Archive for July, 2013

A Final Call for Summer Favorites

Caprese Stuffed Portabella

Summer is dwindling before our eyes, and before we know it, the school buses will be lined up outside and the leaves will be transform with a call for grills to be replaced with casserole dishes.  Yet, if you’ve checked the calendar, there is still a month of summer glory left, and just as with any great meal, it’s important to savor every moment (or bite).

Take a look at few of our favorite summer bites that will ensure that August brings the summer to a delicious end.

  • The Earth & Turf Burger – A summer highlight from Top Chef Richard Blais, this burger brings to life the ultimate blend of ground meat and finely chopped mushrooms for a 50/50 combo that is both tasty and a healthier twist on your summer burger. . Best of all, you can make Chef Blais’ burger from his Atlanta based Flip Burger Boutique in your own kitchen!
  • Surf and Turf Shrimp Portabella Fajitas – Nothing makes you feel like the ocean breezes are cooling you off like a spin on the classic Surf and Turf.  This dish replaces a portion of protein with hearty portabellas, to provide the flavor you love with a nutritional benefit to feel good about.
  • Grilled Caprese Portabella – Caprese is a summer classic, but put a new spin on this summer favorite with this version that tops a juicy portabella with all the fixings.

Of course, the fun never ends there. Be sure to check out our Pinterest boards for inspiration that will carry you through every season!

What’s on your cooking list before summer ends?

Blending is Trending at the School Nutrition Conference

We all know finely chopped mushrooms blend well into meatballs, hamburgers, tacos, and many other classic ground meat entrees that students love. But did you know they can make a meal healthier and make portion sizes larger? Mushroom Council representative, Kathleen Preis, headed to the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference this month to tell school foodservice directors all about the benefits of The Blend.

What a whirl wind of activity the Mushroom Council enjoyed last week at SNA ANC 2013 in Kansas City. The Annual National Conference is the largest gathering of school nutrition stakeholders in the world. The conference allows a diverse cross section of individuals from across the country to come together for one purpose – continuing the national effort to provide healthier food for school children.

SNA ANC13 Mushroom Samples

Positioned in the heart of Produce Row, the Mushroom Council was able to talk with hundreds of school nutrition directors, managers and chefs. We were thrilled to share in the unique excitement and enthusiasm those working in school nutrition possess.

At the Mushroom Council booth we demonstrated how The Blend  can enhance school meals by sampling Fiesta Mushroom Taco Salad, Shroom’n Turkey Meatloaf and Meaty Mushroom Marinara to the hungry attendees. We were delighted to hear directly from attendees that mushroom blending is a solution that students will enjoy while increasing the nutritious food options available to students.

Hickman Mills Mushroom Ladies

To wrap up a successful conference experience, we enjoyed an energetic mushroom blending culinary demonstration from local school kitchen managers Barb Scott and Aaron Woods. Not only did they do a wonderful job whipping up their Mushroom Marinara and Portabella Panini on stage, Barb and Aaron used their star power to secure several interviews and specials on various Kansas City news channels.

Panini Sandwich Served at ANC 13

Fox News Interview at SNA ANC13

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 and inspiring week! 

Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

Robyn from Add a Pinch shares a perfect summer recipe for a salad you can eat with your hands.

Mushroom Lettuce Wraps Recipe by

Lately, my family has loved having these Mushroom Lettuce Wraps for a quick lunch or supper. Since they are such a simple recipe to pull together and utilize ingredients that I usually have on hand, they make a great go-to meal when we are in a hurry.

I begin by tossing my sliced mushrooms into a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Then, I add in a can of drained cannellini beans, tomatoes, diced onions, diced peppers, and a few other things and allow it all to cook for the peppers and onions to soften.

These mushroom lettuce wraps make the perfect thing to make when you are looking for a quick-fix meatless meal that everyone will enjoy. If you don’t want to go meatless, make it a blend with chicken or steak. You’ll get all of the flavors you love in one delicious bite.

Paired with my simple roasted red pepper ranch dressing, these mushroom lettuce wraps are truly one of those meals I turn to time and again. I think you will, too.

Here’s my Mushroom Lettuce Wraps recipe along with the quick and easy roasted red pepper ranch dressing that I use as well. You’ll love them!

Hope your family enjoys these Mushroom Lettuce Wraps as much as we do!

Mushroom Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 20 mins

Serves: 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 (10-ounce) can cannelini beans
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper (green, red, yellow, or orange)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8-12 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves


  1. Drizzle olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, beans, onion, peppers, tomato, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until onions and peppers have become tender, approximately 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. As mushroom mixture is cooking, wash lettuce leaves and place onto paper towels. Gently pat lettuce leaves dry with additional paper towels.
  3. Assemble mushroom lettuce wraps by spooning about 1/4 cup of mixture into each lettuce leaf and placing onto a platter. Serve roasted red pepper ranch on the side.

Roasted Red Pepper Ranch

Prep time: 3 mins

Cook time: 0 mins

Total time: 3 mins

Serves: 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup prepared ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers with juices from jar


  1. Pour ranch dressing into 2-cup measuring cup. Blend roasted red peppers and add to ranch dressing. Stir well to combine. Pour into serving bowls for dipping or spooning onto lettuce wraps.

Make Shroom for The Man

David Grotto, RDN, LDN and author of The Best Things You Can Eat provides a mushroom shout out for all of the guys out there who love meaty flavors, but don’t want all of the meaty calories.

Rosemary Chicken

It’s summer grilling time and why not grill with your best health in mind? Mushrooms provide many key nutrients that men really need– all without sacrificing taste and fun!

First off, swapping out fatty cuts of meat for lean, meaty-tasting mushrooms is a simple, yet satisfying, solution for optimal summer grilling. In a study where palatability, appetite and satiety were evaluated, mushroom containing meals were found to be equally satisfying as meat-based meals. Why not have the best of both worlds? Luckily, you don’t have to cut out meat entirely if you don’t want to. Just cut the meat in your recipes in half and blend in delicious and healthy mushrooms. To wet your appetite about the health benefits of “blendability,” I’ve included some guy-specific health benefits of adding in mushrooms, along with a mushroom blend recipe that will tackle a man-sized appetite!

  • Riboflavin (B-2): One cup of white mushrooms supplies an excellent source of riboflavin. Riboflavin is an important nutrient that helps the body convert food into usable energy and aids the liver in ridding damaging toxins from the body.
  • Niacin: Did you know that one cup of white mushrooms boasts nearly one-third of the daily value of niacin? Typically found in animal protein, niacin also helps convert food into energy and supports skin, digestion and a healthy digestive system.
  • Pantothenic acid: One cup of shitake mushrooms supplies nearly fifty percent of the daily value for pantothenic acid. Panthothenic acid is a key nutrient for supporting healthy digestion, hair, skin and vision. It also plays a role in nerve and male reproductive health.
  • Copper: Both white and shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of copper. This mineral is important for male reproduction, healthy blood cells and immune function.
  • Selenium: Mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium. This trace mineral helps protect the cells of the body from free radical damage, helps support a healthy immune system, and supports healthy male testosterone levels.

It’s nice to know that mushrooms pack loads of health and nutrition benefits without weighing you down with excess calories and unhealthy fats. But as guys can testify, unless it tastes good, who cares if it’s good for us, right? Straight up or adorned with all your “burger” accompaniments, mushrooms fresh off the grill deliver amazing meaty flavor. Below is a blendability recipe that you can sink your teeth into!

Last but not least, if you have a favorite mushroom recipe to share, you can win BIG! Enter your recipe in the “Swap it or Top it” competition by July 31st, 2013 to be eligible to win up to $8,500 in prizes! Click here for more info. Good luck!


Portabella Mushrooms with Tiger Shrimp


  • 6 large Portabella mushrooms
  • 6 large (21/25ct) tiger shrimp
  • ¾ cup Whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2.0 ounces Shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Sweet red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/3 cup Fresh shallots chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh basil chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh cilantro chopped fine
  • ¾ cup Chicken stock (low salt)
  • 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Remove stems from mushrooms. Using a heavy sauté pan, sauté mushroom caps in olive oil until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
  2. Sauté peppers, shallots and chopped mushroom stems in olive oil until lightly browned. Add bread crumbs and heat through. Add chicken stock. Mix until evenly blended. Remove from heat. Add fresh chopped herbs and cheese to mixture. Fold together until evenly blended. Set aside.
  3. Steam tiger shrimp in shells. Peel and de-vein shrimp. Set aside.
  4. Stuff each mushroom cap ¾ full with filling mixture. Do not overfill.
  5. Top each filled mushroom with steamed tiger shrimp. Curl shrimp inside mushroom cap. Brush each filled topped mushroom with melted butter.
  6. Using a shallow baking pan, brown the stuffed mushrooms under a broiler until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each cap with a fresh basil leaf. Serve immediately.


Calories: 200; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated: 3g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Sodium: 35mg; Total Carbs: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 3g; Protein: 9g


  1. Grotto, D.. The Best Things You Can Eat. 2013. Da Capo/Lifelong Books, Boston, Ma.
  2. Martin KR. Both common and specialty mushrooms inhibit adhesion molecule expression and in vitro binding of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cells in a pro-inflammatory environment. Nutr J. 2010 Jul 16;9:29.


Sausage and Mushroom Brinner Tacos

Erin from $5 Dinners blends sautéed mushrooms and sausage for a “Brinner” taco perfect for the late-night breakfast craving

Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Tacos by $5 Dinners

Breakfast tacos, typically made with scrambled eggs and some mix-ins. But these delicious tacos don’t have any eggs, so I’m having a hard time calling them “breakfast tacos.” They have breakfast sausage, along with some sliced mushrooms and other veggies, so I’ve settled on “Brinner (A.K.A Breakfast for Dinner) Tacos”…but they could totally be for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and of course, brinner. The blend of mushrooms and meat give them a hearty texture perfect for dinner, but with the comfort of breakfast.

Add your favorite tacos toppings (shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream or pico de gallo) to these for a fabulous and easy weeknight meal.

I can’t think of a better way to utilize the mushrooms in your fridge than with a late-night breakfast feast!

If you have a winning mushroom recipe of your own, don’t miss the chance to enter Mushroom Channel’s “Swap It or Top It” summer recipe campaign for the chance to win $5,000!  The contest ends July 31, so start cooking today!

Sausage and Mushroom “Brinner” Tacos


  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage
  • 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 16 to 20 flour tortillas
  • Topping Ideas – shredded cheese, pico de gallo or salsa, sour cream, avocado slices


  1. Brown the sausage with the taco seasoning. Once almost browned, stir in the mushrooms, zucchini, and pepper pieces. Sauté with the sausage until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Spoon the sausage and mushroom mixture into the tortillas and top with favorite taco toppings.
  3. Serve Sausage and Mushroom Brinner Tacos with side of rice and beans, or fresh fruits.