Tuesday, 9 March 2010

PREGNANCY RECIPE: mushroom pâté

My friend Anna says I should eat more protein. She's training to be a pregnancy nutritionist so I'm happy to take her word for it. And she's right - I find myself chowing down on carbs at most meal times but the carb-high or carb-coma depending on which way it takes me doesn't last. Protein is the key to feeling fuller for longer and helping your baby build essential tissues (am I becoming a protein-bore? I seem to talk about it in every posting).

The biggest protein dilemma is at lunchtimes. Yes, I could cook off chicken breasts or salmon steaks and take them to the office but I never seem to get round to it. And certainly, I could take in last-night's leftovers, but I'm a sandwich girl at heart. So the solution to my protein problems appeared to lay in a sandwich filling and seeing as I had a load of mushrooms in my veg box, a mushroom pâté seemed the answer. 

Having done a bit of research on the pregnancy health benefits of mushrooms, I discovered that they're a good source of folate (the naturally occuring form of folic acid) as well as my heart throb, protein. Put together with soft cheese (the low-fat tub I bought oddly had more protein than the full-fat stuff) and a bit of tarragon for extra flavour and you've got a sandwich spread to make your lunchbox sing. I hope it hits your p-spot.

Mushroom and tarragon pâté
Serve with brown bread doorsteps and a bit of green for iron – lamb’s lettuce, pea shoots or spinach all work well

Makes 6-8 servings
10g unsalted butter
Good dash EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
150g low fat soft cheese
1 sprig fresh tarragon

1. Gently heat the butter and EVOO in a frying pan then add the mushrooms. Season well with sea salt and black pepper. Allow the mushrooms to sweat for 10-15 minutes until softened but without browning. Remove from the heat, pour off a little liquid then allow them to cool.

2. Remove the leaves from a sprig of tarragon and finely chop. When the mushrooms have cooled, put them in a blender with the soft cheese and tarragon and blitz until smooth. Taste and season again if needed. 

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