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The Wholefoodie: Slide meat off your menu with Susan Jane White's veggie alternative to scallops


Susan Jane White

Susan Jane White

Susan Jane White

Remember those promises? To eat buckets more veg, and OMG way less chorizo? This recipe will help slide meat off your menu and edge more plants on to your plate. Plus, it makes a dazzling alternative to turkey for any surprise vegetarians in your orbit this Yuletide. So pin this recipe to the fridge - it might just save Christmas (and your adrenal glands)!

Mushrooms are humming with lovely beta-glucans. These nifty compounds do shaa-mazing things for our bodies. They help to lower cholesterol by forming a viscous gel that grabs excess cholesterol, moving it through our digestive tract much like La Cucaracha. Beta-glucans can also slow down digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels and minimising the release of insulin or fangs (as conducted by my own scientific experiment). Neat!

Vegetarian Scallops

Serves 4

You will need:

6 king oyster mushrooms

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sprinkle of sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil or peanut oil

2 tablespoons ghee or butter, for frying

1 Remove the mushroom stems. Keep the mushroom caps for another use - soup, a stir fry, pickle, stock.

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2 Slice each stem into 4 thick discs, resembling scallops. You can score each 'scallop' by criss-crossing its diameter on each side if you fancy. This will help them grab more flavour when they hit the pan, but it's not integral to the recipe.

3 Massage the smoked paprika, the sea salt and the olive oil or peanut oil, whichever you're using, into the 'shroom scallops.

4 Heat a large saute pan, cast-iron griddle or frying pan over a medium-high heat. Tip in some butter or ghee, whichever you're using. Wait until it's hot enough to hear gentle sizzling noises when you swirl the pan.

5 Now pop in a few of your 'shroom scallops, being mindful not to overcrowd the pan and cause the poor chaps to sweat rather than sear. Colour on both sides. Basting the hot ghee or butter over the scallops will help prevent the fat from burning, and will quickly colour your scallops. When both sides are golden brown, remove and add the next batch, dotting the pan with fresh butter or ghee. Repeat until all the scallops are done.

6 Serve hot with clouds of mashed potato. I love to add miso paste and grated garlic to mash, and I add a drizzle of soy sauce and some sesame seeds over the scallops.


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