Today was a special day.
It all started with a walk to the farmer's market right across our home.
This market is wonderful, always buzzing with people, beautiful organic local foods and even music! One of my favorite produce to buy is Romanesco also called fractal broccoli. If you have never seen this marvel, it is one of the many wonders of nature with a taste that resembles broccoli mixed with cauliflower. This vegetable is high in vitamin C, iron and enzymes which help the body to detoxify.
Taking the time to do nothing and simply walk in nature has been much forgotten in this world where we are addicts of "doing". When "not doing a thing", you allow the body and mind to relax and to rest. It is also an opportunity to allow your whole being to grow with no effort inside out.. Just like the plants and vegetables we eat.
Entering the forest I remembered how in cartoons the characters sometimes follow the sound of birds, so i started to really listen. I listened and heard a song calling me and urging me to come!
In no time, I was lead to a beautiful fallen tree which was host to a huge mushroom called Red belted Conk. After this incredible find I kept walking and walking, with no idea where I was truly going but in this way, I discovered many other incredible gifts such as the powerful Reishi mushroom, Turkey tails and the delicious Chicken of the woods (Don't worry, I will have a post for each explaining why they are fantastic).
Chicken of the woods is an orange and bright yellow tree mushroom that is easily recognizably by the large clusters of overlapping "pancakes". It is usually found at the base of dead or alive hardwood trees, like oak. You can usually tell the age of the mushroom by the size but mostly by the colour - If it is faded, the mushroom is older.
This mushroom has a lemony, meaty taste and has a chicken-like texture, although a little dryer. It is a great meat replacement in any dish but I find it especially good in soups and stews. Given time, the mushroom will absorb flavours while keeping its own unique taste.
*Make sure to cook thoroughly and always trying a little bit first.*
Chicken of the woods
Red Chili pepper
In a large pot add coconut oil and heat. When oil is hot, add onions, garlic, chili and cook until onions become translucent. Meanwhile peel the squash and slice mushrooms. Add them to the pot with turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and paprika. Stir to make sure all ingredients are nicely covered in oil.
After 2 minutes, add in your stock ( Keep an eye out for homemade stocks!) and a medium tomato.
Cover and cook until squash is al dente, add corn and beans.
You can also simply sauté Chicken of the woods:
Chicken of the woods
Grass fed butter
Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Heat the butter (make sure to use low heat to not burn the butter) then add garlic and chicken of the woods. Cook for at least 5 minutes. Add the parsley, cherry tomatoes and flower. Cook another 2 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste
Also commonly known as the Sulfur Shelf, this mushroom has many health benefits and like tree mushrooms, it is safe.
Some benefits are:
- A good source of fiber, protein, vitamin C, and vitamins B, D, and K.
- Antifungal, antibiotic and tumor inhibiting properties
So eat up!
and remember that all your doings can sometimes be a distraction from how you would truly like to grow. Take time, Go for a silent walk, observe and follow the bird songs.