mushroom-groupThere is something so much more exciting about a mushroom than many other vegetables. For a start, we have about 25-30 commercially available species of mushrooms to choose from, so we need never be bored of a mushroom!! Particularly as it’s such a fun-gi (the Dads in my life will be proud of that Dad-joke!!).

Mushrooms grow year round in a variety of habitats, they’re cheap, they’re strong in flavour and they are fantastically delicious!!! They contain a kaleidoscope of nutrients and health properties – find out all the juicy details in this Scientific Investigation from Mushrooms and Health.

My favourite mushroom facts include:

– they are low in sodium yet high in glutamates – which means they pack quite a flavour punch

– they are one of the few foods that provide a natural source of vitamin D

– they are a good source of niacin, riboflavin, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and sometimes selenium

– they possess both anti-microbial and anti-tumour properties

 

What more could you want from such a versatile vegetable?

1 cup of mushrooms provides 1 serve of vegetables and because they shrink so much when they are cooked, it is easy to eat a lot of them.

 

Last night we had an abundance of fresh mushrooms from Tiong Bahru market in Singapore so we cooked one of my favourite Meatless Monday recipes – Mushroom and Quinoa Risotto. The quinoa offers a delicious crunch and a perfect source of protein to a meatless meal while the mushrooms and parmesan cheese provide huge amounts of flavour. Add to that some delicious rocket and lemon juice and this is a beautiful veggie-packed meal.

 

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Mushroom and Quinoa Risotto

 Serves 4

2 tbs olive oil

200g mixed mushrooms, thickly sliced (I use oyster, shiitake and enoki)

1L (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken stock

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

175g arborio rice

100g quinoa

2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan

50g baby rocket leaves

1 lemon, juiced

 

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir in mushrooms for 5 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, place the stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and hold at a gentle simmer.

Heat remaining oil in frying pan over medium heat. Stir in leek and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add mushrooms, rice, quinoa and thyme. Stir to coat.

Add 80ml (1/3 cup) of the stock to the rice mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Add the stock, 80ml (1/3 cup) at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. Continue for 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa and rice are tender. Stir in the parmesan and season.

Combine the rocket and lemon juice in a bowl. Divide the risotto among serving bowls and top with the rocket mixture.

 

Bon appétit and enjoy!!

Mushroom photo source: www.mushrooms.ca

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