Welcome to the Kardea Kitchen -- where great ingredients are brought together with healthy cooking techniques to create delicious and heart healthy meals.
We have five basics tastes - sweet, sour, bitter and salty, and the fifth, is umami. While sodium delivers saltiness, and sugar delivers sweetness, glutamate delivers umami. (yes, the same glutamate found in the taste enhancing MSG - . monosodium glutamate - and why it's used as a taste enhancer).
Red meats satisfy the umami receptors as do mushrooms, ripe tomatoes and tomato sauce, and fermented and aged products (e.g. strong cheeses like parmesan, fish pastes and soy sauce used in Asian cuisines). Great chefs give careful thought as to how to satisfy the umami taste receptors. When creating healthier meals with less red meat that will satisfy everyone in your family, you must be thinking about how to excite the umami receptors. You can start by thinking about red meat simply as an ingredient that can satisfy rather than something that occupies the center of the plate.
Better yet, start learning how you can use heart healthy ingredients, like mushrooms and tomatoes, as well as the smart use of pamesan cheese and soy sauce, to satisfy your umami.