PAN ROASTED MUSHROOMS WITH SMOKY RED PEPPER TAHINI
PLUS TWO MORE RECIPES THAT CELEBRATE MEDICINAL AND CULINARY MUSHROOMS IN ALL THEIR IMMUNE-BOOSTING GLORY
Mushrooms are not in the plant kingdom but categorized as fungi—with the fossilized proof they’ve been on the planet for a billion years. They can survive a variety of ecosystems and climate changes, have outlived the dinosaurs, and are able to exist underwater and outer space. When we consume foods with this caliber of evolutionary prowess, we are ingesting something deeply adaptable. This is why ancient and Blue Zone communities keep mushrooms as a staple in their longevity-focused diet. Mushrooms are also super immune balancers, thanks to their source of alpha and beta-glucan polysaccharides. These complex sugars restore cellular function and keep bacteria and pathogens from disturbing the cell's integrity—an important job! Below, Sakara Wellness Coach and self-described "food alchemist", Sasha Pagni, shares three recipes featuring mushrooms. Each celebrates medicinal, edible varieties that alchemize this resilience. The result is a boosted immune system, cognitive function support, and cellular vitality, thanks to the unique blend of enzymes and nutrients you can't find anywhere else on your plate.
Pagni uses a wide breadth of medicinal and culinary mushrooms, crafting dishes that celebrate their innate earthiness to keep flavor-bursting dishes grounded and satiating. The recipes are flexible to what is available and what looks most enticing at your local farmstand or produce aisle.
PAN ROASTED MUSHROOMS WITH SMOKY RED PEPPER TAHINI
Designed as a satiating side dish, these mushrooms have notes of garlic and lemon, balanced with their innate earthiness. The texture is hearty but not crispy, and they feel elevated without much effort—making them an impressive yet low-stakes dish when guests are over. The real star comes from the deep reddish-orange, smoky, creamy tahini that uses red jalapeños. (Note: if you're shy around spice, removing the seeds will greatly reduce the heat.)
- 1 cup oyster mushrooms, cut into small clusters
- 1 cup Maitake mushroom (1-2 full maitake cluster), cut into small clusters
- ¼ of a yellow onion sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon white or black pepper
- Juice from ½ lemon
- ¼ cup of tahini
- 1 red bell pepper, whole
- 2 Fresno Chili (or 2 red jalapeños), whole
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Turn on your broiler to high. Place red bell pepper and Fresno/jalapeños on the broiler pan with a light drizzle of olive oil over the peppers. Let them roast for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so until they are evenly, lightly charred.
- Once finished roasting, place on a plate and cover with a glass bowl to allow them to steam and set.
- While peppers are steaming, slice mushrooms, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a heavy pan (for best results, a cast iron skillet), and turn the stove on to medium medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, place all mushrooms into the pan and begin to stir with a wooden spoon, allowing the mushrooms to be coated in the olive oil.
- Once the mushrooms are evenly coated with olive oil, turn the heat to medium, let the mushrooms sear on one side, stirring every minute or so.
- After 3 minutes, add the salt and garlic powder. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes and when the mushrooms begin to brown and crisp, add in the sliced onions and an additional tablespoon of olive oil. Continue to cook and stir often for another 5 minutes.
- After about 12-15 minutes total cooking time, the mushrooms should not be soggy or chewy, they should be crisp with a nice bite to them, and the onions should be light and just beginning to brown. Sprinkle with pepper, a drizzle of lemon juice, and salt as needed and set to the side.
- The peppers should now be done steaming; seed the peppers by cutting them in half and scraping out the seeds with a spoon.
- Add peppers, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, and lemon juice to a blender. Turn the blender to medium and blend. Once the items in the blender begin to become smooth, add tahini and blend for another 30 seconds. Then, add olive oil, blending only for about 10 seconds after the olive oil is added.
- Plate the mushrooms and onions. Finish by drizzling with smoky red pepper sauce or dip mushrooms directly into red pepper sauce.
The ultimate crowd-pleaser. "All my friends request that I bring or make this every time we get together. The key is using large, meaty mushrooms that have high-fat content to recreate the satisfying smokiness of bacon, without missing a thing," Pagni says. She nestles it in breakfast sandwiches and has been known to make a "brunch table" stocked with homemade bagels, fixings, and these legendary shiitake strips.
- 2 cups large shiitake mushrooms, cut into strips
- 1 cup king oyster mushrooms, cut into thick strips
- ¼ cup avocado oil + more for drizzling
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1-2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos or tamari
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Flaky sea salt to taste
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put mushrooms into a bowl and pour avocado oil, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, coconut aminos, maple syrup, and paprika over them and mix well until each mushroom appears well-coated.
- Place all mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle additional olive oil, and a few shakes of paprika and nutritional yeast on the top of the mushrooms.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Flip them and cook until crispy (usually 10-15 more minutes).
- When they are done, they should be super crispy, but not burnt.
MAGIC SHROOM BROTH
"Whenever I'm feeling frazzled, I use this broth as a replacement for tea or coffee. Just add ghee or coconut oil and it is so satisfying," Pagni says. There's a reason why each evening of Sakara's expert-level cleanse, Level II: Detox, a cup of medicinal mushroom broth awaits; it's potent healing with every sip. Pagni's rendition of this system-wide healer uses nettle, a mineral-rich leaf as well as Shiitake, a mushroom with anti-cancer compounds including lentinan. She suggests using this as a base for soups, or to heighten flavor while cooking grains like quinoa or brown rice.
- 3 cups fresh Shiitake
- 1 cup dried mushroom medley (suggested: the dried mushroom medley usually has Shiitake, oysters, and porcini)
- 2 strips of Kombu
- ½ of a lemon + its peel
- 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6-inch piece of turmeric, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup of fresh or dried nettle leaves
- 2 cups dandelion leaves
- 10 fresh sage leaves (2 tablespoons dried)
- ½ cup dried dulse
- 4 tablespoons chickpea miso
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lavender
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt or Celtic salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- A handful of fresh parsley
- A handful of fresh cilantro
- Place all ingredients, except for the parsley and cilantro, in a large pot and cover with water; it should require at least 10-12 cups of water to cover the fresh ingredients.
- Bring the pot to a boil on the stove and add more water if needed.
- Once at a boil, cover the pot and turn the heat to low for 3 hours. Make sure to check on the broth and stir occasionally.
- After 3 hours, put in the parsley and cilantro and any additional herbs you would like.
- Turn off the heat, cover the pot halfways with the lid, and let it sit for 1-2 hours.
- Strain out just the mushrooms and set aside. Then using a colander, strain the ingredients, pressing down on the cooked ingredients, leaving the broth in a large bowl.
- Compost the remains of the cooked ingredients, and the mushrooms can be sliced and eaten with the broth.
- Store the remaining broth in tightly sealed jars and place them in the fridge.
DISCOVER MORE HEALING WEEKEND RECIPES