Mushrooms on the Menu

My name is Bart Minor and I have been president of the Mushroom Council for 14 years. I was born and raised on a farm in the BIG Valley, near Fresno, CA. It was there I helped my widowed grandmother produce raisins. The women in my family taught me how to make fresh foods taste good (including chicken livers from our chickens). Today, it is evident they taught me well – my daughters tell their friends, “My Dad can even make Brussels sprouts taste good!”

Even though I love to cook, I’ve found eating out is more convenient and mushrooms are frequently on the menu! This is not only trending in restaurants in my area, but also with our Mushroom Channel Facebook fans! We recently asked our Facebook fans what their restaurant favorites were. One restaurant in particular seemed to have a pretty strong following. We also received some great shout-outs for other chains and local hangouts. (Rightly so, many just bragged about their own in-home table!).

Here are some notable recent dishes I have observed (and enjoyed!):

Flat Breads. Mushrooms help make these filling items a little lighter, under 500 calories for a whole flatbread, not to mention the numerous combinations.

Mushroom Bacon. Mushrooms and eggs for breakfast are always a favorite. How about taking this one step further by seasoning and cooking strips of portabellas or king oysters as if they were bacon? The other night I enjoyed shiitake bacon chips, or “bits,” in a spinach salad at a local restaurant in Mountain View, CA and it had the flavor and crunch of bacon. Outstanding!

Turkey Burgers. Chopped mushrooms, when combined with ground turkey are a delectable demonstration of what we call our swapability concept. Simply substitute mushrooms for a higher calorie ingredient, such as meat. Not only do you add an extra serving of veggies to the plate, but you also reduce calories and fat in a meal.

Do you have a favorite mushroom menu item?

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