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How to Have an Unforgettable Holiday

No, it doesn’t involve blowing off fingers with firecrackers. It’s about mushrooms. And no, I don’t mean that kind of mushrooms. I know, I know –what could be more unforgettable than mushrooms. But really!  A few months ago, Nicholas Bakalar, in the New York Times, reported on a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showing the benefits of mushrooms on older people’s brain function  with regard to memory. In that study, people who ate mushrooms at least twice a week were considerably less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than other people — including those people who had similar health histories and who ate similar other foods. The reason for this benefit may be that mushrooms have particular antioxidant qualities that prevent the buildup of Alzheimer’s Disease-associated chemicals in the brain.

With that information, I plan to include mushrooms in the dinner I’ll be grilling for my family this week on the Fourth. It’s a recipe I’ve shared with you before, “umami bomb” portabella mushrooms. In the original recipe, I roasted the mushrooms; this week, I’ll be grilling them. They’re fantastic either way. 

Eat your mushrooms – don’t forget! And no personal handling of firecrackers, please.

 “Umami Bomb” grilled portabella mushrooms


  •  1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1-2 tsp miso (any color you like)

  • 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large portabella mushrooms, stems removed

  • Italian parsley, minced

  • 1-2 tsp parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)


  • Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel, and cut off the stems.

  • In a baking dish, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Place mushroom caps upside down in the marinade, spoon some of the liquid into the caps, and marinate 15-60 minutes.

  • Place the caps on the grill over medium heat. Cook for ten minutes or so, until the mushrooms are kind of soft, flipping the mushrooms about halfway through.

  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley (as well as parmesan cheese, if you’re so inclined.