Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon
For the love of mushrooms. Mushrooms are functional foods. They have been studied for their health benefits for centuries. You may have heard of some of the bioactive compounds found in mushrooms, which include phenolic acids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid, carotenoids and more. These fungi act as antioxidants in the body, helping to reduce damage from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
What’s this about free radicals? Free radicals are like the bad apple of the bunch. Unless you eliminate the bad apple, it will “infect” the others, turning those around it into bad apples as well. Antioxidants have the power to take out the bad apple AKA free radical, preventing it from tainting surrounding cells and causing further damage. Free radicals, when not regulated by antioxidants, can lead to oxidative damage to cells and tissues in your body. This may lead to systemic inflammation and, in turn increased risk for chronic diseases such as cancer.
Cancer and mushrooms. Mushrooms have been studied for their anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that mushrooms may have the ability to induce cancer cell apoptosis, destroying certain types of human cancer cells and exhibiting antitumoral activity.
For more on mushrooms, check out Chemical, Nutritional, and Bioactive Potential of Mushrooms by Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira, Ângela Fernandes and Sandrina A. Heleno
Sample Recipe: Mushrooms are an excellent substitute for meat in hearty dishes and can be added to almost any savory dish. Below I share a recipe inspired by Sam Linsell, but made vegan to maximize the health benefits.
Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon
(serves about 4)
4 tbsp olive oil
24 ounces baby bella (or other) mushrooms
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 Bay leaf
3 ounces (1/2 can) tomato paste
1 cup red wine (I used malbec)
2 cups veggie stock
Barley, noodles, rice, quinoa or whatever whole grain strikes your fancy. The barley really really hit the spot.
Chop your carrots, slice your mushrooms, mince that garlic. Uncork the vino.
Get your grains or pasta ready and time it right (according to the directions on the package) so it’s done and hot when the bourguignon is! Bourguignon takes 30-35 minutes roughly.
Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.
Add sliced mushrooms and cook until slightly soft, but not slimy. You may need to do this in two batches. Set aside.
In the same pan, add more olive oil. Add carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, tomato paste and wine. Stir occasionally, allowing liquid to reduce by about half.
Add veggie stock, bay leaf, as much black pepper as you’d like and the mushrooms. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
Serve atop barley or other whole grain choice.
Enjoy eating a meal that is healthy, cozy and really really delicious.