Last week I told you about my one-person “Mushroom Fest”, which resulted in Vegetarian Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout. Of course, I am drawn to mushrooms because of their distinctive earthy taste and that meaty texture that allows them to stand on their own in place of meat. Little did I know that my obsession with all-thing fungi was really healthy, too. If you have noticed the sudden appearance of pink paraphernalia in stores and on TV (loving those pink cleats the NFL players are sporting), then you are probably aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For several reasons, I feel it is important to support the important theme of this month.
Most of us have probably been effected by breast cancer in one way or another, whether we have lost a family member, supported a friend as she went through treatment after harrowing treatment or have fought breast cancer ourselves. It is a disease that puts fear into women with its meer mention. And yet, it is also a disease that can be fought with measures of prevention, early-detection (come on, ladies – don’t avoid those monthly self-exams) and treatments.
In my lifetime, I have seen both ends of the spectrum of breast cancer. My friend’s mother battled the disease for years, surrounded by the love of her family and instilled with a positive attitude that amazed all those around her. Unfortunately, she died before she had the chance to meet her grandchildren, before she was able to watch her youngest daughter take the Canadian theater scene by storm. And yet, she is there in all of her daughters and will live on in their kind and generous natures.
I also watched friends fight the disease and survive. They went through chemo and radiation treatments, lost their hair, spent months feeling sicker than sick, dealt with the aftermath of the surgeries and treatments (I had no idea!)…and came out the other side cancer-free. They are my heroes.
So, why am I writing about Breast Cancer Awareness Month and mushrooms in the same post? From September 15 to November 15, select retailers around the nation are selling mushrooms in pink containers in recognition of breast cancer research.
Since 2002, the Mushroom Council has invested more than $750,000 in grants to City of Hope for research on mushrooms and cancer. This fall, the Council will provide an additional $50,000 to continue funding this important research. Mushrooms and cancer? Who knew, right? Well, it turns out that mushrooms are not only low in calories and sodium and fat-free, but they are also contain powerful antioxidants. The City of Hope research is being pursued because of some early signs that these antioxidants may slow breast cancer growth. Bring on the mushrooms, I say.
If you are on Twitter, stop by the #gno Twitter party, hosted by Mom It Forward and the Mushorom Council on Tuesday, October 4th from 9-11pm EST. Also, be sure to scroll down to find out about the giveaway donated by the Mushroom Council.
Now, on to the recipe. This easy salad combines the early flavors of mushrooms, the pop of edamame and the freshness of tomatoes with a smoky spiced dressing. Serve it in martini glasses for a dramatic presentation as an appetizer salad, or mix it all together in a large bowl and serve it as a side dish. Either way, the flavors and textures will have you and your guests begging for more. By the way, if you like edamame as much as I do, be sure to check out this Edamame Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette by A Communal Table.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, Cook edamame according to package instructions, rinse under cold water and remove edamame from the pods. Discard pods.
Add the edamame and cherry tomatoes to the mushroom mixture and stir gently until just heated.
For the dressing, whisk together port wine vinegar (sherry vinegar will also work here), smoked paprika and salt. Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking constantly.
Arrange the mushroom and edamame salad in serving dishes and drizzle with dressing. Serve.
Other favorite mushroom dishes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Vegetarian Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout
Cookin’ Canuck’s Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cannellini Bean Salad
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Caramelized Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic, Thyme & Balsamic Vinegar
Sippity Sup’s Perfectly Seared Scallops with Mushroom Risotto
Rasa Malaysia’s Mushroom Tikka Masala
Joy the Baker’s Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
The Mushroom Council is kindly providing some pretty cool items for one of my readers. The giveaway package includes:
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Saute Pan with Cover (5 Quart)
Book: MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better
To enter the giveaway, please do the following:
Just let me know in your comment that you completed these three things (you do not have to leave three separate comments). If you are not a Twitter or Facebook user, then let me know that and you will still be entered into the giveaway.
This giveaway will run from October 3-9 (at 5pm PST), 2011. It is open to residents of the United States. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator, such as random.org.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Mushroom Council. All opinions are my own.