What happens when you pair a health-conscious, vegan mother of two who has her own diet business with a husband and children who sometimes have other ideas? This blog is a chronicle of my journey to eat and live in a life-affirming way!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Einstein, Springtime and Mushrooms

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
the other is though everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

My daughter is reading a biography of Albert Einstein right now and I came across a few quotes that really moved me. What a brilliant mathematician, scientist and inventor he was, but also was an incredibly wise human being!

I found it incredible that first he was thought of as "stupid" because he didn't speak in class and his parents were told he would not amount to anything and then later he was thrown out of a very strict school for asking too many questions!

With work and family commitments, grocery shopping, errand running, returning phone calls, going to the gym, cooking how often we just race through life and never smell the flowers?

This month I am making a personal goal to sloooooow down, realize that I don't have to get everything done perfectly all of the time, learn to say no and really take the time to take in everything around me and just enjoy being with my family and having some quiet connected time to reflect.

And, in New York City, Spring is finally in the air and it is gorgeous! Here is a picture of our window boxes that my sweet hubbie planted for us.

And, Park Avenue on my walk to pick up my daughter from school today. The tulips are absolutely gorgeous right now.

 And, when it's Spring, the art vendors come out in droves in front of the Metropolitan Museum.

 A picture of our beautiful, tree-lined street. Caroline said it looked like a canopy of snow!

Obviously, I had not had time to "reflect" yet that Spring was here so unfortunately did not have the toes pedicured for the first day of wearing sandals. Oh, well it could have been worse (much worse since I am a runner!)

Since it was such as nice day, I decided to take a trip down to the Union Square Farmers Market to visit my favorite mushroom lady to buy some delicious mushrooms to make dehydrated mushrooms and a pasta with mushrooms for the fam later. Here is her booth:

And, here are some of the delicious mushrooms all packages up and ready to go:

I decided on shitakechanterelle and oyster mushrooms.  I've always thought that mushrooms are a true miracle in nature. Basically, they are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruit of fungus that have amazing medicinal properties. Not only are they antiviral, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, combat high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and, some say, even help fend off cancer!

So, how do I use them?
Today I am going to dehydrate half of them to make a crunchy, delicious topping to put on top of salads and a pasta for me and, the other half, I am going to sautee and put ontop of pasta (a gluten-free variety for the kids and a raw variety for me!)

Here are the Dehydrated Mushrooms! Yum. I can't wait to make dinner!

Crunchy Mushroom Topping (for salads, pastas or just because!)
Fresh mushrooms (I used shitake, portobello and oyster)
Garlic (I used 2 cloves for my huge bowl but add how you wish)
Olive oil
Sea salt

Cut up mushrooms and place them in a bowl.

Dice garlic and place it in the bowl with the mushrooms along with a healthy dose of olive oil and a healthy dash of sea salt.

Place the mushrooms in your dehydrator. *** If you don't have a dehydrator don't despair! Just put the mushrooms on a cookie sheet in the oven at the lowest temperature possible (ususally this is 175 degrees) and heat with door to oven ajar.

If you are dehydrating your mushrooms, place them at 110 degrees for approximately 4 hours then turn over and dehydrate for another 4 hours. Depending on the thickness of your mushrooms this may take a bit longer. If you are cooking them in the oven, then check on them after 30 minutes or so and you will have to go by sight a bit more.

Check back tomorrow for some delicious recipes using these mushrooms!

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