Earth Babies

On a recent trip to the farmers market, I picked up a few items that made delicious and satisfying sides. Mushrooms are hearty, meaty and earthy and can serve as a fulfilling addition to a meal.  For this side dish I sautéed oyster, hen of the woods, crimini and king oyster mushrooms with garlic and canola spread. A simple sauté brings life to these woody morsels. Fungi are one of the few food sources that naturally contain vitamin D, aside from fatty fish, liver, eggs and fish liver oil. Vitamin D is essential for the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus in the body, which aids in bone and teeth health. Vitamin D is also required for cell growth and boosts the immune system. Inadequate consumption and absorption of vitamin D can lead to the softening of bones, bone loss and the development of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

As an additional side, I made legumes! Heirloom pinto beans with roasted garlic, roasted poblano pepper and finished it with scallions. If your prone to a gassy aftermath, replace the soaking water with fresh water when cooking. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber and are an economical protein.