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15 Magic Recipes For Mushrooms

15 Magic Recipes For Mushrooms

Is there anything more gloriously versatile than the humble mushroom? Not only does it make an excellent substitute for meat for veggies and vegans alike, it’s also hearty enough to turn the head of any dedicated carnivore. This magic fungus is rustic enough to stand up to the heat of the grill and bold flavorings, but can also add a soft, earthy twist to even the most delicate of dishes. As if that wasn’t enough to make you fall in love, mushrooms are low in calories, fat, and cholesterol free. They provide an excellent source of nutrients such as selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin D.

If you’re looking to increase your fun times with this fungi, then grab a fork and start digging in to these top 15 recipes for mushrooms:

1. Mushroom Korma

Sometimes a good, perfectly spiced curry is exactly what you need. But why shell out the cash to order out? This excellent tutorial will show you how to make your very own mushroom curry from scratch using whole spices. There’s no need to worry about the spice level either, as a delicate, mildly-flavored korma is a great place to start if you’re a curry novice. As this dish also contains nuts, it’s a great protein punch for vegetarians and vegans.

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2. Lasagna Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

If you’re gluten-free or simply trying to watch the carbs, you probably thought that Italian food was off the menu. Don’t fret, as this stuffed mushroom recipe can give you all the flavor of that lasagna you previously loved, with out all the bloat. Additional top tip–don’t just stop at lasagna. Portobello mushrooms make a great base for all kinds of stuffing, from cheese to sausage to even a luscious pile of roasted veggies.

3. Broccoli & Mushroom Unstir Fry

It’s happened to everyone: you’ve come home from a long day at work and the very last thing you want to do is turn on the stove. Why should you when you can give that all-the-rage raw diet thing you’ve been hearing about a spin? This exceptionally healthy “unstir fry” isn’t fried at all, and is the nutritional equivalent of a karate kick to the face. With parsnip “rice” and a load of healthy vegetables, you’ll burn those Chinese menus that have been taking up room in your junk drawer.

4. Baked Mushroom Risotto

Who doesn’t love a good kitchen hack? If you’ve ever thought about whipping up a creamy batch of mushroom risotto but were concerned that the screw up factor was high, this easy method will make you grin from ear to ear. Not only does it forgo all the constant stirring and adding of stock, this recipe makes it super easy to make a huge batch of risotto for a crowd. Clever!

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5. Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Perhaps those pesky vegetarians and vegans are on to something–mushroom burgers really are as good as the kind made from cow. This burger utilizes the meaty and hearty Portobello mushroom, which easily stands up to the heat of the grill and takes on all that smoky goodness that made you love cook outs in the first place. This is also a terrific option for those watching their figure or cholesterol, and the leftovers (if there are any) are great with your eggs at breakfast.

6. Mushroom Pate

There used to be a time where, if you really wanted to impress at a party, you pulled out the pate. However, all pates are not created equal. This light and tasty pate uses a variety of mushrooms, walnuts, and Parmigiano cheese for ultimate fungi flavor, with a huge hit of umami. Try serving this with toasted crostini, if you’re feeling fancy, or just bust out the crackers if you’re not.

7. Mushrooms On Toast

There’s nothing wrong with going in a simple direction with your ‘shrooms, particularly if you want to showcase their earthy, woodsy flavor. While you could easily do this with some of the more expensive mushrooms on the market, like Chantarelles or Crimini (Baby Bella), one of the best choices for this dish is the common white button mushroom. Serve over whole grain toast with a green salad on the side, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate in a quick dinner.

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8. Mushroom & Feta Pie

Say hello to one of the sexiest brunch dishes you could hope for. Laying somewhere between a quiche and a savory tart, this easy to make and bake pie makes a great dish for breakfast, lunch, or brunch, particularly if you’re entertaining a crowd. These are also easy to make the night before you’re expecting guests, just requiring a quick re-heat in the oven before serving.

9. Mushroom Soup

This ubiquitous veggie starter has gotten a bad rap over the years, particularly due to its retro vibe. But why? Mushroom soup can actually be quite delicious and simple to prepare. Top tip: this soup actually freezes beautifully, making it a great staple to have for a quick weeknight dinner.

10. Portobello Mushroom Green Chili

Go on, pick yourself up off the floor, you chili purist. While mushrooms may not be common in chili, they’re great for giving a meaty edge to to veggie chilis, pairing particularly well with our southwestern pal, the green chili. While this type of chili might typically be served with pork, mushrooms cut both the fat and cholesterol content, making it not only a lip-smackingly spicy option, but also a healthy one.

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11. Easy Mushroom & Spinach Calzone

It’s hard to dislike that lovable little scamp, Jamie Oliver. He can show you how to prepare a homemade calzone and have it on the table in about the time it would take you to order one. With just a few simple ingredients around, you can impress and amaze your friends and loved ones (or just yourself). Don’t feel like making your own pizza dough? Buying it is okay, too. I promise not to tell Jamie.

12. Mushroom Fried Rice

Asian food, particularly Chinese food, may seem daunting at first. Surely it won’t be as good at home as it is from your favorite restaurant, right? Not true. Get to know your long-neglected wok with this easy fried rice recipe. The key to cooking well in a wok is to ensure that you have all of your ingredients cut and ready to go before you even start cooking. Once you’ve completed the slicing, you’re on your way to eating in mere minutes.

13. Breaded Mushrooms With Homemade Mayo

Who doesn’t love a nice order of deep-fried, breaded mushrooms while you’re out at the bar or watching the big game? Ditch those crummy frozen fried mushrooms lurking at the back of your freezer and forget spending a fortune when you’re out. Getting your fry on is easy with this simple recipe. Not sure about making your own mayo? Then try this excellent kitchen hack instead.

14. Mushroom Kebabs

Going back to the grill, mushrooms are a vegetarian’s best friend when it comes to summer cook outs. However, even meat eaters agree that nothing beats a well-grilled vegetarian kebab. This recipe for mushrooms takes kebabs to the next level, including tomatoes, zucchini, and Halloumi cheese, for superior flavor and mega munching. Try serving this with toasted pita, a garlicky yogurt sauce, and a leafy green salad for the ultimate in healthy, yet delicious, outdoor dining.

15. Japanese Mushroom Salad

Ever found yourself in the grocery store holding a pack of mushrooms that you simply had no idea what to do with? If you’re already in love with your standard white button mushrooms and you’re looking to branch out, this is a great way to open the door. This dressing is also great on other vegetables, so making a double batch is an excellent idea.

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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