Archive for January, 2014

Mushrooms Take Over the Campus at University of Southern California

A weeklong mushroom-centric campaign called Mushroomapalooza kicked off this past Monday at the University of Southern California. Council Representative, Brittany Stager, was there to help educate students on the many health benefits of mushrooms, as well as take in some of the delicious mushroom items menued on campus during the week.

Interest piqued as the fresh mushrooms display was set up at Cafe 84 on the University of Southern California campus. A wide array of fresh, local and cultivated mushrooms were put on display at the cafeterias sauté station to celebrate the launch of Mushroomapalooza; a week long mushroom promotion hosted by seven campus restaurants and the Mushroom Council.

Students waited patiently at Cafe 84’s sauté station for their fill of simple sautéed mushrooms; a medley that consisted of shittake, crimini, maitake, and beech mushrooms. Mushroom pizza, risotto, salad, and soup were just some of the mouth-watering mushroom filled items that made an appearance on the cafeteria’s menu for the week.

Cafe 84, along with several other campus restaurants including McKay’s, The Lab Gastropub, Morton Fig, Lemonade, Seeds, and Traditions celebrated Mushroomapalooza by serving up fresh mushrooms all week long. Students enjoyed everything from a simple mushroom & spinach crepe served at Seeds, to crispy tempura oyster mushroom at USC’s pub, Traditions.

The students weren’t the only ones excited by the appearance of mushrooms, USC chefs showed some excitement too; “I love what you can do with all the different varieties of mushrooms. But it was important that we didn’t over think the mushroom menu at The Lab. I wanted to create dishes that were unique but still familiar – soup, flatbread, pot pie, tacos, these are all familiar pub dishes,” says Chef Joe Ledesma, who was thrilled to take part in the festivities. Chef Mikery Hatfield, Executive Chef at McKay’s, also had a great time coming up with their mushroom menu, “there are so many ways to menu mushrooms, but I wanted to really feature one new dish every day.”

Mid-week the students were invited to experience two more mushroom centric dishes, Chicken & Mushroom Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Smoked Shiitake, Kale, & Spelt Salad, prepared by Chef Eric Ernest and Chef Lance Avery at the USC Weekly Farmer’s Market. Beyond the free samples, students were eager to win a Mushroomapalooza commemorative t-shirt, taking part in USC’s “Shirts for Selfies” contest.

The Mushroom Council was proud to take part in this campaign; educating students on the many benefits of mushrooms and allowing them to experience their true versatility in all the dishes served across campus.

Savory Mushroom Tart

Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen shares a mushroom meal makeover that puts a spin on “fast food” with her savory mushroom tart. 

 Savory Mushroom Tart by Cheeky Kitchen

I find the beginning and the end of most days to be about the same. I’m tired. The kids are tired. I’m hungry. The kids are hungry. And the last thing I want to do is fire up the stove and start preparing a three-course meal that will satiate our growling bellies.  So, instead (far too many times) I get lazy. Toss the people in the car and grab something quick.

When I conjured this idea for a Savory Mushroom Tart, I wondered if I could actually get away with it. This is one lazy recipe. Just chop up mushrooms, toss in a teaspoon of ready-chopped garlic (I used the pre-chopped stuff that you can keep in the fridge), a smidgen of cheese, and bake it all between a pillows of ready-made pie dough. The results? An incredibly delicious meal that is perfect for breakfast or dinner. It’s completely meatless, and popping with so much delicious flavor, even kids will be asking for seconds!

Looking for a way to feed your family right—even on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking? Pull together these fun and yummy Savory Mushroom Tarts and see just how easy it easy to make real fast food!

Savory Mushroom Tart

This recipe required no precooking of the mushrooms! Just chop, stir, and bake. Try serving these savory tarts alongside eggs for breakfast or brunch, or make them for dinner and serve them with a big, green salad. Delicious!


  • 1 ¼ cup finely chopped baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup gouda, parmesan, or swiss cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust dough
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together mushrooms, garlic, gouda, thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Unroll pie crusts, cut off the outer edges of each round to create a large square. Cut the square in half, and then slice each half into two rectangles, where one rectangle is slightly smaller than the other. Place the smaller rectangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Spoon the mushroom mixture in a mound on top of each of the smaller rectangles of dough. Place the larger rectangles over the mushroom mixture, and use a fork to press the edges of the top and the bottom pie dough pieces together. If desired, use a knife to cut teardrop “leaves” out of the extra pie dough pieces. Brush the top of each mushroom tart with a bit of beaten egg, press leaves on top of each tart (if desired), brush again with beaten egg and bake in oven for 15-18 minutes, or just until the tarts are golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Mushrooms: Your Perfect Partner in Tradition

With the frigid winter weather raging on, many seek out the cozy feeling that only childhood favorites can provide. If warming up with homemade creations on a brisk day is the plan, turning to mushrooms to counterbalance the decadence of traditional comfort foods can be an easy swap that goes far for your health.

We have long been fans of blending finely chopped mushrooms and replacing a portion of ground meat in order to add flavor while increasing nutritional value. Registered Dietician Frances Largeman-Roth, contributor at Cooking Light magazine, joined hosts Tamron Hall and Willie Geist on the TODAY Show this week for a segment demonstrating how a traditional favorite can become more nutritionally diverse. Sourcing an original recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, Frances demonstrated how replacing half of the beef in a traditional meatloaf recipe, with finely chopped cremini mushrooms, adds a savory and earthy flavor to the meatloaf while slashing overall calories. Due to the nutritional benefits, this twist in the recipe takes a traditional meatloaf from “occasional family favorite” to “my family’s go-to dinner.”

For more inspiration on how to reap the health benefits of blended, heart-healthy traditional foods look no further! Below are a few of our favorite recipes:

Which family favorites do you find yourself coming back to?

A Healthy Dose of Winter Comfort with Mushrooms

Stir Fry

A strong winter blast across the country continues to drive many of us into hibernation mode and straight into the kitchen. It’s widely assumed that comfort food is automatically associated with heavy, calorie laden meals, such as a hearty casserole, a creamy soup or gooey mac and cheese. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but with spring break looming around the corner there is still a voice in the back of our head to stay true to our healthy resolutions.  Luckily, a mushroom meal makeover is all you need to enjoy the comfort food you crave, with all of the nutritious benefits.

Take a look at some of our recipe highlights below, allowing you to have a bite of comfort without the guilt.

  • Pan Roasted Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs – Nothing says winter comfort quite like a weekend breakfast during the work week. Toss this recipe for Pan Roasted mushrooms into your favorite egg creation for a hearty breakfast that will keep you energized for the day ahead.
  • Mushroom Meatball Sub – A meatball sub is often viewed as an indulgent treat, but when you replace a portion of meat with finely chopped mushrooms, it can quickly become a meal for any day of the week.
  • Mushroom Quinoa Casserole – Quinoa is a staple for a variety of meals, but a Quinoa Casserole is the perfect recipe for family dinner and a perfect meal for the gluten-free friends in your life.
  • Mushroom Parmesan Melt – Everyone loves a warm panini, but this open faced melt provides the same warm and toasty goodness in a healthier form.

The ideas don’t have to stop here! Take a look at our “Healthy Dose of Comfort” and “Mushroom Meal Makeover” Pinterest boards for more suggestions from across the web.

Meet the 2014 Mushroom Channel Blogger Ambassadors

Mushroom and Fontinta Tartine

Every week here on the Mushroom Channel we’re sharing mouthwatering mushroom recipes, that will make you want to head straight for the kitchen.  Whether it’s an inventive take on a caprese sandwich or a simple basic, we’re always amazed by the amount of recipes that we collect year over year.

If you’re starting to wonder where so many of our delicious recipes come from, it’s the amazing blogger ambassadors we partner with every year who bring their mushroom inspiration to all of our Newsfeeds.

With the start of a fabulous year ahead, we’re excited to introduce the 2014 panel of ambassadors.  Take a look at some of their featured mushroom dishes below and get inspired to keep those healthy New Year’s resolutions!

2014 Blogger Panel

What’s Gaby Cooking?


A Cozy Kitchen

Add a Pinch

Cheeky Kitchen

Savory Simple

Chez Us