Archive for August, 2013

Back-To-School Fruit & Veggie Makeovers

Mushroom Pear and Gorgonzola Bites

Image Courtesy of Running to the Kitchen – RECIPE HERE

Chef Jackie Newgent, RDN, shares her favorite tips for making veggies and fruits enticing to kids as the new school year kicks off.

It’s back-to-school time! What better time to give healthy eating a kick start. One of the most impactful ways to make a difference is to boost fruit and veggie intake.

In fact, adolescents in the U.S. currently have fruit just once a day and vegetables only 1.3 times a day.(1) So there’s plenty of room to have a positive impact on eating—and ultimately better health. When presented in new ways, fruits and veggies can be extra appealing to kids.

Try these simple, nutritious, and easily adaptable meal makeover tips throughout the day to give your kids’ eating plan a flavorful and fun update—most in just 60 seconds or less.


Start the day on the right foot. It’s easier than you think to include veggies as part of your morning routine.

Before: Plain eggs

The Makeover: Eggs are a terrific vehicle in which to incorporate vegetables, such as mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, and more. However, there’s not always time to prepare a fancy omelet with all of the fixings. Salsa counts as a veggie. So top scrambled eggs with a salsa of choice whether mild or hot.


Lettuce and lunch are perfect partners—especially when kids are involved in the prep.

Before: Iceberg lettuce leaf on a ham sandwich

The Makeover: Leafy lettuce greens provide an easy way to enjoy veggies. Stack a mixture of them high on a sandwich. Or if your school has a salad bar, have the kids visit it so they can create their own munchable salad bowlful for a school lunch entrée or side.  

After- School Snack:

It’s not always about the food; it’s often the presentation of it that matters the most to kids.

Before: Green grapes

The Makeover: Add a fun factor when serving grapes. Simply freeze them and serve in a sundae dish for more dessert like appeal. Or insert a combination of red and green grapes onto skewers and freeze to create real grape popsicle kebabs.


Mushrooms provide a meaty taste and can provide a unique way to boost veggie servings at dinnertime.

Before: Burger made with ground turkey

The Makeover: A turkey burger is a tasty and healthful protein pick. It’s also a fantastic way to include vegetables. Sure, top it with tomato and onion. Go beyond toppings, too. The burger can be part veggie; just mix together about equal parts ground turkey and quickly sautéed finely chopped mushrooms, and form into patties.

Dessert/Evening Snack:

To satisfy a “sweet tooth”, focus on naturally sweet food first (yes, fruit!), rather than traditional dessert that can be full of added sugar.

Before: Banana

The Makeover: Bananas are a popular fruit. But kids don’t usually think of them as dessert. So turn bananas into a recognizable dessert. Peel, chop, and freeze in advance; then puree the frozen pieces in a food processor to create 60-second banana “ice cream!”

Need more fruit and veggie tips? Just ask us below—or connect with Jackie on Twitter @jackienewgent.


(1)   The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Pinterest Recipes to Savor

Portabella Skins

Just about every second a new mushroom recipe is showing up on Pinterest. On the Mushroom Channel Pinterest account we strive to capture as many as we can, but with 38 boards and 1,255 pins it’s easy to lose track of an amazing stuffed mushroom recipe that was pinned months ago.

When a mushroom recipe catches our attention once, we never want to forget it.  From stuffed mushrooms to burgers,we’re highlighting a recap of some of our top Pinterest recipes.

There is no reason to let the discovery end there! Be sure to browse all of our Pinterest boards for inventive mushroom dishes that are perfect for every occasion and season.

Lemon-Thyme Marinated Mushroom Antipasto

Shaina of Food For my Family captures every last drop of summer with her versatile recipe for Lemon-Thyme Marinated Mushroom Antipasto.

Marinated Mushrooms by Food for my Family

The end of summer is drawing near, and as such, I’m determined to make the most of the last few weeks. For me, making the most of summer includes plenty of outdoor eating: picnics, campfire-grilled foods, patio powwows with the neighbors, and lunches eaten on a towel at the beach.

When I think summer picnic, I’m generally just working on getting as many seasonal produce options on my plate at one time. From pickled radishes and artichoke hearts to grilled lettuces and marinated mushrooms, I want to get the full flavor of the season in every bite.

Marinated mushrooms are a versatile item that goes much farther than the antipasti plate. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:

  •  Serve them sliced over your favorite salad. Their bright seasoning adds depth to simple salads.
  • Utilize them as a burger topping. Sure, you can do the sautéed mushrooms as well, but these are easy to have on hand.Turn them into an easy bruschetta: Drizzle sliced baguette with oil and toast under the broiler for 30-60 seconds.
  • Add the cold marinated mushrooms to each piece and you have an instant appetizer.
  • Skewer them with cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls for a fun (gi) take on caprese salad bites.

Enjoy this flavorful dish as a lasting reminder of how delicious summer truly is.

Lemon-Thyme Marinated Mushrooms


  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms or button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns


  1. Rinse and remove the stems from the mushrooms. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the mushrooms and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set on a towel to dry.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, garlic, shallot, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add in the mushrooms. Place in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Serve with other antipasti or as suggested above.

Makes 1 pound marinated mushrooms

Discover Mushrooms on the Menu this Weekend

Earth and Turf Mushroom Burger by Richard Blais

Weekend dining decisions can always be a challenge.  Debating between cuisine, cost and location can make the entire burden a process when it’s meant to be a night out. Our advice is to let mushrooms be your decision maker. Take a look at a few of our highlighted spots where you can find mushrooms on the menu and quickly turn the dining decision into a matter of how many to order!

Flip Burger Boutique – If you live in Atlanta, and have never been to Flip Burger Boutique you are missing out on an amazing dining experience. Due to popular demand the Earth &Turf Burger, which features a 50/50 mushroom and meat blend, is remaining on the menu. Not local to Atlanta? You can make this burger at home as well.

Bahama Breeze – Enjoy an Island getaway in your own neighborhood. Taste a bit of island life with their Asian Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry. Features a blend of sautéed chicken, Shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, bell peppers and edamame in a sweet chili and ginger sauce; served over basmati rice and topped with peanuts.

Noodles and Company – Nothing is more comforting than a simple and easy meal on a Friday night, which you don’t have to worry about cooking. Noodles and Company features mushrooms in a variety of their dishes, including their most recent Garden Pesto Sauté, featuring asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, pecans, feta and walnuts in a light lemon pesto sauce with gluten-free rice noodles.

Discover even more mushrooms on the menu on our dining out page or Pinterest board.

Cheers to a great weekend ahead!