I was invited along to a fundraising dinner that the Mushroom Growers Association held in support of the Australian Cancer Council at the Pavilion Restaurant at the West Coast Institute of Training in Joondalup. The evening began with some delectable canapes, all of which had mushrooms as their star ingredient.
Crostini with Blended Fetta with Mushroom Medley and Garlic Confit
Swiss Brown Mushroom Roulade, Celery Microherbs
We then all took our seats and prepared for what was sure to be a delicious three course dinner ahead. I was particularly excited about dessert. It’s a creative kitchen that can somehow incorporate a mushroom into a sweet dish so I was looking forward to their spin.
Wild Mushroom Consumme
Gnocchi, Pickled Shimeji Mushrooms and Tomato
Slow Cooked Fillet of West Australian Butterfield Beef
Glazed Shallots, Fondant Potatoes, White Asparagus, Baby Carrot, Cherry Tomato, Nameko Mushroom, Madeira Jus
Chocolate Tart, Mushroom Anglaise, Mushroom Meringue and Raspberry Sorbet
And the meal was delicious, from the fragrant soup to the butter soft beef and the incredibly creative mushroom anglaise that just worked a treat with the chocolate tart. It was all served with such care. You could really appreciate their focus. Bravo to the young lads in the kitchen on a really stellar job.
For me though, as much as I enjoyed the food and appreciated such a delicious meal, it was the chance to hear from renowned dietician Glenn Cardwell that I was really excited about. It was so interesting hearing about the health benefits and nutrients that can be found in mushrooms and also the studies that have been done into how mushrooms can reduce breast cancer risks. This really resonated because breast cancer is so prevalent these days, so anything that can be done to reduce the risk is definitely something we should all listen to.
Research shows that mushroom extracts reduced breast cancer growth (Chen 2006; Martin 2010). “Eating 100 grams, or even less, or mushrooms per day could have an effect on preventing new breast cancers,” said lead researcher Dr Shiuan Chen. Soon after the early findings there were three international studies linking women who each mushrooms to a 50-60% lower risk of breast cancer compared to those who do not each mushrooms (Shin, 2010; Hong Kong 2008).
The most promising data appear to be those indicating an inverse relationship between mushroom consumption and breast cancer risk.
And I also found it really interesting to hear from Australian Mushroom Assocaition General Manager, Greg Seymour, about a new trend in the US called ‘blendability’. Essentially in an effort to reduce red meat consumption, hamburger producers are blending mushrooms into their patties. I think it’s a great idea! I couldn’t actually wait to give it a whirl at home with a bolognaise recipe.
I honestly came away from this dinner feeling so inspired and ready to incorporate more mushrooms into my diet. Small, simple changes for plenty of health benefits. So read up here and add a few more mushies to your omelette for your breakfast, slice up a few mushrooms for your morning tea, throw a couple in your salads or stir-fries and maybe even give blendability a go! The power of mushrooms!