Mushrooms serve as a meat alternative. Although mushrooms are edible fungi and not legumes or grains–typical meat substitutes–mushrooms do have a hearty rich quality that compares to the texture and mouth-feel of meat. As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, many people are taking a second look at the mushroom for its nutritional contribution and meat-like texture. Learn why mushrooms are becoming a popular meat alternative and how mushrooms can substitute for meat in your favorite dishes.
Mushrooms and Nutrition
Commercially grown mushrooms are a safe and affordable substitute for meat. Portabella and button mushrooms are among the least expensive mushrooms that offer a firm meaty texture and hearty flavor to take the place of meat protein. Nutritionally, mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrition. According to Wikipedia, eating mushrooms can help strengthen the immune system. Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants and are low in calories. They are also fat-free and are a source of dietary fiber, B-vitamins, and various minerals.
Portabella Mushrooms in Place of Burgers
Portabella mushroom caps are delicious marinated and grilled on a gas or charcoal grill. If you marinate portabella mushrooms in a vinaigrette of olive oil, garlic, and red wine, you can infuse a flavor close to that of meat when grilled. Once grilled, you can place your portabella mushroom cap on a bun with ketchup, mustard, onions, and a pickle, and you’ll be amazed at how much like meat your grilled portabella mushroom tastes.
Portabella Mushrooms Baked or Fried
In addition to grilling a portabella mushroom, it can be breaded, deep-fried, or baked. But cost is worth noting. Large portabella mushrooms may be comparable in price to meat. For that reason, using baby portabella mushrooms or white button mushrooms may be a lot more economical for certain dishes or cooking methods.
Mushrooms in Mexican, Asian, and Italian Dishes
Sautéed with onions and peppers, mushrooms make great meat-like additions to Mexican burritos, tacos, or fajitas. You can also add sliced or whole mushrooms to stroganoff or a variety of Italian pasta dishes. Small button mushrooms look a lot like meatballs in a sauce. Finally, mushrooms add bulk texture that absorbs flavors, making mushrooms a great choice for meaty texture in Asian stir-fries.
Different varieties of mushrooms offer an assortment of different tastes. You’ll want to experiment and discover which mushroom variety works best with a particular meal or recipe. Mushrooms are a great meat alternative because some mushroom varieties are quite affordable. Mushrooms are also fat-free, nutritious, and taste incredibly like meat. Why not plan a meat-free meal using mushrooms as a meat alternative?