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You Can Have It All with Mushrooms

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD Wellness Services Corporate Dietitian

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May 14th, 2018

Bolognes

It’s time to give credit where credit is due!

Do you want to eat more plant foods and enjoy smaller servings of lean meat while enjoying your favorite dishes? Are you trying to add key nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins and selenium to your diet? What about trimming some extra calories from your daily total and dollars from your weekly food budget? You can have it all by adding mushrooms to your meals!

Read on for four helpful and healthful ways adding mushrooms to your diet will allow you to have it all!

Unique Array of Nutrients

Mushrooms are packed with uniquely helpful plant compounds, some of which have been linked to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, along with enhanced immunity and slowing cancer growth. Mushrooms are the leading source of a couple key nutrients in the produce aisle like selenium, an antioxidant that helps protect body cells from damage that may lead to chronic diseases and vitamin D which helps build and maintain strong bones.

Couples with Different Food Tastes

Please meat lovers and plant-centric people alike with a 50/50 meat and mushroom blend! Blending lean ground meat with chopped mushrooms offers a happy medium for couples or families that may be trying to align closer to a vegetarian diet but still love to eat meat. Mushrooms take the place of half the grass-fed lean beef in this versatile recipe for a Mushroom Blend Taco Base! Use this tasty recipe as the filling in tacos, burritos or quesadillas, and as a topping for taco salads, nachos or taco pizza and casseroles.

Mushroom blend taco base

Chopped mushrooms can also be blended with other proteins. Boost the savory flavors of umami while getting all those wonderful unique nutrients in mushrooms by blending it with ground turkey. You’ll love the texture and the sweet and umami taste comb in these Teriyaki Turkey Sliders.

Mushroom Blend Teriyaki

Cut Calories and Save Money

When you replace a portion of meat with chopped mushrooms, that pound of ground meat goes twice as far, saving you money. Because mushrooms are low in calories and fat, subbing this chopped veggie in place of meat will also help you cut calories! In this recipe for Mushroom & Spinach Italian-Style Meatballs, half of the ground beef has been replaced with chopped mushrooms and spinach creating a delicious and filling pasta topper or appetizer.

Italian Style Meatballs

Boost Flavors

Those finely-chopped mushrooms not only look like meat when blended together and cooked, they also boost umami flavors big time with high levels of flavor-enhancing compounds. Mushrooms can even act as a straight substitute for meat in some dishes. You won’t miss the meat in this vegetarian/vegan rendition of Spaghetti Bolognese. Add parmesan cheese and milk for a vegetarian entrée or keep it vegan by substituting coconut or soy milk and nutritional yeast.

Mushroom Bolognese

For more major mushroom inspo, check out our Pinterest page!

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