Throughout this process, I have completely and totally lost my appetite. Unheard of in my lifetime. I am an EATER. I like CARBS! So, this is a total shocker.
Unless someone nudges me, I literally forget to eat. Never even enters my mind. I never believed all of those skinny girls who would say (in high pitched voices): ”I forgot to eat!” Yeah, right, WTF? Who “forgets” to eat? I thought the notion ridiculous! Now, I am eating those words (pun intended).
The only thing I’ve really been inclined to eat (when reminded) is soup. I’m usually not a soup person, but my body is asking for soup and at this point, that’s what I need to give it.
So, when it came time to look for vegan soups (another story on vegan forthcoming), there is no better place to turn than Art Smith’s book Back to the Family: Food Tastes Better Shared with Ones you Love. How great is that title? The idea of sharing food with people whom you love is a SL in and of itself.
Art Smith (http://www.chefartsmith.net/cms/) is a phenomenal chef and restauranteur (Table 52 is one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago!).
Art’s bio reads: ”For more than 20 years, Art Smith has traveled the world as a personal chef. Since 1997, he has served as personal Chef to Oprah Winfrey and currently acts as the speciality chef for her most talked about events. He is a 2002 James Beard Award winner for his best-selling cookbook, Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family. Art is a contributing editor to O magazine, and is a Yahoo.com columnist.”
I happen to be incredibly blessed to know Art personally. He is so, so, so much more than his bio!
Art is incredibly kind, smart, loving, and a great (GREAT!) philanthropist. He founded an amazing organization called Common Threads (http://commonthreads.org/). Their mission is to educate children on the importance of nutrition and physical well-being, and to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking. They help bridge cultural boundaries and strengthen the global family by teaching children about their similarities and differences in the warm comfort of the kitchen. Art is a SL in the world. He gives and gives and gives.
My newest favorite (soup) recipe is from this book. It’s about the only thing that tastes good to me right now. He generously allowed me to share this recipe on the BrooksideBuzz.
Puree of Wild Mushroom Soup
Makes 4 Servings
- 2 Tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp dried cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup fresh chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 ounces baby portobellos, sliced
- 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, diced to make 1 cup
- 2 to 3 stalks celery, diced to make 1/2 cup
- 1 to 2 carrots, diced to make 1/2 cup
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Place the dried mushrooms in hot water and set aside to rehydrate for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and saute for about 6 to 8 minutes until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are tender.
- Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes. Remove the dried mushrooms from the liquid and add to the pot.
- Add the stock and bring it to a boil for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and bring it to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Puree all of the soup with an emersion blender, or allow the soup to cool slightly and puree in a traditional blender. This should give the soup a nice consistency without adding any kind of thickener. Serve immediately.
Mushrooms add a major SL to any diet, especially one in which FBC is involved.
Let me tell you a little bit about what I’ve learned about the nutritional value of mushrooms.
Mushrooms are rock stars in the nutrition world. They have been used for thousands of years both as food and for medicinal purposes. They are often classified as a vegetable or an herb, but they are actually fungi.
Organicfacts.net describes the awesome health benefits of mushrooms:
- Lowfat: Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber.
- Potassium: Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardioprotective properties. (This will be helpful for me because one of the chemotherapies that I am on is cardioTOXIC, meaning potentially harmful to the heart. Chemotherapy kills not only cancer cells, but also good cells.
- Riboflavin, Niacin and Selenium. Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.Selenium is also very good for health of bones, teeth, nails, hair and as an anti oxidant
- Immunity: Ergothioneine, a powerful anti oxidant present in mushrooms is very effective in giving protection from free radicals as well as boosting up immunity. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin, which itself is extracted from mushrooms) which inhibit microbial and other fungal infections. They also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from infections. A good combination of vitamins A, B-Complex and C, found in mushrooms also strengthens immune system.
- Other Benefits: Mushrooms are the only vegetable and the second known source (after cod liver oil) to contain vitamin-D in edible form. They are rich in calcium (good for bones), iron (benefits in anemia), and copper (anti bacterial).
The fresh button mushrooms possess substances that inhibit the activity of aromatase (an enzyme involved in estrogen production). SL. This is HUGE for me because my cancer is Estrogen Positive, meaning that my particular FBC happens to looooooove estrogen. In other words, when estrogen is present, my FBC thrives.
The chemoprotective effect can be seen with an intake of about 100 grams (3.5 ozs) of mushrooms per day. How great is this?
So, I’ll be off eating my SL mushrooms.
Thank you, dear Art, for allowing me to share this delicious recipe!
Wishing you all a day filled with SL’s!