Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Being a pescitarian, I eat a lot of vegetables. For some dishes, you need one of the more meayt vegetables to fill it out and that is where I use mushrooms. Although, technically not a vegetable, but a fungus. You could of course use meat substitute like Quorn, but I like to avoid that as much as possible.

Mushrooms are great, especially if you are trying to watch your weight. A study done by the mushroom bureau (how funny would that company look on your CV) showed that when people swapped mushrooms for meat in at least 4 meals during the week, they lost an average of 12 pounds over 5 weeks. Some people in the study even shed a stone and a half! This is of course if you are following a balanced diet.

So, what's so good about mushrooms? Well, apart from being virtually fat free and containing only a trace of salt and sugar, they are a great source of fibre and B vitamins (which is important for vegetarians and vegans). They are very low in calories, with only 13 calories per 100g. They are also full of potassium, which helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of a stroke. In regards to men's health, mushrooms are a fantastic source of selenium which protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. In a recent study, men who consumed double the daily reccommended daily allowance of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65%. If that is not an insentive for you guys, I don't know what is.
Mushrooms have recently been given the title of a "super food" as they are one of the highest antioxidant vegetables. And don't think that swapping meat for mushrooms will leave you feeling hungry, because it won't. Mushrooms will help keep you fuller for longer, which means less snacking.

There are over 3,000 types of edible mushroom, and they all have such unique flaours that you can do so much with them. You can put them in soups, stir-frys, rissottos, omelettes, stews and so much more. I will include some great mushroom recipes in the future, as I cook with them so often, but the one I will be posting today is for mushroom stroganoff. I have kept it fairly low fat as well, but I would personally consider it a bit of a "treat" meal, as it is higher in fat than most of the meals I eat, just because of the creme fraiche.

Serves 2

- 25 mushrooms, chopped
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 3 gloves of garlic, crushed
- Small pot of reduced fat creme fraiche
- 50ml skimmed milk
- 2 tsp whole-grain mustard
- 1 tsp paprika
- Brown rice.

1) Cook brown rice for 25 minutes

2) After rice has been cooking for 15 minutes, chop mushrooms, shallots and garlic

3) Add to a wok/frying pan and fry in fry-lite for around 5 minutes

4) Add creme fraiche, milk, mustard and paprika and cook for 5 minutes

5) Serve on a bed of brown rice.

For those of you that do want to add some meat to the dish, you can bake a skin-less chicken breast and add some chopped pieces into the dish. Here is a photo with some chicken added in it. Added it to Dave's as he is eating a lot of chicken, as he needs to protein for working out.

Hope you enjoy

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