Archive for the ‘Editor Post’ Category

2014 Was the Year of the Mushroom

This year mushrooms were everywhere! From schools and universities, to online communities and restaurants; 2014 was most certainly the year of the mushroom! Council Representative, Kathleen Pries, breaks down the four best mushroom highlights of 2014.


1. Mushrooms Get Noticed Online. It was a record breaking year for mushroom mentions online! Serious Eats featured seven posts showcasing blended recipes of chefs Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta, the Mamavation weight loss community challenged their followers to incorporate the blend into their weight loss strategy, and Life of Dad hosted a #ShroomTember recipe challenge in September. Burger Business listed blended burgers as a trend to watch, Health revealed five surprising facts about mushrooms, and the Washington Post told us why the meat-mushroom blend makes sense. The humble mushroom is definitely getting noticed.


2. Mushrooms on the Menu.
Isn’t it incredible that over 80% of all restaurants serve mushrooms? In fact, mushrooms are one of the fastest growing items on the menu. And it’s no wonder why, mushrooms are not only delicious, but versatile, adding flavour and texture to any cuisine. Some of our favorite restaurants featured mushrooms on their menus this year; Atlanta’s king of burgers, restaurateur and chef Linton Hopkins menued his blend burger, while Seasons 52 developed a new mushroom duxelle for their Signature Burger. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants realized the many benefits of the Blend and introduced a Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill continues to menu their Veal Marsala Meatball, which is a half-pound blended meatball that combines veal and mushrooms.

The Better Burger Project also rolled through Boston’s Copley Square in September. Seven Boston chefs competed in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs menued their “better burger” creations at their restaurants in October.


3. Mushrooms in Schools. Mushrooms were popping up on school menus across the country this year! From Cincinnati Public Schools to the University of Washington, students were introduced to many different types of mushroom menu items. Chef Jehangir Mehta treated the students at the University of Massachusetts to his famous blended “Graffiti” burger, while Food Network celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan showcased her favourite blend dishes at the University of North Texas. In July, the Mushroom Council introduced school foodservice director to the Blend while exhibiting at SNA ANC in Boston. Many directors and showed interest and agreed the Spicy Mushroom Meatballs were the perfect way to get kids to eat their mushrooms!


4. Mushrooms as a Superfood. 2014 was also a banner year for mushroom research. A first-of-its-kind sensory study on the Blend was conducted by the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis proving the flavor and nutritional benefits of the blend. A Nutrition Today manuscript was published calling for mushrooms to be crowned as their own kingdom based on their distinct nutrient and culinary characteristics. More and more, mushrooms are being recognized for the superfood they are!

We are definitely looking forward to continued success in 2015!

A Mushroom Thanksgiving

We’re half way through the holiday season and just days away from family, friends and food. Thanksgiving is this Thursday and whether you’re focused on keeping tummies full with crowd pleasing appetizers, or revamping classic stuffings and casseroles that fill the air with tantalizing smells leading to the dinner table, mushrooms can help add delicious, unique flavor to any meal served on this special day.

Add an extra punch of rich umami flavor to juicy turkey by pairing with a hearty mushroom gravy. Give mom’s stuffing or gooey mac n’ cheese a tasty boost by adding sliced mushrooms to the mix before baking. No matter what dish you’re most thankful for this holiday season, mushrooms fit perfectly into the menu and add the perfect amount of flair and flavor to family favorites.

Try these recipes to help you prepare a delicious mushroom Thanksgiving spread:

Mini Mushroom Quiche Caps – hold guests until dinner with savory, bite-sized mushroom quiche appetizers.

Brie and Cranberry Stuffed Mushroom Bites – Stuffed mushrooms are always a popular item on the appetizer table and this brie and cranberry stuffed recipe will take it to a new level.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with “Baby Bella” Bacon Bits – This unique recipe features crimini mushroom “bacon bits”, slow-roasted until crisped, and spiced just right – sure to be the star of the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Baked Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese – This baked mac n’ cheese dish bursts with flavor and adds vegetables to a family favorite with a meaty, sliced mushroom addition.

Vegetarian Mushroom Stuffing with Mushroom Gravy – Revamp a Thanksgiving classic by adding a mushroom medley to the mix before baking topped off with a hearty mushroom gravy.

Lighten the Holiday Table with Mushrooms for Good Nutrition Month

From juicy, roasted turkey to candied sweet potato soufflé, the delicious dishes of the holidays make it hard to believe November is Good Nutrition Month! But celebrating doesn’t require resisting the urge to fill your bellies – adding mushrooms to those staple family dishes you love adds flavor and nutritional value that everyone around the table can be thankful for.

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide amazing umami flavor and can blend in with nearly any dish, making them the perfect addition to the holiday dinner table. Add mushrooms to grandma’s famous stuffing or mom’s one-of-a-kind turkey gravy.

Try a few of these mushroom dishes to help your family add rich flavor and nutrients to the menu this holiday season in celebration of Good Nutrition Month:

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Balsamic Maple Mushrooms – Savory sautéed mushrooms top mashed sweet potato pancakes for a delicious breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Baked Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Good as a holiday side dish, this mac ‘N’ cheese bursts with flavor and adds vegetables to a family favorite.

Prime Rib Portabella with Pan-Fried Brussels and Pomegranate – This “meaty” portabella creates a festive mushroom entrée that is perfect for a holiday feast.

Mushroom Stuffing with Mushroom Gravy – This mushroom-packed stuffing recipe adds vegetables and bold flavors to a holiday staple.

Spaghetti Bolognese Made Simple with Task & Tool

With temperatures dropping and days getting shorter, the crisp air of fall calls for cozying up with flavorful bowls of comfort. While intricate meals are perfect for special nights, the richest flavors can also be found in simple ingredients. An appreciation of the simplicity of both recipes and ingredients is at the core of Task & Tool, who share visual recipes that help you create great meals from beginning to end effortlessly. When we came across the Task and Tool blog, we were immediately smitten with the beauty with which the team illustrates the beauty of cooking, making it easy to follow along with the flow of the recipe.

We’re thrilled to have been able to be among the first collaborators on the site and we love their visual take on this Spaghetti Bolognese from our friends at Mushrooms Canada! Blended with mushrooms for a full and hearty taste, this satisfying sauce comes together beautifully with simple ingredients that come together in a sauce with a triple hit of umami with ground meat, mushrooms and tomato sauce. As an added bonus, the sauce keeps in the freezer for up to a month, making it the perfect prep-ahead dinner to keep on hand for busy weeknights!

Check out the rest of the Task and Tool’s illustrated recipes on their website. From simple favorites such as apple pie and cookies, to a robust paella – they all warrant a try!

Spice Up National Chili Month with Mushrooms

With a full-flavored blend of spices, a hearty bowl of  chili is hard to beat on crisp fall days. As nights get cooler and the search for a warm bowl of comfort begins, look to mushrooms to give your chili the boost of flavor you didn’t know was missing. Blending in mushrooms with ground meat in traditional chili recipes not only lowers calories, but also adds extra savory umami to accent the existing flavors in your favorite chili recipe. In honor of National Chili Month, we’ve rounded up our favorite recipes – perfect for cozying up to this fall:

  • Mexican Mushroom Chili with Beans and Barley – Paired with a fresh baguette and served piping hot, this hearty chili is a perfect dinner to cozy up to on a brisk night.
  • Chili Con Crimini – A perfect pairing for fall football, this Chili Con Crimini packs a mushroom-loving punch!
  •  Mushroom Chipotle Chili – a blended mushroom and meat base give this recipe heart without weighing it down. The spicy blend of poblano chilies and jalapenos make this recipe a go to if you’re looking for some heat.
  • Mushroom Chili – a classic take on a traditional chili recipe, this meaty, mushroom-filled recipe is best paired with crisp tortilla chips.

Still searching for inspiration? Chef Bill Briwa from the Culinary Institute of America and Bart Minor, President of the Mushroom Council give a classic chili recipe a makeover using a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and meat as the base. More nutritious comfort food has never looked so good!