Looks Can Be Deceiving

Happy September! Like many of you, I still cannot believe how fast the time has been going lately. Hope you are all well and happy:)

Today I wanted to share a few pictures of my delicious meals from this week:

Caprese Salad with 'Fresh Mozzarella Cheese'

Greek Salad with 'Feta'

BLT on 'Fluffy White Bread'

And yes, they are all raw and vegan! Allow me to introduce you to a 'secret ingredient' in all of these yummy meals.

A few years ago, I walked out in my backyard to pick up a softball that the kids left out. Don't worry, the secret ingredient isn't a softball:)

As I got a bit closer to the ball, I noticed it was not a ball at all, but a mushroom! Well it was sort of both...it's called a Puffball mushroom:)

The one mushroom started to multiply over the years, and now there are about a dozen in the yard.

This year, I finally got brave enough to eat one. After some online research I realized they were a great first wild mushroom for beginners to forage. Yay!...and right in my own backyard.

The texture totally surprised me. It was quite light and fluffy, with a creaminess very much like fresh buffalo mozzarella! It was solid white, and very mild in taste.

With a quick marinade of olive oil, and a sprinkle of pink salt, it made the perfect raw vegan mozzarella cheese! Of course to complete the look for my caprese salad, I cut it into thin rounds with a small circle cutter. And when cut into cubes, the mozzarella became the feta in my Greek salad:) It was quite convincing as soft fresh cheese, especially in the caprese salad of ripe plum tomato, fresh basil, and balsamic drizzle.

The shape and color of the sliced mushroom reminded me of white bread, so it became the bread in a BLT:)

It did not have the same taste as white bread of course, but it did make a tasty mushroom BLT sandwich anyway...haha! Naturally the bacon was raw vegan eggplant bacon.

I was also happy to discover it makes a great substitute for tofu! I tried out some in Averie's yummy mango ginger maple tofu recipe. It was actually quite good raw:

But really awesome when baked...Thanks so much, Averie!

Here is a little more about the puffball mushroom:

I read that a good size for eating is about the same as your fist.

They can get quite a bit larger, but become inedible at a certain point.

Please check out the links below to find out more about this amazing mushroom:

Purple-spored puffball

Mushroom Expert.com

Finding puffball mushrooms

Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada (book preview)

Wild man Steve Brill

American Mushrooms.com This link has a warning first to alert you to read the information carefully on the site, just for your safety when foraging for wild edibles.

Check out a couple of fun guys with these fungi:)

I hope some of you might be able to find this mushroom in your neck of the woods, or maybe in your own backyard, too. It is a short growing season for them, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Have any of you ever tried a puffball mushroom?


Debra said...

Wow! That is amazing! I have never seen a mushroom like that. You are very fortunate to have them in your yard! Looks very yummy!

bitt said...

You totally fooled me. I thought it was some complicated raw cheese from Russell's new book. Mushrooms that stand in for tofu, awesome! If only I had a backyard. Or at least a field where I knew dogs hadn't peed.


Pure2Raw Twins said...

Wow, that mushroom does look like bread. Oh cool. I would have never guess ;)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

from your last post, the bowl you have the winner's #'s in is gorgeous! i love pretty bowls!

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese = omg i am with aimee/bitt, i thought it was some uber complicated raw cheeze. I never ever would have guessed it was a 'shroom! WOW!!!! Looks amazing, too!

As for making my tofu recipe..you're awesome and I am so glad you loved it! And yes, raw is fine but baking it just kind of allows everything to gel and carmelize and "soak in". Thanks for the mention my sweet friend :)


Healthy. Happy. Well. said...

That's fantastic that you found this growing in your yard! Love that you made a sandwich out of it. Great idea. looks yummy! I've never even heard of puffball mushrooms. I'll keep my eyes out for them from now on.

Jackie (Peaces of Earth) said...

Oh my gosh!! You totally had me fooled. I was like, what IS that?? That's so cool it's a shroom!! It looks really creamy and yummy. I saw a mushroom growing the other day, but I get really nervous with wild mushrooms for some reason. Plus, like Bitt, I'm pretty sure many dogs peed on it haha. Will have to seek one of these guys out! And as always your photos are beautiful!!!

HiHoRosie said...

I thought it was some fancy vegan cheese too. Wow! That's cool - I've never seen a shroom like that before!

Earth Mother said...

I'm just grinning from ear to ear here. LOVE love love this! I'm BIG on foraging for wild edibles, and always sharing my treasures on my site. Gonna be on the lookout now for giant puffballs masquerading as softballs.

Melissa said...

that looked like white bread to a T!! Wow I still can't believe it's a mushroom!!
Thank you for sharing about puffballs! Very cool that they are growing in your back yard. Can't get more local than that!
I was thinking the caprese salad was real mozarella!
thank you for all the resources too:)

Nelly said...

angela...wow!!! words can't describe how impressed i am by you...you are a raw vegan genius...you truly blow me away...ALL. THE. TIME.

those mushrooms are amazing...wish i had access to them!


Money Funk said...

That is too funny! I've never seen a puffball mushroom, but that is awesome! You put it to great use (and braved eating one). Edible from your own backyard with nature's garden. ;)

La Mama Naturale' said...

Hey Angela!!! You totally blew me away also! You RAWK and I love when you add in some of your previous links + other links to your posts. :) It all looks amazing. Go, girl!!!

Jessica said...

My husband and I spotted some of these on a walk we took in the woods nearby our home. The ones we saw were the size of huge watermelons. We had no idea what they were until we got back home and researched them. You are my hero though...I'm not brave enough to eat mushrooms I've picked myself in the "wild" even ones as identifiable as these. I've not seen the in stores. Do they sell them commercially?


Pam said...

Great mushroom post! and no, I have never tried it! Don't see them around here much anymore.

Angela, your greek salad looks amazing...those colors! Yummy!

Have a great weekend, Sweetie!


Isle Dance said...

OH!MY!GOSH! Love, love, love this. You teach us the BEST things! Gorgeous. Stunning. AND DELICIOUS! YOU are ((so)) blessed by this...and then you bless us. Thank you for taking such good care of all of us, my dear!

evergreen said...

Thanks for your awesome comments, everyone! You are all so wonderful:)

@Jessica~ I did notice one site that said the the puffball mushrooms are sometimes available at farmers markets, but I'm guessing you would have to check to see if they are grown commercially or foraged from the vendor:)

I did come across one person selling giant puffballs, but for now they are out of stock:


griffen said...

oh my! this is so amazing! what beautiful salads!

i wish i didnt live in the city or i'd be foraging for these all over the place.

veggie wedgie said...

Can you say versatile? This mushroom can be anything you want it to be! I love all your ideas, it's brilliant!

Asia said...

You totally fooled me. I thought it was some complicated raw cheese from Russell's new book. Mushrooms that stand in for tofu, awesome!

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