My Experience with the Train Wrecker

31589824_10102096509660343_782335860698775552_nA fairly uncommon but interesting Pheasant Back mushroom (cerioporus squamosus) look-alike, Neolentinus lepidius, is commonly known as the Train Wrecker. From afar, the earth-toned feathered patterning on the cap may have you convinced you’ve spotted a Pheasant Back. It’s had me momentarily confused! Once you get closer you’ll notice the distinct differences, beginning with the observation that this mushroom has gills, where a pheasant back has pores. Where pheasant backs have a distinctive cucumber/watermelon scent, the train wrecker has a very pleasant, fresh anise aroma to it. Neolentinus lepidius also has a tough, ringed stem with scales that match that of the cap.

I tend to find that in Wisconsin the Train Wreckers fruit as Pheasant Backs are finishing up their spring season, but you still may find them side by side in the same habitat. The two specimens seen above were growing about 15 feet apart in Outagamie county the first week of June.

This fungi prefers pine, but gets its name from its fondness for old railroad ties and unbridled chaos. They are unlikely to cause train crashes today due to stronger chemicals being used on the wood to discourage fungal growth. Quite an impressive little mushroom, isn’t it?

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Photo credit: Rachael Young. Sheboygan, WI

Now I see quite a bit of contradictory opinions on whether or not it’s suitable for your dinner plate. It is considered to be edible, but very tough and not too pleasant. I do not find this mushroom in books often, so I also don’t have many opinions to go off of. Despite the fact that there are no recorded poisonings, it could easily contain hazardous chemicals if growing on treated wood so be cautious where you obtain it from if you plan on ingesting.

When I took this picture last year I wasn’t quite brave enough to try it, but when my spot fruits again this spring I certainly will be updating this article with my culinary experience (good or bad). Maybe with it being a cousin to shiitake I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Stay tuned!

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UPDATE: (June 3, 2018)

I was pleased to find a baby train wrecker fruiting today in this same spot, and we had the opportunity to taste it, fried up with butter and salt. We ate the caps only, as the stems are very tough.

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Is that a baby bump or did I eat too many mushrooms?

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My husband: “It tastes like every other mushroom I’ve ever had.”

Me: “It tastes like and has the texture of oysters!”

So, I must say, this fungi definitely is worth eating. Perhaps those who did not enjoy it had tasted specimens that were older and tougher. Either way, I enjoyed our experiment!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell, CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

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Creamy Wild Mushroom & Brie Soup

It’s no secret the canned cream of mushroom soup is horrendous for your health. Is there even any real food in there?? Here we have a much more flavorful and healthy alternative- great eaten on its own with a salad, or used as a replacement for cream of mushroom soup in your favorite recipes.

mushroombrie soup

Nom!

To add a wild twist to mine, I chose to use wild chanterelle mushrooms that I had frozen from last summer’s harvest. But you can use any mushroom you can get your hands on and it’ll still be wonderful! In place of the white wine I used my maple sap wine that we brewed with sap from the maples in our yard last winter. (wow that stuff is strong!)

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Ingredients:

  • 16-24 oz mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 6-10 ounces brie, rind cut off and cut into smaller squares
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Finely chop 3/4 of the mushrooms, and then slice the rest into thin pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the onions, thyme, and garlic to the mushrooms and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the flour and wine then cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the milk and brie, and stir as until the brie fully melts.
  6. Separate the bigger slices of mushrooms, then puree the rest of it in a blender or food processor. Then add in the mushroom pieces for some texture, and enjoy!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

 

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Super Immune Chaga Gummies

As we are entering “chaga season,” I thought I’d share one of my family’s favorite things to do with it- super immune chaga gummies!

For those unfamiliar, chaga is a potent medicinal mushroom that grows in the northwoods of Wisconsin. With hundreds of clinical studies behind it, it’s used for strengthening the immune system, balancing autoimmune disorders, fighting cancer and tumors, cholesterol, blood pressure, eczema, inflammation, and many more.

We first make the chaga tea from the dried chunks, then add maple syrup until nice & sweet. Then follow this recipe, simply substituting the elderberry syrup for chaga. Sometimes we will do half & half. They are delicious and help to keep away the colds & flu that are circulating this time of year!

My hand-harvested Wisconsin chaga to make this recipe is available here!

Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically. We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com – megan@aayushealth.com – 920-327-2221

Copyright Megan Normansell 2018 All rights reserved. 

Wild Ramp & Egg Bowl with Lemon Herb Sauce

Tis the season for wild ramps-  here’s an incredible recipe that can be eaten as a breakfast or dinner. Tastes like a kind of gourmet eggs benedict!

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Ingredients:

  • 10-15 ramps
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh parsley
  • About half cup of your favorite mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch of chili flakes or powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Pinch of paprika

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Place the ramps, mushrooms, 4 tbsp of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt in a baking pan or cast iron pan and bake for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden.

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While it is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and poach/soft boil the eggs for about 3 minutes.

Blend the parsley, 1 tbsp pine nuts, lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, and chili in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt.

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Place the mushroom/ramp blend in a bowl, topped with the eggs. Drizzle with the lemon herb sauce, and then the remaining 1 tbsp pine nuts. Sprinkle the egg with paprika if desired. Enjoy!

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Warmly,

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here.

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221

Copyright Megan Normansell 2017 All rights reserved. 

Getting your greens on a cold winter’s day

When you want a warm salad...

What to make for lunch? Dark leafy greens are extraordinarily iron & folate-rich, and help to transport nutrients. I normally would eat them in a salad, but on chilly Wisconsin nights I don’t always feel like a cooling, raw meal. So here is my creation for today- a whole head of Russian kale!
Ingredients:
A large bunch of kale, cut into ribbons
The juice of ¼ a fresh lemon
A tbsp of organic butter
A dash of sea salt
Freshly minced garlic (1/2 clove)
2-6 mushrooms, roughly chopped

Melt your butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Throw in the mushrooms; once they are fully cooked, combine the rest of the ingredients. I sautéed this for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Megan Normansell (Kerkhoff), CHC, AADP, CFH

Certified Holistic Practitioner/Holistic Nutritionist/Herbalist/Wild Edibles Guide

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more recipes and healthy living ideas!

Get Even Healthier!
Get the answers you’ve been searching for, and heal your body for good… naturally and holistically.  We have successfully helped thousands of people across the country live a healthier life than they ever could have imagined, and specialize in dozens of different health concerns. Curious? 
Schedule your complimentary consultation with me today! Read the incredible reviews we’ve received over the years here!

http://www.aayushealth.com     –     megan@aayushealth.com    –    920-327-2221