With the incredible heat we have been experiencing here in Johannesburg recently we have been enjoying lighter meals like this grilled mushroom Caprese Salad.
Overweight South Africans can reduce their Covid risk
Research has shown that 53.8% (over half) of adult South Africans are overweight or obese. And this is not just weight gain during Covid! Research dating back to 2016 indicated that 68% of women and 31% of men over the age of 15 are overweight.
Alarmingly 13% of children under the age of FIVE (yes, just five) are obese! According to the most recent national survey, 14.2% of primary school children are already overweight. This prevalence is highest at 30% in girls living in urban areas.
“These are scary statistics particularly as many international studies show a link between obesity and serious COVID-19 infection,” says Dr Gert du Toit, a surgeon who practices at the multi-disciplinary metabolic centre at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital, which is accredited as a Centre of Excellence for Metabolic Medicine by the South African Society for Surgery, Obesity, and Metabolism (SASSO).
Luckily there are many healthy eating options available to South Africans. One of the most delicious options s fresh mushrooms!
Cultivated by South African mushroom farmers, they are affordable and available on supermarket shelves throughout the year.
Mushrooms are low in calories and contain no fat or cholesterol. There are, however, loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that make them the perfect weight-loss food.
Moreover, meaty, umami-rich mushrooms reduce your reliance on meat by adding a unique savory flavor to meatless dishes.
Mushrooms contain beta-glucans that have been proven to boost and stimulate our immune system to produce more ‘natural killer’ cells which are essential for fighting toxins, age-related diseases, tumors, and cancer.
The phytonutrients and antioxidants in mushrooms may also prevent plaque buildup along artery walls. This reduces blood vessel hardening and assists in lowering blood pressure.
Neither fruit nor a vegetable, mushrooms are potent disease fighters and a wise addition to your diet. No wonder they’re our go-to superfood!
Grilled Mushroom Caprese Salad
As flexitarians, we rely heavily on mushrooms to add substance to our meat-free meals.
Mushrooms add meatiness and flavor, as well as an extra-large dose of vitamins, minerals, and more. One of the reasons we love this grilled mushroom caprese salad!
In South Africa, the braai is the Afrikaans name for grilled meat. The love of shisa nyama or braai is something most South Africans share. But you don’t only have to braai meat! It’s a great way to prepare mushrooms for salads.
Grilled Mushroom Caprese Salad
- 500 g Portabello mushrooms
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 300 g vine tomatoes*
- 300 g exotic tomatoes*
- 250 g buffalo mozzarella
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar divided
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Prepare your braai and allow coals or wood to burn down. OR preheat a gas braai on medium.
- In a large bowl combine 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp chopped basil, salt, and pepper.
- Add the mushrooms and vine tomatoes. Toss to coat and allow to marinate in the fridge for one hour.
- Braai the mushrooms and vine tomatoes until cooked through and they both just begin to have their skins wrinkle.
- Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Slice the mushrooms into 1cm wide slices.
- Slice the exotic tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and tear the mozzarella into small pieces.
- On a large platter combine the tomatoes (both fresh and braaied), mushrooms, mozzarella, and basil.
- Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Finish with flaky salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
You can find more mushroom recipes HERE.
Yours in good health,
DISCLAIMER: This post was sponsored by The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association. The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association provided me with this recipe and associated images. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing company, and/or its affiliates, in any way. The fact is, I’m crazy about mushrooms, and want to shout it from the rooftops anyway.