Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Mushroom Blendability Was a Hit at the School Nutrition Annual Conference

Over the past year the mushroom industry, food service directors and meat processors have been hard at work hoping to bring blendability to the forefront. The outcome of these efforts were obvious at this year’s School Nutrition Conference, and Council Representative Kathleen Pries, was there to share all the benefits of blendability with knowledge seeking directors.

The energy, excitement and enthusiasm at the SNA ANC in Boston, Massachusetts last week was palpable. School food service directors from across the nation were eager to visit the Mushroom Council booth to learn about fresh mushrooms and blendability.

Located in the United Fresh Pavilion, the Mushroom Council had the opportunity to work with other likeminded exhibitors to bring school foodservice directors real solutions to increase fresh produce consumption in schools. The Fresh Produce Pavilion showcased a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available to schools, as well as highlighted the produce industry’s commitment to helping schools meet the new fruit and vegetable requirements for school lunch/breakfast.  With the new “Smart Snacks in Schools” requirements going into effect, and continuing media attention on healthier school meals, it is more important than ever that the fresh produce industry be fully engaged with schools.

To demonstrate how meatless options can be just as tasty, and how blendability can enhance school meals, we sampled Spicy Mushroom Meatballs, Mushroom Blended Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties, and Meatless Portabella Cheesesteaks. Attendees were thrilled to hear student’s favorite meals can be made healthier without losing taste, volume or texture. But we weren’t the only ones showing off blendability, three additional companies showed mushroom blended products totaling 11 products on the show floor for school foodservice directors to sample and add to their menu.

The presence of mushroom blendability at this year’s School Nutrition Association Conference was especially important given the current debate on regulating nutrition requirements in the school lunch program.  Concepts like mushroom blendability demonstrate that districts can serve healthier versions of foods kids love without sacrificing taste or acceptance.  The acceptance with districts, processors and industry influencers of mushroom blendability is a huge opportunity to continue to improve student lunches.

We at the Mushroom Council are tremendously lucky to be included in the groundbreaking group of individuals and organizations that form the School Nutrition Association. We would like to thank everyone at the conference for a truly memorable week!

Egg Mushroom Kale Skillet

Robyn of Add a Pinch puts a twist on the classic egg and mushroom pairing in this delicious, pan-seared skillet combination great for a healthy meal anytime of day.

 

I love meals that I can quickly get on the table, that everyone loves, and that I know are filled with nutritious ingredients. Make it a one-skillet or pan meal and I’m definitely hooked!

This egg mushroom kale skillet fits all of those elements perfectly. A definite one-skillet wonder of a meal, this dish is on the table in about 15 minutes and is filled with so much goodness!

I begin with just a bit of olive oil in my skillet and then add in the mushroom, onions, and garlic for a quick saute. As soon as they become a bit tender, I add in the kale and peppers and then finally, I add the eggs on top and pop it into the oven to bake for a bit. It goes straight from stove-top to oven and then to the table and works perfectly for a breakfast, brunch, light lunch or supper.

Since we’re already starting to think of quick ideas for our meals for back to school, this dish definitely goes high on the list. I know if I begin the day serving this, my family will be fueled for whatever their day brings

As included, the recipe is naturally grain-free, gluten-free and fits a paleo lifestyle. However, if you’d like, you can also add shaved Parmesan to the top of the dish as it comes out of the oven to amp up the flavor even more, if you prefer.

Here’s my Egg Mushroom Kale Skillet Recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

 

Egg Mushroom Kale Skillet 

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Serves: 2-4

 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1/2 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

2 cups chopped fresh kale

3 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Drizzle olive oil into skillet over medium heat on the stove. Add in mushrooms, onion, and garlic and sauté until slightly tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in red pepper and kale and sauté another 3 minutes.
  4. Depress three areas within the ingredients with the back of a wooden spoon and crack an egg into each of the depressions.
  5. Place in the preheated oven and cook until the egg has reached your preferred amount of doneness, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Blend Mushrooms Seamlessly Into Everyday Family Meals


Cooking with mushrooms puts the flavor, fun and substance into family meals by blending seamlessly with your favorite dishes while adding great nutritional value!

The Blendability technique is an easy way to make some healthy makeovers to your favorite dishes, without compromising taste and satisfaction. For a closer look – and kitchen inspiration – check out this video with Mushroom Council president, Bart Minor, and Culinary Institute of America chef, Bill Briwa.

From creamy pasta sauces to family classics like meatloaf, mushrooms are a great addition to the plate, and there are countless health and flavor benefits that will help you include mushrooms in more meals. Whether you blend them with your favorite ground meats, slice them finely and serve them in a vegetable medley or sauté them whole to stand alone as a side dish, there is always room for mushrooms on the menu. Try some of the recipes below to jump-start healthier cooking this summer!

Mushroom Pasta Sauce – Mince mushrooms and blend with zesty oils and seasonings to add to your favorite pasta sauce – perfect for a personalized twist on pasta night!

Meatball Stuffed Mushrooms – Cooking meatballs inside of hearty portabella or cremini mushroom caps makes for a delicious dish that satisfies as an appetizer or entre.

Mushroom Turkey Burger – Summer calls for burgers and this lean ground turkey and mushroom blend will become a go-to for your family cookouts.

Blended Mushroom Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce – Comfort food at its finest.

Vegetarian Mushroom Stir-Fry – Go meatless for dinner with this vegetarian stir-fry dish that packs in the flavor with sautéed mushrooms in a rich vegetarian oyster sauce.

Celebrate Dad All Day With Mushrooms!

Celebrated each June, Men’s Health Month seeks to raise awareness and encourage early detection and treatment of preventable health problems among men and boys. With a holiday celebrating the men who do it all just around the corner, rethink the menu of your Father’s Day cookout while keeping his favorites nutritious. After all, grilling can be a great way to boost the flavor of your favorite ingredients while keeping your favorite recipes health.

The Council also supports many efforts to promote men’s health including City of Hope’s cancer research in finding new ways to use mushrooms (white buttons, in particular) for their potential effects on cancer. Here is a video from the City of Hope that highlights white button mushrooms as part of a study on post-treatment care for prostate cancer:

Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms are your perfect partner in creating a meal that has all of the heart dad seeks, while providing the nutritional benefits  of mushrooms – potassium, Vitamins D & B, and antioxidants.. We’ve rounded up our favorite treats to inspire your Father’s Day celebration, from breakfast to dinner:

Steakhouse Breakfast – start his day with a breakfast fit for a king. By swapping meaty mushrooms for part of the steak strips sitting atop an Asiago Cheese Foccacia, this breakfast stays hearty and tastes delicious.

Inside Out Mushroom Burger – while they can also be found mingling on top of this burger, mushrooms seamlessly blend with ground beef to slash half of the calories in his favorite grilled burgers.

Portabella and Spinach Sandwich – served alongside a fresh salad, this vegetarian sandwich gets its heart from meaty grilled portabellas. Serve alongside dad’s favorite side for a lunch that’s sure to please.

Marinated Grilled Mushrooms – a side of marinated grilled mushrooms adds an extra serving of vegetables on his plate while adding a special touch to his favorite grilled dinner entree.

As a heart healthy meal starter – look to mushrooms to kick off this weekend’s celebration of dad. What will you be grilling up?

The Magic of Mushrooms

Our coast to coast travels gave us the chance to meet up with some of our favorite mushroom friends, like NYT bestselling author and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Cheryl Forberg, RD. We asked Cheryl for the skinny on why she loves mushrooms, how she cooks with them and her favorite tips for simple swaps to save calories and increase the nutritional value of our meals. Here’s what she told us…

Loaded with nutrients, mushrooms are also very high in water (which makes them filling). A great addition to salads and stir-fries, they’re also delicious when stuffed and baked. Large mushrooms are excellent when grilled and make a great replacement for meat.

 

Included below is one of my favorite (quick and easy!) side dish recipes: Portabellas and Asparagus from Flavor First.

But first, its summertime, and I know lots of us are seeking easy ideas for healthy meals. In the spirit of the Council’s Swap It or Top It recipe contest, here are a few of my favorite simple swaps to cut calories, sodium and carbs; and enhances the nutritional value of your meals:

  1. Mushroom cap instead of pizza crust. This simple swap is not only an easy way to cut the carbs, but mushrooms are very low in calories. An average portabella for example has only 27 calories. Mushrooms have meaty texture, rich flavor and they’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
  2. Next time you pack veggie sticks for a snack, add in red bell pepper slices. They’re loaded with antioxidants and a rich source of vitamin C. One cup of red bell pepper slices has only 20 calories and 120% of your daily supply of vitamin C
  3. Tomato or fruit salsas are also a great swap instead of sour cream on your quesadilla/burrito – a savings of more than 200 calories per ½ cup!
  4. Trying to keep your cravings under control? Spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves impart a hint of sweetness without added sugar.
  5. With minimal effort, you can create your own unique seasoning blends, which not only saves you money but also allows you to customize your favorite flavors and control sodium content.

 

Portabellas and Asparagus[1]

Mushrooms add such meaty richness to this vegetable side dish. Try using shiitakes or creminis as well. The earthiness of the vegetables goes especially nicely with grilled steak and a glass of red wine.

Makes 4 (1/2-cup) servings

 

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons grape seed or olive oil

3 cups sliced portabella mushrooms (about 2 large portabellas, stems and black gills removed)

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

3 cups asparagus pieces (1 1/2-inch), from about 1 pound (see note)

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

3 (1/2-ounce) slices nitrite-free turkey (or pork) bacon, cooked until crisp, drained well, and crumbled

1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

Instructions:

  1. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until they just start to soften and release their liquid. Add the shallots and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes longer, or until the asparagus is just crisp-tender.
  3. Drizzle the soy sauce over the veggies and sprinkle with the bacon crumbles and cheese. Toss well and serve hot.

Note: Instead of asparagus, you can substitute 1 (9-ounce) bag (12 cups) fresh spinach. Add to the mushrooms, cover for a few minutes until wilted. Stir well and add remaining ingredients.

Per serving: 60 calories, 1 g total fat (<1 g saturated), 20 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 7 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars), 2 g fiber, 6 g protein

 

Byline:

One of the nation’s leading advisors on health and nutrition, Cheryl Forberg RD is a NYT bestselling author, James Beard award-winning chef and the nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”. For more tips and recipes visit her website at www.cherylforberg.com or follow her at TWITTERGOOGLE PLUSFACEBOOK and Pinterest 

 


[1] With permission from: FLAVOR FIRST by Cheryl Forberg, RD.  Copyright © 2011 Rodale