I am all about simple food that is nutritious and tasty, and it does not get much simpler than this meal. In fact, this dinner was so simple that I did not feel that there was any need for a proper recipe.
To make the balsamic mushrooms, I threw some button mushrooms on a baking tray lined with baking paper, splashed on some balsamic vinegar and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I baked the mushrooms in the oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, I scrambled 4 eggs with about 2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese, a sprinkling of dried basil, salt and pepper and cooked them in the microwave. I microwaved the eggs for about 1 minute, gave them stir, microwaved for another minute, gave them another stir, and so on, until the eggs were ready.
I also microwaved some frozen spinach and put a spoonful of tahini on top with some salt and pepper. And that was it.
Now for a bit of science. The major source of vitamin D for humans is exposure to sunlight, however, vitamin D deficiency can be a problem in individuals with inadequate environmental exposure and in the elderly due to lifestyle changes (1, 2). Wild mushrooms are the only non-animal food source of vitamin D (3). The common or button mushroom, Agaricus bisphorus, can be stimulated to form vitamin D2 by exposure to UV irradiation to nutritionally relevant levels (4).
So if you want to increase your vitamin D levels, or just want an easy dinner, try this breakfast for dinner. With quality protein, 18 vitamins and minerals and monounsaturated fatty acids from the eggs (5), plus further vitamins and minerals from the spinach this meal is healthy too and costs only approximately $3.30 per serve*. My particularly active boyfriend required extra carbohydrates so he had some steamed sweet potato also.
- McKenna, M. J. (1992). Differences in vitamin D status between countries in young adults and the elderly. Am. J. Med. 93: 69–77.
- Wang, S. H. (2009) Epidemiology of vitamin D in health and disease. Nutrition Research Reviews. 22: 188–203.
- Holden, J. M.; Lemar, L. E.; Exler, J. (2008). Vitamin D in foods: development of the US Department of Agriculture database. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 87 (Suppl.): 1092S–1096S.
- Koyyalamudi, S., Jeong, S-C., Song, C-H., Cho, K. and Pang, G. (2009). Vitamin D2 Formation and Bioavailability from Agaricus bisporus Button Mushrooms Treated with Ultraviolet Irradiation. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57: 3351-3355.
- Miranda, J. M., Anton, X., Redondo-Valbuena, C., Roca-Saavedra, P., Rodriguez, J. A., Lamas, A., Franco, C. and Cepeda, A. (2015). Egg and Egg-Derived Foods: Effects on Human Health and Use as Functional Foods. Nutrients, 7: 706–729.
*Cost (excluding salt and pepper) based on groceries purchased from Aldi.