Thursday, August 9, 2007

Add more mushrooms to everyday meals

Add more mushrooms to everyday meals

(Jul 11, 2007)

(CP) - Tasty and versatile, mushrooms add vitamins and nutrients to your favourite dishes -- with almost no calories, fat or sodium

Including fresh mushrooms in everyday meals is a great way to boost vitamin intake while adding virtually no calories, fat or sodium. Tossing some sliced mushrooms into green salads, soups, stews, stir-fries and omelettes as well as pasta and rice dishes is easy and quick.

Grilling a whole portobello mushroom makes a tasty low-fat "burger'' and sautéed fresh mushrooms lend a savoury depth of flavour to chicken, beef and fish.

Here are two grilling recipes from Mushrooms Canada that can be ready in minutes -- all with mushrooms in their ingredient list.


45 ml (3 tbsp.) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 large fresh portobello mushroom caps
4 whole-wheat pita breads (each 15 to 18 cm/6 to 7 inch)
75 ml (1/3 cup) sun-dried tomato pesto
1 l (4 cups) baby spinach or arugula leaves
125 ml (1/2 cup) shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and garlic; lightly brush mushrooms on both sides with garlic oil. Grill mushrooms on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until mushrooms are slightly softened.
2. Meanwhile, place pitas on barbecue grill over high heat and cook for 2 minutes on one side or until warmed through. Remove to a tray or cutting board and spread softer side with tomato pesto. Top with spinach, and then warm mushrooms, stem side up. Return to barbecue and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer or until slightly crisp. Garnish with Parmesan. Cut in halves or quarters and serve immediately. Add pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 370 calories, 16 g protein, 18 g fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre.

Note: If mushrooms are too large for the pita, thickly slice mushrooms on a cutting board and place on top of spinach. Thinner pitas will crisp better than thicker ones.

Wine match: Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc.

15 ml (1 tbsp.) olive oil
250 g (8 oz) fresh mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, crushed
5 ml (1 tsp.) dried basil leaves
500 ml (2 cups) grated old cheddar cheese
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
4 oval panini rolls (about 10 cm/4 inches), halved
250 ml (1 cup) baby spinach leaves

1. In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until just until starting to brown. Stir in garlic and basil; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix cheese and tomatoes; spread evenly on bottom half of each roll. Arrange mushrooms, then spinach, evenly on top of cheese. Top with the other half of the roll and press firmly.
3. Place in a preheated sandwich grill (according to manufacturer's directions) and cook for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and cheese has melted. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 484 calories, 22 g protein, 27 g fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g fibre.

Note: If sandwich grill is not available, heat a well-seasoned ridged grill pan or a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place sandwiches in pan and place another heatproof pan or skillet on top of sandwiches; weight down with canned goods and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn panini over and repeat on other side. Lower heat after sandwich is browned to melt cheese.

Tip: Substitute other crusty rolls or kaiser buns for panini rolls or use 8 slices French, Italian or sourdough bread cut 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick .
Variation: Substitute 125 ml (1/2 cup) softened goat cheese (about 125 g/4 oz) for cheddar and baby arugula leaves for spinach.

Wine match: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Recent research has found that mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called l-ergothioneine. Here are some facts on this antioxidant:

- Ergothioneine has shown antioxidant properties as a scavenger of strong oxidants.
Antioxidant activity is enhanced by the presence of selenium, which helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals within the body.

- A 125-ml (1/2-cup) serving of cooked sliced white mushrooms provides 13 per cent of the daily needs for selenium.

- Portobello and cremini mushrooms have substantial amounts of ergothioneine, followed closely by white mushrooms.

- Exotic mushrooms such as maitake, oyster and shiitake have the highest amounts of ergothioneine.


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