This post is in collaboration with Tesco
Ok, remember when you were very young and you were very well-behaved?! (for a minute or two). What did you get by way of a reward? A treat!
Now, be honest… try to imagine your reaction if the treat bestowed upon you by a grateful grandma or doting parent was a mushroom. Instant tantrum, right?
It’s time to change your ideas about what it’s worth being a good girl or boy for. With a little help from the guys at Wicked Kitchen and in collaboration with Tesco, we are about to give you a whole new collection of treats to make the mouth water.
Let’s start with a TTH confession… we are meat-eaters! We don’t eat it all day, every day. We wouldn’t prowl the African plains in search of it and you certainly won’t catch us forcing down chewy chicken, bland broccoli and boring rice in search of some kind of health kick. We are careful to source our meat the best we can because ethical standards are as important to us as the tingle on our taste buds.
There are many reasons why we choose not to exclude meat, and numbers 1, 2 and 3 are… we enjoy it. We have been brought up on it so consuming meat is one of life’s habits. It is an easy, familiar part of our diets that provides a go-to source of protein and makes meal prep faster and more straightforward. Because we take our food seriously, we are well aware that there are plenty of plant-based sources out there that offer the same goodness and delicious taste. I guess we just like variety.
Aha!… but there is plenty of variety to be found in a vegetarian diet if it’s a good one. Enter Derek Sarno, creator of Wicked Kitchen in collaboration with Tesco and a wicked wizard at creating recipes that would have even a pride of lions wondering whether it’s time for a change. There is an old saying about ‘dangling a carrot’ to tempt us to try something different. Derek’s carrots are to die for. But let’s take it back to the mushrooms first because even H, who never has been a lover of our fungus friends, is now enjoying every plate of buttons, chanterelles and shiitakes. And it’s all Derek’s doing.
The team at Tesco invited us to town to enjoy the unique experience of a Wicked Kitchen take on making mushrooms delicious and different. Derek cooked them any and every way you could imagine offering up a true variety of tastes and textures with every imaginative dish. He began the evening by saying the words we most wanted to hear… ‘my cooking is all about abundance, and never deprivation.’ Nine courses later, we were believers.
Derek also put the focus on ‘flavours and textures we’d miss.’ This was an admission that as meat-eaters we may find ourselves pining for the familiar taste of a prime cut. With so many options for different animal-based proteins to feast upon, we are constantly spoilt for choice and the mere thought of cutting them all out in one go is a bit scary. Never fear, Derek’s recipes work to incorporate those flavours and consistencies into his plant-powered meals with an emphasis on a diverse and delicious diet free from meat. He promises you won’t even miss bacon!
With just this one vegetable Derek created a staggering range of tastes, textures and culinary experiences. Our favourites were the crispy, pan-fried mushrooms that oozed with unmistakably familiar barbecue flavours. Any doubts and yearnings were completely blown away by the number and selection of dishes and assorted flavours that Derek presented to our palates from one main ingredient, the magic mushroom.
This TTH team left with a new love and appreciation for what’s growing beneath our feet naturally and painlessly. We were inspired by plant power and longing to dig into the dishes we took away with us. We have not taken the giant leap into a strict vegetarian diet but we are now far more open to incorporating more plant-based produce into our daily diet and getting more and more creative thanks to Derek Sarno’s Wicked Kitchen of new treats.
Because we have not been too naughty this year, we are still hoping that Santa may treat us to some chocolate in our stockings but our New Year’s resolution is to leave more room for mushrooms.