Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger

Signature Mushroom Beef Burger

If you like mushrooms and burgers, read on. The Seasons 52 Restaurant and Mushroom Council have just introduced the Signature Beef and Mushroom Burger (Signature Burger), which is Angus beef blended with mushroom duxelle, butter lettuce, roasted tomatoes, house made pickles. This mouthwatering burger is new to their summer menu, and it’s made from 100% Angus beef and blended with mushroom duxelle (finely diced, sautéed mushrooms). I love finely chopping mushrooms so that they’re the consistency of ground meat, and then combining the two and using them together to create new recipes that are nutritious (this is also a great way to get your kids eating mushrooms). Mushrooms are so versatile and can be used in so many ways, while bringing flavor and nutrition your meals.  They’re naturally low in calories, fat-free and cholesterol-free and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium. I took my two boys to Season 52 for the first time, and they LOVED it! We almost fought over this burger when we tasted it. Now the question is: How soon can we go back?

 

5 Amazing Quinoa Soup Recipes

It’s been so bitterly cold lately so I have been looking for some great new soup recipes to try (especially ones with quinoa). Here are 5 amazing quinoa soup recipes starting with my Kale and Sausage Quinoa Soup (pictured above). It is so hearty and makes a great one dish meal. My kids loved it too! Enjoy it as you start your new year off on the right foot!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili via Recipes and Me 

Harvest Chicken Quinoa Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Tomato Soup with Quinoa and Feta via Mountain Mama Cooks

Red Lentil Quinoa Curry Soup via Lindsay Loves Veggies

30 Mushroom Recipes

I am so excited to announce my winner of this month’s mushroom giveaway! Congrats to Kelley from Mountain Mama Cooks for her submitting her recipe for Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Be sure to check out all of the other contest entrants and the Mushrooms for Hope Pinterest Board for a collection of fabulous mushrooms recipes.

I love using mushrooms in my cooking, and you can always lighten up your family favorite recipes by using finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms for a portion of ground meat. Mushrooms and ground meat blend seamlessly to add an extra serving of vegetables to the plate by enhancing, extending or replacing the meat. Finely chopped mushrooms look similar and blend seamlessly with meat, so classics can be healthier without losing taste or satisfying texture. A great example of this is my Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms, but there’s so many unique ways to use mushrooms in your cooking. Using more mushrooms 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 to your diet. See my blog post on 7 health benefits of mushrooms.

Check out the 30 mushroom recipes below!

Mushrooms are still available in their pink packaging for Breast Cancer awareness so add some of these recipes to your menu list! This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own. I love mushrooms!

7 Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are nature’s hidden treasure because one handful of mushrooms delivers nutrition, value, taste and versatility. They’re fat-free, low-calorie, nutrient-dense, low in sodium, contain natural antioxidants, and have a savory flavor that enhances everyday dishes. Here are 7 health benefits of mushrooms:

 1. Weight Management/Satiety. Mushrooms are hearty and fulfilling. Increasing intake of low-energy density-foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests substituting mushrooms for lean ground beef in an entrée just once every week would save almost 20,000 calories or more than 5 pounds of body weight in one year.

 2. Source of Vitamin D. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but mushrooms are unique for being the only source in the produce aisle and one of the few non-fortified food sources. All mushrooms contain vitamin D, but growers also have the ability to increase D levels in mushrooms to a controlled amount by exposing them to ultraviolet light.

3. Every Day Versatility.Thanks to their versatility, low-calorie, nutrient-dense mushrooms can help people meet recommended dietary guidelines. Fresh mushrooms can be added to everyday dishes to provide an extra serving of vegetables and deliver important nutrients, including vitamin D, potassium, selenium, ergothionene and B vitamins.

4. Low in Sodium. Mushrooms are low in sodium, plus their umami counterbalances saltiness and allows for less salt to be used in a dish, without compromising flavor. “Tasting Success with Cutting Salt,” a collaborative report from the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America, recognizes cooking with umami-rich ingredients, like mushrooms, as a way to boost flavor without adding salt.

5. Good Source of Antioxidants and Immunity. Mushrooms are a great source of the antioxidants selenium and ergothioneine which helps strengthen the immune system and protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases.

6.  High in B Vitamins Mushrooms also provide B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

7. Cancer Prevention Scientists at City of Hope were some of the first to find a potential link between mushrooms and a decreased likelihood of tumor growth and development in cells and animals. The team’s research shows that women may benefit from a balanced diet, which includes about 3 to 5 ounces of mushrooms per day. Pink takes center stage in October as mushrooms are sold in pink packaging in honor of national breast cancer awareness month.

Also here’s some more mushrooms 101

  • To clean mushrooms, simply brush off any dirt with a damp paper towel or fingers. Before using, trim the end of the stem if it’s tough. Never soak mushrooms as they may absorb the moisture.
  • Mushrooms keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. To maximize shelf life, keep mushrooms in original packaging until ready to use. You can freeze sautéed mushrooms for up to one month.

I am partnered with the Mushroom Council, but this post was done independently to share my love for mushrooms and their health benefits. See Mushroom Council for more information about mushrooms and recipes.

 

Labor Day Recipe: Easy Beef-Vegetable Kabobs

Celebrate Labor Day with these Easy Beef-Vegetable Kabobs. We make kabobs almost every week. My kids absolutely love them, and so do I. They are so simple to prepare and basically a complete meal. I serve them with rice and/or a salad, and dinner is on the table. I developed this recipe for US Wellness Meats. The quality of their beef is fabulous, and I love that they have kabob meat so there’s no slicing involved. This is what I will be serving on Labor Day, and I hope you have a great holiday!

Easy Dinner Idea: Grilled Pizza with Basil, Mushrooms and Mini Pepperoni

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I recently saw a pizza grill pan last week in the window at The Cook Store, a wonderful neighborhood cooking store where I live. I thought to myself, “I want that!”. I received one for a present shortly thereafter, and I was very excited (thanks @jon_lewistwitter handle). I used it the other night when I was in a pinch as I was testing recipes for my upcoming book (Chipotle Pork Wraps with Slaw).  My kids didn’t want that for dinner so I threw this Grilled Pizza with Basil, Mushrooms and Mini Turkey Pepperoni together for them. I ended up eating both (of course) because it turned out so great!

Low-Fat Skillet Pork with Mushrooms in 15 Minutes

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I get many requests for really fast recipes from friends who, like me, are moving at the speed of light. When I create a recipe that only takes 15 minutes, is healthy, delicious and child-friendly, I feel like I have hit the jackpot. This recipe is not only all of those things, but it’s also under 10 dollars for the entire dish. It doesn’t get much better than that. See this recipe on Nashville’s News Channel 5 on “Talk of the Town” Thursday 11 a.m. where I will be preparing budget-friendly skillet meals.

Low Budget Dinner: Sausage Mushroom Pizza

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Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly.

Easiest Healthiest Pork Main-Dish Ever

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As a Recipe Developer, I am always trying to create the fastest, healthiest, most flavorful main-dish ideas (for clients and my own family). Here is one for you. It’s a simple take on Pork Picatta, but it has no flour, breadcrumbs or wine. It’s a cinch to prepare; it cooks so fast; and the whole family loves it! The key is to purchase thinly sliced boneless, skinless pork loin chops. They sell these in all of the grocery stories (I bought mine at Publix). Even though they are so thin, they are not lacking flavor, especially in this recipe with capers, fresh lemon juice and Italian parsley. This dish is high in protein, low in carbs and very low-fat, so enjoy!


Simple Lemon-Glazed Pork with Mushrooms 

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

11/2 pounds boneless, skinless pork loin chops, thinly sliced 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

Vegetable cooking spray

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons Italian parsley

Lemon slices

Preparation

1. Season pork with kosher salt, pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

2. Heat oil in a large lightly greased nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pork and mushrooms; cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and mushrooms are softened. Add remaining lemon juice, parsley and capers; cook 1 more minute. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.