Archive for the ‘Immune boost’ Category

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup

Soup weather is here, meaning it’s time to get out of the cold and curl up with a big bowl (or two!). This creamy soup by Chez Us is rich, smooth, and believe it or not, doesn’t contain any dairy. It’s a great option for lunch or dinner.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

I use to be more of a fair weather cook which meant I enjoyed the warmer seasons and took full advantage of summer’s bounty. Now, I have to admit that I am more of a cold weather home chef and enjoy nothing more than the comfort of a hearty soup or stew to warm up chilly evenings. The days and nights have finally begun to chill down in California, and I have begun taking advantage by making big pots of hearty soups. This recipe for Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup came about after a trip to London where I fell in love with a similar hearty recipe.

I am big on making creamy soups that do not require dairy to create that smooth, creamy texture. I achieve this indulgent bowl of soup, by using ingredients that are rich in flavor, cooking them long and slow, then pureeing in a food processor. Everyone is surprised at how flavorful the soups are without the added richness of cream or milk.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

The depth of this recipe comes from roasting the mushrooms and parsnips before simmering with the other ingredients. While I roast root vegetables all the time, I did not begin working on roasted mushroom recipes until recently. I LOVE the character that comes with roasting mushrooms, even more so than sautéing them. Roasting the mushrooms adds a crazy depth to an already delicious ingredient by bringing out the earthy flavor and creating a rich, caramelized color.

Creamy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup by Chez Us

Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup

What I love the most about this winter recipe is how easy it is to make, and how rich and flavorful it is.

Ingredients:
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup leek, whites only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
sprigs of thyme
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper to taste

Method:
• Preheat the oven to 425.
• Place the parsnips on a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and toss to mix. Roast for 15 minutes.
• Remove the parsnips from the oven and add the mushrooms. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, using a spoon stir to mix. Roast for 15 minutes.
• In a dutch oven heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium low heat, then add the leeks. Stir and cook until soft, about 3 – 5 minutes.
• Add 1 of the cloves of garlic (the smashed one). Stir.
• Then add the mushroom mixture, thyme and the stock. Stir.
• Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
• Let cool for 5 minutes.
• Using a food processor, in batches puree the mixture until smooth.
• Return to the dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper then gently reheat over very low heat.
• In a small saucepan heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium low heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms, stir and cook until lightly golden. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
• To serve place some of the soup in a soup bowl, garnish with some of the shiitake mushrooms and a sprig of thyme.

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Jennifer Farley from Savory Simple turns her favorite winter salad into a gourmet meal with a hearty portabella as the base. 

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms by Savory Simple

Winter is a time of year when our bodies crave comfort, warmth and fullness to balance the cold weather outside. At the same time, the New Year often means taking care of ourselves after the onslaught of heavy holiday meals. Personally, I like to eat a lot of salads during January and February but I know my husband doesn’t consider them to be very substantial. I have a little trick up sleeve that I use to make my favorite salads more filling – portabella mushrooms!

I love marinating and roasting portabella mushrooms and then stuffing them with assorted salads. It makes the dish more visually intriguing, while adding extra nutrition and bulk to the meal. Even better, it takes no time at all! I usually toss the mushrooms with a marinade in the morning or before going to bed and then I roast them while putting the rest of the salad ingredients together.

This winter salad uses one of my favorite whole grains, farro. I love farro because it’s high protein and has a nutty flavor, but brown rice or any other whole grain may be substituted in its place.

Winter Salad Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup butternut squash, diced small
  • 1 cup farro, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Twist off the stem and use a spoon to gently remove the black gills without breaking the mushroom.
  2. Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Pour into a large sealable plastic bag and add the smashed garlic cloves and mushroom caps. Seal the bag and allow the marinade to cover the mushrooms. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, turning the bag periodically to redistribute the marinade.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash in a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook until soft but not mushy, 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade (do not discard the liquid) and place them cap side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.
  5. While the mushrooms are roasting, combine the butternut squash, farro, shallot, dried cranberries, pine nuts, arugula, salt and pepper in a bowl with two tablespoons of the marinade.
  6. After the mushrooms have cooked for 15 minutes, remove them from the oven. Carefully pour off any liquid that has pooled in the mushrooms. Distribute the filling evenly between the mushroom caps (there might be leftover filling depending on the size of the mushrooms). Cook for another 5 minutes and then serve.

Mushrooms and Health Summit

On September 9-10th the Mushroom Council held its very first Mushrooms & Health Summit in Washington D.C. Mushroom Council representative, Bart Minor, was at the two day event which boasted mushroom experts from leading scientific institutions, nutrition professionals, and a fascinating mock growing room that captured the attention of every single attendee.

Mushroom Summit Presentations

I can’t think of a better way to bring mushrooms out of the dark and into the health spotlight than at our very own Mushrooms & Health Summit. In a room full of scientists, doctors, nutrition professionals, and even foodies, it became evident that mushrooms are something we should be excited about!

I sat there fascinated by all of the emerging research; presentations on everything from weight management and immunity, to vitamin D and umami. Leading scientists and researchers are discovering new facts about mushrooms and what makes them a unique dietary component every day.

The mushroom lunch was a captivating presentation in itself. Culinary experts from the CIA showcased mushroom blendability by demonstrating their sensory sampling panel, and highlighting the research that has come out of these highly successful trials. It should be no surprise the studies found consumers generally like mushrooms as a partial substitution for ground meat because mushrooms enhance the aroma, flavor, and texture of the finished dish.

Mushroom Summit Blendability Sampling

The mock growing room was by far the star of the summit. With a huge display that showcased all commercially grow varieties, summit attendees we both surprised and delighted to see exactly how fresh mushrooms are grown in the US.

Mushroom Summit Growing Room

Since 2005, the mushroom industry has dedicated resources to better understand the nutrition properties and health benefits of mushrooms, and I was honored to see all of these resources come together to shed some light on the humble mushroom.

Mushroom Lovers Cheesy Pizza Dip

Kristen Doyle from Dine and Dish turned a comforting dish from her childhood into a mushroom rich dish her kids can’t get enough of.

As the mother of small children and a lover of veggies (especially mushrooms) I am constantly trying to pack extra nutrition into the different foods we eat. It’s not often that we have a dish with no veggies in it at all. I’ve had success with both sneaking them in and sharing them out in the open. Mushrooms are one of my favorite vegetables to add into recipes to amplify the flavor and nutritional value of the foods we eat. Everything from our favorite scrambled eggs, burgers on the grill, to the pizza we have for dinner gets a handful or two of mushrooms added to it. My kids love mushrooms and I enjoy knowing that by adding this simple ingredient to what we eat, I am boosting the vitamins and antioxidants that go into our bodies.

One thing I’ve been eating since I was a teen is pizza dip. It was an easy, weeknight dinner my mom used to make, but she never added vegetables. I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe to include a vegetable we all know and love… mushrooms! I never have to question whether my kids are going to eat when we have pizza dip for dinner. It gets gobbled down quickly, without any complaints. Served with chips and alongside a nice side salad and some garlic bread, this dip transforms from being an appetizer, to a hearty and filling meal.

What is your favorite recipe you add mushrooms to?

Mushroom Lovers Pizza Dip by Dine and Dish 

 Mushroom Lovers Cheesy Pizza Dip

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

• 1 8-ounce package light cream cheese

• 1 cup light sour cream

• 1 cup pizza sauce (jarred or homemade)

• 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

• 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped

• 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Blend together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Spread into a 9 inch pie dish.

3. Stir together the chopped mushrooms and pizza sauce. Pour over sour cream mixture.

4. Top with shredded cheese then finish with remaining sliced mushrooms.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and cheese is hot and bubbly.

6. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Simple and Delicious Mushroom Sauté

Robyn from Add a Pinch realized that turning picky eaters into mushroom lovers is as simple as involving them in the cooking process. Try this simple mushroom sauté at your next family meal.  

Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients in so many recipes, but I especially love to make a quick mushroom sauté as a side dish. Since I always have mushrooms on hand, mushroom sauté makes a wonderful quick-fix accompaniment to so many other dishes and is perfect for a casual weeknight family meal or for serving as part of a more elegant dinner menu when entertaining.

This recipe is so versatile; it has definitely become one of my go-to sides that everyone loves. A while back, we invited friends over for dinner so our families could catch up and spend some time together. When I spoke to my friend ahead of time to make sure there weren’t any food restrictions for her family, she mentioned that her kids could be picky eaters, so not to be concerned if they didn’t eat much. “It’s normal,” she said. Having a bit of a picky eater myself, I took it more as a challenge to make sure there were items on my menu that they would enjoy if I could just get them to give them a try.

Simple Mushroom Saute

When our friends arrived, I was just starting the mushroom sauté, and the children became a bit interested in what I was doing around the stove. Her daughter decided she wasn’t sure about the mushrooms, but since she’d given me a hand in watching them as they sautéed, she put a few onto her plate to taste. Within a few minutes, she asked if I minded if she had a few more. To say the least, her mother was pleasantly surprised. Later, my friend told me that her daughter never tasted mushrooms until that night, but requests this mushroom sauté on a fairly regular basis.

I’m not crediting her new found appreciation for mushrooms on anything I did. However, I do highly recommend this recipe if you have picky eaters in your house. You never know, they may love it just as much as my friend’s daughter does.

Mushroom Sauté

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 pound sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 pound sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1)    Melt butter along with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

2)    Add garlic, shallot, and mushrooms, and chicken stock.

3)    Sauté until tender, about 15 minutes.

4)    Remove from heat and serve immediately.