October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – so what does that have to do with mushrooms? EVERYTHING!
The Hungry Goddess is thrilled to be partnering this October with The Mushroom Council, City of Hope (a cancer research institute) and Cooking with Caitlin to highlight fantastic recipes, mushroom information, and how you can get involved this month and beyond.
The Mushroom Council supports City of Hope’s breast cancer research, treatment and education programs through annual contributions $50,000 towards studies on breast cancer and mushrooms. Mushrooms will be displayed in adorable pink tills nationwide the entire month of October in support of City of Hope’s efforts and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Researchers at City of Hope, a leading cancer institute, have linked mushrooms with cancer fighting agents that may help slow the growth of breast tumors.
Growing up in Northern Delaware on the border of Pennsylvania meant two things: we were occasionally downwind of the mushroom houses in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and we ate the freshest and most delectable mushrooms in the world ALL THE TIME. Frankly, I adore mushrooms so much that the downwind issue seemed a fair trade to me even then.The mushroom houses put out fresh mushrooms year round so they are always in season.
My appetite for mushrooms grew as I did – chanterelles, portobellos, shiitake, oyster, hen of the woods, cremini, oyster – I have not met a mushroom that I did not love. The versatility of mushrooms is legend and a dream for recipe creation – soups, salads, pate, risotto, pasta, but did you know how healthy mushrooms are?? Mushrooms offer unique health benefits (from Mushroom info):
- Mushrooms are low in sodium, plus their umami counterbalances saltiness and allows for less salt to be used in a dish, without compromising flavor.
- Mushrooms are the only fresh fruit or vegetable with vitamin D.
- Mushrooms are low in calories, fat free, and can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.
- Initial studies show compounds in mushrooms suppress the effects of aromatase, an enzyme that helps the body make estrogen. Blocking aromatase is a way physicians reduce circulating estrogen levels, which is important in addressing hormonedependent breast cancers.
- Mushrooms provide B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- Within the produce aisle, mushrooms are a leading source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps strengthen the immune system and protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. Mushrooms are one of the best dietary sources of the antioxidant ergothioneine, which is known for its role in immunity.
The reason that mushrooms taste so incredible and savory is “Umami” – the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Derived from the Japanese word umai, meaning “delicious,” umami is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation. Mushrooms are UMAMI and the darker the mushroom are, the more umami it contains.
Join Cooking with Caitlin and The Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) on Monday, October 15 at 4pm est for #FNICHAT ALL THINGS MUSHROOM – follow @CookingwCaitlin and hashtag #FNICHAT – we will be there with all of our Favorite Foodies!
Now for some Umami! The recipe that we have to share with you today is compliments of City of Hope - Asparagus & Mushroom Pasta Recipe - but we had a blast making it and eating it!
This recipe is full of fresh and great flavors and City of Hope has the copyrights.
City of Hope considers mushrooms to be a Super Food and so do we!
- 6 ounces whole wheat fettuccine or linguine
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup sliced shallots
- 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pound asparagus spears, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth
- 4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile heat oil in large deep skillet over medium heat.
- Add shallots.
- Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and asparagus.
- Cook and stir 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender.
- Add garlic during last minute of cooking.
- Sprinkle flour over vegetables.
- Cook and stir 1 minute.
- Stir in broth and simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Drain pasta and transfer to 4 plates and top with sauce, cheese and basil.
- (my addition – salt and pepper to taste)