5 Exciting Recipes For 1 Genius Health Hack

Moussaka and brinjal canneloni/SAMFA

Transform the way you eat with 1 simple switch. #Blending 

Step away from the steak – organic and grass-fed or not, there’s evidence to suggest that red meat can raise your risk profile for colorectal cancer and shorten your life overall. If you’re looking to decrease your intake, look no further than the latest wellness food trend: Blending.

No, it’s not juicing, and no, it’s not souping. It’s a simple replacement hack that swaps high-risk red meat for fewer calories, cholesterol and sodium and higher levels of potassium, Vitamins B, D & C, iron, zinc selenium and even pantothenic acid (aka Vitamin B5). You’ll even get more fibre and protein into your diet, pretty much instantaneously. How you ask?

Swap 30-50% of the amount required for your recipe for the same weight in mushrooms.

You read that right. You can get all those health benefits from one easy switch – SAMFA let us in on the secret. Mushrooms are the best meat replacement in terms of taste and texture, so you don’t feel deprived, and with umami-rich fresh mushrooms you’ll even get a flavour bump. Excited yet? Here are a few easy recipes to get you started.

mushroom meat swap food hack
Pork, mushroom and sage meatloaf/SAMFA


Serves 6

10ml oil

1 onion, finely diced

250g big brown mushrooms, minced

250g pork mince

15ml fresh sage, chopped

5ml fresh thyme

5ml lemon or orange zest

1 egg, beaten

125g fresh breadcrumbs

250g streaky bacon

To Serve:

200g big brown mushrooms, sliced & fried

mashed potatoes

seasonal vegetables

parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Increase the heat and add the mushrooms. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool completely. Stir in the pork mince, sage, thyme, lemon zest, egg and breadcrumbs and mix well. Grease 6 large cup muffin tins and lay 2 rashers of bacon in a crisscross pattern at the base of each cup. Fill with the mince mixture. Fold the overlapping bacon over the meatloaves to cover. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, before unmolding. If desired, grill the meatloaves for 4 – 5 minutes, before serving. Serve on a bed of cooked big brown mushrooms, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Garnish with chopped parsley.

mushroom meat swap food hack
Baked mushroom meatballs with tomatoes, smoked paprika and sour cream/SAMFA


Serves 4 – 6


250g beef mince

250g big brown mushrooms, minced

90g fresh breadcrumbs

45ml fresh parsley, chopped

1 egg, beaten

salt and milled black pepper

15ml oil


1 tin tomato and onion mix

250ml beef stock

15ml tomato paste or sundried tomato paste

5ml smoked paprika

1 roasted yellow pepper, sliced

Salt and milled black pepper

To serve:

sour cream

smoked paprika

oregano or thyme leaves

mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the oil, in a mixing bowl. Using floured hands, shape spoonfuls of the mixture into meatballs. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof casserole.


Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the meatballs. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Top with a swirl of sour cream, a little smoked paprika and oregano leaves. Serve with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables.


mushroom meat swap food hack
Moussaka and brinjal canneloni/SAMFA


Serves 4 – 6

Brinjal rolls:

2 large brinjals

olive oil, for brushing

Moussaka filling:

5ml oil

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g minced lamb

200g button mushrooms, minced

15ml harissa paste

5ml ground cumin

3ml ground cinnamon

½ jar passata tomato sauce

1 (410g) can brown lentils, drained

To assemble:

150g fresh ricotta, crumbled

50g thick Greek-style yoghurt

35g Parmesan cheese, grated

½ jar passata tomato sauce

Brinjal rolls:

Cut the brinjals lengthwise into ½ cm thick slices. Lightly brush both sides of the brinjal with some olive oil. Heat a griddle pan or braai. Cook the brinjal slices, in batches, for 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.

Moussaka filling:

Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 4 – 5 minutes. Fry the lamb and mushrooms for 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the harissa paste, cumin, cinnamon and tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils and set aside to cool.

To assemble:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Combine the ricotta cheese, yoghurt and half of the Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Place a brinjal slice on a work surface and top with a little of the ricotta mixture and a spoonful of the mushroom and lamb mixture. Roll up to enclose filling. Spread the remaining tomato sauce on the base of an ovenproof dish and place the brinjal roll on top. Repeat with remaining brinjal slices and place in a single layer in the baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the brinjals. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Top with fresh herbs, if desired, before serving.


mushroom meat swap food hack
Chicken, mushroom and sesame meatballs with ginger dipping sauce/SAMFA


Serves 6 – 8

5ml oil

250g button mushrooms, minced

20ml fresh ginger, finely grated

3 spring onions, sliced

250g chicken fillets, minced

60ml white sesame seeds

flour, to coat

oil, for frying

Dipping sauce

30ml Plum sauce

15ml sweet chilli

5ml lime juice

10ml fresh ginger, finely grated

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms and ginger for 4 – 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool completely before mixing in the spring onions, chicken mince and sesame seeds. Using floured hands, shape spoonfuls of the mixture into cocktail-size meatballs. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the meatballs for 5 – 7 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Dipping sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and serve with the meatballs. 


mushroom meat swap food hack
Mushroom and Lamb Shish Kebabs/SAMFA


Serves 4 – 6

5ml oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

250g portabellini mushrooms, finely chopped

250g lamb mince

5ml ground cumin

5ml ground coriander

1 egg, beaten

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

flour, to coat

bamboo skewers, soaked in warm water

10ml olive or oil

To Serve (optional):

flatbreads or pita breads

hummus or tzatziki

tomato & onion salsa

fresh coriander

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic, over a low heat, for 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Allow to cool and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the mince, cumin, coriander, egg and breadcrumbs and mix well. With floured hands, shape spoonfuls of the mixture into sausage shapes and thread onto bamboo skewers. Lightly brush the kebabs with oil and fry, grill or cook on a braai for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked. Serve the shish kebabs with flatbreads, tzatziki, salsa and fresh coriander.

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