only item in the produce section that can manufacture vitamin D.
- Research is under way on the cancer-fighting properties of mushrooms, particularly against breast and prostate cancers.
- Mushrooms have soluble and insoluble fibre to help with digestion and fight bowel problems.
- Research suggests mushrooms are great boosters of immunity from infections from bacteria and viruses.
- Mushrooms contain unique antioxidants, which keep inflammation under control and maintain your cells in top operating condition.
Grab the majic for yourself. Brighten your meals with mushrooms every day.