A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make "Shroom" for Mushrooms

Are you scared of mushrooms?  Even the very common White Button mushroom found in most stores and salad bars tend to instill fear in most people.  It's a credible fear to have with over 14k species of mushrooms and only 3,000 being edible.  But, of the 14,000, only one percent are recognized as actually poisonous.  Don't take that as a pass to go out picking mushrooms thinking you have a low chance of getting a poisonous one though.  Unless you are in the presence of a mycologist (fungi specialist), stick with the store bought mushrooms to be safe.

Although many are not radiating with color, these little forest umbrellas have plenty to offer in the form of vitams, minerals, and antioxidants.  A few benefits that mushrooms offer are:

  • Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates2. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.
  • Mushrooms are also a source of important minerals like Selenium, Copper, and Potassium
  • Rich source of Vitamin D – the only source of Vitamin D along the produce aisle and noted as one of the few food sources not fortified with it.
  • Rich in protein (about 51 % on dry weight basis)
  • Made up of 80 to 90 percent water, low calorie, high fiber, and great taste means you can eat as many as you want without worrying about gaining weight.

I find the vast assortment of mushrooms very interesting (list of edible mushrooms) and plan on trying as many kinds that I come across.  I switch from buying the typical button mushrooms, shitakes (when on sale), cremini, and portobella in bulk every week.  They are great in salads, rice or pasta dishes, or just cut up and eaten plain.  When I eat them plain, they're great paired with mustard, cottage cheese, or hummus for a tasty dip you don't need chips, crackers, or other breads for.
Besides baking portobellas at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, I enjoy most varieties raw.  Try them sauteed by following this simple recipe:
Ingredients for 4 servings:

• 3 green onions with tops, chopped
• 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
• 1/4 cup dry red wine, good quality you would drink alone
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


1. Saute green onion in non-stick pan over med-high heat until tender.
2. Add red wine and bring to a simmer.
3. Add remaining ingredients and cook uncovered over low heat until mushrooms are tender, usually takes 30 minutes.

Try adding greens like spinach for an extra nutrition boost.
 Whatever you do, adding mushrooms to your weekly arsenal of food will help to keep you happy and healthy.  And, for a more intense flavor in your mushroom recipes, just add cayenne!!

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