These tacos hail from the North Shore, a place known for it’s laid-back vibe, sugar-sweet pineapples, and famous for big waves. This stretch of coast is on the north side of the Hawaiian island, Oahu – known as “The Gathering Place.” The flavors in this recipe reflect the meeting of Baja, Mexico and Hawaii. Traditionally made with shrimp or fish, we’ve swapped in savory mushrooms and teriyaki sauce to give it a full satisfying flavor.
Not only do mushrooms add a depth of flavor through their earthy savoriness, but they are packed with vital nutrients. The mineral, selenium – which is not present in most fruits and vegetables – is proven to aid in liver enzyme function, decrease inflammation, and detoxifies cancer-causing compounds. They provide vitamin D and essential B vitamins. When mushrooms are exposed to the sun or UV light, because of the high amount of vitamin D precursor they contain, it is then converted to the bio-available form.
Most mushrooms provide us with vitamin D2, which is shown to stabilize healthy blood levels of vitamin D. Shiitake mushrooms not only produce D2, but D3 and D4! Adding vitamin D is proven to lift your mood if you’ve got the winter-time gloom.
National Institute of Health
A very important note: if you have a glutamate sensitivity – have an autoimmune disorder – suffer from anxiety and/or depression and/or migraines and/or chronic fatigue – be mindful of how many foods you consume that contain high amounts of natural glutamate. The reason for the savoriness of these little nutrient-dense fungi is that they contain a good dose of glutamate – a neurotransmitter which is a chemical that nerve cells use to send signals to other cells in the brain. *High* amounts of glutamate – both natural and *especially in the form of MSG* – may over-stimulate the nervous system and contribute to cell-toxicity and cell death. This leads to degradation in the Blood Brain Barrier (Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s – see www.everydayhealth.com) and degradation in the intestinal lining which leads to intestinal inflammation (celiac, Crohn’s, IBS – see www.health.harvard.edu). The health of the gut and the health of the brain – known as the Gut-Brain Axis – is being studied by scientists (see The Microbiome Center).
After knowing all this about glutamate, I can confidently tell you that I am not afraid to add mushrooms to my meals. 🙂 This recipe only used a little tamari and 3 mushrooms. Knowledge is a tool in your belt. Ignorance doesn’t always lead to bliss. Use the tools of knowledge, and it will lead you to wisdom in your life. Always do your own research, listen to your body, make informed decisions, and vary your diet. It is always best to not rely on one food source for all your nutrients. At the end of the day, you can do your best! Now, let’s get to cooking!
6oz cooked cannellini beans
3 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 head of cauliflower, cut into half-inch pieces
teriyaki glaze(1 Tbs maple syrup, 1 Tbs tamari sauce, 1 Tbs rice vinegar, 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil)
salt and pepper
avocado oil* optional
6 100% corn tortillas
Recipe for Two:
In a large pot, heat your oil over medium heat, adding your cauliflower and seasoning with about 1/8 Tsp of salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, until starting to brown, stirring about every minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add beans and cook for one minute. Add mushrooms and about 1/8 Tsp of salt and pepper, and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the teriyaki glaze and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. While your vegetables are cooking, prepare the pineapple salsa.
Pineapple Salsa Ingredients:
1 cup pineapple, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced
4 or 5 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
1/8 Tsp smoked paprika
*1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper, optional
salt and pepper
Stir all ingredients into a bowl, salt and pepper to taste, and stir occasionally as you are cooking your vegetables.
I like the addition of the cayenne as it adds a little heat to the sweet. The use of cayenne, as well as other spices, has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain, boost your metabolism, lower blood pressure, among other benefits. So if you don’t mind the heat, get in the kitchen and crank it up! 😉
The flavor from these tacos knocked my and my husband’s socks off! The combination of umami savoriness, sweet, and spice made us wish there was just one more taco for each of us! I can see these being a huge hit at any summer-time gathering. Or, just selfishly – I mean self-lovingly – enjoy these babies all to yourself. So grab a napkin, and see if you can keep your socks on after taking a bite. 😀
Enjoy your art and may you live well!