Ingredient of the Week XV: Mushroom

Ingredient of the Week XV:  Mushroom

Mushrooms are a fantastic source of Potassium – one portabella has more than a banana! They are also a natural source of Vitamin D and contain Vitamin B too! Keep mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator to retain freshness.

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Mushrooms contain more protein than most vegetables and are considered “meat” for vegetarians. 3oz of mushrooms is equivalent to 3g of protein. And realize when mushrooms cook, they reduce in size considering they are mostly water. We are able to pack a lot of nutrients in a rather small amount of “cooked” mushrooms! Just be careful of wild mushrooms, as many of them are poisonous, so purchase them from a reputable grower or grocer.

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Mushroom stems are a good source of nutrients and flavor so there is no need to remove it. On the occasions that you do need to remove the stem, chop it and add to stuffings, casseroles, soups and sauces. Speaking of “stuffing”… try these stuffed mushrooms and enjoy them for the Thanksgiving holiday!

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I recently found these large white mushrooms at Fresh Market and instantly decided to stuff them. Just remove the stems, chop them up and place them in a mixing bowl. Add in chopped spinach, cheese of choice, panko crumbs and bruschetta then mix well.

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Overstuff each mushroom and top with parmesan cheese and paprika.

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Place the stuffed shrooms in a baking dish. Drizzle balsamic vinegar in the bottom of the dish then bake on 350-375 degrees until browned. Serve as an appetizer, a side dish or even a main meal!

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Another side dish to consider is sautéed mushrooms with baby kale and tomatoes. Saute sliced mushrooms with some minced garlic and olive oil.

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Add in the baby kale and toss until wilted.

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Top with tomato halves, sea salt and pepper. Serve it hot. Add any leftovers to eggs!

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Enjoy mushrooms unlimited ways. The “stuffing” itself is never ending. My family likes them with figs and balsamic. Stuff them with crab or even hummus! They are fabulous hot or cold. Use them is sauces to top pork, chicken, beef and seafood. Add them to salads or make them “the” salad. Include them in soups and stews. Add them to quinoa and whole grain orzo. Stir fry!

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