People often say to us mushrooms, it must be difficult being virtually fat free and being the envy of all the other vegetables? They ask whether it’s a burden helping to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood whilst looking so irresistible.
Well mushroom fans, it’s a tough job, but we do it all for you!
And now, with running season around the corner we know that many of you are looking to make an early start to your training.
You may have just entered the ballot for the most popular half marathon in the world, the great north run or more importantly you may just be doing it to stay healthy and lose weight.
Well we’re here to help. Think of us as your new personal trainer. Now get down and give us fifty. Only joking!
Expert running tips from the running experts taketothestreets.org advise you:
- listen to your body
- know your limits
- don’t become stale
And, our favourite goal of them all; identify your nutritional goals, making sure you convert food into energy. And this is where us mushrooms can help!
What should runners eat?
So what should runners eat? Something with plenty of carbohydrates for energy and as little fat as possible (without detracting from the flavour, you’re not a robot). It needs to be quick and simple, giving you more time to pound the streets.
Well this pasta dish with mushrooms, leeks and pancetta should help to provide your body with the combination of energy, nutrition and deliciousness that it requires.
NHS guidelines advise us about the benefits of a diet where we eat less saturated fat to prevent the increase of cholesterol in the blood.
Mushrooms have natural compounds called statins. These stop the body from absorbing bad cholesterol from the food we eat and help to prevent the bad cholesterol from building up in our arteries.
So, using crème fraîche instead of cream means there is less fat. The addition of a small amount of pancetta helps to add to the range of flavours, but of course, you can always leave it out or replace with a vegetarian substitute to further decrease the fat content.
Tip: try and trim all visible fat from meat when cooking.
And of course, mushrooms are very low in calories meaning that you get the benefit of vitamins and minerals without having to worry about your waistline!
Pasta with mushrooms, leeks and pancetta – serves 4
250g chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
300g of your favourite pasta
125g pancetta, sliced (or vegetarian substitute)
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
2-3 tbsp crème fraîche
Bunch parsley, chopped (or fresh herb of your choice)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan savings to serve
salt and black pepper
Put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.
While the pasta is simmering away, heat the oil in a large pan and add the pancetta or vegetarian substitute and cook until it starts to go golden brown. Add the leeks and then really get the party started by adding the mushrooms. Season and turn the heat up to high, cooking for 8-10 minutes. The mushrooms and leeks should reduce in size.
Drain the pasta and toss in the pan with the mushrooms, leeks and pancetta. Add the crème fraîche ensuring that everything is nicely coated. Then mix in the fresh herbs and a bit of parmesan to taste. Remember to wait a few hours after eating before you run.
Bet you’re glad you have a mushroom for a personal trainer now aren’t you? (Now get down and give us fifty).