ThisÂ clean-eating and very tasty Asian inspired dish makes use of three highly nutritious “super-foods”- Maitake Mushrooms, Lacinato Kale and Quinoa.Â I was in the neighborhood Asian market and came across a selection ofÂ beautiful fresh Maitake mushrooms. Maitakes (Grifola Frondosa)Â are being studied for their beneficialÂ effects on the immune system, for cancer treatment and for their effects on blood lipids, glucose, insulinÂ and blood pressure. They are chock-full of vitamins and minerals and besides that they taste really good.
LacinatoÂ Kale (also calledÂ Cavalo Nero or Tuscan or Black or Dinosaur Kale) Â is one of my favourite vegetables, like all kale it is full of vitamins and minerals -particularly vitamins A,K,C and manganese as well as fibre andÂ deliciousness. It is also lovely in pasta dishes or asÂ steamed greens.
Quinoa– I’ve written about how much I love itÂ here before-isÂ actually a seed (of the goosefoot plant- chenopodium quinoa)Â rather than a grain but it isÂ generally assigned to the whole grains category. It has a complete protein- and lots of it- and is a bit nutty and delicious. I like it cooked a bit al dente so that there is a slightlyÂ chewy pop to the little curly-cued seeds when they are cooked. You cook it like rice- making sure to rinse it well beforehand as the seeds contain a naturally occurring saponin that makes them bitter. Just rinse and cook in a 2:1 of liquid to Quinoa for about 15 minutes after coming to a boil. Steaming isÂ good too.
Stirfry of Maitake Mushrooms,Â Lacinato Kale and Quinoa
- peanut,Â coconut or avocado oil for pan
- 1 fresh Maitake mushroom* head, about 2 cups choppedÂ (also called Hen of the Woods in your Asian Market)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1Â medium onion, chopped
- 1-2 cups Lacinato Kale washed, spun and cut into 1 inch ribbons
- Shao HsingÂ cooking wine* (optional)
- Black Vinegar* (optional)
- Soy sauce
- Szechuan Peppercorns, freshly ground, pinchÂ (optional)
- 2 cups of cooked Quinoa (see above)
- chopped shelled pistachios
HeatÂ a wok or a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. When hot add the oil then the mushrooms and onion, fry until the mushrooms render their juices and the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and cook being careful not to burn it. Add the kale and stir until softened. Add Shao Hsing, Black Vinegar (*found in most Asian Markets) and Soy starting with a Tablespoon of each and then adding more as needed toÂ adjust to taste. Add the cooked Quinoa and some salt and ground Szechuan pepper or regular black pepper and stir all to heat through and serve in small bowls garnished with a Tablespoons chopped pistachios for a bit of crunch.