Superfoods cookbook, 160 pp.
by Michelle Bridges
Penguin Books, Australia, 2014
Cooking on page 32
Michelle Bridges is an institution for weight loss in Australia. As one of the fitness and lifestyle coaches for the popular TV series The Biggest Loser, she’s dished out advice on, among other things, what and what not to eat.
She’s written several cookbooks, writes regular newspaper columns and has developed a whole range of expensive health foods and supplements.
Luckily I don’t need to obsess about my weight and I can give those gimmicky things a miss, but I did check this out of the library to make the breakfast recipe on page 32.
Spicy mushrooms on cheesy toast
3 teaspoons olive oil
300 g mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley plus extra to serve
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1 bunch English spinach, trimmed and washed
1/3 cup (65 g) low-cal cottage cheese
4 slices wholegrain & oats bread (180 g), toasted
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on high. Cook the mushrooms, stirring, for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Season with black pepper and sprinkle with the sumac.
Meanwhile, place the spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, covered, for 1 minute or until wilted. Drain.
Spread the cottage cheese over the toast. Top with mushrooms. Sprinkle the extra parsley over the top and serve with the spinach alongside. Serves 2 with 386 calories per serve.
I use a mix of button, brown, shiitake and enoki mushrooms. Quarter the larger mushrooms and add the enoki toward the end as they cook much more quickly.
You can add a poached egg when you have some more time (459 calories per serve).
How it played out
I’m the only one in the house who eats cottage cheese. I’m also the only one who eat savoury dishes for breakfast. So I made just one serve—for me! That meant one slice of my homemade sourdough bread, 75 grams of button mushrooms, 25 grams of baby spinach (all that I had in the fridge) and regular cottage cheese. I don’t buy low-fat anything—I’d rather eat less of the real thing. And, in my opinion, low-fat cottage cheese is tasteless. Really, really tasteless.
Even though I said I eat less of the real thing, I did use 1/6 of a cup of cottage cheese (40 grams) or 2 tablespoons in Australian measure. One tablespoon would barely have covered my larger slice of bread. Even though I was making this for one, I used the full 1/2 teaspoon of sumac—I love the flavour.
By the way, I sautéd the spinach with the mushrooms—threw it in for the last minute or so. I figured why dirty another dish and use another appliance when one can do the job. Also, I’d didn’t bother with an egg, but it would have been a nice addition.
A nice enough start to the day, but the recipe title over-promises. Sumac tastes lemony, but isn’t very spicy. A sprinkling of cayenne or a few shots of Tabasco in the mushroom mixture would lift the spice level. And the spare amount of cottage cheese didn’t give a huge cheesy flavour.
That said, if you are watching calories and still wanting to eat something more than lettuce, this does the job. Oh, and the pic below shows the steam coming off the toast when hot mushrooms are added to cold cottage cheese. Fun to watch.