Mushrooms at California Pizza Kitchen

Did you know that mushrooms are only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle? Luckily, my 3 kids and I love mushrooms, and they are adventurous eaters. They are truly willing to try almost anything, especially with mushrooms. Last week we dined at  California Pizza Kitchen, and we were so thrilled to see the new menu items with mushrooms such as the Shaved Mushroom and Spinach California Flatbread with Cremini mushrooms (see photo below) with sautéed spinach, California olive oil with Romano and Parmesan cheese. Also, we loved the Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza (see photo above) with Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage, torn basil, Mozzarella and wild oregano. We could not taste the difference in the gluten-free pizza crust (there was not one piece leftover). If you’re a mushroom lover, they also have Mediterranean Spring Rolls and, of course, regular mushrooms pizza. Read on for some important reasons to eat more mushrooms…

Why to eat more mushrooms: numberswiki.com

1. Mushrooms are hearty and filling. Research suggests that increasing the 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 a meal.

2. Mushrooms are the leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium in the produce aisle. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases and help strengthen the immune system

3. Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins. B vitamins include riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. They also play an important role in the nervous system.

4. Mushroom contain potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that many people do not get enough of. It aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure.

5. Like all fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are naturally gluten free. Mushrooms are low in calorie, low in fat, low in sodium and naturally gluten-free.

This post is sponsored by Mushroom Council, but all opinions are my own.

Baked Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Giveaway

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 🙂

Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

Lately, I’ve had so many requests for an easy, healthy fall weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love too. This recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini is one that really sticks out in my mind. I purchase a rotisserie chicken for the chopped, cooked chicken which makes my life easier. I also used light cream cheese, low sodium chicken broth and whole wheat noodles to make this dish healthier. The panko breadcrumb topping is probably my favorite part, giving it a toasty crunch and pretty golden color. This is a great make-ahead recipe or wonderful to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobellos and Giveaway

I love creating recipes with fresh mushrooms, and this Panko and Vegetable Stuffed Portobello was a vegetarian main dish was a hit this weekend. Be sure to notice that between September 15th to November 15th, select retailers nationwide will sell mushrooms in pink containers in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 2002, the Mushroom Council has invested more than $750,000 in grants to City of Hope for research on mushrooms and cancer. This fall, the Council will provide an additional $50,000 to continue funding this important research. How cool is this packaging in support of City of Hope and Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Great Health Benefits of Mushrooms

 

1. Mushrooms are low in sodium and calories, and they are fat and cholesterol free.

2. Mushrooms can be an effective substitute for meats thanks to their hearty and fulfilling nature.

3. Mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle to provide vitamin D, and one of the few non-fortified food sources. Growers also have the ability to increase D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light.

4. These friendly fungi provide critical nutrients like energizing B vitamins, potassium and powerful antioxidants, including ergothionene and selenium.

For chance to win the great giveaway above, follow the steps below. For each one, and let me know in the comments for a better chance to win:

1) Follow @MushroomChannel on Twitter

2) Check out and “like” the Mushroom Channel on Facebook

3) Answer the question: “How do you support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

4) RSVP to the Mom It Forward #gno twitter party and check out the giveaway at Mom at Forward

5) Join me for the Mushroom Council #gno twitter party October 4th, from 9-11 p.m EST.

6) Follow @alisonlewis on twitter and come see me on Facebook

Note: I was compensated for my participation in the Mushroom Channel Campaign

Grilled Steak with Mushrooms

School may have started back, but grilling season is far from over. This recipe for Grilled Steak and Mushrooms makes a great weekend or weeknight dinner recipe idea. I used baby Bella, shiitake and bottom mushrooms in this dish, but feel free to use what you like and have on hand. The simple marinade creates a tender and flavorful steak. My kids even ate the mushrooms (so yea). Serve on a bed of watercress for a pretty presentation, or serve as a sandwich for a casual sunday night dinner. This one is a winner.

Kids Cook it Up: Sausage-Vegetable Pizza

My kids are already out of school for the summer, and they are so excited. They love having friends over, of course, and I like to ask them if they want to help out in the kitchen. My kids (and their friends) love being in the kitchen. It’s the center of our home. Most of their friends know that I’m a Recipe Developer and Cookbook Author and that I’m always taking pictures in the kitchen. We made these Sausage-Vegetable Pizzas the other day, and they had a blast. Making pizzas is a fun kid’s activity. I love to set up an array of toppings, and I let them create their own. Try this for an awesome summer activity.


Easy and Healthy Beef and Broccoli

My three kids love Asian flavors. This easy and healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is a hit every time that I make it. It’s so quick to prepare using very simple-to-find ingredients. I love using skirt steak as it’s very tender after being simply marinated with honey, fresh ginger, reduced-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Just marinate the steak for an hour or overnight, and dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes. This dish is perfect for busy weeknights. I served with rice and some edamame beans, and everyone loved it (and was full).