The ancient Egyptians believed mushrooms were the plant of immorality, and though they won't make you live forever, these cholesterol-free fungi are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients. With several varieties, there's one to complement any pasta, salad, or casserole you can imagine. Use these five tasty dishes to make mushrooms part of your meal.
Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms This recipe may be vegetarian, but the portobello mushrooms bring a meat-like texture and flavor. The stuffing of tomatoes, olives, and fontina cheese makes a filling Mediterranean dish. Plus this recipe packs 8 grams of protein (not bad for a veggie dish) and plenty of B vitamins.
Use this egg-based dish to sneak in plenty of iron-rich mushrooms and tender asparagus. The recipe calls for an exotic blend, and we recommend using shiitake or maitake varieties to create a rich, woodsy taste. Chives and parsley add plenty of spice, but the real treat is the shredded pecorino Romano cheese sprinkled on top.
Though this recipe calls for portobello mushrooms, you can substitute cremini mushrooms for a boost of the powerful antioxidant selenium. They have a hearty, full-bodied taste that complements the chicken and crème fraîche perfectly. Plus this rich-tasting recipe is ready in about 20 minutes.
Hearty whole-wheat pasta and a variety of earthy, exotic mushrooms give this dish a hefty dose of fiber and flavor with little saturated fat and almost no cholesterol. Mushrooms are also a great source of potassium and B vitamins. Splurge on truffle oil for a decadent touch, or simply use extra-virgin olive oil, which is also rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
This savory pizza packs more than half of your suggested dose of both iron and calcium with each delicious veggie-filled bite. The shiitake mushrooms also contain lentinan, a nutrient that is thought to power up the immune system and possibly have anticancer properties. And since this mini pizza is only one serving, you have automatic portion control.