Archive for March, 2013

The Mushroom Council Discovers Motivating Energy at PHA Summit

The Mushroom Council was proud to announce earlier this month their commitment to the Partnership for Healthier America. Kathleen Preis, Marketing Coordinator for the Mushroom Council and this month’s Council Representative, was honored to attend the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC, and share her experience while at the event.

Have you ever walked into a room filled with a diverse group of people, yet you all have one goal in mind? It creates a unique kind of motivating energy and buzz. I had the opportunity to witness this firsthand while attending the Partnership for Healthier America Summit in Washington DC. The Summit invited health and wellness leaders, child nutrition advocates, policy makers, members of the press, and industry suppliers to attend.

Mushroom Council Booth at PHA Summit

The summit kicked off with a rousing opening presentation calling all present to work together to find an end to childhood obesity. The inspiring speech motivated our table of school districts and fitness leaders to brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas to promote healthy lifestyles. Throughout the summit, the collaborative spirit continued as we had the opportunity to attend educational panels dedicated to initiating progress in providing healthier meals for children both in and out of school. We were able to share the mushroom message with all attendees, and link our goals with virtually every other attendee’s goals, through the potential of pilot programs, culinary demos or as a nutrition resource for existing programs.

The Great American School Lunch Challenge featured all-star chefs Ann Burrell and Jose Garces. The challenge prompted each team to create the most creative, appetizing, and visually appealing school lunch, while also meeting nutritional guidelines. Each team cooked live while all PHA attendees enjoyed samples of their creations in a family-style lunch. The contest highlighted our message that healthy AND delicious school meals are possible with a little creativity… and lots of mushrooms!

Fletcher Street and Sam Kass

After panels, sessions, and ‘get fit’ activities, the closing assembly gave attendees the final spark needed to send everyone home with a feeling of renewed energy  in the fight for a healthier America. The keynote presentation featured moving speeches by Mayor Corey Booker (Newark, NJ), Eli Manning of the New York Giants, First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and our very own Mushroom Council chairwoman Fletcher Street.

Fletcher had the whole auditorium talking about the blendability concept, and our unique mushroom humor. I was even lucky enough to shake the first lady’s hand at the conclusion of the presentation. Next time I will make sure to bring a mushroom burger for her to try!

Our experience at PHA further invigorated our mission to educate Americans on mushrooms as a healthy meal alternative.

What event have you recently attended that reaffirmed your mission to promote better health?


Mushroom Lovers Cheesy Pizza Dip

Kristen Doyle from Dine and Dish turned a comforting dish from her childhood into a mushroom rich dish her kids can’t get enough of.

As the mother of small children and a lover of veggies (especially mushrooms) I am constantly trying to pack extra nutrition into the different foods we eat. It’s not often that we have a dish with no veggies in it at all. I’ve had success with both sneaking them in and sharing them out in the open. Mushrooms are one of my favorite vegetables to add into recipes to amplify the flavor and nutritional value of the foods we eat. Everything from our favorite scrambled eggs, burgers on the grill, to the pizza we have for dinner gets a handful or two of mushrooms added to it. My kids love mushrooms and I enjoy knowing that by adding this simple ingredient to what we eat, I am boosting the vitamins and antioxidants that go into our bodies.

One thing I’ve been eating since I was a teen is pizza dip. It was an easy, weeknight dinner my mom used to make, but she never added vegetables. I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe to include a vegetable we all know and love… mushrooms! I never have to question whether my kids are going to eat when we have pizza dip for dinner. It gets gobbled down quickly, without any complaints. Served with chips and alongside a nice side salad and some garlic bread, this dip transforms from being an appetizer, to a hearty and filling meal.

What is your favorite recipe you add mushrooms to?

Mushroom Lovers Pizza Dip by Dine and Dish 

 Mushroom Lovers Cheesy Pizza Dip

Serves 4-6


• 1 8-ounce package light cream cheese

• 1 cup light sour cream

• 1 cup pizza sauce (jarred or homemade)

• 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

• 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped

• 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Blend together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Spread into a 9 inch pie dish.

3. Stir together the chopped mushrooms and pizza sauce. Pour over sour cream mixture.

4. Top with shredded cheese then finish with remaining sliced mushrooms.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and cheese is hot and bubbly.

6. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies: Stay the Course or Change Direction?

David Grotto, RDN, discusses that there is no room for throwing in the towel when it comes to getting veggies on the plate; it’s all about the approach.


Kid Friendly Pinterest Board - Mushroom Channel


Being a nutrition expert doesn’t always matter when it comes to getting my kids to eat healthier. This is especially true for foods that may taste funny, have a weird mouth-feel or  include something that my daughters’ friends would not be caught dead eating. Kids’ preferences for foods seem to change like the wind, so the question is – should you change your approach in how to get them to eat healthier? Here are some of my favorite tips to get veggies on the plate for the entire family.

Stay the course and reinforce. Set up your home environment for success – abandoning ship is NOT an option. Have fruits and vegetables available in abundance but in ready-to-eat forms. Wash fruits and veggies and have them cut up and ready-to-go and in plain site. My kids really like these after school snacks:

  • Celery, pepper and jicama strips cut in 4” pieces served with a fat-free cream cheese dip or salsa.
  • Cucumber slices and low fat sour cream mixed with onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper served on cocktail rye bread.
  • Mix berries in a bowl with a tablespoon each of honey and balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Change Direction by Using a Sneak Attack. Until about five years ago, my teenage daughters never knew that salmon wasn’t another variety of chicken. I remember one of my daughters exclaiming, “I love this chicken and could eat it every day” after taste-testing a grilled salmon smothered in cherry salsa recipe for my first book. My wife and I turned to each other and said to her, “Glad you like it!” I’m happy to say, seven years later, my kids aren’t in counseling sessions for the emotional scars left behind from our non-disclosure of that fateful meal. But many parents feel guilty if they try to “hide” healthy foods in dishes that their kids enjoy.

In the *American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, from Penn State University, conducted a study with 3-5 year olds where vegetables were hidden in entrees served to them. She found that overall vegetable consumption increased by 50% though hiding vegetables in the entrees though did not affect the amount of vegetable side dishes consumed.  Sneaking in veggies that your kids aren’t particularly fond of isn’t “throwing in the towel”. You may find in time that their tastes change and they will welcome those once hidden vegetables back to being in the spotlight where they belong. But for now, just get them in! Continue to celebrate the ones they do love but arm yourself with these techniques to help them bridge the gap between healthy recommendations and consumption.

  • Swap out ½ ground beef for chopped mushrooms in their favorite burger, taco and meatloaf recipes.
  • Puree left over vegetables and freeze them. Add fresh or frozen pureed spinach to taco meat or brownie mix. Add pureed carrots, sweet potato or butternut squash to macaroni and cheese; smoothies and spaghetti sauce.
  • Don’t feel like pureeing vegetables? Use jarred baby food or shelf stable vegetable purees that are now in the marketplace.

What do you think about sneaking in veggies? Do you have any other ideas for getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies? Let’s hear about them!

*Spill MK, Birch LL, Roe LS, Rolls BJ. “Hiding vegetables to reduce energy density: an effective strategy to increase children’s vegetable intake and reduce energy intake.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Sep; 94(3):735-41.


Simple and Delicious Mushroom Sauté

Robyn from Add a Pinch realized that turning picky eaters into mushroom lovers is as simple as involving them in the cooking process. Try this simple mushroom sauté at your next family meal.  

Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients in so many recipes, but I especially love to make a quick mushroom sauté as a side dish. Since I always have mushrooms on hand, mushroom sauté makes a wonderful quick-fix accompaniment to so many other dishes and is perfect for a casual weeknight family meal or for serving as part of a more elegant dinner menu when entertaining.

This recipe is so versatile; it has definitely become one of my go-to sides that everyone loves. A while back, we invited friends over for dinner so our families could catch up and spend some time together. When I spoke to my friend ahead of time to make sure there weren’t any food restrictions for her family, she mentioned that her kids could be picky eaters, so not to be concerned if they didn’t eat much. “It’s normal,” she said. Having a bit of a picky eater myself, I took it more as a challenge to make sure there were items on my menu that they would enjoy if I could just get them to give them a try.

Simple Mushroom Saute

When our friends arrived, I was just starting the mushroom sauté, and the children became a bit interested in what I was doing around the stove. Her daughter decided she wasn’t sure about the mushrooms, but since she’d given me a hand in watching them as they sautéed, she put a few onto her plate to taste. Within a few minutes, she asked if I minded if she had a few more. To say the least, her mother was pleasantly surprised. Later, my friend told me that her daughter never tasted mushrooms until that night, but requests this mushroom sauté on a fairly regular basis.

I’m not crediting her new found appreciation for mushrooms on anything I did. However, I do highly recommend this recipe if you have picky eaters in your house. You never know, they may love it just as much as my friend’s daughter does.

Mushroom Sauté

Serves 6


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 pound sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste


1)    Melt butter along with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2)    Add garlic, shallot, and mushrooms, and chicken stock.

3)    Sauté until tender, about 15 minutes.

4)    Remove from heat and serve immediately.


#MushroomDish Inspiration

We’re always thinking about new ways to enjoy mushrooms – from ways to get your kids to enjoy them, to new recipes for every season. While we’re always up for talking about mushrooms, a conversation around food can never be a one way dialogue. In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, with the theme “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”, we want to chat with all of our Twitter friends to hear how you serve up mushrooms YOUR way.

On Wednesday, March 20 at 8PM CT we’re partnering with the Resourceful Mom network to host a Twitter Party completely devoted to our favorite fungi.  Following along with the hashtag #MushroomDish we’ll be talking about everything from the best mushroom pairings to how to incorporate mushrooms into your favorite meat-based recipes.

On top of the Twitter Party, we partnered with some wonderful food bloggers in the Resourceful Mom network to discuss their own love of mushrooms.  With featured recipes for Mushroom Pasta, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto and Mushroom Polenta Bites with Bacon we’re pleased to say the conversation is already looking pretty scrumptious.

Mark your calendars and set aside time after a mushroom-filled dinner to chat with us and other mushroom fanatics this Wednesday! If you need inspiration ahead of time be sure to check our full recipe database and Pinterest boards.

See you then!