Mushrooms Make This Stew Magical!

It's okay to admit that you don't always think about how to get (and keep) your bones in top shape. When you do think about it, milk and calcium are often the first two things that come to mind, right? Did you know that vitamin D is key to helping your body absorb that calcium to build and maintain strong bones?

Mushroom barely carrot stew

Uncover the magic of mushrooms

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a review of the dietary intake required of vitamin D and calcium and now recommends a dietary allowance of 600 IU per day of vitamin D for people between the ages of one and 70.

So now you're probably thinking, "Where can I get my hands on vitamin D?" Look no further than mushrooms! You can also get your vitamin D from the sunlight or supplements, but like people, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D when they're exposed to the sun. Did I mention the fact that mushrooms taste great?

Now that the weather has a bit of a chill to it, why not make a warm, hearty, meat-free stew for dinner that will also give you a good dose of mushrooms! This recipe from the Food Network incorporates barley -- a whole grain that's high in fiber and antioxidants -- and veggies into the mix to make this stew filling and healthy.

Carrot-mushroom barley stew

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups carrot juice
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup instant barley
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups kale or mustard greens, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger

Directions:

  1. Bring the carrot juice, 3 cups water and the mushroom stems to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom caps and barley and cook until the barley is toasted, about five minutes.
  2. Add the onion, celery and rosemary to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook two more minutes.
  3. Increase the heat to high and add half of the carrot juice mixture, leaving the mushroom stems in the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost absorbed, about six minutes.
  4. Add the remaining carrot juice mixture, the kale and ginger and cook, stirring, until the barley and vegetables are tender, about five minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter; then ladle the stew into bowls.

Join the Meatless Monday movement like so many others! By cutting meat from your meals just one day a week, you can help improve your health. According to Meatless Monday, research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Watch: How to clean mushrooms

Learn how to clean, stem and cut mushrooms in this video.

Try these mushroom-based recipes

Creamy cheese and mushroom-stuffed shells
Spinach and mushroom pasta
Creamy polenta with mushroom sauce
Cannellini beans with Portobello mushrooms

More Meatless Monday meals

For the love of lentils
Start the week with a pizza party
Meatless Monday: Make it fun
Breakfast for dinner

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