“Guess what sweetheart, the Part-Time Vegetarian cookbook (@nicolagraimes) arrived, and it is full of some delectable recipes,” said Annie.  “For instance, here’s one that uses meaty mushrooms, it’s a yummy-sounding Chestnut and Porcini soup that I want to try.”  “Okay, Annie, I get the impression that it takes practice to produce appetizing vegetarian dishes, so following a recipe helps.” “Yes, sweetheart, even though you are an excellent cook, beginning to cook vegetarian does take lessons and patience.  Let’s give this soup recipe a try.  It calls for a porcini stock cube, which will deepen the taste and be satisfying.  I don’t think you’re going to finish this soup and still want to eat some meat.”  LJ said, “I’ve got to meet a couple of clients right now.  On my way home, I’ll stop and buy the mushrooms.

Do we have to use porcinis, there are thousands of different types of shrooms.”  Annie smiled at LJ’s slang term for mushrooms and said, “Yes, 140,000 is the number of known mushrooms currently, but many believe that there are thousands more waiting to be discovered.  Porcinis are good for soups because they amp it up with their nutty and earthy flavor. Nutritionally speaking, porcini’s are high in protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants.  Also, they help with digestion. I saw a recent study that demonstrated that porcinis contain compounds that help kill cancer cells. Truly though different mushrooms have different levels of nutrients, in general, all mushrooms are 70-90% water, high in the B vitamins, which is really important if you’re not eating meat.  Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D (bone health), copper (makes collagen), potassium (regulates blood pressure), zinc (wound healer), and magnesium (converts food into energy). Shrooms also contain more selenium than any other form of vegetables.  Selenium is the antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage.”

After returning home, LJ and Annie made the soup and enjoyed it with an apple and walnut salad.  “LJ do you suppose the fact that we’re eating all of our meals within eight hours and fasting for sixteen hours is contributing to weight maintenance and getting a restful sleep at night?”  LJ said, “Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s true.  Why don’t you check with some of our culinary medicine friends though and get an official answer?”  Annie thoughtfully paused, and…

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