Spotlight On Mushrooms

Mushrooms. Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi. They can appear either below ground or above ground where they may be picked by hand.

I know, you already saw the title to this post and have thought about  checking out and not reading past this sentence. Maybe my sass and humor might keep you around for at least the next paragraph or two 😉

Maybe you’re wondering of ALL the foods on the planet why I’d make fungus the subject of my food spotlight post. Why not something tastier and prettier to look at?


I know… I hear you.. but miss out on telling you cool things about mushrooms you may not even know?

Like get this… do you know their DNA is more closely related to a human level than plant?


They are more closely related to humans than plants.

Ahhhh… now I’ve got you!

Bet you didn’t know that, right?

So are mushrooms vegetables?

The simple answer is no, it’s not a vegetable although it’s in the vegetable family due to it’s nutritional make up.

Ok so hold on for a little science here…..

mushrooms are fruiting bodies of macroscopic filamentous fungi.  Earlier when mycology ( the study of fungi) arose it was a part of botany.  This happened because fungi were considered to be primitive plants. The biggest difference in a (plant) vegetable and a mushroom is how they get their food. Plants if you remember from middle school science, possess chlorophyll and make their own food via photosynthesis.

How handy is that?

Fungi on the other hand exist on decaying material in nature.

There are also the obvious structural differences, such as a lack of roots, leaves, and seeds.

Fungi basically have their own kingdom on the basis of cellular organization.

So the bottom line?

We share similar DNA’s.. have you ever thought much about how good mushrooms are almost like meat?

I will mention hubby strongly argues this point 😛

I won’t bog us down in anymore science stuff, go look if you don’t believe me.

Have you ever wondered why mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D? And one of the few sources that naturally contain it?

Because like us, they can absorb it from the sunlight.

Their cellular structure allows them to absorb it just like our skin does.

Eat your mushrooms for natural Vitamin D 🙂

I hate mushrooms.

Well, not anymore.  I have to confess I haven’t started eating them till later in life. They started becoming more of a staple in my diet a few years ago, once I got past their ugly factor and bland appearance.

I can’t imagine now not tossing them in my basket with all the other produce.

They  show up in my breakfast veggie blend, salads, stir fry, and oven roasted veggie mixes.

Heck, I even grind them up and toss them in with hamburger for spaghetti or taco meat but don’t tell my family that cause they will say I’m trying to poison them.

Seriously, ground mushrooms are great add in’s to hamburger dishes. I tell you, no one will know. 😉

What’s the nutritional low down

One medium mushroom has 4 calories… 4 measly little calories… which means you can eat a whole lot of them for not much impact.

Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants like selenium and glutathione, or GSH, substances believed to protect cells from damage and reduce chronic disease and inflammation.

One cup of mushrooms provides 1-2 grams of protein, have no fat or cholesterol and are very low in sodium.

So let’s eat.

If you haven’t been a mushroom fan, you might have to work through your issues 😉

Mushrooms are wonderful sautéed, especially with onions. They work great in casseroles, roasted veggie dishes and more.

Try these recipes….

If you haven’t tried them or have reserved opinions on them, why not attempt them mingled in with other foods?

Do I look like I’ve just harvested these out of the woods?

Don’t be fooled with the pic above, I’m no gardener. Plants come to my house to die 😛 I thought you might just appreciate all my “back yard” behind me 😉 and it made a nice drop for mushrooms….

Oh. And don’t eat those mushrooms in the woods, they can mess with your head.

Your turn… you tell me… did my post make you shudder thinking you’ll never eat fungus? Or do they find their way to your plate? Do you have ways you enjoying eating them? 



The Skinny On Veggies

I wandered through the produce department tossing various veggies in my basket, once again struck by the amazing color and vast variety of goodies there was to choose from and perplexed at how so many people could ignore so much of this part of the store.

Ok I will freely admit my veggie consumption has increased …tons….in the last few years. True, I didn’t grow up a picky eater and learned to eat a good variety of foods but as an adult I’ve let myself really experiment more and remember the wise words of my Mom…..

“Oh try some… it won’t kill you!”

And again… Mom knows best 😉

veggie tales
Veggies should be fun 😉



I will admit when I talk with people to see so many still kinda turn their noses up at eating veggies? ….or they consider veggies to be corn, peas, and potatoes? No.

Here’s my take on it….why you want more….

First, they all pack ridiculously low level of calories, while delivering high levels of vitamins, minerals and other body healthy goodness, why wouldn’t you go after foods that were that filling AND low in calories?

More food… more satisfied… build a healthy body… that’s a winning deal, right?

Yet so many people have weird hang ups with them, refuse to eat them, or eat very little of them.

So here’s what I’m gonna tell you.. and I might sound like your mom.. well .. I am a listen to me…

Eat your veggies, they ARE amazingly good for you and can be a key component in getting lean and staying lean. Not only that, high vegetable intake has been shown to reduce major diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity and others.

Where oh where does one start if they’ve been living an anti-veggie life, or living a low-level veggie life ?

First, start with what you like. Don’t for the love of all things green choke down broccoli if you can’t stand it. There are a zillion types of veggies, you’ll find some you enjoy.

Aim for at least 2-3 cups at a meal, yes, that means some of you will be consuming a lot of produce. Don’t freak on me. When you learn to eat them at all meals you’ll see it’s not to hard.

Cook them in all kinds of ways. Roast, sautéed, grilled and steamed are  all  ways of enjoying them.

Roasting lately, is my all time favorite way to prepare them. For some reason it brings out the flavors and crisps them some and…yeah.. deliciousness. I have been hooked on roasted cauliflower lately.  The cool thing is, my kids wolf it down just as fast =)

When you fill your plate with a variety of veggies, you will need less of higher calorie foods.

Washing, cleaning and having prepared raw veggies in fridge will make it easier to grab them for snacks and salads.

Olive oil with some stone ground pepper, and a little sea salt are the secret ingredients to yummy roasted veggies.

 Some helpful tips for building more into your daily nutritional plan:

Learn to eat them at all meals. Sautéing mushrooms, spinach, and peppers together is very good with eggs.

Learn to incorporate all kinds into a lunch salad ( and remember to lose those crazy high fat dressings)  I honestly get the biggest bulk of mine at lunch on most days.

Look for recipes that sound good and experiment with something new.  I know that sounds like… a no brainer… but I’m surprised at people who settle for over steamed, wilted options … no wonder they don’t wanna eat them 😉

Remember, start small with your goal to gradually increase.

Ok and here’s a fun little cheat sheet for you to get you started cooking…


roasted veggies

The green one is a bonus sheet… or selfishly for me… I want to try a couple of these =)

Ok… I’m done preaching. Tell me.. are you a veggie lover? Do you struggle? Do you have fav recipes for some ? Share.