Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Mushroom Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Denise of Chez Us welcomes fall comfort favorites to the menu with this mushroom, chicken alfredo twist on classic lasagna.

While it is school season for most folks, it is conference season for us, which means lots of traveling and an extra work load besides Chez Us.  When it comes to times such as this, it feels like school season around here, and a healthy and hearty meal that can last us a few days is ideal.  Or one that can go from freezer to oven to table is a welcomed pleasure after a few days on the road.  This recipe for Mushroom Chicken Alfredo Lasagna is exactly that, hearty and comfortable food for the table.  And our bellies!

I wish I could take all the credit for coming up with this recipe; but, I have to give credit to one of my 18-year-old nephews for the genius idea with flavors.  We were recently vacationing together, and over a dinner of lasagna, he wondered out loud what it would be like made with an alfredo sauce, mushrooms and chicken.  I loved the idea so much that I tucked it away until we got home, and then got busy in the kitchen.

I used lots of cremini mushrooms for this recipe; in my opinion the more the merrier!  I tried the recipe two ways, once with only mushrooms, and this time around with ground chicken.  Both ways are great, so vegetarians you can enjoy this recipe as well.  I liked using half sliced and half minced mushrooms as it added more texture to the recipe, and we are all about texture with our food.  As well, the recipe works well with fresh lasagne noodles or the no boil ones, I prefer both of these options as I find that the pasta that is boiled adds more liquid to the finished dish.

All that is left to add to this meal is a salad, some warm bread and a few hungry people.  You guys are going to dig this recipe!

 

Mushroom Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 small cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken  ** vegetarians you can skip this, and add another pound of mushrooms for the filling.
  • 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, stem removed and dirt brushed off
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 ounces grated parmesan
  • nutmeg to taste
  • lasagna noodles – either fresh or no boil ones

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor finely mince 1 pound of the mushrooms, and slice the other 1 pound into slices.  If you are vegetarian, then finely mince 2 pounds, and thinly slice 1 pound.  Then skip the cooking chicken part of this recipe.
  2. In a large frying pan add the olive oil and thinly sliced onion.  Place over medium heat, stir, lower heat to low.  Cook the onions until lightly caramelized, stirring very often.  This will take about 15 minutes – 20 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Remove from the heat and place the mixture into a small bowl.
  5. Place the chicken into the same frying pan, using a wooden spoon break it up into small pieces.  Cook over low heat for 7 minutes.
  6. Add the minced mushrooms, stir, and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the sliced mushrooms, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the onion mixture, stir and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir in the rosemary.  Set aside
  10. Place the butter and heavy cream into a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.
  11. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 cup of the parmesan cheese until melted and smooth.
  12. Add a generous pinch of nutmeg to taste.  Whisk.  Set aside.
  13. Lightly oil a baking dish with a little olive oil.  Pour about 1/4 cup of the alfredo sauce on the bottom.
  14. Layer with lasagna noodles, my pan fit four across the bottom.  Top with some of the chicken/mushroom mixture, then sprinkle some of the cheese over the top.
  15. Top with another layer of noodles, and repeat until you have reached the top of your baking dish, ending with a layer of noodles.  I had 3 layers, ending with noodles.
  16. Pour the alfredo sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  17. Preheat oven to 350.  Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and lightly golden.
  18. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  19. Serve.
  20. Eat.

 

5 Mushroom-Packed Make Ahead Meals for Back-to-School Season

By Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe

Most people love the idea of cooking on Sunday for the week ahead. But usually the meals that come to mind resemble lasagna pan Tetris, with pieces of various shapes getting chiseled off throughout the week. It’s sometimes hard to think of healthy options beyond creamy, meaty casseroles.

Even though most of us aren’t lucky enough to be returning from summer camp, back-to-school season still marks a new beginning of sorts, as our schedules pick up again and we have to return to our daily rituals. While leaving the office at 1pm on Fridays during the summer to soak in the sun by the pool might have made cooking and entertaining a breeze, now that it’s back to business, we could all use a little help saving time in the kitchen with meals that are healthy to prepare – and mushrooms make it easy.

Here are some of my favorite mushroom-filled ideas for dishes you can make for the busy workweek ahead.

–Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe

 

1. Mushroom Hot & Sour Soup – a great vegetarian, gluten-free spin on the Chinese takeout classic.

2. Wild Mushroom Risotto – a big batch of this hearty grain will keep you satisfied all week long. Simply add a little stock to reheat and enjoy the second time around.

3. Kale Salad with Cremini Mushrooms and Lemon Vinaigrette – kale is one of the few greens that can be pre-dressed and still last for a few days in the fridge without spoiling.

4. Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Romesco Sauce – portabellas can be grilled or baked at the beginning of the week and quickly thrown together in these sandwiches for a last minute lunchbox or dinner option.

5. Mushroom Tacos with Mexican Brown Rice – both the mushrooms and the rice are great make-ahead fillings to have in the fridge for an impromptu taco night.

 

Mushrooms Make Back to School Time Trendy

Summer is quickly coming to an end and “back to school” time is in full swing. While the kids might be thinking about the latest trends in clothing and back to school gear, you might be thinking about what they’ll be eating for lunch. Council Representative, Kathleen Preis, tells us how the simple mushroom is making lunch menus across the country not only tasty this school year, but trendy.

Spicy Meatballs. Philly Cheese “Steak” Sandwiches. Chili con Carne. Sounds like the menu at a gourmet restaurant, while in reality this is what your kids could be dining on this school year. That’s right; all these trendy foods have made their way to school lunch trays across the nation, all because of mushrooms.

School Foodservice Directors everywhere have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the new blendability concept – blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat – and have created healthier and trendier menu items for their school lunch programs.  “Mushrooms are on trend – the coolest thing to eat… We need to be on trend, we need to be serving those foods and meals that have a trendy buzz about them,” says Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, an award-winning child nutrition expert. And those buzz worthy, trendy menu items will have kids gobbling up their serving of vegetables!

So when your kids come home from school this year saying how much they loved that turkey burger with cheese and bacon, don’t fret; thanks to mushroom blendability you can be sure they ate their veggies as well!

Celebrating Success: Recipe Redux 2014

From succulent portabella steaks to crunchy vegetarian nuggets, our 2014 Recipe Redux contest participants amped up the mushrooms and packed on the flavor in 37 delicious recipes! As part of the Council’s recent partnership with registered dietitians Regan Miller-Jones, Deanna Seagrave Daly and Serena Ball of The Recipe Redux, we tasked their community of 217 registered dietitians and health bloggers with revamping classic dishes by adding meaty mushrooms to the mix.

From blending fresh, diced mushrooms seamlessly with hearty ground meats in classic bruschetta and tender burgers to replacing meat altogether in crisp spring rolls and zesty, loaded nachos, the creativity was endless. The best part is that their efforts produced delicious, healthier alternatives to our favorite meals.

Let’s celebrate our contest winners!

Congratulations are in order to all participants as we celebrate all the amazing recipes we received featuring the mushrooms we all love. Thanks from the Council for a deliciously successful program!

 

See below for a full list of recipe entries


Mediterranean Mushroom-Zucchini Boats

Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen shares the quickest vegetarian dinner you’ve ever made! Toss this recipe in the oven or on the grill for a dinner that’s full of incredible end-of-summer flavors! 

Staring down a stash of summertime veggies? Whether you gardened yourself into an overabundance of zucchini, or the neighbors down the street are trying to pass their crop onto you, you’ll welcome the season of zucchini with this quick and easy recipe for Mediterranean Mushroom Zucchini Boats.

Full of feisty, vibrant summertime flavors, feel free to use your Farmer’s Market tomatoes in this meal. It’s prepped in less than 10 minutes, and cooked in less than 20. On the grill or in the oven, this easy recipe is versatile and splendid. Perfect for serving at a casual weeknight family meal, or neighborhood potluck. Just like the land that inspired the flavors, this recipe is as fancy or freewheeling as you want it to be!

 

Mediterranean Mushroom-Zucchini Boats

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small zucchinis, halved
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 ½ cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup black olives, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

Use a small spoon to scoop the pit and seeds out of the center of each zucchini half. Set aside.

In a large bowl stir together the tomato, bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, olives, and feta cheese.  Spoon into the center of each zucchini. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 20 minutes OR grill on a grill heated to medium-low heat until the zucchini is crisp-tender.