Archive for November, 2016

DC Capital Food Fight Event Recap

Council Representative Kathleen Preis attended the DC Capital Food Fight in November – an event to benefit DC Central Kitchen.

DC Capital Food Fight

More than twelve hundred guests enjoyed dueling chef battles, seventy-five restaurant stations and a Top Chef Mushroom Blend Challenge at last week’s DC Capital Food Fight to benefit DC Central Kitchen. DC Central Kitchen provides nutritious, sustainable meals and culinary job training for needy DC residents while providing award-winning healthy meals for dozens of schools within the Washington, DC school district.

DC Capital Food Fight Chefs Jose Andres and Spike Mendelsohn

Chefs Jose Andres and Spike Mendelsohn reveal mushrooms as one of the secret ingredients.

The DC Capital Food Fight featured four local chefs battling head to head, with just five minutes to prepare a dish incorporating the secret ingredients, green beans, Italian chicken sausage and curried popcorn – all with the hopes of winning the title of Capital Food Fight Champion.

DC Capital Food Fight Chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio

Chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio blend mushrooms for their blended burgers.

The night wasn’t limited to local chef challenges: Electric hosts Jose Andres and Spike Mendelsohn treated guests to a special battle – featuring notable DC Top Chef alumni Marjorie Meek-Bradley, Michael and Bryan Voltaggio and Mike Isabella – in which chefs had to prepare a blended burger (at least 25% fresh mushrooms blended with beef) in under five minutes. Chefs commented on the blend’s sustainability and meaty properties – a topic very familiar to host Spike Mendelsohn who participated in the inaugural Blended Burger Project in 2015.

DC Capital Food Fight Chefs Duff Goldman and Michael Voltaggio

Chef Duff Goldman enjoys a blended burger, while Chef Michael Voltaggio congratulates all the chefs!

While the chefs enjoyed the friendly competition, guests from the audience bid to join Chefs Duff Goldman, Rusty Hamlin and Michael Voltaggio to judge the Top Chef’s Blended Burger creations. At the end of the night, the judges couldn’t determine a winner between the teams but all were excited about the juiciness and flavor the mushrooms added to the burger. Look out for The Blend in these notable chef’s restaurants in the future!

DC Capital Food Fight Blended Burgers

Among the seventy-five stations available for guests to enjoy, mushrooms were plentiful – from mushroom dumplings and soups, to sandwiches and more. A great time was had by all, with nearly $700,000 raised for DC Central Kitchen. Congrats to all!

Good Gravy! Mushroom Gravy Recipes to Warm the Soul

It’s all about mushroom gravy recipes this holiday season.

As the weather cools and leaves begin to fall, we’ve got holiday feasts on our minds. This year, it’s all about the gravy, and mushrooms are the (not so) secret ingredient. Along with providing an extra dose of nutrients, mushrooms’ natural umami adds a savory punch without the extra sodium. Check out the recipes below to learn how to incorporate mushrooms in both main courses and gravy recipes this holiday season.

Go full veggie with this indulgent Mushroom Veggie Gravy.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Mushroom Gravy Recipes

Bulk up dishes like warm buttermilk biscuits with this hearty, meatless gravy recipe.

Mushroom Blended Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy Recipes

True to American tradition, this savory mushroom gravy sauce is the perfect complement to blended meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Biscuits and Beef Mushroom Gravy Recipes

Baby Bella mushrooms shine in this Mushroom Beef Gravy recipe. Tip: for perfect consistency slice the caps finely and put the stems into a food processor.

Whether you’re looking for a new gravy recipe to add to your Thanksgiving spread or are serving biscuits and gravy to hungry house guests the next morning, these recipes will do the trick. Let us know your favorite way to eat gravy in the comments below!

3 “Souper” Ways to Include Mushrooms this Season

Elevate soup season with fresh, umami-rich mushroom soups.

Warm up these cooler days with fresh mushrooms. Whether you’re cooking a weeknight dinner or prepping for a holiday party, incorporating umami-rich mushrooms into your favorite comfort foods is the perfect way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables – and a boost of flavor – this season.

Adding vitamin D into our diets this time of year is essential to coping with shorter days and longer nights. Thankfully, mushrooms, such as maitake are packed with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone strength.

Check out three of our favorite and “souper” versatile recipes fit for the season:

Vegetarian? Toss your favorite mushrooms into this Creamy Mushroom & 3 Bean Soup. The protein and fiber from the beans will keep you full and focused for hours.

Creamy Three Bean Mushroom Soups

Recipe Courtesy of Dine and Dish

Fall Cream of Mushroom Soup: Take this comfort classic up a notch by adding fresh button, baby portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms into the mix.

Creamy Mushrooms Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Billy Parisi

Whip up a batch of this rich, non-dairy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup for dinner and savor the flavor of sweet parsnips and herbaceous thyme.

Roasted Parsnip Mushroom Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chez Us


Embrace Fall with Family-Friendly Comfort Classics


November is officially here, meaning fall is in full swing and the holidays are just around the corner. With the longer nights, crisp days and cloudy skies, all we want to do is curl up with a cozy blanket, watch football and indulge in some serious comfort food. From vibrant stuffed winter squash and hearty casseroles to flavorful stroganoff and salisbury steak, we’ve rounded up our favorite soul-warming mushroom dishes to get you through the month. What are your family’s favorite comfort foods?

Tips for convenient meals:

  • Stock your freezer with your favorite ground meats, and use throughout the winter when you need dinner in a pinch.
  • Take advantage of in-season produce by adding nutrient-rich squash, yams, turnips and kale to your meal plan.
  • Turn hearty leftovers into breakfast the next day. Warm up veggies and meats then throw into an omelet or frittata, and top with your favorite cheese!


Easy Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Blended with umami-rich mushrooms, this Salisbury Steak is an indulgence you can feel good about.


Mushroom, Apple and Walnut Stuffed Acorn Squash
This autumnal dish is perfect for a November Meatless Monday.

Blenditarian Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole
This Tater Tot Casserole is made with ground turkey and mushrooms for a lighter spin on a comfort classic.

Blenditarian Beef Stroganoff

Quick Mushroom Beef Stroganoff Skillet
This quick stroganoff dish proves that comfort food doesn’t have to take hours to prepare.


Leftover Stuffing Mushroom Strata
Looking for a fun(gi) way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers? This strata will do the trick.


Blended Shepherd’s Pie
Mmmm. It doesn’t get better than steaming Shephard’s Pie on a chilly fall evening.