:: Slice of Emma ::

June 29th, 2016
Healthy, Whole Food, Plant Based Recipes by Emma

Recipe #11 :: Morels Quinoa

Surrounding San Francisco are incredible parks all within an 1-2 hours drive. This past weekend I was in Carmel Valley where I camped among Vineyards and century old Oaks. The weekend before I hiked the Dipsea Trail in Mill Valley.  Ten miles of amazing RedWood trees that cascade down the hill towards the ocean and Stinson Beach.  Morel Mushrooms seem like a perfectly fitting recipe to make.

For mushroom hunters in the temperate regions of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, nothing signifies the beginning of spring more than the first appearance of morel mushrooms (Morchella spp.).  These organisms are arguably considered among the most prized edible fungi on the planet, and it’s not uncommon to see them fetching a price of a few hundred dollars per dried pound in the market. I found these morels at the Ferry Building in San Francisco at Far West Fungi . I thought to myself- ‘Why do these healthy and gorgeous mushrooms always have to be served with cream and heavy rice?’ and decided to cook them gluten and cream free.  The dish was absolutely spectacular and simple at that. While most morel enthusiasts cherish this particular mushroom for its exceptional taste and culinary applicability, less attention is given to its physiological effects on the body.  This is unfortunate, because, like many members of the fungal kingdom, morel mushrooms possess important nutritional and medicinal properties that can play key roles in optimizing the health of those who consume them.

Health Note: Vitamin D- Mushrooms exposed to sunlight or UV radiation are great sources of dietary vitamin D2(ergocalciferol).  While most vitamin D supplements contain D3 (cholecalciferol), dietary D2 from mushrooms has been shown to be as effective as vitamin D2 and D3 supplements in raising and maintaining 25(OH)D levels.  Morel mushrooms contain approximately 206 IUs of vitamin D2 per 100 grams of fresh material. Protection against drug side effect- Pharmaceutical drugs are commonly known to create side effects, and cisplatin (a chemotherapy drug) and gentamicin (an antibiotic) are no exceptions.  When given to mice, these drugs can deplete the internal antioxidant defense system and induce kidney failure.  Research shows, however, that an aqueous-ethanol (water and alcohol) extract from cultivated morel mycelium has the remarkable ability to enhance the internal antioxidant defense system, thereby protecting against toxicity caused by the chemotherapy and antibiotic drugs.  Antioxidants- Oxidative stress is associated with numerous conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes types 1 and 2.  Consuming antioxidant-rich food, therefore, is an important strategy to protect against this internal damage.


1 cup Heirloom Quinoa

2 cups Fresh Morel Mushrooms

1 cup Italian Parsley

3 tbsp Safflower Oil

1 tsp Sea Salt


Rinse Quinoa and drain water. Rinse Morel Mushrooms well and let dry on paper towel. Bring 2 cups water to boil.  Add 1 cup quinoa. Bring down to simmer and simmer 20 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy with fork. In separate pan heat oil over medium heat. Saute Morels until tender and soft. Cut Italian Parsley into small pieces. Mix in Morels, Italian Parsley, and sea salt with quinoa. Serve immediately.

Hi, I am Emma Wilkiemeyer. Welcome to Slice of Emma recipe blog featuring healthy recipes that are vegan and based on whole foods.  For the past seven years I have shared recipes with friends and family and past two years through my blogging.  I completed a certification at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona in Holistic Nutrition.  I take pride in that my recipes are not only delicious, but the science behind them makes for ingredients that nurture and balance the body.  My recipes are all gluten free and vegan. 

My full time career is working in the oncology bio-tech space. Working around patients who are very sick has taught me the value of living a healthy lifestyle each and every day in order to lower the risk of disease later in life.  My whole foods diet keeps me energized to work hard and fuel my fitness routine.  Slice of Emma will also feature not only my voracious appetite in the kitchen but also my travel adventures including mountain hikes sometimes shared with Jes the CCC and international travel.  Please reach out to me anytime you have a question whether it be about travel or my recipes.

I am excited to share my passion and creativity with you.  Whether you are an experienced cook, or just getting started with a plant based diet I hope to have something that excites and helps you love healthy and compassionate cooking.

My life recipe is simple- Nourish the body with clean food and exercise, and feed the soul with life’s rich experiences whether it be through getting out in nature or positive relationships with the people in my life.


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