Mushroom "MLT"

Mushroom bacon is so tasty that you’ll never think about a traditional BLT again.

Medically reviewed in May 2022

In 2015, the World Health Organization categorized bacon and processed meats as category 1 carcinogens, along with asbestos, tobacco smoke, and alcohol. We know everyone needs a good bacon fix, which is why we’ve come up with a way to satisfy those cravings without the dangers associated with the real stuff. This can’t-believe-it’s-not-bacon mushroom “bacon” is healthy and makes your RealAge—your biological age instead of your calendar age—younger. Use shiitakes, which are loaded with umami flavors that release when cooked and caramelized to mimic bacon’s savory notes. Combined with tomato and the delicious bitterness of arugula, you’ll never think about that old-school BLT again. You can find more delicious recipes like this one in The What To Eat When Cookbook, by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., Michael Crupain, M.D., M.P.H, and Jim Perko, Sr., CEC, AAC.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Makes: 1 serving
Serving Size: 1 sandwich  

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices 100% whole grain bread
4 teaspoons Cashew-naise (see below) or another vegan spread
2 large tomato slices
1/2 cup arugula

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms; season with the salt and pepper, and sauté until caramelized on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the bread slices to the skillet and lightly toast on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Assemble the sandwich by spreading 2 teaspoons Cashew-naise on both slices of the bread, top with mushroom slices, tomato slices, and arugula, then serve.

Calories: 276 kcal; Total fiber: 12.6 g; Soluble fiber: 0.1 g; Protein: 7.2 g; Total fat: 14 g; Saturated fat: 1.8 g; Healthy fats: 10.1 g; Carbohydrates: 37.6 g; Sugars: 5.4 g; Added sugars: 0 g; Sodium: 453 mg; Potassium: 302 mg; Magnesium: 115 mg; Calcium: 228.01 mg

Makes: ¾ cup

1 cup packed raw cashews
4 1/4 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Raisin Reduction (See below)
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon distilled vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Generous pinch cayenne pepper

1. Place the cashews in a medium bowl. Add 4 cups water; cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Drain the cashews, then place in a Vitamix or high-speed blender; add 1/4 cup water and all remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the blender jar as needed. Transfer the Cashew-naise to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Raisin Reduction
Makes: 2 cups

Combine 2 cups of raisins with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Simmer uncovered until 3 to 4 tablespoons of water remain, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove, let cool to look warm and blend in a blender or food processor until a smooth puree forms.

Excerpted from The What to Eat When Cookbook, by Michael F. Roizen, MD, Michael Crupain, MD, MPH, and Jim Perko, Sr., CDC, AAC. Copyright © 2020 by Michael F. Roizen, MD. Reprinted by permission from National Geographic. Photo credit: Scott Suchman

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