Posts Tagged ‘light dinner ideas’

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce from Eat Well with Janel

Here’s a light and lovely meal to help temper a calorie-heavy holiday season, all thanks to our resident dietitian Eat Well with Janel!

With the chilly days of winter upon us, most people look to their favorite comfort foods to warm them up. Usually these comfort foods are calorie laden and oozing with heavy ingredients like cream, butter, and oversized portions of carbohydrate containing foods. And while I fully support the mantra, “All things in moderation,” the dietitian in me likes to look for ways to take calorie-catastrophe dishes and turn them into lighter (but equally delicious) entrees. These dishes are like the younger siblings of the original version: while there are major ingredient differences, they still keep some of the traditional flavors intact.

I’m not going to try to convince you that this dish tastes exactly like the creamy mushroom alfredo sauce with thick fettuccini noodles you may be used to. It does, however, satisfy that craving for something comforting. The mushrooms in this Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce give it a meaty texture that pairs well with fresh thyme, while the coconut milk gives you a creamy mouthfeel without the usual butter and cream.

You may be wondering about coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat (even though I use the light version). Research shows that while it may increase our bad cholesterol, it may also increase our good cholesterol. Also, because of its ability to withstand high heats, I like using it in moderation in my cooking. The nutritional yeast, found at health food stores, adds a cheesy flavor and keeps this dish dairy-free. While you can use this sauce on traditional pasta, I lightened up the dish even more by using spaghetti squash, which is high in fiber and nutrients, lower in calories and carbohydrates, and can be used just like spaghetti in meals.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Alfredo Sauce
Serves 4


  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14-oz package sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 1/2c light coconut milk (canned)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp cornstarch plus 2 tsp water made into a slurry
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin by cooking the spaghetti squash. The easiest way to cook spaghetti squash is in the microwave. Split lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cut sides down in a glass dish (like a pie plate) with about 1/4 cup water. Cook 12 minutes on high, one half at a time. Let halves cool for about 10 minutes before using a fork to separate and scrape out the strands.

2. Sautee mushrooms and diced onion in olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, on medium heat until the onions begin to brown. Then, pour in coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add the nutritional yeast.

3. Prepare a slurry with the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl. Once well combined, slowly add it to the coconut milk mixture, stirring constantly. You will see the sauce start to thicken. Meanwhile, remove the tiny thyme leaves from their stems by pulling the stems through your fingers from top to bottom, against the direction of the stems. Add thyme to the coconut milk mixture.

4. Plate the spaghetti squash and top it with the alfredo sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Welcome Summer! Stuffed Mushrooms from Stetted

This celebratory post-Memorial Day recipe comes to us from Contributor Megan Myers of Stetted. Part of the Mushroom Channel team is on Megan’s home turf this week attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in Austin, Texas so we’ve had the luxury of already being personally assured in person that these stuffed mushrooms are addictive.  No surprise there!

We’ve made it through winter, and it’s time to grill!

Too often vegetarians get neglected when it comes to summer cookouts, relegated to the cold salad table. But cooking for multiple palates and dietary needs is sometimes hard when factoring in our already busy lives.

These stuffed mushrooms come together in a snap and can stand in for a main dish, side, or even a pre-party nibble. I like to top them with panko, Japanese bread crumbs, to add crunch, but they are just as delicious without for a gluten-free meal.

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 1 pound button or baby portabella mushrooms
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/8 cup chopped jalapeno
  • Lemon juice
  • Panko bread crumbs

If grilling, prepare wooden skewers by soaking in a dish of water as you assemble the mushrooms. This will prevent the wood from scorching on the fire.

Gently dust any dirt off your mushrooms with a clean cloth or a mushroom brush. Remove stem by slightly twisting. Discard stems or save for another recipe.

Halve avocado, remove pit, and mash in a bowl. Add cream cheese, jalapeno, and a dash of lemon juice, and stir until well blended. Pour panko into a bowl or rimmed plate.

Fill mushroom tops with the avocado mixture and level off. Dip each mushroom in the panko and continue with the rest of the mushrooms.

Once all are assembled, carefully slide the mushrooms onto the skewers. If baking in the oven, arrange in a casserole dish.

Grill for 10-15 minutes or bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Mushroom Recipes of the Week: Feast Your Eyes

It would seem that many of you have taken on January with a walk on the lighter side and I have to say that we’re finding it very inspirational.  With that in mind, this week we’re focusing on family meals with taste toward healthy living.

Photo Credit: The Wright RecipesRed Quinoa and Almond Pilaf with Mixed Mushrooms. That’s one pretty plate and my guess is that leftovers make for happy next-day lunching.  Check out the recipe at The Wright Recipes.

Photo Credit: GoodLife EatsIf you follow us on Twitter, you may have noticed this call-out this morning. The combination sounded so good that it’s worth a second look.  Balsamic Roasted Mushroom Risotto.  Just let that sink in a moment with the thought that few things soak up flavor like a mushroom does.  So then you have that rich meaty texture soaked through with the sweet bite of vinegar and finished with fresh, herb-y rosemary.  I can’t wait to take this goodLife {eats} recipe back to my own kitchen!

Photo Credit: Kid AppealA big pile of delicious…that’s what this is. Jenna from Food with Kid Appeal is big on including mushrooms in her family meal plan (more about that here).  “Mushrooms are one optimal life food I want my family eating.” We’re glad to hear it!

Photo Credit: Recipe GirlJust in case you have the rest of dinner sorted out but need a stellar side dish, look no further than Recipe Girls easy peezy Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots.  Three items that add a lot of flavor without a lot of fat…you can find the recipe and the nutrition information here.