Posts Tagged ‘Foodie Tots’

Mushroom Bread Pudding from Colleen of Foodie Tots

This gorgeous recipe is brought to you by Mushroom Channel contributor Colleen Levine of the family-friendly food blog Foodie Tots.

I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating Thanksgiving as a time to indulge in all the unhealthy side dishes we tend to shy away from the rest of the year – after all, most nights of the year it would be unthinkable to have two or more types of potatoes on the table. And I can’t remember the last time I had stuffing outside of a Thanksgiving meal. Though I will confess that during college, my roommates and I would make a chicken dinner, complete with mashed potatoes from a box, gravy from a mix, and Stove Top stuffing, when we were craving home-style comfort foods. Ever since the low-carb diet craze, it seems bread-laden side dishes have become regrettably scarce.

So I decided to bring stuffing back to the dinner table – in the form of a savory mushroom bread pudding. I used two types of mushrooms, maitake and shiitake, and my usual stuffing starters of celery, onion and prosciutto. It’s just a tad “lightened” up by using mushroom broth in place of the usual heavy cream, but still results in a fluffy, luscious bread pudding. I used an American parmesan-style cheese called BellaVitano – if you can’t find it, a blend of parmesan and asiago will do just fine. The finished pudding can be served as a dinner side dish, or make it the main course with a salad on the side. And it works equally as well as a brunch dish, too.

Now I’m not a fan of hiding vegetables from my son, but I have found that vegetables often meet with less resistance when served alongside something familiar. As many preschoolers would be content eating nothing but the bread for dinner, the comforting familiarity of the bread cubes in this just may make the mushrooms go down easier if your little ones are skeptical of them. No guarantees, of course.

Mushroom Bread Pudding


  • 1 1-pound loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is warming up, spread bread cubes in a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to toast for 10 minutes. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and cook prosciutto until browned. Remove to a bowl, leaving rendered fat in the pan. Add olive oil, celery and onion and cook until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and mushroom broth to combine. Gently fold in toasted bread, the mushroom mixture, prosciutto and cheese. Pour into a lightly oiled 8×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes, or until top is golden and pudding appears set. Makes 8 servings.

Savory Mushroom Empanadas from Foodie Tots

Please enjoy not one but TWO amazing empanada recipes from Colleen- the excellent taste behind

When you think about it, is there a more perfect food than the empanada? Miniature stuffed pastries, sweet or savory, make the perfect party appetizer – or fist-sized meal for children on the go. And full-size empanadas can be a meal-on-the-run for grown ups as well. When I was thinking about the ideal companions to mushrooms in these funghi empanadas, I thought of my favorite pizza toppings – mushrooms, olives and Italian sausage. I love to cook with Italian sausage because it’s pre-seasoned, making it a time-saving way to impart flavor to the finished dish. I also decided to make a sweeter one with caramelized onions, Brie and shitake mushrooms, for variety (and to provide a vegetarian option).

Whether you use store-bought pastry dough, as I have, or make it from scratch, empanadas are a fun kitchen project for young children who can roll, cut and help fill the dough. As with the toppings for the portabella pizzas I shared in my last post, letting kids choose their own fillings makes it more likely they’ll sample the finished product, and may even encourage them to try something new.

Recipe: Shitake, Brie and Caramelized Onion Empanadas


  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces shitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chardonnay
  • pinch fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions: In a medium sauté pan, slowly cook onions and olive oil over low heat, stirring infrequently, until onions are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium low, deglaze pan with wine, and stir in mushrooms and thyme. Cook about 2 minutes more, just until mushrooms have absorbed the liquid. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Roll the thawed pastry dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 5-inch circles (I use a small glass bowl for this). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Scoop one tablespoon full of mushroom-onion filling into the center of each pastry circle. Place a slice of Brie on top. Brush the edge with egg wash, fold, and crimp the edges. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 8 empanadas.



  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
  • 2 Italian sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped cremini or button mushrooms
  • ¼ cup finely chopped black olives
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Squeeze sausage out of its casing and crumble in the skillet. Cook several minutes, until browned. Strain off any excess grease, then add red pepper and cook 2-3 minutes more, until peppers are soft. Add mushrooms and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and add olives. (If, like me, you have olive haters in your household, keep the olives separate and add them only to half the empanadas.)

Follow instructions above to prepare pastry circles and egg wash. Place sausage-mushroom filling in the center of each circle, brush edges with egg wash, fold over and crimp edges. (If you need to distinguish the olive ones from the olive-free, carve a small “O” in the olive ones with a paring knife.) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 8 empanadas. Enjoy!

Kid-Friendly Portabella Pizzas from Foodie Tots

Today’s post comes to us from Colleen for the family-friendly food blog, Foodie Tots.

In these steamy hot days of August, turning on the oven is one of the last things we typically want to do in the evening. Pizzas cooked on the grill are a classic summer menu item, and swapping portabellas for pizza crust makes it an even faster and simpler dinner solution for busy summer nights.

As with regular pizzas, the topping variations are endless so be creative and, if making them with children, let them suggest their favorites. For these, my son stuck with plain mozzarella and a black olive smiley face, while the grown ups enjoyed basil, feta and olives. Next time I plan to make a Hawaiian version with some shredded prosciutto and pineapple.

Recipe: Grilled Portabella Pizzas (Smiley Face Optional)


  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and/or 2 ounces crumbled feta
  • fresh basil leaves
  • sliced black olives
  • sea salt and black pepper


1. To start, gently clean your portabellas with a damp paper towel. Trim the stems with a paring knife (and a tip I learned from a local chef: save the stems for making mushroom stock) and use a spoon to scrape the dark brown gills from the underside of the cap. (Just toss — or compost — those.)

2. Arrange the sauce, cheeses and toppings in small bowls and line them up across the top of your work surface.

3. Brush the underside of the caps with olive oil and grill, oiled side down, for 3-4 minutes over a medium high flame.

4. Place the caps on your work surface, cooked side facing up, and season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of sauce around the cap. Go easy on the sauce as the mushrooms will give off liquid when they cook, and too much sauce can make them soggy. Sprinkle with cheese to cover, then olives or other desired toppings. Gently place back on the grill (toppings facing up!) and cook another 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4 as a side dish or appetizer, or 2 as a main course. Enjoy!

Featured Contributor: Mediterranean Mushroom Salad Croissants from Foodie Tots

This is recipe marks our first contribution from Colleen of the family food blog,  Foodie Tots.  We love her creative, healthy take on the types of salads that are usually crammed full not so healthy additives. Welcome to the team, Colleen!

When I think about mushrooms, the first recipes that come to mind are usually heavier comfort dishes: hearty soups, creamy risotto, or rich pastas. With Memorial Day just around the corner, ushering in the summer picnic season, I thought I’d create a lighter dish. This Mediterranean-inspired, family-friendly mushroom salad is a hearty filling for sandwiches, perfect for a meal on the go.

I tried to include the same elements that make a good chicken salad: something sweet, something crunchy, and no mayo (personal preference). In this recipe, sundried tomatoes lend a sweet burst of flavor and will tide you over until tomatoes are in season later in the summer. (The tomatoes also add visual appeal for kids, who are often tempted by more colorful foods.)  Walnuts add the critical crunch, and you could up the protein content with some fresh mozzarella, too.

And should your picnic get rained out, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re still getting Vitamin D from the mushrooms.

When cooking mushrooms, use a large pan and try to keep them in a single layer. For this recipe, you may need to cook them in two batches.

Stir only once or twice, and cook until mushrooms are browned and just tender.

Mediterranean Mushroom Salad Croissants
Makes filling for 4-6 sandwiches

For the salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6-8 leaves fresh basil

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

For the sandwiches:
4 large croissants
1 cup baby spinach

1.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium low heat.

2.  Clean the mushrooms gently with a damp paper towel. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut halves into quarters. Smaller mushrooms can simply be quartered; you want pieces about 1/4-inch thick.

3.  Cook the mushrooms until browned and tender, about 10 minutes, stirring only once or twice. You may want to cook them in two batches, as they’ll brown better in a single layer.

4. While the mushrooms cook, coarsely chop sundried tomatoes, walnuts and basil. Place in a mixing bowl.

5.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl, set aside.

6. Combine cooked mushrooms with the tomato, walnut and basil mixture. Add dressing and toss gently to combine. Let rest 10 minutes for flavors to meld.

7. To assemble sandwiches, slice croissants in half. Arrange a handful of spinach leaves on bottom half, then top with a generous helping of mushroom salad. Place second half of croissant on top, slice in half, and wrap up to go. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: This recipe is vegan, simply change the suggested croissant service for a favorite vegan bread or a bed of mixed greens.

2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors

Featured Contributor

The wait is over.  After considering every awesome entry until the last possible minute, your Mushroom Channel team is thrilled to announce the ten official contributors for 2010.  Sincere gratitude is in order for everyone who took the time to write us an email, expressing love for mushrooms. The process of going through the submissions warmed our fungi-friendly hearts.

Without further ado, the 2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors are…

Colleen from Foodie Tots

Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen

Kate from Savour Fare

Lauren from Healthy Delicious

Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write

Patti from Worth the Whisk

Paula from Bell’Alimento

Rachael from Fuji Mama

Sabrina from Rhodey Girl Tests

Susie and Chelsee from We Are Not Martha

To our contributors, be on the lookout for an email from the Mushroom Channel editorial staff to talk through details.  To our readers, be on the lookout for a new post from one of these contributors every week starting April 26.