Things to do with mushrooms

This article was written for Mushroom Day which is on the 15th of October.

It is mushroom season and mushrooms are full of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need. Here are some ways with mushrooms.

How to prepare mushrooms?

Mushrooms are really simple to do. With the dried Asian mushrooms that you buy in the Asian stores, you probably do need to soak them for a little bit in a bowl of water

There are many different types of mushrooms from the Japanese shitake, the Australian mushroom to the Chinese mushroom that we have during Chinese New Year

Mushroom salad

This is really easy to do and you can do it with just about anything you have at home.

Udon noodles with mushroom

This recipe is from Cooking with Chef Dai

Homemade mushroom pizza

Here you can use truffle oil for this. You can buy the pizza-making kit from supermarkets and I got the recipe from Heidi Larsen

Scrambled eggs and mushrooms

Just simply sauteed them in a pan and put it with scrambled eggs for breakfast. And then you add toast with your scrambled eggs and mushrooms.

Support our farmers

Our farmers are doing it tough at the moment. First, there were the bushfires and the drought and now the Coronavirus pandemic. They need all the support they can get. They are trying to get back on track

During this time and as Australia gets back on its feet we should support our local farmers by shopping locally and not going to the supermarket. All the produce that you get at the supermarket is usually from overseas and they have been in cold storage for a few days. The fruits and vegetables that you buy at the local greengrocer or farmers market are usually fresh.

If you buy from the supermarkets usually it’s the supermarkets that get most of the profit.

The National Farmers Federation has launched a campaign to back our farmers as they assist with the COVID recovery. Throughout the pandemic, the farmers worked really hard to produce the food that we need. They struggled every bit of the way.

I encourage you to shop locally and visit your local farmers’ markets. You can also visit Queen Victoria Market as well as the Prahran market if it’s allowed.  In Victoria, you can go to those within 5km. I also encourage you to get online and Click for Vic. There you can buy your favorite produce online and get it delivered.

Australian Organic Awareness Month

Australian Organic Awareness Month happens every September. Here this a good chance to promote healthy organic foods to the Australian consumer and our way of eating. I know we can’t be there in person but we can do our best online.

Pre COVID I loved going to Realfoods and Realfoods would make the best curry and they would do the best vegetarian pies.

Why choose organic?

Organic food is free of pesticides and other added ingredients. According to Bud Organic club, they say that organic food is free-range and not tested on animals. For them to be really organic they do have to carry the certified organic labels.

They are more nutritionally dense than other foods. At Realfoods and TOWFD I was always full afterward and very happy.

Certified organic food protects our environment from harmful chemicals and gases. These gases are used to produce normal food.

What we did

This month we went to a few organic places on our runs. The Organic Wherehouse is one of them and another one is the Ladybird Organics. Here they had all sorts of healthy snacks that I enjoyed post-run. When we buy chicken we buy the Macro range which is healthier and tastier.

Post-COVID when we are all allowed back into the city, I’d go to TOWFD and Realfoods if they are still open. I’d also visit Lentils as Anything. I’d also visit the Cruelty-free shop in Fitzroy.

How COVID19 is changing the food market in Southeast Asia

Now that with people staying at home and not going out, the food scene has changed in Asia. People are opting for eating at home services and takeaways.

agriculture cherry tomatoes cooking delicious

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Mintel says that more people are looking for immune-boosting foods as they are worried about their immune systems. More people are turning to health food stores. After the pandemic, we would see health stores bounce back fast and make a profit.

Online shopping is becoming the new normal and we will see that for some time. Online grocery shopping is the norm seeing as they have experienced a surge in online orders. RedMart in Singapore has experienced “Unprecedented demand” for food and other household items.

During the pandemic, many restaurants and cafes have lent a helping hand to those that are doing it tough by giving away free food.

Most people are eating at home and brands are conscious of that. Many brands are spreading the COVID 19 message about eating at home and safe practices. Brands such as Ensure and Knorr spread messages about being immune to protect yourself against this deadly virus. Consumers are being reminded about having adequate sleep.

What brands need to know

Even after this pandemic has passed brands need to practice strict hygiene and remind customers to do so. They also need to know that online shopping will be around for quite some time as customers have gotten used to the convenience of having everything home delivered. Home cooking will be the norm after the pandemic has passed

How much food do we waste each year

We look at how much food we waste during COVID when everyone is home. Restauranteurs are throwing out tonnes more food and some of them are giving it back to the homeless and those that have lost their jobs.

In America alone, $50 million more is spent on food according to Food and Wine.

They predict that the food wastage problem will get worse because there are not enough workers to harvest the crop and restaurants don’t know what to do with the leftover food that’s been sitting in their stores for a long time.

It’s important during the COVID that we do not waste food in the household as there is a lot of food insecurity going on at the moment. And it’s important that we do not hoard food.

Simply if you have some leftover pantry goods that you don’t want to use and it’s unopened: why not give that to someone in need? These days there are more people in need since almost everyone has lost their jobs. Due to COVID, people cannot go dumpster diving anymore. Instead, they rely on charities and these charities need your support to survive and thrive post-COVID. You can donate to them online and then they can buy the food for the poor.

If you have food in the fridge that needs to be eaten, why not make another meal out of it (ie plain pasta)?

If you can please support your favorite restaurant or cafe. They are doing it pretty tough and they would love for you to eat their food! Why not make a date night at home as most places have special date night packs and they advertise it on Instagram and Facebook

We hope that in years to come the rate in which food is wasted will be dropped. But that might be a while yet.

Kale and what to do with it

Kale is a dark-colored leafy green that has lots of iron in it. It has lots of fiber and antioxidants in there that can prevent various health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and the like. They are part of the broccoli family which means that they are easy to grow. They grow well in the colder months.

You can put kale in smoothies as it has been done before at Shape up.

They can be added to vegetable and lamb soups in winter.

You can eat them raw, steam them, cook them, or sautee them to make a side dish.

Kale chips

This is good as a pick me up snack at 3pm. You can bake the kale leaves in an oven at about 275F for about 15-30 mins to make chips. Before they go in there brush a bit of olive oil on top.

Pasta with kale

You can add kale to all sorts of pasta dishes. 

Pizza with kale

You can add kale to your pizza.

Kale salad

This is a great summer dish. You can add kale to any salad for that little bit of iron.

You can add kale to your breakfast eggs if you like. Simply scramble some eggs with kale in there. Or you can do avocado smash with kale


Vitamin D and mental Health

The Broglieblog has written about Vitamin D and I thought it could be useful here, now that we are experiencing Coronavirus and mental health. Vitamin D is a antidepressant vitamin. We also need it for bone health.

It is an important vitamin which many of your cells in the body require it to function properly.

What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

  • You could get sick or infected often. That would mean that you might be at a higher risk of COVID19. Your immune system would be weak.
  • You could become easily depressed. Depression and anxiety are common in people with low vitamin D
  • You have low brittle bones and back pain. Back pain is commonly associated here
  • Tiredness
  • Your wound would heal slowly
  • Bone and hair loss
  • Muscle soreness

So how would I go about increasing my Vitamin D?

What foods have Vitamin D in them?

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Codfish
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

But if you don’t like fish or can’t eat fish you get it in a supplement form. Just ask your local naturopath to see which supplement works best for you.

Also getting enough sunlight is important too for bone health. Make sure that you get enough time in the sunshine each day. We should aim for about an hour. If you can go out in the sunshine during your lunch breaks or walk to work. A short walk can do wonders for your mind and body.

Are corporations taking advantage of the poor people

Now that the Coronavirus has hit and people have lost their jobs we wonder if corporations such as Amazon, Walmart, Coles, Woolworths are taking advantage of poor people.

Most people are on the US Food stamps program which is a government assistance program. It is like Centrelink in Australia. These companies have an online store where people can get their groceries delivered. But it is expensive and there is a delivery fee added to the total cost of groceries at the checkout. 

The US Food Stamps corporation has released this report about greedy corporations. Amazon and Walmart have online stores, the same way that Coles and Woolworths do. Food companies around the world benefit from these sorts of the program and therefore they drive prices up every year.

Every year many people are left without. Many of them do not have access to fresh food. I think what this Coronavirus recession has taught us is to drive fresh food prices down or make it free for people that cannot afford it. We have seen more and more people ask for food help online. America and Australia are both the same that their populations suffer from chronic diseases.

What we can do to help stop these greedy corporations from taking over

  • Donate to your local free pantry. Many of these people are struggling to get by and can do with some help.
  • Offer to buy the poor food if you have money and a car to deliver these items. With delivery, it’s recommended that you follow the Government guidelines with Coronavirus. Otherwise, you would get into trouble.
  • Write to your local MP about this issue
  • If you really feel passionate about this issue you could start a petition for cheaper groceries


Benefits of growing your own produce

Talk Health talks about this idea of growing your own produce as a way to save money on buying vegetables and fruits and herbs. They say that growing your own fruits and vegetables are higher in nutrients and can save you a trip or two to the supermarket.

You have more access to more fruit and vegetables which everyone needs in a COVID safe environment

In the long run, they can save food miles and carbon footprint. Both of which are equally important for an ecological society. You don’t have to make as many trips to the supermarket. Most people drive to the supermarket and driving to the supermarket takes up a lot of your petrol. 

You can save money by buying your own produce. Plants cost anywhere between $5- $60 depending on what you buy. Your plants can offer you years of produce. 

Growing your own produce might help to get rid of any stress or anxiety that you might have. You have to maintain your garden each week and you have to water your plants each day.  You get to watch it grow. 

When you eat your own produce it is much tastier as it is fresher. This will encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables in your day. When I see them grow I want to eat them. The USDA says that less than half of Americans eat the recommended daily serves of vegetables and fruits each day. Most people don’t like the taste of vegetables as they are store bought. They are full of pesticides which doesn’t taste as nice.

What else is happening in the plant based world

We talk about this issue as World Vegetarian day is on the 1st of October and now is a good time to consider going vegetarian.

agriculture cherry tomatoes cooking delicious
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Now that the meat industry is struggling, the plant based fake meat products have really picked up their sales. Food politics ahs reported an increase in some of their sales. They reported a huge increase in April in the US when the pandemic was at its highest there. Now that its Melbourne and the abbattoirs are now operating at 60-80% capacity would we see more plant based foods in the supermarket?

There has been some talk about going on a plant-based diet for a while. First of all, it was from the Truth about Weight Loss summit with Chef AJ last year, and then it was reinforced when I watched “Diet Fiction” which is on Amazon Prime (note new users will get 30 days free trial). Diet Fiction talks about being 90% whole food plant-based diet and 10% cheat foods. Too many Americans and Australians are eating too much meat and protein which is not good for you. Meat such as steak has a lot of saturated fat in there which is not good for the waistline and the kidneys

Freely says that about 375 million people worldwide have been vegetarian. But if we encourage more people to go vegetarian the number could be about double that in 2025.

Meat free Mondays has been going on for some time and its really popular. People post a lot of photos on Instagram and they get a lot of likes. Instagram is going crazy over Meat free Mondays. The hashtag #meatfreemondays has over 266K posts as people are more serious about being healthier.

We really should be trying to go for a wholefood diet that is full of vegetables and nuts and legumes. We should have a few Meat-free dishes during the week