May 20, 2012

Morels and Fresh Asparagus in a Tangy Vegan Cream Sauce

We spent about four hours or more in the garden yesterday.  On the way home I was preparing dinner in my head.  It had been a long day and we did quite a bit of shovel work.  We were both tired and I knew when I hit the couch I'd be asleep very shortly.   I picked up some asparagus at the farmer's market and had set some morel mushrooms to soak in salt water before we left.  My first idea was to grill them with some other vegetables.  I didn't have the energy to start the coals and wait so I made a quick cream sauce.  It was pretty nice, I used some lemon juice and zest to give it a little tang, a heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast, and a handful of some Daiya mozzarella cheese.  It took about 30 minutes from start to finish.

It was the first time I've ever used morels myself.  I've had them prepared by others.  They're pretty expensive at $20 a pound and I m not a mushroom expert.  I wouldn't feel safe picking them myself.  Christy had some at the produce store, so I picked up a quarter pound. They really have a great flavor and from what I've heard, pretty nutritious.

Health Benefits of Morels

"The nutritional content of morel mushrooms provides several health benefits, including cardiovascular and weight loss support. A 1-cup serving of morel mushrooms provides 1.8 g of fiber. Fiber absorbs bile acids in the intestines and prevents them from re-entering the bloodstream and forming cholesterol, a substance that clogs arteries and causes cardiac arrest and stroke. It also slows carbohydrate digestion, along with the 2 g of protein in morels. Together these macro-nutrients maintain a steady blood glucose level that provides consistent energy throughout the day, preventing binging and excessive snacking."

Morels & Fresh Asparagus with Cream Sauce

About 1/4 lb fresh morels
     1 tablespoon salt for soaking morels
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons vegan margarine, I used Earth Balance
2 Cups non dairy milk, not low fat (soy or hemp work best for a creamy texture)
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons grated Daiya mozzarella cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
8 ounces of your favorite pasta

Rinse morels and slice in half, soak in filtered water with about 1 tablespoon salt for an hour or more, drain and rinse with filtered water.

Cook, drain, and rinse pasta.

Steam the asparagus for about 3 minutes until bright green.  The asparagus should be 'al dente. Remove to colander and cool with water.  Cut asparagus into 1 " pieces.  Set aside.

In large skillet over medium high heat, add margarine and morels.  Cook the morels until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the milk and cook until bubbly and begins to thicken. Add lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, green onions, and parsley.  Simmer about 3 minutes or less. Combine with asparagus and pasta.  Serve immediately.  

This should serve about 4

1 comment:

  1. Ma and I say there's nothing better than a skillet full of morels!