Archive for March, 2013

It’s a Trend to Blend

Big Mouth Turkey Burger

As spring break vacations quickly approach for families across the country, our favorite summer flavors suddenly don’t feel quite that far away.  It’s hard not to envision summer without thinking of a juicy burger on the grill. It’s a traditional summer flavor that no one wants to sacrifice; however the upcoming swimsuit season turns the mind to more healthful recipes. Luckily, burger recipes featuring meat and mushroom blends are showing up across the web, providing fewer calories and extra veggies, with every bit of the flavor you love.

Take a look at a few of our favorite finds that will help get a jump start on your summer planning.

Chef Scott Samuel’s Roasted Mushroom Base and Mushroom Burgers

From: New York Times – “Cutting Down on the Meat – but Not the Taste”

If you don’t know where to start with blending veggies and meat, keep this mushroom base from Chef Scott Samuel, a chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, Calif., in your recipe database all season long. From burgers to meatballs, it’s the perfect balance to get you started.

Spicy Chicken Burgers


Even chicken burgers can get amplified with veggies from a hearty portabella boost. The Spicy Chicken Burger incorporates Greek yogurt, edamame, mushrooms, cucumbers, avocados and more to create a flavor explosion that will be raved about all summer long.

Big Mouth Turkey Burgers (pictured above)

From: Brooke McLay, Cheeky Kitchen (Mushroom Channel Ambassador)

Brooke understands the importance of getting veggies into meals. As the mother of four kids Brooke understands that dealing with picky eaters doesn’t mean you have to limit meal options, you just have to get creative. Her Big Mouth Turkey Burgers bring all of the flavors of a burger to life, with a healthful nod to veggies on the plate.

How do you like to blend meat and veggies in your recipes? 

Simple Solution. Extraordinary Possibilities.

PHA Summit, Mushroom Council

Mushroom Council Chair, Fletcher Street, stands alongside Lawrence A. Soler, CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America, during PHA Summit on Friday, March 8th. 

Every day, multiple times a day, families across the country are pulling out bowls and plates, forks and knives as part of an iconic routine: mealtime. Lately, the ultimate challenge is defining a place for the flavors we love with the nutrients we need. At the Mushroom Council, we say the phrase, “The trend is to blend” to recognize how mushrooms marry delicious and nutritious food.

This is why the Mushroom Council is bringing more vegetables to the plates of American families through a formal multi-year commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

Veggies often fall victim to the myth that if something is good for you, it must not taste good. But mushrooms can help you create better-for-you meals that your family will love. Challenge common notions with these three quick and easy creative solutions.

1) Challenge: My kids refuse to eat anything with veggies.

Solution: Getting kids to eat vegetables can be a lofty endeavor. The best way to help them adapt something new is by serving it in a familiar way. Blending mushrooms with meat is a simple and easy way to introduce the entire family to mushrooms, in dishes they already love and eat. From family meals to school lunches and restaurant entrees, the Council is working to bring this mushroom and meat blend to plates across the nation.

2) Challenge: I don’t have time for meal prep.

Solution: The beauty of working with mushrooms is that they can easily added to the meals you’re already making. Love omelets? Start tossing in mushrooms. Craving a burger? Try mixing mushrooms into the patty or swap it for a meaty portabella. Mushrooms’ versatility and rich umami flavor make them a perfect and simple addition to family favorites. Just add nutrient-rich mushrooms to the meals you’re already making and get extra vegetables for fewer calories in the process. Bonus Tip: Sautéed mushrooms can last for a month in the freezer – ready to be tossed into any meal.

3) Challenge: I’m tired of the same flavors and recipes.

Solution: Check out how the Partnership for a Healthier America, Let’s Move!, USDA’s MyPlate and the nation’s top recipe creators have come together on Pinterest to offer hundreds of tasty recipes to anyone looking for healthier meals. Also, find recipes on Mushroom Channel Pinterest account for breakfast, dinner, appetizers and everything in between, with new flavor opportunities in every pin.

Stay tuned to The Mushroom Channel in 2013 and join us as we continue to seek new ways to get mushrooms on plates across the country.

Clean out your Pantry Couscous with Mushrooms and Herbs

In honor of National Nutrition Month, the focus is on combining the flavors you love, your way, every day.  Paula from Bell’alimento highlights that mushrooms can become the centerpiece of a meal with the help of a few pantry staples.

Fresh mushrooms are incredibly versatile. They add depth, flavor and complexity to even the most basic dishes. You can slice, dice, quarter or puree them, and serve them from noon to midnight (or whenever the hunger craving strikes). Adding a few mushrooms to any dish completely changes it. They’re meaty and hearty and if you’re looking for a meat replacement you’ve found a great budget friendly option in mushrooms.

For instance, couscous is a fantastic pantry staple to always have on hand. It’s delicious on its own but with addition of mushrooms it’s now a complete meal in a bowl.  Start with Israeli couscous which is basically small pearls of pasta goodness that are just playful and delicious.  Add sautéed mushrooms and herbs and now you have the perfect bowl of comfort food.

What pantry staples do you like to combine with mushrooms?

Couscous with Mushrooms and Herbs by Bell’alimento

Couscous with Mushrooms and Herbs
Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms – quartered
  • ½ onion – minced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley


  1. In a medium saucepan heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Reserve ½ mushroom mixture to top plates with prior to plating.
  2. To the mushroom mixture add water, salt and bring to a boil. Add couscous. Stir to combine. Cover pan and remove from heat. Set aside until liquid has been absorbed. Approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Add herbs, stir together with fork. Serve immediately. 

Can substitute chicken broth for water for additional flavor.
Use a mixture of fresh mushrooms for bolder mushroom flavor.

Nutrition Inspiration Every Day, Your Way

Mushroom Burger Wrap

Eating healthy is a daily commitment, but it’s an undertaking that does not have to be completed alone. This is why the Mushroom Council is dedicated to working with like-minded partners to tackle this challenge together and provide the inspiration we all need to lead a healthy life.

The Mushroom Channel recently partnered with three Academy subgroups including the Food and Culinary Professionals (FCP), NOBIDAN (National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition) and Weight Management to create tailored programs to arm members with tools and resources to take into their communities to educate people about healthier eating. The responses were nothing short of inspirational and provide great tips for every family to jumpstart their veggie routine.

Take a look at some of our winning responses below and start sharing the passion you have for nutrition with your own community.

Veggies Got Talent

Barbara Storper, MS, RD from Hatfield Massachusetts was passionate about getting her children excited about veggies so she focused on connecting what they already enjoy with the theme of nutritious ingredients. Through her “Veggies Got Talent!” script kit, she will bring kids, parents, teachers, foodservice directors and community members together to encourage healthy eating with kids leading the way with their own presentations about vegetables.

From Grocery Store to Kitchen

Meghan Windham, MPH, RD, LD from Texas A&M University is focusing in on the student audience. Rather than telling students how to eat healthy, she is showing them the process from the grocery store to the kitchen. She will lead guided grocery store tours; conduct one-on-one consultations; and host cooking demonstrations and a mushroom recipe contest to encourage vegetable usage.

Connecting Kids Locally

Stephanie Green, RD from Phoenix Arizona is connecting kids with a local focus by helping Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts earn their locavore/cooking badge. Through recipe demonstrations and education sessions, she will educate these groups about food origin and nutrition.

Mushroom Inspiration

If you need a kick start for your own house take a note from some of our featured mushroom tips and start sharing your passion today!

1. Bulk up Breakfast: Add mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, etc. to eggs for a veggie loaded start to the day.

2. Prep Work:Sauté a big batch of mushrooms ahead of time and add them to go-to recipes day by day.

3. Go halfsies: Up the moisture, flavor and veggies in home-cooked burgers by building a patty that uses mushrooms in place of some of the meat. 

Happy Cooking!