Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

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.

 

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.