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Meat substitute For Vegetarian Meals

Mushrooms are known to be a fabulous culinary vegetarian substitute for high calorie meat. How…

Growing up with only vegetarian meals, my mother used to make mushroom dishes and would call them the vegetarian meat. The only variety available in those days where I grew up was the button mushrooms. They tasted so good and the meat-eaters  who got to taste the dishes my mother cooked said that they do actually taste like meat when cooked.

These days the variety of mushrooms is amazing. Mushrooms such as Cremini, (otherwise known as the Brown Mushroom, Brown cap, Chestnut, Champignon Marron), Portabello (large Cremni, which are by far my most favourite variety of exotic mushroom), and Trumpet Royale Mushroom and Eryngii Mushroom or King Oyster Mushroom have a heavy texture and a savoury bite that is as flavoursome as meat. Not only healthy, mushrooms are also as palatable and satiable as meat, making you feel full and gratified.

A low-carbohydrate mushroom recipe is definitely something worth trying. For meat lovers who are struggling to give up high-energy density meat in the diet, or people who are deliberating to move toward vegetarian alternatives, Mushrooms are low in calories (1 full cup contains only about 45 calories), low in sodium, have virtually zero fat and cholesterol. For that reason I include large quantities of mushrooms in my family’s easy vegetarian meals. That’s probably why they complement so many meat dishes and why some even consider them as the meat-eaters vegetarian choice.

Mushrooms are also rich in natural glutamates, contain a host of amino acids, and have an excellent source of vitamins B and D, a nutrient very much associated with prevention against osteoporosis and colon cancer.

My mother’s favourite mushroom dish to complement any meat or vegetarian meals is the creamy mushrooms.
Gently brushing along the underside of the mushrooms is great to get rid of any dirt that might be hiding there. This is well worth the effort. Finely chop your parsley, stalks and all, reserving a few of the leaves.

vegetarian meals creamy vegetarian mushroomPut 30gm butter into a large hot pan and as soon as it starts to melt add a drizzle of olive oil, 300gms of chanterelle mushrooms, half sliced red onion and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything around and cook for about 8 minutes, and the mushrooms are starting to take on colour.

Add the small bunch of chopped parsley then pour in 150ml of cream. Continue to stir and cook for another minute, until the cream has come to the boil, then simmer on low heat for a minute before removing from the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and add salt and pepper or lemon juice to taste. This recipes serves 4.

The cream gives the illusion of being really creamy when it’s actually not. The pic doesn’t show any creamy sauce as I actually eneded up using it for other dishes which you will see through the blog.

Serve with crusty Italian bread. Great as a starter, this is the tastiest accompaniment to any vegetarian meals. What a treat!

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