Morel Mushrooms with Asparagus and Orzo in Creamy White Sauce

So a couple weeks ago I was at Horrock’s and saw they had fresh morel and chanterelle mushrooms. They were just little guys, and they were SO expensive! But it was just about payday, so I figured I could afford a little grocery splurge. I bagged two dozen small morels and 36 tiny chanterelles. Then I just kind of started throwing stuff into my basket, not quite knowing what it would turn into.

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Some of the things I grabbed – Teeze mozzarella, fresh Michigan asparagus, orzo, organic green onions, and plain unsweetened coconut milk beverage.

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Here are the baby morels. I used about half of them for this recipe. To prep them, I cut them in half and then submerged them in a bowl of cold water in case there was any dirt (or bugs!) tucked away in the little crevices. From what I read, this is the one time you actually want to put your mushrooms in water because morels are really hard to clean. After a short soak, I drained the water and then dried the morels between sheets of paper towel.

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Chanterelles do not need to be soaked, just brush them clean. I used about 15 of these little guys.

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After snapping off the hard ends of the asparagus, I cooked it over low-medium heat in a couple spoonfuls of Magic Vegan Bacon Grease. After a few minutes I added the mushrooms. Now is a good time to get your orzo cooking – 1/2 C dry orzo, cook according to instructions on package.

While the orzo was boiling, I added 4 sliced green onions and a few cloves of minced garlic, to taste. Sprinkle with a little salt. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally.

Now, we need to make our creamy white sauce.

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For this, I simply melted down a couple chunks of Teeze mozzarella in the plain (unsweetened!) coconut milk beverage. Then I added a touch of salt, a sprinkling of garlic powder, and a few shakes of black pepper. I’m not a huge fan of Teeze – it’s not bad, just not the best – and I sometimes regret cooking savory foods with coconut milk, but in this case it really worked.

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Once the asparagus is a nice, bright green and begins to feel tender, add your cooked and drained orzo.

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Then add the sauce. Gently stir to coat.

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I have to say, I was really pleased with myself when I tasted this. I even got my dad to try it while he was in the midst of making his own very Non-vegan dinner, and he loved it!

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The asparagus is more of a filler in this dish, so if you’re not a fan, you could use some other veggie. Carrots or parsnips would be nice, possibly peas, or you could go with a faux meat. Or just skip all that and have the creamy orzo and mushrooms. I loved the saltiness of the sauce with the earthy flavor of the morels. The chanterelles were good, but had a milder taste that didn’t pop as much. Maybe I’ll have to think of a different way to prepare the rest. Any suggestions?*

*Well, they’re all gone now since I wrote this two weeks ago and forgot to post it until now. I made this same dish again, but I chopped the chanterelles up finely just to make the dish a little meatier. I used carrots and broccoli for the veggies. I went back to the same store this past weekend to look for more morels, but they’re gone 🙁

10 thoughts on “Morel Mushrooms with Asparagus and Orzo in Creamy White Sauce

    • When I first started working in the church, the two priests each mentioned separately to me they were worried I wouldn’t be able to properly celebrate Pascha if I didn’t eat a little meat or cheese, so I changed my fasting rule so I would have a fast to break 🙂 I’m not as strict outside of Great Lent, but there are little things I do, and some non-food things.

      • Yeah that sounds like what we do too. We abstain from things that look and act like the real McCoy – food wise – which works for us. AND non- food things like you mentioned too. It is soooooooooooo great to find someone from our faith that is Vegan as well!! My poor priest just shakes his head…doesn’t know what to do with me LOL love him!! LOL

        • Haha – I know there are some people who think you really cannot be Orthodox if you don’t eat meat! Mostly for hospitality reasons, but luckily by now everyone knows better than to offer me non-vegan food!

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