Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

The Blend: Your New Year’s Resolution Solution

Resolving to be healthier in 2016? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey, Americans have resolved to “live a healthier lifestyle” this year. The key to keeping resolutions: make simple shifts toward healthier long-term eating patterns, such as adding more veggies to your favorite foods as recommended in the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.

This year, resolve to try The Blend, combining chopped mushrooms with ground meat, to help you stay on track without sacrificing flavor. Here are three healthy perks of The Blend:

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  • Trim calories and fat. Mushrooms are naturally low in calories, fat free and cholesterol free. Research shows that increasing the intake of lower calorie foods, specifically mushrooms, in place of those higher in calories, like ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing calorie and fat intake while still feeling full and satisfied after a meal.
  • Reduce sodium intake. Excessive levels of sodium may put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even kidney disease. Fortunately, mushrooms are low in sodium and rich in umami – meaning enhanced flavor without the added salt.
  • Add nutrients. Mushrooms provide important nutrients such a vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. Plus, blending mushrooms into a recipe can add an easy serving of vegetables to the plate.

Don’t just take it from us, test the benefits of The Blend in your favorite recipes. This one pot lamb ragout is a flavorful and easy weeknight meal the entire family will enjoy.

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Enoki Mushroom Stir-Fry

After over-indulging during the holidays it feels great to cook up a weeknight dinner that is easy and healthy. This fast and flavorful stir-fry from A Cozy Kitchen fits the bill and is sure to please!

My favorite thing to do in the New Year is to take a small break from all the sugar and carbs that consume my diet throughout the month of November and December. This is Enoki Mushroom Stir-Fry is a good start. Brown rice is spiked with a bit of mirin resulting in rice that is super flavorful. The stir-fry itself consists of green Swiss chard, freshly grated ginger, spicy jalapeño and earthy enoki mushrooms.

Enoki Mushroom Stir-Fry by A Cozy Kitchen

The stir-fry is cooked with a good amount of soy sauce and lime juice resulting in something bright and delicious. I love topping this whole thing with a lightly fried egg and then mixing it all together.

Enoki Mushroom Stir-Fry

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Rice:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup water
Salt
1 teaspoon mirin

Stir-Fry:
2 teaspoons sesame oil or olive oil
3 leaves of swiss chard, leaves removed from the stems and stems chopped
3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 fresno or jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 bunch of enoki mushrooms (feel free to substitute)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/4 lime
1 large egg

Directions:
1. In a medium pot, set over medium heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil, swirling it around to coat the bottom. Pour in the rice, along with the water, salt and the mirin. Bring to a simmer and then immediately turn the heat to low and cover slightly. Cook the rice for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the water is completely evaporated.

2. To a medium sauté pan, set over medium heat, heat the sesame oil. When hot, add the swiss chard stems and green onions; cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Mix in the minced garlic, grated ginger, jalapeño pepper and cook for an additional minute, until the garlic is fragrant—it should start to smell awesome. Pour in the soy sauce, mirin, swiss chard leaves, mushrooms and sesame seeds; give it a good mix and cook for an additional minute or two until the vegetables have softened. Squeeze in the lime juice, turn the heat down to low and cover.

3.In a small saute pan, fry up an egg or two. Serve stir-fry on brown rice and top with the fried egg.

Mushrooms Make School Lunches Delicious

As summer comes to a close and we begin swapping bathing suits and flip-flops for backpacks and pencils, school lunches become top-of-mind. What will your little ones (and big ones) be eating for lunch every day? Council Representative, Kathleen Preis, walks us through all the delicious meat and mushroom blend dishes your kids will be enjoying this school year!

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What do Chicken & Mushroom Gravy, Spaghetti & Meatballs with Mushrooms, and Mushroom & Olive Tapenade all have in common? No, they are not the bestselling menu items at a restaurant up the street. They are not dishes that wowed the judges on a national cooking show. In fact, they are menu items that could be served in your kid’s lunchroom this school year!

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School Foodservice Directors across the nation are embracing fresh mushrooms and blending them into lunch menus in hundreds of districts across the United States. Hickman Mills School District in Missouri added a Mushroom Taco Salad and Mushroom Spaghetti to their menu and the response from the students was overwhelming! 90% of students surveyed enjoyed the Mushroom Taco Salad and requested it be served again! In New Orleans Public Schools, School Nutrition Director Rosie Jackson added Vegetarian Lasagna and Mushroom & Olive Tapenade to the menu during Mushroom Week. 80% of students at the secondary level preferred the mushroom blended entrees!

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The secret to all these delicious tasting and highly requested lunch items is… mushrooms! Blending finely chopped mushrooms in popular ground-meat favorites like burgers, meatballs, tacos, and meatloaf helps to create healthier menu items for school lunch programs. Two years ago Jessica Shelly at Cincinnati Public Schools switched her 100% beef burger to a beef & mushroom blend burger and was delighted by the results. “By switching to the beef burger with mushrooms, my calories and fat went down enough that I could add cheese to the elementary school burgers and offer turkey bacon to high school burgers – when they saw turkey bacon cheese burger as an option my high schoolers went nuts! They loved it!”

Adding mushrooms into classic ground meat dishes not only makes them healthier, it keeps them tasting “familiar” so students are more likely to continue gobbling up their burgers, meatloaf, and tacos without knowing they are better for them! So when your kids come home and tell you how they tried mushrooms at lunch time, don’t be surprised… heck you could even give blending a try it at home!

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen makes holiday brunch easy and filling with this supersized stuffed mushroom recipe using portabella caps and a meaty chopped mushroom filling!

During the month of December, it’s all about the appetizers…and cookies. Cookies are important, too. But today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite larger format appetizers that could almost double as an entree: the stuffed portabella mushroom. It’s a little meta, I’d say, mushroom on mushroom! Think of it like the mushroom version of the turducken.

These larger portabella mushrooms are stuffed with a mixture of diced white button mushrooms, seasonings like bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, Gruyere cheese and fresh Italian parsley. It’s the ideal mixture you’d want in any stuffed mushroom recipe, actually. They take under 30 minutes to whip up. And they can even be prepped ahead of time and assembled just before guests arrive, making them the ideal appetizer for your holiday season.

 

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

Yields 4

Ingredients:

  • 10 white button mushrooms, diced (will equal to about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche (or sour cream)
  • Parsley salad
  • 1 small Italian parsley
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 portabella mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  1. In a large bowl mix together the diced white button mushrooms, garlic, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Gruyere cheese and creme fraiche. Flip the portabella mushrooms so they face stem side up. Scoop a few tablespoons of filling into each portabella; feel free to pile it high! Top each portabella with a sprinkling of salt and few pinches of extra bread crumbs. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the portabellas are tender when poked with a knife.
  1. Meanwhile, mix together the Italian parsley, shallots, lemon juice and olive oil. Top each baked portabella mushroom with a scoop of the Italian parsley salad and serve.

 

Lighten the Holiday Table with Mushrooms for Good Nutrition Month

From juicy, roasted turkey to candied sweet potato soufflé, the delicious dishes of the holidays make it hard to believe November is Good Nutrition Month! But celebrating doesn’t require resisting the urge to fill your bellies – adding mushrooms to those staple family dishes you love adds flavor and nutritional value that everyone around the table can be thankful for.

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide amazing umami flavor and can blend in with nearly any dish, making them the perfect addition to the holiday dinner table. Add mushrooms to grandma’s famous stuffing or mom’s one-of-a-kind turkey gravy.

Try a few of these mushroom dishes to help your family add rich flavor and nutrients to the menu this holiday season in celebration of Good Nutrition Month:

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Balsamic Maple Mushrooms – Savory sautéed mushrooms top mashed sweet potato pancakes for a delicious breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Baked Mushroom Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Good as a holiday side dish, this mac ‘N’ cheese bursts with flavor and adds vegetables to a family favorite.

Prime Rib Portabella with Pan-Fried Brussels and Pomegranate – This “meaty” portabella creates a festive mushroom entrée that is perfect for a holiday feast.

Mushroom Stuffing with Mushroom Gravy – This mushroom-packed stuffing recipe adds vegetables and bold flavors to a holiday staple.