Veg on the Table

We got down and dirty with fungus and other bulb-y, root-y plants on Tuesday. I have developed a real appreciation for mushrooms in the past several months, so cooking them in school was a good thing for me.

Did You Know?

Mushrooms don’t use photosynthesis? They get their energy by basically eating away at the matter around them. They are considered parasites – but GOOD parasites because they are instrumental at breaking down and decaying matter, thereby contributing to the Circle of Life (cue the Lion King music 🙂 ).

You get to participate in the circle of life by cooking them down until tender with some olive oil, adding some stock perhaps, and eating them, herbivore style.

Below: Beech mushrooms. So cute! They actually have little faces that smile at you and sing songs. Not really. Just being silly.

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Below: Fennel. Fennel is a fresh, anise or licorice flavored, bulb plant. The bulb is very nice shaved thin and used in salads. 

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Below: Kohlrabi. It tastes sort of like a cross between a turnip and broccoli.

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Below: Oyster mushrooms.

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Below: Shiitake and crimini mushrooms. The criminis are from Texas – the school buys VERY local when it can. Johnson’s Backyard Garden is a major vendor they work with.

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Below: Perfect segments – or “supremes” – of orange.

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Below: A corn and tomato ragout (“ra-GOO”). A ragout is basically a stew.

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Below: Rutabaga puree – an alternative to mashed potatoes.

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Below: Look at that spread!

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Below: A lovely plated stir fry.

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Nutrition Tuesday

We continued with our nutrition lectures Tuesday. Here’s a fun question for you milk and cheese lovers out there: If you need calcium for strong bones, then why does a region like East Asia, where almost no dairy is consumed (and intolerance is, in fact, very high) have very little osteoporosis?

You are likely familiar with the Required Daily Allowance, the amount of a vitamin that is required to keep you functioning. However, Radhia has talked quite a bit about the Optimal Daily Allowance, an un-official nutrient intake level that is not merely set to keep you alive, but to enable you to function at the highest level of wellness. Why be satisfied with merely surviving?

We have another month of Tuesday and Thursday nutrition lectures, with a test on April 19. Time to study!

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