I am so lucky because my 3 kids love mushrooms! Really, they do! As most of you know, I am always trying to be as healthy as possible, especially in cooking. Did you know on average, mushrooms have 90 percent fewer calories than a ground meat alternative? Finely chopped mushrooms look similar and blend so nicely with meat, so classics can be made healthier without losing taste or satisfying texture. This Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms is a perfect example on how to simply substitute mushrooms for some of the meat in a traditional recipe. This reduces calories, fat and actually creates a healthier main dish (I actually think it tastes better too)! With the mushroom and meat blend, you don’t necessarily have to consume large quantities of meat to feel full and satiated, and your dish will also be more economical. Also, mushrooms bring important nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, B vitamins and antioxidants to the plate without increasing calories, fat and cholesterol. I am always reminded it’s October because the mushrooms in the produce aisle are in their adorable pink packaging. There is a huge reason for this… Read on (and continue reading for information on an awesome GIVEAWAY)
- Pink takes center stage in October as mushrooms will be sold in pink packaging in honor of National Breast Cancer awareness month recognizing the industry’s commitment to breast cancer research. Mushrooms have been studied (white buttons, in particular) by City of Hope scientists for their potential effects on breast cancer and sold in pink packaging during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- In total, the Mushroom Council has awarded more than $800,000 in grants for lab studies and pilot clinical trials to support this research. They will provide $50,000 to City of Hope’s research on breast cancer and mushrooms.
In honor of this amazing cause, I am hosting a giveaway for a $50 American Express Gift card and the cutest mushroom apron (see below) from Etsy. This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own. To enter, just simply leave your favorite mushroom recipe or link to one of your favorite mushroom recipes in the comment below. The winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday October 17th at 8 A.M. For more chances to win, hop over to my friend’s Kristen at Dine & Dish and Jennifer at Savory Simple to check out their fabulous mushrooms creations. Thanks and good luck 🙂
Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms
8 to 10 servings
3/4 pound thin spaghetti (you can use regular or whole wheat)
1/4 pound ground round
1 small onion, chopped, (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped
8 ounces baby bella/cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pound, 13 ounces marinara sauce or 31/2 cups
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
11/4 cups part skim ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet; drain. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to skillet and cook in hot olive oil over medium heat 5 minutes more or until tender. Add marinara, beef and red pepper flakes; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
4. Place half of the pasta a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with half of the sauce. Then dot the sauce with ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella over the ricotta layer. Layer again with the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce, and the remaining Mozzarella.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
Note: I used a food processor to chop mushrooms-just lightly pulse