Join cookbook author and food blogger Samah Dada on a new #COOKING adventure — outside of the kitchen. In her new TODAY All Day series, "How to Eat Plants," Samah dives into plant-based trends, from meat alternatives to vegan comfort foods, through interviews and demos with experts in the fields of health, farming and cooking, to discover if they really live up to the hype.
In the series premiere Sept. 7, Samah explores the wonderful world of mushrooms along with their many varieties and versatile uses.
To celebrate her new series, Samah joined the TODAY anchors Wednesday to share a bit of her newfound mushroom knowledge. They enjoyed an exclusive taste of rising plant-based meat substitute Meati, a product made from mushroom root. Instead of ground beef, the Meati team replicates the hearty texture and flavor of a whole steak filet or chicken cutlet.
Samah also demonstrated a super simple way to turn mushrooms into a hearty, "meaty" taco filling. This recipe can be made with a variety of mushrooms, including portobello and shiitake.
On Wednesday's premiere of "#How to Eat Plants," Samah dives deeper into the world of mushrooms with a trip to Smallhold, an organic mushroom farm in Brooklyn, and an exclusive tour of the Meati factory in Boulder, Colorado. Then James Beard Award-winning chef and TV host Sophia Roe joins Samah in her kitchen and teaches her how to make a "steak" using a fluffy, white mushrooms called lion's mane.
"It's pretty remarkable the type of flavors that you can create with mushrooms," Roe told Samah. "One of the most important techniques in this recipe, which I do for most dishes when I want a meat substitute, is to prepare the lion's mane just like steak. It's an unfamiliar ingredient cooked in a familiar format."
These mushroom "steaks" are basted in an umami-packed glaze made with white miso, coconut aminos, Dijon mustard and more. The result, when topped with scallions and a little chili crisp oil, is an incredibly flavorful dish that's both easy and impressive.
"This is literally the best mushroom dish I've ever had," Samah said upon first bite.
"How to Eat Plants" airs Mondays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. ET on TODAY All Day.