Earthy and rich in flavor, mushrooms are an inexpensive source of protein that happens to be in season in May. There are a number of varieties of mushrooms with very different flavor profiles, but crimini mushrooms and portabella mushrooms are some of the cheapest and most delicious. Replacing meat with mushrooms is a great way to lower your grocery bills and stay within your food budget.
Low in calories but high in taste, mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked. A good source of vitamin B, mushrooms also offer potassium and other minerals at roughly 20 calories per ounce. It should be noted that only certain types of mushrooms are edible, and that mushroom gathering should never, ever be done by amateurs. The consumption of toxic mushrooms can be fatal.
Many of the mushrooms purchased at the store are unwashed. The key to washing mushrooms is to not submerge them in water or rinse them – this causes the mushroom to absorb the water and become tough and chewy. Instead, use a moistened towel or paper towel to wipe each mushroom clean.
Here is one of my favorite mushroom dishes, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This vegetarian dish is packed with nutrients thank to the mushroom and spinach, as well as protein from the eggs and mushrooms.
Baked Eggs on Spinach-Mushroom Hash
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
6 oz. baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, sliced
¼ cup white wine (you can replace with chicken broth)
¼ cup almond milk
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tbsp dried thyme
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe large sauté pan or skillet on medium heat. Preheat oven to 350. When the oil is heated, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions begin to turn translucent, and add the garlic. Stir until onions and garlic are fragrant. Add dried thyme and a pinch of black pepper.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir until all components are mixed. Then let sit for about five minutes, until the mushrooms are browned. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and use a spatula to scrape any bits of flavor off of the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat. Use a spatula or spoon to make four egg-sized dents in the hash – carefully crack an egg into each one. Drizzle the almond milk evenly over the dish and eggs. Season with salt and pepper, then add shreds or chunks or Parmesan. Bake until egg whites are set, roughly 20 minutes.
Serve with toast.
Other tips to help you cut your grocery bills and lower food costs: