The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

So many varieties, so many ways to cook them… Here are our top 10 quick recipes

THESE LOW-FAT, LOW-CAL nutrient powerhouses contain a range of B vitamins and high levels of antioxidants. Experiment with different varieties for the full range of flavour and texture.

1. Pack a lighter lunch

Soak couscous in hot water according to the pack instructions. Stir sliced button mushrooms, cucumber, spring onions and halved cherry tomatoes into the warm couscous with a drained tin of tuna in water. Transfer to a portable container, then stir in 2tsp harissa paste or 1tbsp curry paste.

2. Build a better burger

Spray some portobello mushrooms with oil, then grill for 4 min on each side. Cut burger buns in half and spread the bottom half of each with a combination of a little pesto and low-fat mayo. Add a mushroom and top with the other bun half.

3. Mushroom and melon medley

This surprising flavour combination makes a delicious fruity salad: put sliced button mushrooms into a large bowl. Add the zest and juice of 2 oranges and half a lemon. Stir in orange segments, deseeded cucumber slices, galia melon cubes, fresh fig wedges and chopped mint.

4. Soup it up

Sauté a chopped onion in a little vegetable oil for 2 min, then add 2 crushed garlic cloves, 300g sliced mushrooms and 1 cubed potato and cook for a further 2 min. Add 350ml each of reduced-salt stock and water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 min until the potato is tender. Allow to cool slightly, then blend until smooth.

5. Make a cheesy melt

Remove the stems from 4 large mushrooms. Spray the tops of the cups with oil and grill for 5 min. Chop and sauté the stems in a little oil with garlic and diced tomato, then combine with 40g breadcrumbs and 50g reduced-fat mozzarella. Fill the cups with the mixture and grill until the cheese melts.

6. Stir up a steak sauce

Sauté 200g sliced mushrooms in a little oil for 5 min, then add 1tbsp plain flour and stir for 1 min. Remove from the heat. Add 175ml reduced-salt stock and 2tbsp worcestershire sauce to the mushrooms, stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2–3 min, then stir in 4tbsp Elmlea Single alternative to cream, and spoon over grilled steak or chicken breasts.

7. Dish up a warm salad

Toast mixed seeds in a frying pan. Spray another pan with oil and sauté sliced flat mushrooms over a high heat for 4 min. Add 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 deseeded and sliced red chilli and cook for a further 1 min, then add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Toss the mushrooms and seeds with rocket, spinach and watercress, sliced avocado and pepper and flaked smoked mackerel.

8. Serve a simple side

Combine a little olive oil, red wine vinegar and sweet chilli sauce. Pour 1tbsp over quartered portobello mushrooms, then stir, cover and marinate for 30 min. To serve, mix with quartered cherry tomatoes, sliced spring onions, chopped rocket, parsley and the remaining marinade.

9. Chop into a chilli

Cook sliced mushrooms with crushed garlic in a little oil until tender, then add 1tbsp chilli powder and stir. Add reduced-salt vegetable stock, canned chopped tomatoes, rinsed and drained kidney beans and drained sweetcorn. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 min. Serve with a spoonful of reduced-fat soured cream.

10. Create spicy canapés

Combine a little olive oil with ½tsp each of nutmeg, cumin, coriander and turmeric and a pinch of black pepper and cardamom. Pour over button mushrooms, toss well and leave to marinate for 15 min. Stir-fry the mushrooms in oil over a high heat until tender, then serve on cocktail sticks with drinks.