What is umami you ask? It’s the fifth, and often unrecognized, type of taste bud. It’s the taste bud that senses savory deliciousness (and my personal favorite of all the tastes). Examples of umami-rich foods include meat/seafood, tomatoes, cheese — especially Parmesan, seaweed, soy, potatoes and of course, MUSHROOMS!
So imagine my excitement when I discovered that the folks at the Mushroom Council were sponsoring this month’s Recipe ReDux. They challenged us to use their “Trend to Blend” technique to either blend chopped, diced or minced mushrooms in place of at least half of the meat in a recipe using their blendability technique (you should seriously check it out, it’s genius!). Or, we had the option to forgo the meat altogether and make a purely vegetarian dish.
After some serious pondering, I took the latter route.
Side note: if you, too, love mushrooms, you can enter your own recipe in the Mushroom Council’s “Swap It or Top It” contest. Just submit your favorite burger recipe that either uses the blendability technique described above, swaps out meat completely for mushrooms or your favorite burger recipe topped with a delicious mushroom creation. The Mushroom Council is giving some top-notch prizes, like $5,000 cashola to the Grand Prize Winner. Not too shabby!
Besides delicious umami flavor, mushrooms are packed with nutrition. They’re low in calories (20 calories for 5 medium sized shrooms!), fat-free, cholesterol-free (that one’s kind of a no-brainer), low in sodium and also provide important nutrients, mainly selenium, potassium, vitamin D and more.
For vegans and vegetarians, mushrooms are a great way to bring some umami (read: satisfying) flavor back into meals. And for the meat-eaters, myself included, mushrooms can help you switch up your meals a bit (meatless Mondays, anyone?). I promise you won’t even miss the meat on these bad boys.
Recipe: Mediterranean Cremini Mushroom Tacos with Tahini Sauce
The tahini sauce is a perfect complement to lend creamy deliciousness without the use of dairy/animal products. You can find pre-made tahini sauce (Trader Joe’s has a new one that I’m OBSESSED with), or make your own as I did below by blending tahini (sesame paste) with lemon juice and garlic. A third option would be to top with hummus.
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Yield: 4 tacos
For mushroom blend:
- 1, 10 oz. package Cremini mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed using a garlic press
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Sauteed mushroom blend (ingredients above)
- 1 plum tomato, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 4 corn tacos
For mushroom blend:
- Wash mushrooms well and dice using a chef’s knife.
- Heat 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil for one minute.
- Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add turmeric, basil, cumin, pepper and salt to mushrooms and saute an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Mix 1 clove minced garlic with lemon juice and tahini to form the tahini sauce.
- Heat corn tortillas in microwave for 15-20 seconds, until soft and pliable.
- Place 1/4 of the mushroom blend on each tortilla.
- Top with tomatoes, cucumbers and 1/4 of tahini sauce mixture.
Mushrooms all diced and ready to go into a saute pan…
Sauteeing away — see how the turmeric gives the blend a gorgeous golden color?!
In goes the mushroom blend…
Then the tomatoes and cucumbers…
Finish it off with delicious tahini sauce…
Check out more delicious ways that Recipe ReDuxers used mushrooms by following the link below!