Archive for the ‘Swap It Or Top It’ Category

Celebrating Success: Recipe Redux 2014

From succulent portabella steaks to crunchy vegetarian nuggets, our 2014 Recipe Redux contest participants amped up the mushrooms and packed on the flavor in 37 delicious recipes! As part of the Council’s recent partnership with registered dietitians Regan Miller-Jones, Deanna Seagrave Daly and Serena Ball of The Recipe Redux, we tasked their community of 217 registered dietitians and health bloggers with revamping classic dishes by adding meaty mushrooms to the mix.

From blending fresh, diced mushrooms seamlessly with hearty ground meats in classic bruschetta and tender burgers to replacing meat altogether in crisp spring rolls and zesty, loaded nachos, the creativity was endless. The best part is that their efforts produced delicious, healthier alternatives to our favorite meals.

Let’s celebrate our contest winners!

Congratulations are in order to all participants as we celebrate all the amazing recipes we received featuring the mushrooms we all love. Thanks from the Council for a deliciously successful program!


See below for a full list of recipe entries

The Magic of Mushrooms

Our coast to coast travels gave us the chance to meet up with some of our favorite mushroom friends, like NYT bestselling author and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” Cheryl Forberg, RD. We asked Cheryl for the skinny on why she loves mushrooms, how she cooks with them and her favorite tips for simple swaps to save calories and increase the nutritional value of our meals. Here’s what she told us…

Loaded with nutrients, mushrooms are also very high in water (which makes them filling). A great addition to salads and stir-fries, they’re also delicious when stuffed and baked. Large mushrooms are excellent when grilled and make a great replacement for meat.


Included below is one of my favorite (quick and easy!) side dish recipes: Portabellas and Asparagus from Flavor First.

But first, its summertime, and I know lots of us are seeking easy ideas for healthy meals. In the spirit of the Council’s Swap It or Top It recipe contest, here are a few of my favorite simple swaps to cut calories, sodium and carbs; and enhances the nutritional value of your meals:

  1. Mushroom cap instead of pizza crust. This simple swap is not only an easy way to cut the carbs, but mushrooms are very low in calories. An average portabella for example has only 27 calories. Mushrooms have meaty texture, rich flavor and they’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
  2. Next time you pack veggie sticks for a snack, add in red bell pepper slices. They’re loaded with antioxidants and a rich source of vitamin C. One cup of red bell pepper slices has only 20 calories and 120% of your daily supply of vitamin C
  3. Tomato or fruit salsas are also a great swap instead of sour cream on your quesadilla/burrito – a savings of more than 200 calories per ½ cup!
  4. Trying to keep your cravings under control? Spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves impart a hint of sweetness without added sugar.
  5. With minimal effort, you can create your own unique seasoning blends, which not only saves you money but also allows you to customize your favorite flavors and control sodium content.


Portabellas and Asparagus[1]

Mushrooms add such meaty richness to this vegetable side dish. Try using shiitakes or creminis as well. The earthiness of the vegetables goes especially nicely with grilled steak and a glass of red wine.

Makes 4 (1/2-cup) servings



2 teaspoons grape seed or olive oil

3 cups sliced portabella mushrooms (about 2 large portabellas, stems and black gills removed)

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

3 cups asparagus pieces (1 1/2-inch), from about 1 pound (see note)

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

3 (1/2-ounce) slices nitrite-free turkey (or pork) bacon, cooked until crisp, drained well, and crumbled

1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese



  1. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until they just start to soften and release their liquid. Add the shallots and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes longer, or until the asparagus is just crisp-tender.
  3. Drizzle the soy sauce over the veggies and sprinkle with the bacon crumbles and cheese. Toss well and serve hot.

Note: Instead of asparagus, you can substitute 1 (9-ounce) bag (12 cups) fresh spinach. Add to the mushrooms, cover for a few minutes until wilted. Stir well and add remaining ingredients.

Per serving: 60 calories, 1 g total fat (<1 g saturated), 20 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 7 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars), 2 g fiber, 6 g protein



One of the nation’s leading advisors on health and nutrition, Cheryl Forberg RD is a NYT bestselling author, James Beard award-winning chef and the nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”. For more tips and recipes visit her website at or follow her at TWITTERGOOGLE PLUSFACEBOOK and Pinterest 


[1] With permission from: FLAVOR FIRST by Cheryl Forberg, RD.  Copyright © 2011 Rodale

Sausage and Mushroom Brinner Tacos

Erin from $5 Dinners blends sautéed mushrooms and sausage for a “Brinner” taco perfect for the late-night breakfast craving

Sausage Mushroom Breakfast Tacos by $5 Dinners

Breakfast tacos, typically made with scrambled eggs and some mix-ins. But these delicious tacos don’t have any eggs, so I’m having a hard time calling them “breakfast tacos.” They have breakfast sausage, along with some sliced mushrooms and other veggies, so I’ve settled on “Brinner (A.K.A Breakfast for Dinner) Tacos”…but they could totally be for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and of course, brinner. The blend of mushrooms and meat give them a hearty texture perfect for dinner, but with the comfort of breakfast.

Add your favorite tacos toppings (shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream or pico de gallo) to these for a fabulous and easy weeknight meal.

I can’t think of a better way to utilize the mushrooms in your fridge than with a late-night breakfast feast!

If you have a winning mushroom recipe of your own, don’t miss the chance to enter Mushroom Channel’s “Swap It or Top It” summer recipe campaign for the chance to win $5,000!  The contest ends July 31, so start cooking today!

Sausage and Mushroom “Brinner” Tacos


  • 1 lb. ground pork sausage
  • 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 small yellow pepper, chopped
  • 16 to 20 flour tortillas
  • Topping Ideas – shredded cheese, pico de gallo or salsa, sour cream, avocado slices


  1. Brown the sausage with the taco seasoning. Once almost browned, stir in the mushrooms, zucchini, and pepper pieces. Sauté with the sausage until the sausage is cooked through and the mushrooms begin to brown.
  2. Spoon the sausage and mushroom mixture into the tortillas and top with favorite taco toppings.
  3. Serve Sausage and Mushroom Brinner Tacos with side of rice and beans, or fresh fruits.

Celebrity Chef Richard Blais Blends Mushrooms With Meat For a Great Burger

Blais' Earth and Turf Burger

Summer is in full-gear and burgers off the grill can be found on plates all over town – from backyard BBQs to the hottest restaurants.  We wanted to add another “must eat” to your list. Behold: the Earth & Turf Burger by Chef Richard Blais that brings mushrooms front and center for a flavorful, satisfying burger. This standout burger is accompanied by Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, pickles and mushroom ketchup and mayo – packing exceptional flavor between a brioche bun.

Plus, creating a burger with mushrooms and meat can cut calorie and fat intake while adding veggies and nutrients without sacrificing taste or hearty portion sizes. With mushrooms, you can have your burger and eat it too – all summer long.

Hey Atlanta! You can find the featured “Earth & Turf” burger on the menu at Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead, Atlanta, GA until July 31. However, the burger can be a mainstay in your own kitchen with the full recipe here.

If you’re looking to master the grill, follow these additional easy tips and techniques to build a better burger this grilling season:

  • Perfect the patty: Finely chop any mushroom variety and combine with ground meat of choice for a moist burger packed with flavor.
  • Switch Up the Seasoning: Experiment with a combination of herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme to add another layer of savor.
  • Create New Condiments:  Take typical toppers like ketchup or barbecue sauce and stir in unexpected pairings like soy or hot sauces.
  • Bring on the Bun: Bring flair to the whole affair with different bread choices like brioche buns, pretzel rolls, English muffins or even sandwich wraps – be adventurous.

Additionally, our Pinterest board is full of burger ideas with mushrooms as a meat replacement, topper and blend for great summer burgers. Like Chef Blais, tell us how you’re transforming your meals with mushrooms this summer. Enter the ‘Swap It or Top It’ Recipe Contest for the chance to win $8,500 in prizes. Categories for entry include: Swapability, Best Topped Burger, and MyPlate Burger.

A Birthday on a Plate

My Plate Birthday Icon

Birthdays are symbolic in any household, but sometimes the birthday celebration can come from the plate itself.  On Sunday, June 2 MyPlate celebrated their 2nd birthday, and rather than sending the usual gift all wrapped up in a bow, their birthday wish is to increase healthy balanced plates across the country.

The USDA’s MyPlate icon emphasizes fruit, vegetable, grain, protein foods, and the dairy food groups to help families and individuals think about building a healthy plate when it comes time to preparing meals.  While MyPlate provides the framework for a healthy meal, they also provide the recipe inspiration to succeed.

Their Pinterest account is filled with delicious and comforting recipes that bring to life the idea of the MyPlate icon. From breakfast to dinner and protein to vegetarian, there is a recipe for every occasion. Dinners like Salami and Mushroom Pizza and Five Spice Turkey Burgers are perfect for the entire family to gather around this summer.   However, as we all know some of the best recipes are what we whip up from the ingredients in our own pantry.

MyPlate has partnered with The Mushroom Council this summer in “Swap It or Top It” a mushroom based recipe contest encouraging you to create, taste and inspire with mushrooms this summer. Categories range from a blended mushroom dish, replacing a portion of meat with finely chopped mushrooms to a MyPlate burger featuring whole grains, lean protein, fruit, vegetables and dairy.  Not only will the winning recipe receive bragging rights, but a grand prize of $5,000.

Whether you’re inspired to follow a MyPlate recipe or create your own, here’s to a savory and healthy summer ahead.