So I have a story to tell you, and it involves our fire alarm,
But perhaps I should fill you in on the back story first…..
You see, once upon a time we were meat lovers. I don’t mean we liked it just a little. We were HUGE fans!
Then there came a time when we realized that meat was one of those things in our diet that was completely out of balance. We ate waaaay too much of it, and we knew that was not good for our health.
It became clear that we needed to do something about it, but what? I mean, how to you just stop eating or even decrease the amount of something that you love THAT much, even if it means your health would greatly improve?
Yes, I know that with sheer determination you can stop doing something that’s not good for you, but seriously, we knew we had to have a way that would work for the long haul.
A quick fix and short term victory was not what we were after. We needed a way of living that we would really enjoy so much that we would be HAPPY to maintain it forever!
Simply giving up your favorite foods because they are not healthy is not a long term lasting solution. We knew that way of life would only lead to us craving them more and finally going overboard…going crazy on those foods and ending up in the same shape or worse than when we first began!
Something tells me you know what I mean.
Growing up in a restaurant I was always watching my parents cook
and learning how to put flavors together to create delicious new dishes.
So a lightbulb began to go off and I started thinking, “Well surely I can come up with some substitutions over time that we’ll enjoy just as much as meat.”
And over time, that’s exactly what I did.
Little did I realize that what I had discovered is a vital key to lasting health!
You see, so many times you’ve been told what you need to give up in order to get healthy. But, how often are you then offered solutions for healthy and delicious options to replace those foods and beverages you’ve so dearly loved?
If you don’t find healthy ways of eating that are happily sustainable, you are setting yourself up for another failure.
Now, you may not know this about me, but I have never been a mushroom lover, ever. So you wouldn’t think I would even consider mushrooms as a winning substitute for meat. But, when looking for a tasty meat sub, I remembered hearing mushrooms described as tasting “meaty” so I knew I had to at least give them a try.
Enter the cast iron skillet!
When you get this amazing piece of cooking genius hot, and you toss some mushrooms into it on medium-high, something wonderful happens in the process that turns these little veggies into the most delicious thing!
Now listen. Please don’t stir the mushrooms, and don’t add any water or oil at all.
Just pop them into the hot skillet and let them sit. No matter how tempted your are to stir them, don’t do it! Let them cook until all of the liquid cooks out and they are browned on bottom. Then quickly add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and some freshly ground black pepper, give them a quick stir. At this point something wonderful and meaty starts to happen.
Can you guess where I’m going with the smoke alarm thing? LOL!
So these do tend to affect the air at times, particularly if you use a gas stove that has a way of really hitting the sides of your skillet and making them really hot. Let’s just say when mommy starts to cook mushrooms now, four children start plugging their ears so they don’t hear the smoke alarm literally scream “FIRE…FIRE….FIRE!”
Awww, COME ON! Who programs a smoke alarm to scream the word FIRE over and over again when it senses just a TINY bit of browning mushroom in the air! Sheesh!
We seriously have never visually seen smoke, and yet there goes the alarm….
(Now please do not burn your mushrooms. I promise I’m not burning them, but they do need to get a little browned to taste just right.)
Well, there you have it. That’s my “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” story, as painful as it is. And it will continue to be my story, because they taste just that good. 😉
Hopefully your smoke alarm isn’t as sensitive as ours, and you can enjoy this incredibly tasty sub without the added excitement that we sometimes get!
Here are some amazing ways for you to enjoy replacing meat with mushrooms in your daily routine:
For a ground meat substitute, first clean and then pulse the raw mushrooms in your food processor until they are diced to resemble ground meat. Or simply dice them with a knife before putting them into the hot skillet. Cook as described above. This is how I prep mushrooms for chili, pasta sauce, vegan “beef” stroganoff, and soups like my Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana vegan copycat recipe.
For meat sub in stews, casseroles, or stir fries which usually contain larger pieces of meat, slice the mushroom pieces larger as shown in this picture.
Never forget that when you decrease or do away with something that’s sabotaging your health, it is crucial that you immediately find some delicious and healthy substitutes to put in its place!
Mushrooms certainly aren’t the only amazing meat replacement that we use, but they are one that we are thankful to know how to prepare and enjoy on a regular basis, so that we don’t ever miss the meat that’s no longer filling our plates.
Making sure that your food is bursting with flavor is another great way to ensure that you reach your health goals and successfully maintain them. Click here now to learn 10 Simple Ways To Boost the Flavor and Nutrients In Your Foods.