As we're rediscovering the joys of cooking during lockdown, we're also realizing, once again, just how important and powerful what we eat is. What's even better is that there are so many foods out there offering health benefits that could assist with disease prevention. Health benefits, such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are found in bulk, especially when you combine them. Which is exactly what The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association have done for you.
Versatile superfood, mushrooms, make wonderful pan-pals with most other superfoods. Over the next few weeks we'll illustrate this with the different pairings that they have put together for us to try. I'll be sharing some yummy easy-to-make recipes to illustrate that power eating is delicious!
Mushrooms make the best pan-pals
While social distancing, washing hands often and not touching your face are the prescribed ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, being aware of your overall health and striving for optimal nutrition allows the immune system to function at its best.
There’s also the upside that cooking makes you happy. A recent study published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science found that “the act of cooking improves a person’s well-being and is associated with life satisfaction.”
So aprons on and check what’s in the fridge. Or start making a shopping list that includes fresh mushrooms – whichever kind you like and can find on supermarket shelves.
Fresh mushrooms, with their meaty texture and unmistakable umami flavour, simply make meals more satisfying, and their versatility allows your inner chef free reign at least three times a day.
Fresh mushrooms are a hero food for health and especially the immune system. “Eating more mushrooms is associated with greater consumption of vegetables in general, contributing to an overall more nutritious diet,” writes dietitian Ansley Hill on Healthline.
And for an added superfood boost, mushrooms are excellent pan-pals with other easy to find, affordable and flavoursome ingredients that are high in antioxidants to support immune function.
Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Ginger has proven anti-inflammatory properties; as do fresh mushrooms. In addition, they both contain the trace minerals copper, selenium and zinc, which help maintain the health of your DNA. Ginger is a beautiful aromatic for everything from mushroom-laden stir-fries to fragrant Mini Mushroom Laksa.
Mini Mushroom Laksa
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
750ml vegetable or chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 lime, juiced
500g baby button mushrooms
200g cooked vermicelli noodles
Spring onion, sliced chilli, basil & coriander.
For the Laksa Paste*:
4 cloves garlic, diced
3cm piece ginger, grated
2 shallots, sliced
4 red Thai chillies or similar
2 stalks lemongrass, finely grated
Handful fresh coriander
3cm piece fresh turmeric, grated
4 tsp shrimp paste
1 Tbs palm sugar
1 Tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs vegetable oil
*if you would like to make this super quickly you can use store bought laksa paste
To make the laksa paste:
Cook the ginger and garlic in the vegetable oil until fragrant.
Then add the cooked ginger and garlic along with all the other ingredients to a small food processor.
Process until the mixture forms a paste.
Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the laksa paste and cook, stirring, for 6–8 minutes or until fragrant.
Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil.
Turn down to a simmer and allow to reduce slightly.
Add the lime leaves and mushrooms and simmer until the mushrooms are tender.
Finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
Divide the noodles between small bowls and top with the laksa.
Top with the coriander, basil, spring onion and chilli to serve.
Don't forget to check back in next Monday to see what mushroom pan-pal I share.
DISCLAIMER: This was sponsored by The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association. The South African Mushroom Farmers' Association provided me with this recipe and associated image. 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.