Hi, everyone. Let me answer your questions. :) You remove the gills from mushrooms purely for aesthetics. They will turn your dish an unsavory shade of black. You can leave them in if you wish. It shouldn't take more than a minute (literally) to remove the gills, so omitting that step doesn't save much time. Yes, kale is a fine substitute for chard--you'll need to cook it longer. As for the vegetarian and vegan recipes, we have an entire chapter on vegetarian main dishes, plus most of the recipes in the salads, breakfasts, vegetables, whole grains, and desserts/snacks chapters are vegetarian. Of the 170 or so recipes, 108 are vegetarian or vegan. That's 64% of the recipes--quite good for a cookbook that is not exclusively vegetarian. I don't eat meat, so I worked very hard to make sure there were plenty of easy, delicious meat-free meals in the book. As always, thank you for your support of the cookbook. I'm happy to answer any and all questions you might have.
A lot of people have misconceptions about mushrooms. I never take out the gills. A lot of people peel them as well but I've never bothered unless they are old and tough or are looking manky, a wipe down with the damp cloth is fine.
Kale could substitute for swiss chard although I think you would find the taste a lot stronger.
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I never remove the gills from portobello mushrooms even when grilling them for stuffed mushrooms. Some people say that the gills are bad for you and others are of the opposite opinion. Maybe the recipe says to remove them for the "eye-appeal".
Another question for Chef Meg is why there are so few vegetarian or vegan recipes in the cookbook. I was a little disappointed in that regard. Otherwise, I love my SP cookbook! i just make vegetarian changes to the recipes.
"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."
Dear Meg, In the recipe for braised Swiss chard, it says to remove the gills from the mushrooms. I did that, but I'm wondering why all this extra work? If the gills cause some offensive taste, why not use another mushroom that doesn't have the problem? It takes too much effort to go this extra step, and I'm looking for FAST, not just tasty and nutritious recipes. Oh, and is kale a good substitute for swiss chard? Thanks, Novice cook.
Edited by: GORIANA at: 12/22/2011 (00:03)
Goriana, So Cal, USA
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