Thursday, January 19, 2012

#10 of 12 Foods to Eat More of in 2012

10. Mushrooms

I refused to eat a mushroom until I was about 24 years old--really.  This is odd because I could probably count on one hand the foods that I won't eat! When I learned they were one of the only vegetables my husband would eat, I decided I had to try to like them. It worked! Now we put them in almost everything. I’ve found that they're great to bulk up so many recipes because they have a meaty-kind of texture. Plus they cook very quickly, so it won't add much time to your dinner prep. Try many varieties as each are slightly different in flavor and texture: portabella, button, baby bella, cremini, oyster or shiitake. Baby bellas and buttons are staples in our fridge.

Mushrooms are good sources of cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber, B vitamins and several minerals including potassium and selenium. They're also a source of vitamin D, found in very few food sources besides dairy. Portabellas even have prebiotic properties (encourage growth of heatlhy bacteria in the colon). All together, no matter the variety--a very powerful package.  

Reap the rewards with some of these ideas for incorporating mushrooms into your daily fare:
  • Toss raw mushrooms into a salad
  • Sauté with Worcestershire sauce, garlic and pepper to top steaks
  • Sauté in olive oil with chicken breast and peas, then mix with pasta
  • Use as a topping on homemade pizza
  • Stir into rice, cous cous, quinoa or bulgur
  • Add to red pasta sauce and lasagna
  • Mix into soups--I especially love them in split pea and barley soup
  • Use a large portabella mushroom in place of meat on a burger, then add some blue cheese. YUM.
And the list could go on. See--extremely versatile! How do you incorporate mushrooms into meals?

And P.S.: My husband now eats many more veggies. It's a great example that it is possible to like new foods! You just have to keep trying. Or marry a dietitian. Either way, I think it's a win-win. Right, honey?