One popular and widely-used ingredient that you can find in several vegetarian dishes is the mushroom. This versatile, edible fungus features an earthy umami taste, making it an excellent substitute for meat. When cooked, mushrooms have a density and texture – not to mention a flavour – that becomes almost meat like. It’s the perfect base if you’re looking to create vegetarian versions of classic recipes.
If you’re not sure how to tap into the vegan, vegetarian or healthy eating market, why not start with mushrooms? Here are five recipes to get you started.
Everyone loves a good burger – including vegetarians, who typically turn to mushrooms to make a patty that’s delicious and filling. Here’s one recipe.
Start with lentil mushrooms (although this recipe will work with almost any mushroom) and cook with onions, garlic, green onions and cumin. Mash pinto or black beans and combine with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. The bean mash will hold the patty together on the grill. Serve sandwiched between whole wheat buns, or roasted sweet potato buns, for a more creative take.
Mushroom steaks can be just as rich and flavorful as a steak. Typically, chefs used large portobello mushrooms that have a similar look and feel with beef.
Start with a classic marinade of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Destem your mushrooms, slice and soak in the marinade for at least 30 minutes. Grill carefully and gently flip the mushrooms (they’re softer than meat). Serve with grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes or rice.
So, better include stroganoff and Bolognese recipes that are meat and dairy-free. Utilise gluten-free or 100 percent whole wheat pasta. You can also make your batch using red lentils, chickpeas, quinoa or brown rice. Saying that the pasta dough is created in your own kitchen is a significant value-add to your offerings.
One popular choice among adults and kids is spaghetti and meatballs. Incorporate mushrooms and black beans in the meatballs and prepare it like you would a burger patty. Give it a nice kick by seasoning the mushroom-balls with Knorr Aromat. While boiling the pasta, sauté the mushroom-balls in olive oil or a light sauce.
Give a summer feeling to your restaurant by including grilled mushrooms on a stick. Instead of pork, beef or chicken, use button, baby portobello or cremini mushrooms. Marinade them in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Then place over a charcoal grill to add a smoky taste.
You can also make a kabob that includes green and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and white onions on the skewer.
Yes, vegetarian dim sum exists, although not everyone knows this. Be a trailblazer and offer this Chinese dish with a mushroom filling instead. Mix shiitake or portobello mushrooms with carrots, ginger, garlic and Napa cabbage. Then put them inside dim sum wrappers before boiling, steaming or frying.
Be sure to check if the wrappers you’ll be using are vegetarian by checking the ingredients. Or better yet, make your own using water, flour and corn starch.
Before you start brainstorming and deciding which mushroom recipes to include in your vegetarian menu, keep in mind that this ingredient isn’t packed with the same amount of protein as meat. So, it’s best if you pair any dish with another protein source like tofu, nuts or beans.