Archive for February, 2013

Honor Heart Health with Mushrooms

Herb Mushrooms

February is coming to a close and spring is on the mind, but there is still time to celebrate an occasion that February reminds us all about – taking care of our hearts. What better way to take care of your heart than through ingredients, that when brought together, nourish us from the inside and out.

Our favorite “guyatitian” David Grotto is working with the Mushroom Council this year to share his favorite tips and resources to live a life full of health and fun (along with plenty of mushrooms to boot).  Rather than highlighting mushrooms versatile nature in a classic risotto, Dave took it up a notch by sharing a recipe that brings together two versatile favorites: mushrooms and oats.

Mushroom and oat risotto brings together the classic comfort of a creamy risotto in a new twist the entire family can get behind.  With the hearty texture of the oats and the umami richness from the mushrooms, you’ll have trouble figuring out if you want to serve this for breakfast or dinner.

For the full recipe and to learn more about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms and oats check out the full post on Dave’s blog “David Grotto’s Nutritional Housecall.”

5 Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Mushrooms

“I didn’t know that!” A very common phrase that Council Representative, Bart Minor, hears on a regular basis when he exposes a little known fact about nature’s hidden treasure. Stick around to learn 5 facts about the mysterious mushroom.

In the past 14 years I have certainly learned a lot about mushrooms. Everything from the scientific measures it takes to grow a mushroom, to the underestimated nutrient value. It’s this knowledge that I love to share with all who will listen. To see someone’s eyes widen in happiness when I tell them mushrooms are low in fat and calories, or to see that jaw drop when I tell them mushrooms contain vitamin D – it all makes my day.

That said, I am here to share my knowledge, and potentially delight and surprise you with these 5 little known facts about mushrooms:

Mushroom Tacos

1. Mushroom Swapability Will Change the Way You Eat. Blending chopped mushrooms and meat in traditional recipes like meatloaf, burgers, taco filling and meatballs not only boost flavors, but brings another serving of vegetables to the plate. Even the kids will love the difference.

2. One Handful of Mushrooms Delivers Nutrition, Taste and Versatility. That’s right, mushrooms are in fact good for you! Fresh mushrooms are fat-free, low-calorie, nutrient-dense, low in sodium, contain natural antioxidants, and deliver important nutrients, including vitamin D, potassium, selenium, ergothionene and B vitamins. Another reason to add mushrooms to your everyday dishes.

3. Mushrooms are Full of Umami.Umami is the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Derived from the Japanese word umami, meaning “delicious,” umami is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation. It’s no wonder mushrooms have been called the “vegetarian’s meat.” All mushrooms are a rich source of umami and the darker the mushroom the more umami it contains.

4. Mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D. That’s right, following exposure to sunlight, mushrooms’ plant sterol – ergosterol – converts to vitamin D. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but mushrooms are unique for being the only source in the produce aisle.

5. Give Your Immune System a Boost. Within the produce aisle, mushrooms are a leading source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps strengthen the immune system and protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. Mushrooms are one of the best dietary sources of the antioxidant ergothioneine, which is known for its role in immunity.

Mushroom Risotto with Bacon and Peas

Robyn from Add a Pinch understands that the key to getting the family around the table is through delicious meals, and her Mushroom Risotto with Bacon and Peas never fails.

Meals with my family are my favorite part of the day. Settling in around the table to learn about the happenings of each person’s day as we share a meal is truly a gift of love that I don’t take lightly. Let’s face it, life is just busy!

When I do have a bit of extra time, I like to prepare something I know my family loves. There are a few ingredients I can always turn to and know they’ll devour – cheese, bacon, and mushrooms! I love cooking with mushrooms as they provide a meaty, filling and flavorful addition to any dish.

My mushroom risotto with bacon and peas recipe definitely has my family’s stamp of approval. With layered flavors of mushrooms, onion, garlic, bacon, and peas, this recipe is perfect for serving as a side dish for a family meal and definitely is beautiful when entertaining.

It seems the older my son becomes, the more I treasure our meal times together. Since we all seem to have busy schedules thrown into the mix, it is such a refreshing time to cocoon our little family around our table for at least 30 minutes or an hour to just be with one another. No cell phones, television, or other electronics permitted – or at least we try our best.

This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller family meal, and easily doubled for a larger crowd. I highly recommend always making a bit extra since it works perfectly for a lunch the next day. It’s hard to beat being able to get two meals out of one recipe. Especially when it tastes as delicious as this mushroom risotto.

Mushroom Risotto with Bacon and Peas by Add a Pinch

 

Mushroom Risotto with Bacon and Peas Recipe

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken stock
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 pound sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 12 ounces Arborio rice
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + additional for serving

Directions:

  1. Warm chicken stock over medium-low heat in a saucepan to a simmer.
  2. In the meantime, add bacon to a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until just crisp. Stir in mushrooms, shallots, and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Move bacon, mushrooms and shallots to one side of the skillet.
  3. Add rice to the other side of the skillet and toast to bring out the flavor, about 3 minutes. When rice has turned a light golden color, add chicken broth to risotto, about 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed. Cook until risotto has cooked to your personal preference, about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and stir peas, butter, Parmesan, and salt and pepper.
  5. Serve warm with additional grated Parmesan.

10 Simple Mushroom Additions

A recipe can sometimes seem perfect, and even when you follow the instructions to a science, you can be left thinking there’s a flavor, texture or spice that’s missing. Luckily, there is an easy and simple solution to this dilemma, which is always having mushrooms on hand. Whether it’s tossing them into a fajita mixture or dicing them into a meatball, mushrooms can be that flavorful, umami  ingredient that truly makes a dish shine.  Take a look at ten simple ways to take your recipes to the next level with mushrooms:

1) Sautéed mushrooms can last for a month in the freezer. Store in the freezer in small, proportioned storage bags, to keep on hand as an easy addition to pasta, burgers, pizza and more.

2) When you’re looking for a variety of flavors in one bite, stuffed mushrooms are the perfect go-to for an appetizer or light snack.

3) Mushrooms are a perfect pairing for an egg-based breakfast. From omelets, frittatas or breakfast burritos, they are a simple and easy addition to toss in at the spur of the moment.

4) If you want to add a hearty texture to your pasta sauce, diced mushrooms are the addition to your favorite recipe.

5) Risotto is a perfect comfort meal for any season, based on the variety of flavors you add from spring peas to fall squash. Luckily, mushrooms are a natural fit anytime of the year.

6) Prepare a vegetarian wrap for lunch with hummus, mushrooms and chickpeas and you’ll feel like you took a lunch break to the Mediterranean.

7) Mushrooms can put a savory twist on your baking routine as the filling for a Rustic Mushroom Tart.

8) Add a boost of flavor and nutrition to your quinoa with a handful of sautéed mushrooms.

9) Family favorites can get a dose of mushroom love, such as creamy and cheesy Baked Mushroom Mac and Cheese.

10) If you’re out of bread, portabella mushrooms can serve as a “meaty” and hearty replacement to a bun for your burger or sandwich, such as in this Portabella Halloumi Burger.

For more ideas, check out our full recipe database and discover mushrooms full potential in every meal.

Mushroom and Fontina Tartine

Gaby from What’s Gaby Cooking prepares a Mushroom and Fontina Tartine that is so simple and delicious; you will instantly fall in love.

I’m obsessed with a lot of things. Avocados, cookies, cheese and mushrooms. My love affair with mushrooms started a few years back in culinary school and I have been obsessed ever since. They are just so flavorful, meaty and versatile and you can use them in just about anything.

Recently, because it’s been so darn cold here in LA (I know we are total wimps when it comes to weather – but I just can’t help it!) I’ve taken to roasted mushrooms. That way I can sit in front of the oven and warm up as the mushrooms are roasting.

Once the mushrooms are done roasting, you can use them in any variety of things… but one of my favorites is a cheesy tartine. I just take a few pieces of toast, give them a swipe of butter, let them toast up in the oven, and finish it off with a handful of shredded fontina cheese on top. After the cheese has melted, they get a hefty spoonful of the roasted mushroom mixture and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Does it get any easier than that? This is a quick and easy meal that everyone will enjoy! I’ve been known to serve it for brunch, lunch and/or dinner. It’s extremely versatile and you’re definitely going to love it!

Mushroom and Fontina Tartine

Mushroom and Fontina Tartine

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms (crimini, button, portobellos), cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole grain bread
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup shredded Fontina cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Scatter the fresh thyme on top of the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the mushrooms a flip onto the other side and finish roasting for 5-10 minutes longer.
  4. Once the mushrooms have roasted, remove them from the oven and set aside.Place the 4 pieces of toast onto a new baking sheet and spread 1 teaspoon of butter on each piece of toast.
  5. Place the toast into the oven for 2 minutes just until the butter is melted.
  6. Remove the toast from the oven and evenly distribute the shredded cheese on top. Place the baking sheet back into the oven and bake for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.
  7. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top each piece of bread with a spoonful or two of the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper if needed and serve immediately.