Zinc – Courgette Noodles with Soy and Mushroom Broth

Zinc – Nutrient Information

Zinc is a trace mineral, which means we only need very small amounts. However, zinc is necessary for almost 100 different enzymes to carry out vital chemical reactions.

It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing damaged tissue, and supporting a healthy immune system.

Yep, zinc is good! It also helps cells to grow and multiply and is crucial during times of rapid growth, such as childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.

The highest amount of zinc in the body is found in our brains, particularly in a part of our brains called the hippocampus. Zinc deficiency can lead to symptoms of ADHD, difficulties with learning and memory, seizures, aggression, and violence.

Furthermore, mounting evidence suggests a link between low zinc levels and symptoms of depression.

However, we should always be mindful that the etiology of psychiatric disorders is complex, and biological, environmental, medical and possibly modifiable risk factors may all play a role.

Finally, low zinc also seems to affect inflammation and immunity. The T cells in our immune system, which hunt and kill infection, do not work well without zinc.

The amount of zinc you need is about:

  • 9.5mg a day for men (aged 19 to 64 years)
  • 7mg a day for women

Good food sources are:

  • Button mushrooms
  • Cheese
  • Lentils
  • Oatmeal
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Green peas

MMU Chefs


This recipe was created by the skilled chefs at Manchester Met, and was cooked and photographed by the brilliant Sarah Dunkerton, a Masters student, studying Food Innovation at the University.

This simple recipe can be easily adapted to whatever suits your taste. If you want, you can include additional vegetables such as spinach, peppers, carrots or even herbs and spices, you can really make it your own!

  • Time to make: 20-30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 2


  • 500g courgette, cut into long thin ribbons
  • 500g button mushrooms (any type you have around, fresh or canned)
  • 500ml veg stock (using veg stock cube)
  • 30ml dark soy sauce ( can swap with tamari to make it gluten free)
  • 2tsp vegetable oil
  • 2tsp sesame oil (optional)


1. Peel long, thin strips of courgette using a vegetable peeler, then with a knife, cut lengthways down the strips to make long noodles (if you have a spiralizer/mandolin you can use this instead).

2. Crumble a vegetable stock cube into a jug & add 500ml of boiled water, stirring until completely dissolved. Add this stock to a pan, alongside the soy sauce and sesame oil (if using) and keep on a low heat, ensuring not to boil the broth.

3. Slice the mushrooms – keep them quite chunky for texture.

4. Heat a wok/frying pan, add vegetable oil, add mushrooms and stir fry until the mushrooms start to give off some juice. Add the courgette noodles and heat for a couple of minutes, ensuring the noodles retain some crunch.

5. Pour the contents of the wok/frying pan into a bowl and add as much broth as you’d like!

* For 2 portions.

MMU Environment

Sustainability Top Tip

Did you know you can save veg peel and ends in the freezer to make your own stock? You can freeze in ice cube trays once made so you have your own ‘cubes’. 

You can also save empty glass bottles from soy and sesame oil, sterilise and then use to make flavoured oils (or sloe gin!) for gifts or just to keep.

MMU Sport

Home Workout

Squat Jump + Reverse Lunge to Leg Raise + Jumping Jack Touchdown + Squat with Leg Raise


  • Build muscle and strength on legs and glutes.
  • Helps to stabilise joints.
  • Reduces joint and mobility injuries.
  • Prevents lower back pain.
  • May improve cardio fitness.

MMU Counselling

Wellbeing Tip

Here’s a lovely website to inspire kindness. Become a penpal, watch the Jelly Cam and donate, or do a science course from Yale on being-well. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/




Find more delicious recipes from MetMUnch here – https://metmunch.com/category/cook/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *