Food & Wine

When it comes to breast cancer, your actions matter

When it comes to breast cancer, your actions matter

Here’s why…

“Breast cancer survivors face a myriad of challenges each day,” says Reach for Recovery’s National Management Board Chairperson and breast cancer survivor, Stephné Jacobs.

“That’s why we believe that transforming compassionate intent into practical and life changing action is the most helpful way to assist the thousands of South African breast cancer survivors who struggle not only with fears and self-esteem issues but also with the financial implications of restoring normality after losing a breast.

“Our Ditto prostheses project is one of our most important annual initiatives. The funds we raise through this project provide women with limited financial resources with breast prostheses at MINIMAL COST1 to them after breast removal surgery. Our greatest need for 2017 is to secure sufficient funding to continue this amazing service as we want to make prostheses available to all state patients as they have the greatest need.”

The funding for the Ditto prostheses project comes from the annual Power of Pink campaign, a joint initiative between the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) and Pick n Pay. So look out for our trademark (and very pretty!) pink mushroom punnets on shelf in Pick n Pay for the entire month of October. R1 from each punnet of 250g whole and sliced white button mushrooms sold between September 25 and October 30 will be donated to the Ditto prostheses project so that prostheses can be provided to affected women who cannot afford to purchase them.2

“We see the Ditto Prosthesis Project as an essential part of the healing process for survivors of breast cancer,” explains Stephné. “Surviving breast cancer is just the beginning of an emotional journey that needs both a sensitive and a practical understanding of the issues at stake. We see, on a daily basis, how wearing the correctly fitted breast form restores confidence; particularly important to women are still at the working age and need to return to work to avoid economic hardship.”

“To continue providing prostheses,” concludes Stephné, “we call on all South Africans to be part of our ‘support crew’ and buy mushrooms in pink punnets during October. “You’ll be contributing to a wonderful transformation and, as research2 indicates that women who eat an average of 10g of mushrooms a day (one white button mushroom), seems to halve their risk of breast cancer, you’ll keep yourself healthy too!


  1. Recipients give a small R80 donation to Reach for Recovery to cover administrative costs. This having been said, Reach for Recovery does not turn away anyone due to lack of financial resources.
  2. See Addendum 1 for more information on breast cancer research which indicates that mushrooms are potentially powerful allies in the fight against breast cancer
  3. See Addendum 2 for more information on Reach for Recovery



Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pesto Mushrooms

Makes 4


4 roasted orange sweet potatoes

15ml + 15ml olive oil

250g button mushrooms, sliced

60ml pesto

100g kale, chopped

60g soft feta, cubed

45g walnuts, toasted

salt and milled black pepper


To serve:

lemon wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet, drizzle with 15ml olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Heat the remaining 15ml oil in a frying pan. Fry the mushrooms for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Spoon the mixture between the sweet potatoes and serve with lemon wedges.



Rich & Creamy Mushroom Soup

Serves 6


15ml olive oil

40g butter

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 leek, sliced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

45ml dry sherry

15ml miso paste*, optional

200g portabellini mushrooms, sliced

200g button mushrooms, sliced

750ml (3 cups) vegetable stock

15ml chopped thyme leaves

125ml (1/2 cup) cream


To Serve:


fried mushrooms

fresh thyme leaves


*miso paste adds a delicious savoury richness to the soup


  1. Heat the oil and half the butter in a large pan over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic and cook for 7 minutes.
  2. Add the leek and sweet potato and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the sherry and miso paste.
  3. Reserve 50g of each mushroom and add the balnce of the mushrooms to the pot. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the stock and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool.
  5. Blend in a blender, retune the soup to the pan and reheat, adding the cream seasoning to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 25g butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the reserved mushrooms until golden and browned.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with extra cream and garnish with pan-fried mushrooms and fresh thyme.




Wholewheat Toasts with Guacamole & Lemony-Fried Mushrooms

Makes 2


1 avocado, mashed

½ tomato, deseeded and diced

½ red chilli, chopped (optional)

salt and milled black pepper

15ml oil

200g button mushrooms, quartered

5ml paprika

5ml lemon zest

10ml lemon juice

2 slices wholewheat toast

15ml fresh thyme or parsley, chopped


  1. Mix the avocado, tomato and chilli, if using, in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes. Season with the paprika, lemon zest and juice.
  3. Divide the guacamole between the toasts and top with the fried mushroom mixture.
  4. Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley.





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