Eating local can be tricky in the winter but mushrooms can be grown inside this time of year and will make a welcome savory meal! This week, I had a chance to talk with Sarah and Chris at Asheville Fungii. Chris’s store is located in the heart of West Asheville at 16 Allen Street and opened in early 2012. Inside you will find a lot of fun things including books on growing and using mushrooms, ready to take home varieties of all type of gourmet mushrooms to cook and all kinds of things needed to grow your own! There is even a mushroom room where the mushrooms are grown which include a wider variety of lesser seen edible mushrooms and some used for a healthy tea or tincture. There are even classes, foraging walks and tinctures offered.  I brought home two varieties of oyster mushrooms, the King Trumpet and pearl oyster to make two delicious recipes to share with you!

I learned so many interesting things during my visit and exploring the Asheville Fungi new website! Did you know that each type of mushroom likes to grow on its unique variety of tree log? I did not know about that! I thought all of them liked growing on oak logs like my neighbor’s shitake logs!

Mushrooms are a nutritious, rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, copper, iron, choline, selenium and phosphorus. They are also high in fiber and low in calories. Some of their healing properties include boosting the immune system and protecting the body from inflammation. They also may have some other anti-cancer properties. Some of the fiber in mushrooms can also give us the feeling of fullness.

The next task that I had was what to make something that truly highlighted the lovely mushrooms! The King Trumpet mushroom on the left and the Pearl Oyster on the right.I hope that the Mushroom and Tempeh Lo Mein and the Roasted King Trumpet, Potato, Squash and Pepper over Grits makes the perfect choices!

Make a savory lo mein using oyster mushrooms and tempeh!

Make a savory lo mein using oyster mushrooms and tempeh!

Mushroom and Tempeh Lo Mein

This lo mein will entice picky eaters to eat their mushrooms and tempeh! 6-8 servings.I l used the Smiling Hara tempeh which is local here but available now online!

  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 pound whole grain spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 4 cups pearl oyster mushroom caps sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  •  2 cups carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, stemmed and chopped
  • 2-8 ounce packages of tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Stem the oyster mushroom, peel and julienne the carrot, slice the onions, and mince the garlic. Cube the tempeh. Mix chili paste, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey and use this marinade for the tempeh. Marinate in a glass pie plate about 15 minutes turning once. Drain the marinade off and set aside. In an iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add tempeh. Cook until it is browned on both sides (you may need to add a little more oil). Drain well on a plate lined with a paper towel. Heat water in  a pasta pot and cook the pasta according to directions. Rinse and drain. Heat a wok or a large skillet and add the other tablespoon of oil. Saute the onion and carrot until the onions begin to get translucent. Add the mushroom and cook until they begin to brown and get soft. Add the kale until it gets soft. Toss in the noodles and the leftover marinade. Heat through.

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Roasted King Trumpet, Potato, Squash and Pepper Over Grits

This recipe is a variation from my Farm Fresh Nutrition book which uses King Trumpet, pumpkin and walnut instead of shitakes, rosemary and butternut squash with pecans. Makes 6 servings.

  • 1 1/2 cup small potatoes, diced into one inch cubes
  • 2 cups pumpkin, seeded, peeled and chopped into one inch cubes
  • 1 medium, red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups King Trumpet oyster mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoon of pecans
  • 2 tablespoon local goat cheese
  • grits
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place pumpkin and potatoes on a cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes, then add onions and roast 10 more minutes. Next add bell pepper and mushrooms and roast 5 more minutes. Lastly, add garlic walnuts and thyme roasting until vegetables are crisp and onions are caramelized and garlic is just beginning to brown. Place roasted vegetables over grits and top with walnuts and goat cheese.

To cook grits:

Heat 2 1/2 cups water to boiling. Add 1/2 cups, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1-2 tablespoon butter. Stir well, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes until done.

My family loved the recipes and I am excited to share them with you and hope you give these mushroom varieties of oysters a try! Check out Asheville Fungi and grow your own mushrooms this winter! You can find more tasty recipes in the recipe section of the Vine Ripe Nutrition website and other blog posts also! Farm Fresh Nutrition Farm Fresh Nutrition is my book on local food and health and it includes over 60 tasty recipes. As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love to help others how to stay healthy with the foods that they eat. You can read more about me here..

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