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Beyond the Plate – Celebrating Mushrooms (Episode 7) – 1/15/21

By January 21, 2021 January 29th, 2021 Beyond the Plate, Recipes

I’m mushrooming with excitement as we start the new year! This week, we are celebrating medicinal mushrooms. For most, we think of those white button mushrooms that are most commonly found in the grocery store, but there is an entire kingdom of mushrooms available to cook with!

Steve and I go to our local Farmer’s Market to buy from an actual mushroom farmer. These edible fungi are available year round and are awesome for a number of reasons. For one, they are widely known for supporting the immune system. Being extremely well studied in the medical sciences, there is a lot of literature behind their role in immunity as well as for their cardio protective benefits as they lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They also support the metabolic chemistry to regular blood sugar!

To illustrate the variety of the types of mushrooms there are, here is a snapshot of the ones Steve and I picked up from the market this past weekend:

  1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom – it’s a great plant-based substitute when you’re looking for something that offers a meaty texture and mimics chicken. This type provide benefits tp cognitive function.
  2. Maitake Mushroom – it has a woody stem with a bunch of beautiful “leaves.” This type has anti-cancer and anti-tumor activity and is known to protect against prostate and breast cancer. This mushroom is well sought out in the supplement industry.
  3. Enoki Mushroom – you see this gentle long stemmed mushrooms a lot in Japanese cuisine. This type boosts the immune system and is anti-inflammatory. Because the flavour is mild, it’s quite versatile and absolutely lovely in many things.
  4. Shitake Mushroom – you probably recognize this in Chinese cuisine. This type raises defenses, regulates blood sugar and lowers blood pressure. Triple threat!
  5. Oyster or King Trumpet Mushroom – These have antioxidant benefits and supports bone health. The type that I love getting when they are available are the Pink Oyster Mushrooms.

Mushrooms are they are rich in protein building blocks. Most of us think of animal-protein, but this is a great example of plant protein rich in amino acids.

The key takeaway about mushrooms is it doesn’t matter what your tastes or cultural background is, you can find the food your body needs to thrive. Even as a meat eater, learning to add these plant-based protein rich foods, especially if you are concerned about the health of your immune system, is perfect when you are subject to a demanding/stressful lifestyle.

For those who missed this episode celebrating medicinal mushrooms, you can watch the replay here. For the Mushroom Ragout recipe that was prepared in this week’s episode, keep reading. I also threw in another version that I’ve tried, so have fun with both!

Peta and Steve of Total Life Center discuss the medical benefits of mushrooms and prepare a Mushroom Ragout.

Peta and Steve of Total Life Center discuss the medical benefits of mushrooms and prepare a Mushroom Ragout.

Be well,

Peta Cohen signature
P.S. To read my blog post on immune boosting essential to keep stocked in your pantry, check out this blog post.

Mushroom Ragout finishing in the pan

Mushroom Ragout finishing in the pan









Mushroom Ragout – Version 1 (EASY!)


  • 2 lbs Mushrooms (any variety)
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon butter (I use Kerrygold)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. Finely chop the shallot and garlic
  2. Saute in oil and butter
  3. Add salt and pepper
  4. Add the mushrooms. Immerse in the pan, cover, and cook on low medium as it soaks up the moisture. With patience, you will notice the mushrooms will begin to put out their own moisture.
  5. When it’s all wet again, you can take the cover off, raise the heat, and try to get some browning going which is a nicer texture than the rubbery result with all the wet cooking.

Mushroom Ragout – Version 2 (if you have more time)


  • 1 Cup Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Pounds Mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced – Baby Bella and Shitake work well together, but you can use a combination of any mushrooms you like
  • 1 Tbsp Organic All-Purpose Flour (A gluten free alternative is fine)
  • ½ Cup Wine – Red or White are both fine – Red will give a more intense flavor
  • 2 tsps Chopped fresh Oregano or Thyme
  • 1 tspn Kosher or Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tspn Crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp chopped Parsley to garnish


  1. If using dried mushrooms, place them in a Pyrex measuring cup or bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water.  Allow to soak for 30 minutes while you are preparing the other ingredients.  At the end of the 30 minutes, DRAIN AND SAVE the water from the soaking mushrooms.  Squeeze as much water out from the soaked mushrooms, chop and set aside. Skip this step with fresh mushrooms as they will naturally produce liquid.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or wide saucepan and add the shallots.  Cook until tender for about 3 – 5 minutes.  Add the garlic to the shallots and cook for an additional 30 seconds, then add the mushrooms and the thyme or oregano.  Turn the heat up to medium high and cook the mixture till the mushrooms begin to sweat, then add ½ tsp salt.  Stir for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the flour and continue to cook the mushrooms, stirring until they have softened a little more, about 2 minutes.  ADD in the soaked dried mushrooms and the wine and turn the heat up to high.  Cook, stirring continuously until the liquid boils down and glazes the mushrooms, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the liquid from the soaked mushrooms, reduce heat to a simmer and add the remaining ½ tsp of salt.  Cook for about another 10 – 15 minutes over medium-high heat, till the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and the surrounding broth is thick.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in the red pepper flakes and parsley.  Adjust the taste with salt and pepper accordingly.







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