Mushrooms can be a bit of an intimidating ingredient. I remember as a kid, my scientist mother told me that that they're actually an "edible fungi" and that yes, I am supposed to eat them despite my knee-jerk reaction. "But don't eat all of them," she warned, "because certain varieties, like the ones in the park, could be poisonous." Wait, what? Poisonous?! Talk about being confused from a young age!

Exotic Mushrooms

These days though, I am a true believer in the magic of mushrooms--no, not that kind of magic--I'm talking about their ability to provide tons of flavor and enhance the other foods that they're paired with. Don't believe me? Well, it's science! Mushrooms are high in glutamate, (an amino acid), making them the king of "umami," that fifth hard-to-describe savory taste also found in aged cheeses, soy sauce and cured meats.

So what does this have to do with Meatless Monday? When you're looking for a vegetarian recipe that will satisfy every palate, reach for mushrooms! With their distinctive texture and flavor boosting powers, you won't even notice that the meal is missing meat! (Plus, by going for mushrooms, you can even save a couple bucks compared to buying meat and calories!) Check out some of our favorite meatless mushrooms recipes below!

What's YOUR favorite mushrooms? Tell us below in the comments!