Food

Mushroom Stew with Oyster, Shiitake & Chestnut Mushrooms

As we move towards Winter Solstice here, we’re continuing to crave meals that are warming, hearty & full of grounding veggies. For us, there’s something really satisfying about cooking up a big pot of soup or stew and eating it over a few days. This mushroom stew is one of our favourite recent creations. If you’ve read the blog before you’ll know we’re pretty mad for mushrooms, whether they be the culinary or medicinal types. As well as being really delicious and full of earthy, aromatic flavours, this stew also has a lot of healing potential from mushrooms such as oyster, shiitake and maitake. These different types of mushrooms bring so much flavour to the stew and have a somewhat meat-like texture too.

You can find these varieties of mushrooms in many supermarkets these days, or they can be found at farmer’s markets or asian grocers. If for some reason these speciality mushrooms aren’t available to you, you could just use all chestnut or button mushrooms in the stew- the flavour won’t be as intense but it will still be tasty!

Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut
Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut

INGREDIENTS
3 medium onions, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
4 large bay leaves
600g of mushrooms, chopped into bitesized pieces (we used a mixture of chestnut, shiitake, oyster & maitake)
1 tablespoon of brown miso paste
1 tablespoon of tamari
2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
500ml of vegetable stock
25g of dried mushrooms (we use porcini)
250ml of oat cream (we use oatly)
200ml of oat milk (or another non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon of good quality salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

METHOD
1. Heat the vegetable stock and add the dried mushrooms, turn off the heat, cover and leave to soak.
2. In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and fry the onions and bay leaves together on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the onions are golden and beginning to caramelise.
3. Next add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add a tablespoon of water to the pan and add the paprika, cook for 30 seconds.
4. Now add all of the mushrooms to the pan and stir well, cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Strain the vegetable stock and keep the soaked dried mushrooms aside. Add the strained stock, oat cream, oat milk, miso, tamari, salt and pepper to the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes with a lid on until the mushrooms are cooked but retain some bite and texture. Turn off the heat.
6. To a blender or small food processor, add the soaked dried mushrooms you set aside, along with a ladle-full of the cooked stew and blend until smooth. Add this back into the pan and stir well. This is to thicken the sauce, if you find its still a little thinner than you’d like then feel free to blend another ladle-full. You could also do this step using a stick/immersion blender in the pan, but be careful not to blend too many mushrooms as you want to leave as many whole as possible.

Mushroom Stew with Oyster Shiitake Chesnut

What’s your favourite variety of mushroom?
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The Ultimate Nut Roast with Chestnuts, Quinoa, Mushrooms & More...

Christmas is fast approaching and we’ve been perfecting this nut roast recipe, which we plan to serve for lunch alongside a generous amount of mushroom gravy & all the other trimmings. We’ve followed a few nut roast recipes in recent years, with some being a total sloppy disaster and others being delicious but far too dry. So our intention was to create the ultimate nut loaf that held together, had amazing flavours & texture too. There’s a few elements to this recipe, but we promise it’s worth the effort…

Quinoa and green lentils form the base of the loaf and we love the nutty flavour the quinoa brings. Roasted chestnuts, mushrooms & onions give it a delicious and rich flavour, while the walnuts provide a great contrast in texture. We decided to add a grated parsnip into the mix, which also gives a subtle sweetness and keeps it from becoming too dry. Then there’s a final few punches of flavour from all the herbs, garlic, miso and tamari. If you want to prepare in advance, you could make this the day before you plan to eat it and then heat it in the oven before serving. It also makes amazing leftovers to make sandwiches or homemade pasties!

The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms

INGREDIENTS
180g pre-roasted chestnuts
1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cup dried green lentils
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 medium onions, finely sliced
300g Mushrooms, finely chopped (We used a combination of chestnut and shiitake)
1 medium parsnip, grated (option to replace with 1 small sweet potato)
6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large sprig of rosemary (1tsp dried)
Small handful of sage leaves (aprox 15 large leaves)
3-4 large bay leaves
3 tablespoons miso paste
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper and salt to taste


METHOD

1. Start by cooking the lentils and quinoa. Cook the quinoa with 1.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt until all the liquid has absorbed and the grains are just cooked. Cook the lentils in 3-4 cups of water with the bay leaves, they should take between 20-30 minutes. Turn them off and drain the water as soon as they are just cooked.
2. Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and then add the onions, rosemary and sage, cook on a low heat for around 20 minutes until the onions are soft and golden brown.
3. To the onions add the garlic, mushrooms and grated parsnip and cook down for another 10-15 minutes until starting to stick to the pan.
4. Add the miso, tamari and nutritional yeast to the pan and mix well, cook for 30 seconds more and then turn off the heat.
5. Add the chestnuts to a food processor and blend until fine. Then add the onion/mushroom mixture, half of the cooked lentils, 1/2 tsp salt, a generous few grinds of black pepper and the chia seeds. Blend until well combined and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
6. Into the mixture stir the quinoa, remaining lentils and the walnuts until well mixed.
7. Line a loaf tin and preheat your oven to gas mark 6 (200c)
8. Pack the mixture into the tin, pressing down to fit in as much as possible and minimise any air holes in the loaf.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes at gas mark 6 (200c), then remove foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes before using the baking paper to lift the loaf out of the tin. The loaf will still be fairly soft and will continue to firm up the more it rests.

The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms
The ultimate vegan nut roast chestnuts quinoa mushrooms

What are some of your favourite Christmas recipes?
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Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

This is our current favourite soothe-all tea. Perfect for these dark winter days and full of healing properties. The roots in this tea are both grounding and nourishing. If you’re struggling with stomach problems, a cold, cough or respiratory issues then these herbs can help your body reduce inflammation and soothe any uncomfortable aches and pains. It also tastes great - a delicious combination of sweet, cooling liquorice with the heat of fresh ginger and turmeric. We love to make a big saucepan of this and drink it throughout the day. Let’s explore some of these beautiful herbs in more detail …

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

LIQUORICE ROOT
(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Liquorice root is a sweet herbal ally that’s rich in soothing properties. Its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying actions make it a beautiful herb to work with to help heal gastrointestinal issues, reduce pain and help heal from a cold. It’s a demulcent herb, which means it can bring quick relief for sore throats, as it forms a protective film over mucuos membranes in the mouth. It also moistens the lungs, which can help heal a cough.

Liquorice root is also a saviour for the adrenal glands - which can be put under a lot of stress during this time of year! It’s an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) more efficiently. This gives our adrenals a break and helps our bodies adapt to stressful situations.

It’s quite a cooling herb, which is why we’ve combined it with more spicy, hot roots/spices like ginger, turmeric and black pepper.

GINGER
(Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger is a well-loved root found in many kitchens around the world. It’s great to up your ginger intake during the colder months of the year as its warming properties help promote good circulation & assist our immune systems. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory and helps both stimulate & regulate digestion. If you ever feel nauseous, travel sick or have cramps then ginger is a great ally to have around.

Liquorice Root Tea

TURMERIC ROOT
(Curcuma longa)
Another of our favourite ingredients, turmeric root is also warming and highly anti-inflammatory (if you’ve read this far, you’ll have noticed a theme here!). Although turmeric has been treasured in Ayurveda for hundreds of years, it has really come into the global spotlight recently for its ability to reduce inflammation and mucus throughout the body. It has also been used in various studies as a method to treat cancer. Turmeric’s bitter flavour helps stimulate gastric juices, which in turn encourages healthy digestion. It’s a wonder root with such a beautiful vibrant colour. To help absorption of turmeric’s medicinal properties, we like to combine it with black pepper…

BLACK PEPPER
(Piper nigrum)
We don’t commonly think of black pepper as having much use other than adding flavour to meals, but it’s often used in different remedies in Ayurveda. A little black pepper goes along way, & we’re probably all familiar with the heating properties of the spice. This powerful heat stimulates our digestive system and helps us metabolise food. It also helps clear congestion in our lungs/throat, so it’s great to use if you’re suffering or recovering from a cold.

Liquorice Turmeric Ginger Tea

Liquorice, Turmeric & Ginger Anti-Inflammatory Tea

INGREDIENTS (Makes 1 litre of tea, feel free to adjust amounts)
a 2-3 inch piece of ginger
1 thin stick of liquorice root, broken into pieces OR 1 tablespoon of chopped liquorice root
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric OR a 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root
5-6 black peppercorns
1 litre of water

METHOD
1, To prepare the ginger, either grate it or crush it in a pestle and mortar. This ensures that all the essential oils are released and that the water can extract all the medicinal properties.

2. Add it to a sauce pan with all the other ingredients. Bring the tea to a boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes.

3. Strain the tea before serving. If you don’t want to drink the tea all at once, you can leave everything in the pan to allow it to infuse for longer. If the taste becomes too strong you can add extra water.

4. Relax and enjoy!


What’s your favourite type of tea to make during Winter?
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