How to tempt a mushroom hater

Breakfast

Blueberry wheats, soya milk, apple

Different breakfast promised for tomorrow!

Lunch

Hummus and tomato roll, fruit, nuts, vegan chocolate buttons

Yesterday’s home made hummus (recipe provided by Sarah) was so good that I couldn’t help using it for today’s sandwich too. It still tasted great so obviously does well in the fridge. The vegan chocolate buttons were the ones you can buy in Tesco. They give a sugar boost for the afternoon and are nice and light to carry around.

Dinner

‘Creamy’ mushroom pasta, watercress, beetroot and sultana salad. Dessert: mandarins with Alpro soya chocolate dessert

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Although I wouldn’t say I ‘hated’ any vegetable, I have to admit that mushrooms are often in the lower realms of the list. I really like them in this dish though, as their own mushroomy flavour goes well with Italian tastes like garlic, lemon and parsley. This is also the pasta recipe that I always turn to when I have no time to cook or don’t feel like waiting for dinner. I find it’s always useful to keep a carton of soya cream in the cupboard for emergency pasta sauces, and even mini supermarkets can usually provide a packet of mushrooms. Hopefully some of the other ingredients are likely to be in your store cupboard anyway, but if not then they’re pretty standard and easy to get hold of too.

Ingredients for ‘creamy’ mushroom pasta (serves 2):

– 150 g pasta

– Olive oil

– 1 large onion

– 1 pack of mushrooms

– 2 cloves of garlic

– A good handful of parsley

– Zest of 2-3 lemons

– A carton of soya cream

Method:

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (or cheat and use a kettle). Meanwhile chop the onion and mushrooms and set aside.

2. Add the pasta to the boiling water with a little oil and simmer until tender (about 10 mins).

3. Meanwhile, heat a good splash of oil in a pan and add the onion. Saute, stirring constantly, until it turns semi transparent.

4. Add the mushrooms, along with the garlic and parsley. Continue  to simmer, stirring very frequently, until the mushrooms begin to exude some liquid. Stir in the lemon zest.

5.  When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the mushrooms. Stir in the soya cream and simmer until it’s thoroughly heated. Serve while still piping hot.

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The salad was another case of store cupboard/fridge ingredients but turned out well. For one person, all you need is a bowl full of watercress, one small beetroot (chopped) and generous handfuls of sultanas/dried cranberries and pistachio nuts. The bitter/sweet/salty flavours work really well together.

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Dessert was an  instant concoction but tasted good. I used tinned mandarins, topped with one of the lovely Alpro soya desserts. You can generally find these in the free from section of supermarkets (with all the gluten-free products), and they come in vanilla, ‘milk’ chocolate and dark chocolate form. They taste amazing and the only thing that gives away their animal-free identity is their lightness.

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