I like to eat meat but I also love to eat meatless meals. I don’t much care for tofu or other meat substitutes, mushrooms are my favorite meat alternative. The varieties I like tend to have a chewier texture similar to meat, but obviously without the meat, which makes a great fill-in for vegetarian meals.
Oyster mushrooms are fantastic as meat alternatives. This mild, in scent and taste, mushroom has significant antioxidant properties, antibacterial effects, are high in zinc, iron, potassium, calcium phosphorus, folic acid, vitamin C, niacin and vitamins B-1 and B-2. If all of that isn’t enough their protein is nearly as equal to that of animal protein. You can see why they make such a great alternative to meat.
Just like nearly all other mushrooms they too can be used in a vast amount of recipes. Because they are thin they tend to absorb spices quite well, and their mild taste won’t overpower the other ingredients in a dish. Oyster mushrooms can be cooked whole, sliced or cut into rough pieces. But they cook quickly so keep that in mind when cooking alongside ingredients that have longer cooking times.
Did you know that oyster mushrooms are used to make vegetarian oyster sauce? Good to know!
- 1 cluster oyster mushrooms
- 1 small pack of snow peas (also called mangetout)
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Madras curry powder, I used about 1 tbsp but start off with a small amount and increase to taste
- ground cayenne pepper, optional
- salt to taste
- 1.5 tbps olive oil or veg oil of choice
- Separate the oyster mushroom cluster. You may want to cut away most of the stems as they tend to be rubbery and tough. Throughly rinse the mushrooms making sure to remove any trapped debris in the gills.
- Heat the oil and saute the garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for a minute, then add mushrooms and snow peas. Season with salt and cayenne (if using) to taste and cook until vegetables have soften to desired texture.
This day we were both craving a light vegetarian dinner to balance out the last couple of meaty meals. We also wanted a dish with a bit of spice, plenty of health benefits and not too many calories. This curried oyster mushroom and snow pea saute was the perfect meal. It has spice, a protein, a vegetable and won’t leave you feeling overstuffed. What else can one ask for? Nothing more, in my opinion.
Have a fantastic week!