Archive for the ‘National Nutrition Month’ Category

Chef Spotlight: Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge

Meet Chef Adrian Cruz, one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is the third in a series of Chef Spotlights, which offer a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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“The Concha Burger is the new kid on the block,” says Chef de Cuisine Adrian Cruz of The Orchard Lounge in McAllen, Texas.

New kid on the block, indeed. What makes Cruz’s blended burger so unique? Aside from its delicious toppings like homemade strawberry-fig jam and Applewood bacon, the burger is sandwiched between a Concha bun – a sweet yeast bread roll that can be found in many Mexican markets. As a child, Cruz spent summers at his grandparents’ house in Texas, and would purchase Concha every morning from a bakery truck that was parked across the street. Sharing Concha with his mom and brother over a steaming cup of coffee is one of Cruz’s favorite childhood memories.

Inspired to mimic the sweet and savory flavor profile of Concha dipped in coffee, Cruz decided to experiment with the idea of using Concha as the bun for his blended burger – and it was a hit. For the burger, he uses a blend of beef, pork chorizo and shiitake mushrooms, then tops it with the strawberry-fig jam, chipotle aioli, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, a duck-fat fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes and string mushrooms. What intrigued Cruz most about joining the Blended Burger Project? The opportunity to create a healthier burger with some of his favorite ingredients. He loves the flavor and texture that mushrooms bring to a traditional patty.

“Participating in James Beard’s Blended Burger Project isn’t about becoming famous, it’s about inspiring other chefs and proving that dreams do come true,” says Cruz. He grew up cooking in his mother’s kitchen at the age of 12, and has honed his skills while training at various restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley. Cruz is excited to show off his chops at the James Beard House this October, or has he calls it, “painting on plates.”

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Broccolini Mushroom Salad

Looking for a healthy, yet flavorful spring side? This ‘shroom salad from bell’alimento is sure to impress.

Broccolini Mushroom Salad by Bell'alimento

If you’re looking for a super simple spring side dish that’s big on shrooms, then look no farther. It’s so good you might just want to eat it on its own. If you’re looking for a complete meal, try pairing it with salmon or chicken.

Broccolini Mushroom Salad

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 bunch fresh broccolini – trimmed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 clove garlic – minced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms – thinly sliced

Directions:
Into a large saute pan add 1/4 cup water and heat over medium heat. When simmering, add broccolini and cook until just softened. Transfer to serving bowl. Set aside.
Into a small bowl whisk together: soy sauce, vinegar, oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds and garlic. Pour into pan and heat over medium heat.

Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Pour over broccolini. Toss to combine.

Get Your Greens

Get-Your-Greens-Newsletter

March marks the first glimpse of spring, and that means grocery stores and farmers markets will soon be blooming with seasonal greens and vegetables. Fresh arugula, beets, lettuce, mushrooms, radicchio and scallions glimmer amongst the other produce with a cheerful disposition. As we step away from the heavy foods of winter, we encourage you to rejuvenate your dinner plates with crisp, colorful and nutrient-rich greens.

Wholesome and nourishing, spring vegetables are packed with vitamins C, D and K, iron, potassium, fiber and calcium. Mushrooms alone provide important nutrients like selenium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin D and more. Blending mushrooms with meat (known as The Blend) can also help cut down on red meat consumption and reduce excess calories and fat from your diet.

Whether you spice up your meals with veggie spring rolls, test a new salad, or simply add more raw veggies to the plate, it all adds up to a healthier lifestyle. Celebrate the bloom of springtime, and National Nutrition Month, with a few of our favorite fresh recipes.

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Oyster Mushroom Spring Rolls
Kick off the season with these zesty spring rolls loaded with bright greens and meaty mushrooms.

 

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Taco Salad
Taco Tuesdays just got a new look! Pile your favorite ingredients on a bed of lettuce.

 

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Mushroom Veggie ‘Meatballs’ & Zucchini Pasta
Stack rich pasta sauce and veggie meatballs atop perfectly al dente zucchini ribbons.

 

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Minced Chicken & Mushroom Lettuce Cups
This light spring dish blends mushrooms, chicken, and asian flavors for a playful finger food.

 

Grilled Mushroom Cobb Salad (1)

Grilled Mushroom Cobb Salad
Meaty portabella mushrooms top this vegetarian salad—perfect for lunch or as a hearty side salad.

 

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Mushroom Pizza
Pile on the mushrooms and enjoy a fun make-your-own pizza night with the family.

“Mighty Mushroom Menu” Pinterest Contest

This March, National Nutrition Month, boost your health – and menu – with mushrooms.

Starting tomorrow (March 1), show us what’s on your healthy menu by creating a “Mighty Mushroom Menu” Pinterest board. Fill it with at least 10 nutritional recipes to help you stay focused on health this month. Follow the simple instructions below for a chance to win money to buy your mighty menu – a $100 gift card from the Mushroom Council!

Mighty Mushroom Contest

Contest Rules: http://www.mushroominfo.com/mighty-menu-rules/

Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins

Incorporate The Blend into your morning – or brunch – routine starting with these baked sausage and mushroom frittata muffins from Aggie’s Kitchen.

Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins by Aggies Kitchen

I started making baked frittata muffins for my family about a year ago and we are officially hooked! They are so simple to put together and the variety of fillings are endless, making them even more appealing in my opinion. What I love about frittata muffins is that they are portion controlled, making them perfect for a light breakfast, snack or for offering at brunch where other foods will be served. A dozen of these savory Baked Sausage & Mushroom Frittata Muffins would round out a brunch menu quite nicely if you ask me. My favorite part of a brunch menu is the opportunity to try a little bit of several things, so these muffin-sized frittatas will fit right in.

Using The Blend concept, I was able to cut back on the amount of Italian sausage I used in this recipe with chopped mushrooms. Such a winning concept since you can basically please all the meat eaters in your group, yet know that what you are serving is a little bit more nutritious – without sacrificing texture or flavor. I used baby bella mushrooms in this recipe, but white button mushrooms would be great as well. Enjoy!

Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins

Ingredients:

2 fresh Italian chicken sausage links (about 1/3 pound), casings removed
8 0z whole baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves, chopped
9 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella
cooking spray

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan liberally with cooking spray.

In a large nonstick skillet, brown and crumble Italian chicken sausage. Add shallots and chopped mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add chopped spinach and cook for another 3-4 minutes until spinach is completely wilted. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 9 eggs. Add milk and continue to whisk until eggs and milk are blended. Stir in mozzarella cheese.

Using a tablespoon, add sausage, mushroom and spinach mixture evenly into each muffin cup. Carefully pour egg mixture into each cup, using the spoon to gently lift the sausage mixture so that egg mixture reaches the bottom of cup.

Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully run a knife around edges of egg muffins to separate from pan. Let cool for another 5 minutes then remove egg muffins completely from pan. Serve with fresh fruit and other brunch favorites!

Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins by Aggies Kitchen Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins by Aggies Kitchen Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins by Aggies Kitchen