Need Umami? Try Using Mushrooms Instead of Meat
December 6, 2011 11 Comments
When you think of foods that will help you replace red meat in your diet, what comes to your mind? Obviously, not celery.
The problem for red meat eaters is that they love the taste of steak, burgers, etc. and they don't want to give it up. Sadly, medical research is finding that excess consumption of red meat is leading to heart disease and cancer.
The taste meat eaters like is called "umami", which is the fifth basic taste in additon to sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.
I had never heard about "umami" until I started watching "Top Chef". The taste is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation.
And, yes, some of us crave it. Those same people want to live a long time so we need to find other ways to get the flavor without the consequences.
How about mushrooms?
Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more.
The best part is that you can find PRE-SLICED mushrooms in your produce section right now. They are as easy as meat to cook and while they lack the texture of meat - they have a umami taste that is quite satisfying.
Two cups of mushrooms is a whopping 30 calories. Three ounces of cooked red meat (90% lean) is 200 calories. If you can make the shift to mushrooms, you are going to do your waistline a massive favor.
In the recipe below, I used a $2 container of sliced mushrooms to make 4 tacos. The calories in this recipe derive principally from the tortilla - and you have to keep your tortilla size and type in mind.
I just mixed in some fresh salsa, which I buy in the produce section. These would taste great with extra hot sauce, a little cheese, or anything else you like on your taco.
Mushroom Tacos Recipe
(makes 4 tacos)
1-8 ounce container sliced mushrooms
1 container fresh salsa
small corn tortillas
Spray non-stick pan with non-stick spray such as an olive oil mist. Put mushrooms in pan and cook for 10 minutes or until most of the water has been released. Add salsa, heat through, and serve on tortilla.
For one serving on 52 calorie tortilla: 73 calories, 0.9 g fat, 14.6 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g protein, 2.6 g fiber, 206 mg sodium, 2 Points+
Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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