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:
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?