Greetings mushroom lovers! I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for The Mushroom Channel! Please allow me to introduce myself: I am currently in graduate school working toward a masters in nutrition as well as the R.D. credentials. When I am not studying, I write a healthy living food blog, Kath Eats Real Food, also known as KERF, that follows my daily life through a photo journal of food and recipes. KERF has seen many-a-mushroom this year, and they are one of my favorite ingredients.
I have to admit, I haven’t always liked mushrooms. But the more I sampled them in pasta dishes, on pizza or in soups when dining in restaurants, the more I began to love them. I find them one of the most flavorful and fun recipe ingredients. Now that I am fond of mushrooms, I have to also say that I think they are one of the most under-appreciated vegetables for their amazing nutritional profile.
Perhaps because they are not green? Mushrooms* are an excellent source of selenium, riboflavin and niacin and are a good source of pantothenic acid, potassium and phosphorus1. They contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant, as well as containing a host of phytonutrients, which exhibit anti-cancer properties. And recent research is shining a light on mushrooms’ capacity to provide vitamin D after having been exposed to UV-B light2.
So now that I’ve paid my nutritional respects, on to the recipe! When I was asked to develop a recipe for my post I came up with a bunch of ideas, but none was calling my name that day as much as macaroni and cheese.
So I combined the two: mushroom mac ‘n cheese.
I added in mustard greens to beef up the vegetable-to-noodle ratio in addition to adding even more nutrients and some color. The end result turned out great! A little spicy, a little earthy (thanks to the ‘shrooms) and 100% filling. Don’t be intimidated by the homemade cheese sauce – it was one of the best I’ve had. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Mushroom + Mustard Green Mac ‘N Cheese (Serves 4-6)
- 8 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- Cooking spray
- 4 cups mustard greens, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1.5 cups low-fat milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- Cook pasta as directed.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until tender.
- Add mustard greens to mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 1/4 cups milk in a sauce pan until hot but not boiling.
- Combine remaining 1/4 cup milk with flour, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, mustard, and salt and whisk together.
- Add spices milk to the simmering milk and whisk in cheeses, being careful not to let the bottom burn. Stir until cheeses are melted.
- Add pasta to vegetables and stir in cheese until combined.
* Crimini mushrooms only
If you like this recipe, you may also want to try Mini Mushroom Mac ‘N’ Goat Cheese