Coco Oil Fried Maitake Mushroom topped Hummus

I recently was reading a book on health benefits of mushrooms, and upon reading about Maitakes, I loved learning that these are considered ‘dancing mushrooms’ due to ancient lore that monks stumbled upon maitakes in a forest and were so overjoyed by these beauties that they starting dancing with abandon.   I get it.  Maitakes can make you dance.  They are these gorgeous, delicate mushrooms that crisp easily when fried and can make so many dishes elegant and more ‘dancy’.  For those local to the Bay Area, Far West Fungi, which has a home in the Ferry Building and is at so many farmer’s markets (w/ steep discounts at the Friday Chinatown Oakland farmer’s market) offers excellent Maitakes.  This time I fried them in coconut oil with a dash of Bragg’s amino acids and topped them on a classic Hummus recipe.  We ate it both as a dip and on toasted whole wheat walnut bread.  Enjoy + happy dancing!

Ingredients for hummus:
1. 1 can (organic) garbanzo beans, drained
2. 1 garlic clove
3. Tahini – 1/4 cup
4. Olive oil – 1/4 cup
5. Sea salt to your liking
6. Optional – dash of cumin

Ingredients – Fried Maitakes:
1. 1/2 cup of Maitake
2. 1 tbspn of coconut oil
3. Dash of Bragg’s amino acid

 1.  For the Hummus, place all  hummus ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth (tip: I have tried to make this in my Vitamix too but food processor is much easier).
2. For the fried maitake toppers, heat a skillet with coconut oil and once hot add a dash of Bragg’s amino acids (if you don’t have this, you can replace with a few sprinkles of salt).  Once hot, add the maitakes and fry  on medium heat until crisped (about a few minutes).
3. Top the hummus with the maitakes and enjoy! Serve with crackers, toast, veggies, etc.


Vegan pesto stuffed baby bellas

My boyfriend and I decided to host a last minute pre-holiday potluck and these made a really tasty appetizer.  I made the raw vegan pesto the day before. Even though it doesn’t have cheese, the pine nuts and olive oil have a very flavorful richness so you won’t be missing the dairy!

1. 1 bunch of fresh basil
2. 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic
3. 2 cups of pine nuts
4. 1/4 cup olive oil
5. Sea salt – I don’t measure so start low and add as you like!
6. 12 small portobello (or other) mushrooms with stems removed

1. Combine ingredients 1-5 in food processor and pulse until you get desired consistency.  Mine came out somewhat thick so more like a dip than a sauce, which worked well in the warm mushrooms
2. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in 350 for about 15-20 minutes.  Add pesto and bake another 5 minutes

Serve hot and enjoy!!!