Archive for December, 2012

Your New Year’s Resolution Should Include Mushrooms

In honor of the holiday season coming to a close, Mushroom Council representative, Bart Minor, shares his holiday experience and how your 2013 New Year’s resolutions can include mushrooms.

With multiple parties to attend and plenty of food to indulge in, my holiday season is always a busy and filling one. The holidays are the ideal time to enjoy large dinners, desserts, and plenty of drinks, but once the New Year arrives, so does the realization that holiday eating habits have to change.

I make the same new year’s resolution every year – continue to enjoy food, but in moderation. That means less cola and more water, less high calorie foods and more nutrient dense foods, and of course less meat and more veggies. Including fresh mushrooms in your everyday meals is a great way to expand your meals, boost nutrient intake, and enjoy a serving of vegetables.

Swapability Recipes

Here are three ways my New Year will include mushrooms:
1. Introduce Meatless Monday into my household – mushrooms are the perfect meaty partner!
2. Start using swapability to its full potential. Mushrooms can help bulk up my portion sizes while keeping calories, fat and sodium in check.
3. Enjoy a snack that is not salty or sweet. Mushrooms make a great alternative to chips & dip.

How will you include mushrooms in 2013?

The Mushroom Factor

Recipes are the foundation of most of the meals we eat. They provide the formal instructions for a classic chocolate chip cookie or a homemade pizza crust that gets passed down from generation to generation. Recipes provide structure, but the real fun in the kitchen starts with spontaneous “toss-in” ingredients. The ingredients that don’t have to be planned for, but add that extra boost of nutrition and flavor to any recipe.

A mom and cook who knows the secret to “toss-in” success all too well, is our very own Mushroom Channel ambassador Jessica Fisher, from Life as MOM. Jessica’s blog discusses everything from planning a family budget to fashion, homeschooling her six children and figuring out meals for the whole family. She also recently wrote a cookbook, published by the Harvard Common Press, entitled Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.  For a busy mom, having simple recipes that can be adjusted based on the season or kids’ taste is vital to having happy faces and full stomachs across the table.

Her recipes are approachable for novice to expert cooks, providing a foundation for cooks to build upon – by adding the veggies your family loves or that are simply in the fridge. As a true mushroom lover, they are one of her go-to ingredients featured in many recipes. Mushrooms’  ability to take on the flavor of whatever they’re paired with or as a simple addition to  pasta, allows mushrooms to work for the cook, rather than scrambling to find a recipe that works for mushrooms.  Take a look at some of Jessica’s creative recipes that suggest mushrooms as a “toss-in” ingredient.

Beef Minestrone Soup

The ideas don’t have to end there. Jessica can be found sharing more unique recipe ideas on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

What’s your favorite recipe to toss mushrooms with?

Fried Eggs, Mushroom and Kale Skillet

Jessica Fisher from Life as MOM cherishes breakfast time with her loved ones, especially when mushrooms are on the plate.

My family loves to eat, especially first – and second – breakfasts. Breakfast is a comfort food for many of us so it makes sense to have it twice. With the holidays right around the corner, and several sweet treats abound, it’s nice to know we’re starting the day in the right way.

We enjoy mushrooms with any meal, but particularly at breakfast. They add a smokiness and heartiness that goes perfectly with bacon and eggs. Luckily, mushrooms are always in season, but other veggies can be incorporated based on the time of year.

This breakfast will fill you up and leave you wanting more. Perhaps even at second breakfast. This recipe serves one generously. Feel free to double or triple the recipe provided you have a large enough pan. If a band of holiday guests arrives at your door, you’ll need a few more pans.

Fried Eggs, Mushroom and Kale Skillet

Fried Eggs Mushroom and Kale Skillet

Serves one

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 handfuls sliced kale
  • 2 eggs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium skillet, cook the onion, mushrooms, and bacon over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The bacon will start to crisp, the onions will turn clear and start to brown, and the mushrooms will lose their water and start to brown.
  2. Stir in the sliced kale and cover.Sauté for a minute or two.
  3. Make two small wells in the kale and crack the egg into the wells. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for five to ten minutes on low, depending on how you like your eggs.

A Holiday Roundup of Mushrooms

Holiday food is filled with such variety; it’s no surprise to find mushrooms popping up on the holiday table.  To help get your holiday menu planning started, we’ve put together a roundup of some of our festive mushroom favorites.

Stuffed Mushrooms Galore

From mac n’ cheese to enchiladas, this stuffed mushroom feature from Huffington Post will even impress the picky mushroom eater in your family.

A triple threat of spinach, mushrooms and feta make this decadent bite from Hungry Girl one not to be missed.

And don’t forget – our Stuffed Mushroom Pinterest board covers all of the essentials from healthy to indulgent recipes.

Meatless Stars

Creamy Goat Cheese and Pasta with Mushrooms from Two Peas and Their Pod is perfect for a holiday potluck or a weeknight dinner.

Prime Rib Portabella with Pomegranate and Brussels sprouts from Food for My Family is a “meatless” win in presentation and taste.

Regardless of where you find your  mushroom inspiration, here are a few helpful mushroom planning tips:

  • Prepare stuffed mushrooms ahead of time and pop into the oven when you’re ready to bake.
  • Sauté or roast extra mushrooms to have extra on hand throughout the week.
  • When roasting mushrooms follow the ratio of one tablespoon of oil to eight ounces of mushrooms.

How will you prepare mushrooms for the ones you love this holiday season?

Tri-Mushroom Flatbread

Were you a mushroom hater that developed into a mushroom fanatic? Susie from We Are Not Martha shares how she went from a picky mushroom eater to a mushroom connoisseur.

If we’re being honest (why wouldn’t we be? We’re all friends here), this would have been the pizza of my nightmares when I was a kid. I might have been that kid who picked the mushrooms off my pizza. Now that I’ve had a few years to mature, I understand that three kinds of mushrooms on one pizza is the best, most delicious idea ever. I feel lucky that we grow and mature in all matters of life, but especially in terms of taste. And it’s my hope that millions of little picky eaters grow up into mushroom-loving adults.

There’s nothing quite like a thin and crispy crust topped with mushrooms, lots of garlic, and manchego cheese. Oh, and with a little spinach tossed on for good measure. This is the kind of dish you bake for dinner and then end up eating the rest first thing in the morning the next day, still in your pajamas while standing in front of the fridge. Not that I know this for a fact or anything. But when you’ve been dreaming about this pizza all night, it’s tough to show self-restraint when your alarm clock goes off at 6 a.m. Talk about getting your day started off in the perfect way!

Tri-Mushroom Flatbread

Tri-Mushroom Flatbread

Serves 3

Ingredients:

For Dough:

  • 1 1/2 Cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 3/4 T rapid rise yeast
  • 3/4 T salt
  • 1/2 T sugar
  • 1/8 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/4 Cup unbleached all-purpose flour

For Flatbread:

  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 oz. manchego cheese, shaved
  • 3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3.5 oz. portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 C baby spinach

Directions:

1) To make the dough, combine water, yeast, sugar, and extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl and let sit for two minutes. Stir in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon, just until combined. Cover the bowl, place it in a warm area, and let it rise for about 2 hours. This recipe makes enough dough for two flatbreads and will stay fresh in your fridge for about 5 days.

2) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F°. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and minced garlic and let sit.

3) Using half the dough, roll out into a large, thin round on a floured baking sheet. Brush oil and garlic mixture all over dough round.

4) Layer half the cheese over dough. Top with spinach leaves and mushrooms. Then place the rest of the cheese over the top.

5) Bake for 13-18 minutes, until dough is starting to turn golden and cheese is melted.